Zune Reviews

Find reviews and reports on the Zune from Microsoft.

Zune Reviews – How to convert video for Zune players

 Zune Reviews  2 Responses »
Oct 222008
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Here is another Zune Review with details on how to convert video for Zune players. Getting video onto your Zune can be a trick if you do not know how to rip and convert DVD videos. Downloading videos online seems easy enough but once again if they are not in the proper format all is lost in translation.

How to convert video for the Zune | MP3 Insider – CNET Reviews

Microsoft struggled through two rounds of Zune before hitting the nail on the head with the third generation of the MP3 player, but the company got at least one thing right from the start. Even the first pass offered a larger-than-average screen, clocking in at 3 inches diagonally, and the latest version packs a video-worthy 3.2-inch screen. Of course, getting video content was a bit of a challenge at first, but the Zune Marketplace continues to expand its catalog, which now offers TV shows from several major networks such as NBC and Comedy Central.

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Zune Phone – Trouble Brewing?

 Apple, Microsoft, MP3, The Zune, Zune, Zune Phone, Zune Reviews  No Responses »
Apr 062007
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While rumours of a Zune Phone have long been circulating on the internet (and its seems inevitable that it will happen), Microsoft have denied that a Zune phone is imminent, despite the fact that a consortium led by Microsoft, Google, HP and Dell have filed submissions with the US authorities. The filing relates to a wireless handled internet access phone (VOIP) and is sure to prompt a war of words with the likes of Apple, and their high profile iPhone.

While Apple have stolen an early march on their competitors, many suspect that they do not have the fire power to make a real impression in the market, with much of their power being taken by the telecom companies with who they must tie up with. When you compare this to the proposed Microsoft consortium VOIP phone, which does not require telecom assistance, then we seem set for a battle.

Even though Microsoft have denied that a Zune phone is imminent, they have done too much ground work for this not to happen in the future. It is more likely that Microsoft will use the proposed consortium device to perfect the technology, as the Zune brand is too valuable to be associated with sub-standard technology.

This powerful consortium has the potential to snatch a large portion of Apple’s market share, and the recent court ruling in the MP3 market, whereby Microsoft were order to pay damages with regards to MP3 technology does not bode well for Apple. While it seems a little unfair that Apple have opened new markets with their iPhone and iPod, they are really under pressure from the likes of Zune, which has a growing client base and the Microsoft marketing machine behind it. There is real concern about the long term future of Apple as their main markets become ever more crowded.

There is also strong speculation that the telecom companies are running scared, as the rumoured Zune VOIP phone is sure to take away a large portion of their market. While they are unlikely to sit back and take this lying down, they may look to tie up with the likes of Microsoft, leaving Apple further and further in the cold. The Zune looks set to cause major waves in the telecom industry, and we are likely to see a major change on the corporate landscape over the coming years.

Microsoft seems to have it all at the minute, internet access, content, software and a growing client base in the shape of Zune users. While the product may initially have received luke warm reviews there is no doubt that momentum is starting to grow, and the constant drip feed of rumour and counter rumour from the Microsoft marketing machine is having an effect. Consumers are now starting to see the purchase of a Zune as an investment in the future, and a doorway into the inner workings of Microsoft.

Zune is set to be the base for the future of Microsoft’s portable services, and this does not bode well for competitors such as Apple who are struggling to keep pace.

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BoxWave Flexiskin silicon case for Zune

Feb 272007
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BoxWave FlexiSkins

It’s been just about 3 weeks since I got my first Zune case. I’m kinda slow to things. The BoxWave Flexiskin is a very nice and well designed silicone skin for a rough Zune users like myself. I’ve put the case through some serious real world testing and I’m pretty happy with it over. I’m not very interested in the belt loop attachment which then gets in the way if you’re not using it but it’s a livable trade off for the convenience of having it should the need arise. The basic FlexiSkin runs $19.99 and is a solid deal at the price. You can get the belt clip for an extra buck and a kickstand for standing your Zune player up for an extra $3. My favorite part of the FlexiSkin is the screen protector mine that it came with. It actually works and protects my Zune screen. My greatest fear is scratching that luscious screen MAX has and I’m probably overly cautious of damaging it. Having the silicone case and screen protector on my Zune made me loosen up with it a bit and do things like just jam it in my pockets or backpack with little regard for what it banged or bumped against. The screen protector is raised just above the screen so as to allow dust to settle between without scratching up the screen like many other protectors do and the case design keeps the screen covered at all times.

MAX is a black Zune and my case is white which gives it a dull gray look that’s really not so bad. The Boxwave Flexiskins for Zune are an excellent deal at the price and if you can win one for free in our Boxwave Zune case giveaway you’ll love it that much more. In order to enter to win a free Zune case from Boxwave just drop by the Zune forums and leave a short blurb on you and your Zune and bingo you’re entered.

From the BoxWave site:
FlexiSkin Case – PDA, BlackBerry, PSP, Treo and iPod skin cases | Accessories by BoxWave

BoxWave’s FlexiSkinâ„¢ is an ultra low profile skin case designed for complete usability. Precision constructed with anti-static material, the FlexiSkin skin case provides reliable protection from unwanted dust and accidental bumps. The FlexiSkin soft case now features SmoothTextureâ„¢, which guarantees both low profile anti-dust protection and a pleasant tactile experience (selected models).

Protect your device with the anti-dust skin case from the award winning leader in handheld accessories. Experience the FlexiSkin skin case by BoxWave today!


BoxWave Flexiskin Silicone Zune Case Features:

  • Enhanced with new SmoothTexture™! SmoothTexture™ makes the Microsoft Zune FlexiSkin feel softer to the touch and reduces surface dust
  • Soft, low-profile case
  • Form-fitting case designed to perfectly fit your Microsoft Zune
  • Anti-slip properties gives your handheld more grip on surfaces
  • Durable and protects your Microsoft Zune from scratches and bumps
  • Washable and tear-resistant
  • Conveniently designed to provide quick access to all of Microsoft Zune’s control buttons
  • FlexiSkins without a kickstand come in aluminum grey, coral pink, frosted clear, future blue, jet black, and smoke grey color
  • FlexiSkins with a kickstand come in cosmo pink, frosted clear, jet black, and super blue color
  • FlexiSkins without a kickstand include a removable clear LCD screen shield
  • FlexiSkins with a kickstand do not include a removable clear LCD screen shield
  • Includes a high quality, simple-to-use, and detachable belt clip (optional)
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New i-Volution Case from Vaja Cases for Microsoft Zune

Feb 272007
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Vaja Cases has release yet another awesome Zune case and this one looks so sweet it’s on my list of must have. the green and brown color scheme is very cool and I have to get one ASAP. Not much for details on the case yet except these specifications and the pictures below.

Features for the New i-Volution Case from Vaja Cases for Microsoft Zune

  • Full access to main functions
  • Removable front protector
  • Access to hold button and headphone plug
  • Cutout for charge & sync
  • Several colors available
  • Optional clip system
  • Optional personalization


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Zune Review by Louis Garcia of the Advance Titan

Feb 242007
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Advance Titan Online

On a daily walk to class, plenty of students can be spotted with an iPod. The hip, ubiquitous gadget is a staple of the music scene, but despite its record sales, it does have competition.

Microsoft recently released the Zune MP3 player to compete with Apple’s iPod. The Zune, much like the iPod, is an MP3 player capable of playing music, viewing photos and watching videos. They are comparable units, boasting 30GB hard drives for $249.99.

Physically, Zune is very classy. It comes in black, brown and white, and feels sturdy like a real electronic, not a mere toy. Under the 3-inch LCD screen are all the buttons for the player. A back, play/pause, select and wheel button are all laid smoothly into the design. The earphones fit perfectly into your ear, causing no discomfort, and they’re even magnetic so they won’t get lost and are easier to store.

The Zune has all the features and accessories an iPod does, including speaker docks, car chargers, a remote and a home A/V pack that allows you to hook up your Zune to your television.

Being able to customize the Zune is a big selling point. There are multiple colors of leather cases for people to customize the look of the player, ranging from a stylish black to bright pink. The cases also come in different styles. Some just add visual appeal, while others have a flap that folds over the screen to protect it.

There are other cool features built into the player that the iPod doesn’t have, says Appleton Best Buy employee Zach Michael.

“It has a larger viewing screen that tilts sideways, and it has WiFi connection from Zune to Zune,” he said. “It also has a built-in radio like most do now, but iPod owners have to purchase a $50 accessory.”

Even with all the cool features the Zune possesses, it still hasn’t reached iPod sales yet, according to Michael.

“The iPod is still selling better, but the Zune is catching on,” he said. But it’s so new to the market it’s taking some time to reach the public. Everyone is still on the iPod fad.”

While the Zune is catching up in popularity, some early adoptors of the player have already been enjoying the product.

Junior Amber Heinz likes having the Zune for her everyday workouts. “I also like to listen to it after my workouts when in the shower,” she said. “I plug in some computer speakers and listen to my favorite play list.”

Other students like the Zune for its hardware capabilities and Windows operating base.

Junior Zack Michek has enjoyed his Zune for its ease of use.

“I really like how you can make the playlists in Windows Media Player and then put them right on the Zune,” he said. “(The Zune marketplace) is easy to navigate and putting songs on the Zune are a cinch.”

Michek also based his purchase on the fact that he doesn’t like Apple products. “I wouldn’t buy an iPod if it was the best product in the world,” he said.

The Zune and iPod offer about the same things for the same price. The Zune has a couple more features that may convince the customer to buy it. When asked about what he recommends consumers buy, Michael says he doesn’t recommend either product.

“I try to determine which unit is better based on individuals needs, which player suits them,” he said.

He also mentioned that company preference comes into the equation of what player should be purchased.

“Some people don’t like Apple, and some don’t like Microsoft,” he said.

I point to the Zune as being the better MP3 player. It’s just small enough, has a sleek look and not everyone has one.

Reviewed by Louis Garcia, of the Advance Titan

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Zune Not Quite So Social

 Apple, Microsoft, Music, The Zune, Zune, Zune Reviews  No Responses »
Jan 272007
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Digital World Zune Not Quite So Social

I’ve already expressed my ire at Microsoft’s “Welcome to the social” schtick — not so much because of the concept of wirelessly sharing files, but because the whole thing sort of falls apart when you can’t find people to share files with.

It turns out that there’s another reason Zunes are antisocial. Even if you do manage to find another Zune owner, you might not be able to share your music anyway. The music labels determine which files can be shared and which can’t, and it appears that they’re generally not too keen on even the limited sharing the Zune allows. That’s not Microsoft’s fault, but this is: when you actually buy a track from the store, you have no idea if the track is shareable or not. So the only feature that really differentiates the Zune from its nemesis is now annoying to use. Way to go, Microsoft.

It also occurs to me that this whole issue of labels restricting the sharing feature is something Microsoft should have hammered out beforehand, in much the same way that Apple got all the labels to agree to a $0.99/track price. Part of the attraction to iTunes is that simple processes pull more people; it’s actually easier to buy music via iTunes than going to a store, because everything is subject to the same price and conditions. Oh, well. Another hard lesson learned.

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I’ve been Zuned

Jan 272007
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GottaBeMobile.com – I’ve been Zuned – Your Tablet PC and Ultra-Mobile PC news source

My wonderful family blessed me with a black Zune for my birthday last night, and what a great gift it is.

Having been an iPod user for the past three or four years, I was excited, yet nervous about trying out this new device. Much to my surprise, the install process went as smooth as silk with absolutely zero issues. I signed up for the free 14 day Zune Pass last night and have been downloading music and syncing to my Tablet PC throughout the day. One of the things I like most about the Zune is the user interface. It feels more intuitive and easier to operate than the iPod. The bigger screen helps a great deal. Getting to my music and navigating is quicker as well. I’ve got several of our InkShows on the Zune and they play wonderfully without any extra work or configuration on my part.

My only disappointment is in the audio book area. Much to my dismay, I learned that Audible.com does not support the Zune, yet. So, to listen to audio books, I’m going to have to buy them on cd and import them from the cd into the Zune. Microsoft and Audible.com needs to get this fixed. When visiting the Zune Marketplace, I should be able to buy books there just like I can on iTunes.

Much has been said about the handicapped wireless and it is true. Not being able to surf the Zune Marketplace and buy stuff using the Zune itself is a definite handicap. However, I would expect Microsoft to address this with a firmware update in future releases.

Until then, I’m going to enjoy the heck out of this new Zune. Thank you Kathi, Dax, Maggie, Anna Kathryn, and Zoe.

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Zune player review from SynergyMX.com

Dec 302006
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Here is a great review of the Zune player by a Zune owner at SynergyMAX.com. He recognizes the Zune for what it really is. I also fully agree with the selection of must have firmware updates. I’m hoping the Zune guys are paying attention.

SynergyMX.com – Review – Review Microsoft Zune

A little history, if you please. Apple did not invent the digital media player. I have had a MP3 player for over 10 years, long before the infamous iPod. Before my Zune I had a couple of SanDisk players (my newest a Sansa), plus a couple of off brand ones. I have been ripping my CDs since probably 1997. All in all I really feel that you can’t go wrong with MP3s as they sound great, are easy to port, and above all don’t skip when I go running! (Not that I run, but just to illustrate the point)

So let’s talk about the Zune. As I am not an iPod owner (I’ve resisted) this is my first time to get something packaged this way. The guys who put it all together did a really great job. The kit came with the Zune, ear phones, CDs, instructions, a 15 day pass to the Zune Marketplace and of course the sync cable. I quickly ripped into it and plugged it all in. As I am more tech-savvy than most, I when to the Zune web site (http://www.zune.net) and downloaded the latest software instead of using the CD, and immediately installed the latest firmware (1.2) onto my Zune before even getting started. The Zune restarted and the fun began.

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