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Is Zune compatiblity really that bad?

Me again, so sorry for all these questions.

I went shopping today to try and get a better idea of what is going to work for me. While I haven't really knocked anything off of my top picks yet, I did come up with some more questions.

Circuity City had a brochure giving tips for buying an MP3. In the one section lists the songs that different players are compatible with. For Zune, all it lists is the Zune Marketplace. Once I have the player I suppose it won't be as much of an issue, but I would like to get my current music on the player. After which I would start using only the files it works with. But here is the music I have now:

Windows Media 9 (I think I have to upgrade that to get the newer version, it keeps asking me I just haven't done it yet)
I have about 20 songs from my own CDs.

I have some songs I downloaded online, I believe it was from Music Match that say they are protected WMAs which I believe doesn't work with Zune. But I still have 9 burns left for these songs. If I burn them onto CD, is it then possible to put them on the player that way? If so, how?

Music Match 10

I have the songs that I believe I actually downloaded from MusicMatch, but can't seem to find the file type, I believe it is the same.

Some of the discover downloads of the week

1 TV show

The same songs from MusicMatch, but I believe they say they are AAC files.

So, these files with my current CD collection, how many of them will I not be able to use. It looks to me like I won't be able to use any of the songs from MusicMatch. I would like to still download the songs from iTunes that they have for free, but I don't know if they compatible either.

Second, if songs are this bad with comptaiblity, how bad are movies? I guess you can't use DVDs, but you can use homemade DVDs. Can any of the free movies be put on here? For example, ABC has old episodes available, iTunes has some once and a while, etc. What really are my options as far as video is concerned?

I know there are several places that, like iTunes, has a few songs each week that they offer for free. What are some of these sites, the legal ones only please?

Finally, sites like eMusic and MP3.com have quite a few new and/or independent artists. Also, I believe some of the MP3 manufacturers offer this as well. When it is a site that offers free songs from new or independent artists, are the files checked for virus or how do you know they are safe to download.

As always, thanks so much for all your help!

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It is that bad. Watch the video and..

In reply to: Is Zune compatiblity really that bad?

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When you say locked to XP SP2

In reply to: It is that bad. Watch the video and..

You mean you have to have service pack 2 to use it? I have that, so if that is the case I don't think that will be a problem.

I'm not sure what WGA is, sorry, haven't learned all the terms yet.

And then the final thing, you have to have Windows Media Player 11 to use it, right? I read that, I have nine now, don't I just need to update that so it will work? Will my current songs go onto 11 than?

Sorry I'm so confused right now!

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I wish WMP 11 would just work for everyone. But ...

In reply to: When you say locked to XP SP2

It's not. If you must get a Zune, see if your machine can support WMP 11 first. Make it a full refund if the product doesn't work with your PC. Don't let them saddle you with fixing your PC.


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Hi...it's me again

In reply to: Is Zune compatiblity really that bad?

Zune compatability bad? Not necessarily. Probably on par with iPod. I don't really see it as being that restrictive, at least as far as music is concerned. There are work arounds for that. Anyway here are my thoughts:

1. Go ahead and update WMP. However, it won't really affect Zune - you won't be using WMP to transfer your tunes. Just like iPod has iTunes, Zune has its own software that is totally separate from WMP.

2. The songs in your WMP library that came from your own cds - as long as they are in mp3 format they will play on the Zune.

3. Online downloads - unless they came from eMusic or similar(remember, these are unrestricted mp3 files, which will play on Zune), you will not be able to play them on Zune without first "converting" them first. (more on this later) Though the ones that came from MusicMatch are protected wmas, the protection scheme is one that Zune doesn't support. The Zune Marketplace songs have a different wma drm. Songs from other stores, such as Napster and MTV Urge (also protected wmas) will not work either because of the same reason.

4. iTunes songs, whether you purchased them or got them for free, will not play on Zune because they are protected AACs (it will play, however UNPROTECTED AACs)

5. So, how do you get this content on your Zune? I think you already know the answer to that - Burn audio cds, then rip them back onto your computer as mp3s. (mp3s being the most universal format) Possibly if you use the Zune software to rip these songs, you will not see title/artist/album/song information and you will have to edit these yourself. If you use the software that they currently "reside" in (MusicMatch, iTunes, etc) - You'll may see song information, and artist information, but the album will turn up as a "Compilation" album - you can either edit these yourself or get a tag editor program. I'm not really too familiar with these - maybe someone can post their favorites.

6. The TV show in iTunes. I think you're out of luck with that one. I believe iTunes only allows you to burn video content as a data cd (for back up purposes).

7. As far as viruses are concerned, keep your antivirus software up to date and scan often. Only download from trusted sources. Of course, that leads to the question: Who can you trust? I will leave that to the forum and let other chime in on your dilema.

To the forum: Any ideas for video? I mean legal ideas?

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Ktreb you rock!!!

In reply to: Hi...it's me again

I don't even know what to say other than you rock. You have helped me more than anyone I have talked to (in stores that actuall sell these things)

I feel so bad asking all these questions and you keep spending your time to answer.

Thanks so much for all you have done, I wish there was some way to pay you back. Maybe I can answer a question for you some day in the future (hahahaha) You are truly an MP3 genius.

Thanks again, you have helped me so much!

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Not on par with the iPod. No Mac, no Linux, no Windows 2000

In reply to: Hi...it's me again

In fact I can put the iPod on Windows 98se.

Zune didn't work with Vista either. Go figure. I'm unsure if they fixed that yet.

-> It all doesn't make sense. With wifi why couldn't it just work?


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It is kind of upsetting what was released at launch

In reply to: Not on par with the iPod. No Mac, no Linux, no Windows 2000

I think Microsoft was on track to really outdo the iPod. They came into the market and pretty much fixed all the problems so many users complained about on the iPods. But then, they kind of fell back on some of the more basic things that seem to be obvious.

Hopefully they will make some big improvements here soon so that it can be more of a competitor in the marketplace. Don't get me wrong, I love the iPod. But there are just some things that really should have been improved by this point in time. Once it was able to play video, the screen should have been larger and I don't see why something hasn't been done to prevent scratching. The iPod is beautiful, but if consider, for instance, all the people around 20 years or under that are saving and saving to get an iPod, get it and the next day it is scratched all over, you would think they would want to change that. I'm not a big fan of the new Nano's, but I think I would rather have that than a scratched up iPod.

Maybe I will wait and see what happens with apple in the next month or so. And, in that time Zune may make some big improvements. Zune has a lot of possibilities and I just hope they take advantage of them. Which, that is another thing I wonder about. If the Zune doesn't really take off like they hope, are they going to just let it go, work on the next model or get out of the industry and then I'm left with a Zune that is completely behind.

As far as operating systems, I only have XP at this point. I think I have one computer with Windows 98, but I don't even know the last time I turned it on. I plan to get some new computers soon, but not sure if I will get Vista this soon, since I know what can happen with new OS.

So, I think at this point the best thing is to sit back and see what happens.

Does anyone know the actual date of Apples "CES" like show? And do they put the video on the site the day of? I always watch it but I don't know how soon they get it up.

And if I am correct, in the past Apple has always released the iPods the same day as the announcement, or very near to it, right?

Finally, again I have the fear of going with something that new. Do I need to be worried if I would get an iPod that was just released having a lot of bugs, it seems to me in the past they have been really good at taking care of things and if so how? Do they basically fix most things with firmware, I believe one time they even replaced some. Is this what they do or how do they work?

Thanks again everyone!

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For a rushed product, no surprise

In reply to: It is kind of upsetting what was released at launch

I wouldn't say they came in and fix all the problems on the iPod (Maybe the scratching which I agree should be fix, the FM radio and larger screen part for some?). I would say though that they took a few steps backwards with this Zune:
Here's a detailed Hands-On Review of the Zune (vs iPod)I found noteworthy:

They definitely rushed this DAP and it shows, but they mentioned there will be updates and added features down the road. The questions is, will they save that killer features for Zune02 customers, leaving the faithful Zune01 customers frustrated?

The following is my 'personal' beef with this Zune player (Subjective) and why I say it's a step backwards in what's expected in a DAP:

- No Mass Storage - (30 gigs yet you can't store other data)
- No Clock/Sleep/Alarm function -(I set my iPod to turn off as I sleep etc)
- No lossless music format supported
- No gapless playback
- No bookmarking feature for (Audio, Audiobooks, Podcast etc)
- No Audible (Audiobooks) or Podcast integration in Marketplace
- They Bent over for the RIAA with this 3 plays/3 days (1/2 = 1 Play)
- Your 'own' music will have the same 3/3 rule (Your Band? DJs?)
- Zune Marketplace requires a $5 min (=Points) just to buy .99 song
- Zune marketplace does not identify which music you purchase is unshareable.
See this funny interview on Marketplace- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7TPJ7GQOuzk

Macworld dates are Jan 8-12

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I completely agree

In reply to: For a rushed product, no surprise

They were on track to fix some of the more common mistakes that Apple has with the iPod, but so far failed to fix/improve. They were so close to having something really comparable, but I think failed in the more important areas for most users.

Thanks for the review, definitely good info.

And your idea with Zune02 and Zune01 is exactly what I am thinking. How much of these problems are they going to attempt to fix on the current player, or will they just decide it is best to do a new one completely. But then I also wonder if they will attempt to make another player if this one doesn't sell real well. Overall I have read a lot of good reviews, other than what people have written that reviewed before it was even out. But yet it seems the more I find out the more disappointing the player becomes.

I definitely agree with your points. Hopefully Microsoft will start making some improvements in the next few weeks Wink

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