Zune HD – but not mine
A friend of mine ordered a Platinum Zune HD recently (that’s the 32GB model), and because he was unable to receive the shipment, asked for me to open it for him and check on its functionality to make sure he hadn’t been shipped a lemon.
Since I’ve previously commented on the Zune 30 that my wife bought for my birthday, I thought I’d have a quick look and see what I like about it.
The demonstration video is stunning, and shows off the display impressively. The display is wonderfully bright, and fulfils every bit of the promise of OLED technology. Light-weight, thin, amazingly bright and detailed.
Installing the new Zune software from http://www.zune.net/setup went smoothly, although when the player was plugged in, the Zune software immediately insisted on a Player update. The Zune needs to be updated from 4.0 to 4.1 already.
This may come as a surprise, but really it’s not too shocking. There’s a considerable gap between preparing a bunch of hardware for simultaneous shipping and the actual delivery, during which time there may be some interesting bugs discovered. Possibly this time, the bug is that the charge indicator doesn’t light in version 4.0, but does light up in version 4.1. At least, that’s a change I noticed.
So, have any of my previous complaints been addressed? Given the timing of my last post, close to the end of the Zune HD’s development, I doubt that Microsoft had a chance to fix the problems I noted, and I seem to be correct about that.
You can still put MP3 files into your Podcast folder and give them a genre of “Podcast” in order to make them work like Podcasts (i.e. remembering their position while you go do other things), but the images tied into the MP3 files are still not displayed along with those podcasted MP3s. And they still don't play ordered by track number, preferring instead to use some bizarre combination of date and textual sort, with some apparent randomness thrown in.
It appears so far that all of the other issues I’ve encountered are still there, so I’m still waiting for someone at Microsoft to address those and deliver a Zune (updated firmware, software, or hardware) that is absolutely perfect. If they could make it cheaper, too, it would be easier to justify a purchase.
But man, I love that bright display on the new Zune HD. I just wish I didn’t have to part with this one so soon. I guess I’d better save my Amazon gift cards…