Michael Gartenberg Says Zune is Real and Here’s What it Means… Oh Yeah and Why I Don’t Think Zune is Most Likely for Me

Michael Gartenberg – Zune is Real and Here’s What it Means – First Take Analysis: So the tech world is spinning about Microsoft’s latest foray into Apple’s dominant iPod territory known as Zune. Personally I would have liked the name Zuuune better, but well, I’m biased.

What does this mean? Michael Gartenberg explains:

“First, this is an acknowledgement that Microsoft is clearly not happy with Apple’s dominance in digital music. I don’t think it is concern about new growth scenarios. It’s more a concern that Apple controls a key endpoint in the digital home and that Apple bits flow only to other Apple controlled bits or devices.”

What does this mean for early adopter Thomas Hawk? Likely not much. I’ve never owned an mp3 player beyond my Audiovox SMT 5600 Smartphone. I’ve never seen the need for two devices in my pocket. But hey, I’m weird that way.

Why else doesn’t this excite me? Because Windows Media Player largely sucks right now and this is the software I’d likely use to interact with the device if I were to own one. This fact, Windows Media Player sucking (to be fair for me as a large digital music collector), has in fact dampered my whole spirit these days when it comes to digital music.

A few days ago a good friend asked me if I wanted to spend time working on our collections and if I wanted to make a trip with him down to Amobea to buy some new tunes. I said no. It just doesn’t excite me anymore. Windows Media Player 11 was supposed to be some kind of a jump forward for large digital music libraries and it sucks more than Windows Media Player 10 did. Granted it’s in beta, a large public beta, but almost daily it freezes up and tells me that it can’t find any media in my library and that it will be searching in the background — during which time I have no access to my library. No sound coming out of my speakers. That makes me a sad puppy. And I’m not even going to get into how bad it sucks with Media Center, groan. I am by the way getting a new build of Vista hopefully in the next couple of weeks and maybe I’ll feel better if I test it with Vista and it actually works better.

At least Pandora is there as a back up and I’ve been getting into that for my music when I’m connected these days.

If Microsoft wants to get me excited about Zune then the first thing they are going to have to do is to improve my experience with Windows Media Player. It boggles my mind that Windows Media Player has sucked for large libraries for so long now. Seriously. It’s not like Microsoft hasn’t known about this problem. Microsoft really needs to either hire someone with some real engineering talent to finally tackle the large library problem or they need to move someone from somewhere else with talent at Microsoft on to this team.

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4 Comments

  1. Erik Persson says:

    I agree with you on WMP sucking. Hopefully the ZUME will support UMS (USB Mass Storage) transfers so we don’t have to deal with any software.

    If you’re sick of WMP you should give Foobar2000 a try. Its a great piece of software with a minimalistic interface. Plus it’s light on your system resources. Oh and it’s free to boot!

  2. Frank says:

    How many songs is a large library in your opinion?

    How are the songs encoded?

  3. Thomas Hawk says:

    Anything over 50,000 or so I’d say. I encode to high bit rate mp3s.

  4. Thom says:

    Honestly, if 50,000 mp3s is a large library, than that’s a VERY niche market. That’s about 4500 CDs worth of songs. I have more music than anyone else I know (and it’s a very musically inclined group of friends), and my collection is only about half of that.

    I would say most people would consider 10,000 a large collection.