Skip to main content

"What the hell is a Zune?"

Charles Barkley continues to be my favorite thing on "Inside the NBA."
The show needs Ernie Johnson's Emmy-winning presence, Kenny Smith's credible insights and the frequent guest turns from Magic Johnson, but for sheer entertainment value nothing beats Sir Charles, who never restricts himself to just basketball, using the show to make glib, funny (sometimes unintentionally so) remarks on everything from race to fashion to anything else under the sun. He also takes being frequently mocked by the other hosts really well.

His latest gem; as the show was about to go to a video break sponsored by Microsoft's Zune,
"So what the hell is a Zune?"
After learning what a Zune is during the break, he goes:
"OK, so when am I getting my free one? I love being rich. You never have to pay for anything."




So this got me thinking about the Zune again, which I hadn't in ages (not a good sign for Redmond.) When it came out, I had been intrigued by MS's decision to break with the "software platform, not hardware" approach that had served them so well in the PC market and they expected to replicate in the mobile and MP3 player markets. I figured they wouldn't be able to break the iPod monopoly anytime soon, but it could make things interesting. The jury is still out on that one...

While the pictures looked good and promising, I finally laid my hands on a Zune a couple of weeks ago. I have to kinda, sorta agree with the comments of an executive at Apple.

"Don't you think the brown one really looks like a piece of sh#t?"

Compared to the iPod (which it has to be), the device looked extremely clunky; not heavy just ridiculously clumsy. I heard this story once of a Rio engineer/manager who was listening to his device. Someone sitting next to him then took out the just released first version of the iPod. The engineer was so embarrassed by his work when he saw the iPod, he immediately put his device back in. That's how the guys who worked on the Zune should feel.

The iPod has set a standard for design that the Zune doesn't even attempt to come close to. The UI when I tinkered with it was pretty clumsy as well. The one or two extra features that the device boasts (wireless networking/sharing) cool as they are, aren't going to make up for this huge design gap.

I'm still hoping that the Zune gets better fast. MS's online network is decent and with Amazon's digital music announcement, the space could get interesting again.

Comments

shmoo said…
I'm about reading to buy a Creative Zen Vision:M, I just need to go check it out in a store first.
shmoo said…
And by "reading" I mean "ready".
Satyajeet said…
Heard good things about that one actually.

Popular posts from this blog

Everyone's struggle is real... at the very least to them

A couple of weeks ago, while in line waiting to pick up some food I'd just ordered, I overheard two conversations - I don't make a habit of this, but it's hard to not hear things when you leave your phone behind. :-/
My first reactions as I heard both of these conversations was annoyance at the protagonist in one and admiration for the other. Both conversations stayed with me for a while, but it took me some time to realize that was unfair on my part to be annoyed at the person that I was annoyed at.

So about these conversations:
The first was between someone working there and a friend. She was sympathizing with her friend who'd be starting a new job leaving this place. "Oh, it's minimum wage again?", she said with concern in her voice. "Yes, but it's fine", said her friend. The job was closer to where she lived so she thought she'd make about the same and she might get home a little earlier to her daughter some evenings though the hours…

Yup - humans still lack humanity

Every once in a while, I'm reminded that humans can be completely lacking in humanity.

My wife had the following experience yesterday on her ride back home. She got on the train and found a seat. The train was unusually crowded and it looked a lot of people had to stand for a long ride. An elderly Asian gentleman carrying a few things in both hands, was looking for spot, started to complain smilingly about the train being so full and stood in the aisle at the back of the carriage some seats away from her.

She expected someone closer to gentleman in the aisle (lots of younger people on the train) to give him their seat.

No one did.

The train started, and it was clear the man was having a lot of trouble standing up. Then at the next stop there was actually an announcement saying the train was full so please give up your seats to people who needed them.

Still nobody moved.

My wife got up walked to the end of the train and asked the gentleman to go over to her seat. She still couldn&#…

Whimsy when I changed my profile picture...

I changed by profile picture at work.



Later in the day, two people on my team had changed their profile pictures to these.. :-)



It made my day!

I changed my profile pic again today. Let's see how fast anyone catches on this time. :-)