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Headphones & Mp3 Players forum

General discussion

Is the Zune the way to go?

by Mr_Hym / May 16, 2009 5:49 AM PDT

I'm thinking about buying a new mp3 player, and so far the Zune 8GB seems like the best one for my needs. Most of the reviews I have read seem positive, but I would love to get a firsthand opinion from someone who has had theirs for longer than a month or two. I've heard about problems with battery life and the player just shutting down. How often does this happen, and should I just go for something else?

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The Sound Quality
by 1shado1 / May 17, 2009 4:48 AM PDT

of the Zunes is generally considered to be excellent. I can't address your other concerns, as I have a first generation 30GB Zune. The only thing that has kept me from buying one of the newer ones is the lack of an EQ, or even EQ presets. A deal breaker for me.

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Thanks
by Mr_Hym / May 17, 2009 5:00 AM PDT
In reply to: The Sound Quality

Sound quality is a huge factor for me. I'm still stuck trying to decide between the Zune 8 and the iPod Nano 8gb.

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You're Welcome
by 1shado1 / May 17, 2009 5:26 AM PDT
In reply to: Thanks

If you're looking for something even more cost effective, but still with highly touted sound quality, you might want to consider the Sandisk Sansa Fuze. It has a Micro SD card expansion slot, not to mention an adjustable EQ. Even cheaper still, having excellent sound quality, is the Sansa Clip. A great place to get opinions on quality sounding mp3 players is:

http://www.head-fi.org/forums/

Specifically, the "Portable Source Gear Forum"

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Sound advice
by Mr_Hym / May 17, 2009 5:33 AM PDT
In reply to: You're Welcome

I actually have a Fuze right now, but apparently I'm getting a new mp3 player as a graduation gift, so I've been shopping around.

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Some of
by 1shado1 / May 17, 2009 5:45 AM PDT
In reply to: Sound advice

The latest Sony players have also been garnering rave reviews.

Congrats on your impending graduation!

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Thank You
by Mr_Hym / May 17, 2009 5:51 AM PDT
In reply to: Some of

And I hadn't even thought about Sony. Time for more window shopping.

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Cnet review
by jeff_windows_team / May 18, 2009 7:34 AM PDT
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Just Read It
by Mr_Hym / May 18, 2009 8:58 AM PDT
In reply to: Cnet review

Seems like a good option, I'm leaning heavily towards it now.

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Zune Pass
by jeff_windows_team / May 19, 2009 2:32 AM PDT
In reply to: Just Read It

The Zune Pass is the way to go if you end up getting a Zune.

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Some Zunes are MORE Zune that others
by make_or_break / May 19, 2009 5:50 AM PDT
In reply to: Just Read It

Not sure how the current Zune8 sounds since I had the first-gen Zune8, but in general my 1G Zune8 sounded much better than its contemporary iPod nano at the time. Personally I wasn't impressed w/ SQ of the current 4G nano when they came out, so it's probably an easy bet that the current Zune8 still beats the Apple product when it comes to SQ.

That said, I do believe that my hard drive-based Zune80 sounded significantly more pleasing and enjoyable than my Zune8, which is why I abandoned the little flash-based Zune despite its more desirable (to me) form factor.

Also, one thing to keep in mind that the Zune does require its own proprietary software. iPods work fairly seamlessly with iTunes, but you're not locked into using iTunes if you don't want to (or run into computer-related problems with it); there are a number of smaller, less bloated and more computer-friendly applications available for iPods, whereas with Zunes you're stuck with Microsoft and the Zune software. Admittedly it's a LOT better than what it used to be, but if you EVER run other applications to manage other types of players or your song library, the Zune software has been known for not playing nice with the file data integrity used by other applications.

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Music managers
by Mr_Hym / May 19, 2009 8:29 AM PDT

I've been using Windows Media Player for a long time, and it's the music player I'm most comfortable with. I downloaded iTunes a couple of days ago to give it a try, and I'm still having problems getting some of my music into it, and I just don't like it as much as I like WMP. If I decide to go with the iPod, what's the best non-iTunes manager that works well with it? And if I go with the Zune, it works well with WMP, right?

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For iPod
by make_or_break / May 20, 2009 5:26 AM PDT
In reply to: Music managers

The one program I sometimes use with my iPods is MediaMonkey. By the name it sounds silly, but in general it's a decent program that works for our family's iPods, my Sony Walkmans, and my Creative Zen X-Fi. It's available as freeware, though I was so taken by it that I actually upgraded to the paid version (it unlocks a number of features that I felt I needed, but it's not necessary to upgrade if you don't want to).

The old standby Winamp also works fairly well and reliably with iPods. There are others as well, but with my limited (or non-existent) use of these I couldn't go as far to recommend any of them. But the following link is a list of many of them on Wikipedia:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparison_of_iPod_managers

I should note that I still use iTunes a LOT to manage our household's various iPods. I use it on a fairly old computer still running Windows XP that serves as my media storage machine. I've finally come across a build version that doesn't crash or lock up the DVD drive; I only wish that the stupid program would stop nagging me to upgrade every so often, but for now I can live with it.

As for the current Zune: no, it's NOT compatible with Windows Media Player. It uses its own proprietary software officially called 'Zune'...confusing the heck out of people who normally call the player 'Zune'. Most users just refer to the software as 'Zune Software', and leave it at that. I can't remember for sure, but I think that a copy on CD came with my Zune devices, though nowadays it wouldn't surprise me if you have to download it from zune.net, the official Zune website. Microsoft created this program because they wanted to copy Apple and its iTunes Music Store marketplace. WMP already served other devices and services, and Redmond didn't want its new music store being used by people who owned other makes of players...in theory stunting Zune sales, or music sales of their own music store for Zune owners looking to shop around for their tunes. Hence, a proprietary program for the Zune, and the Zune alone.

As I mentioned before, the Zune player does not work with any other management software other than the official Zune program (at least without hacking it), and it's THIS program that likes to break things for other software that I use for other players, most notably iTunes but I've had issues in MediaMonkey as well. The problems it creates are with the tag data that shows up on the screen and the album art; if you're ONLY using a Zune you'll never notice it. But if at some point you decide to change to another device like an iPod, you could have problems down the road. As I'm in a mixed-device house, owning a Zune does have its headaches (sigh).

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Winamp and Songbird
by Mr_Hym / May 20, 2009 8:45 AM PDT
In reply to: For iPod

I have both of those, and they both work fine other than the tag data, which is fixable, albeit manually. I guess I'll have to update my music in one of those programs, because I refuse to go back to iTunes, it deleted a bunch of music and playlists from my computer the other day. Thanks for the help everybody, you usually don't get this kind of support on most sites.

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Stick with Apple
by gts / May 29, 2009 2:00 PM PDT
In reply to: Winamp and Songbird

I just recently bought an iPod classic, after using a Sandisk e200 for a couple of years. The Sandisk was OK, but it was definitely was a 1.0 product. It had a bunch of neat features like a microSD card that you could swap out music. However, it was very slow to start up taking several minutes if you had the microSD card in it. The menus where slow and it was buggy. It also didn't support unicode characters.

Another problem with these other devices is that it's much harder to find accessories for them. Unlike Apple, you can can find stuff for them at just about any store. And they have much broader choice of accessories.

The Apple's interface is much easier to use and is much faster to navigate around once you get used to it.

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Will Do
by Mr_Hym / May 29, 2009 2:05 PM PDT
In reply to: Stick with Apple

I've decided to go with the iPod Nano, here's hoping I made the right choice.

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late to the dance
by reptar / May 31, 2009 10:39 PM PDT
In reply to: Will Do

With the Sansa, I can drag-n-drop mp3s from the computer to the player and not have to deal with proprietary conversions. Remember "Plays-for_sure"?

The interface of the iPods is pretty good....

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Drag and drop
by Mr_Hym / May 31, 2009 10:44 PM PDT
In reply to: late to the dance

Probably gonna miss that, my Fuze has been good to me.

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Yet the drawback with Apple...
by make_or_break / June 3, 2009 2:33 PM PDT
In reply to: Stick with Apple

...is that they don't sound as good as quite a few others. Most people don't have a problem with the way iPods sound, but for those of us who DO care--or are anally picky about these sorts of things--it's the reason WHY we consider Zunes, Walkmans, Samsungs, Cowans, iRivers, Zens, etc., as viable alternatives...despite the obvious drawbacks with not going with Numero Uno.

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Zune, Zune, Zune!
by earthstar-uk66 / June 3, 2009 1:57 PM PDT

That's my answer and i don't own one, but my son does he too has the 1st gen 30gb. I personally found that after installing the cd any music photos, artwork, utube, mtv, films, *******, when hooked up to my pc installed no problem, it finds all of your pc stored media some stuff i'd even forgotten about or thought was no longer installed! Plus if you have an xbox360 it's compatable too.
You can also write your own games and download from MS. Go there and find out what else you can do with it, they're adding new bits and pieces all the time.
Or what about the itouch,or phone? On this subject i know nothing, except different gizmos are added all the time, and my son desperately wants one of those!
Congrats on your graduation and goodluck in your quest for the ideal media player to suit your needs!
Take care,
Andrea

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Thanks
by Mr_Hym / June 3, 2009 10:14 PM PDT
In reply to: Zune, Zune, Zune!

Thanks for the help everybody, I got the Nano but I can't open it until later tonight after I graduate so I guess I'll find out whether or not it was worth it.

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