the Zune

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, Microsoft’s Zune is FAIL.

In the wee hours of this morning, all of the 30gb model Zune music players hit a system glitch. A power cycle will not clear it. There are some reports that opening the unit and pulling the battery cables off the connector will clear the situation, but a lot of users won’t be comfortable with that.
This comes after the lowering of the price of the Zunes, and immediately after Apple stated that in 2009, the prices for macbooks and ipods will be dropping.
Not exactly good timing for this kind of news.

Don’t get me wrong. I wouldn’t carry an ipod, either. I’ve been using mp3 players for much, much longer than there has been an “ipod” at all, when all mp3 players were referred to as, well, “mp3 players”. I have been getting some really excellent mileage out of the small, flash memory-based ones that can now be bought for very little scratch, and for that reason, you aren’t afraid of a system fail (if it ever did happen), and you aren’t terribly worried about it if you happen to leave it in sight somewhere, and you don’t really mind wearing it when doing housework, yardwork, or even working out.

These days, they all seem to have a lot of the same features: an FM tuner, alarm clock album cycling, true random play, FM recording via schedule, etc. It really comes down to the interface on the device and the capacity, and if you follow it at all, you know that memory costs next to nothing now. The last round of flash-based mp3 players I got (maybe eight months ago) all have microSD slots, which allow for massive expansion, and allow you to swap out your stock of tunes and podcasts on the run.

To everyone with a 30GB Zune: Your music player has passed its “freshness date” Return it to the manufacturer and ask for an upgrade.