It was the consumer technology industry’s worst kept secret for months. It was supposedly Microsoft’s iPod-killer. And now Zune has been unveiled, the reaction has been… decidedly mixed. Which appears to make it the marmite of the personal media player world. And while there are plenty of bloggers and IT hacks out there who are always happy to be rude about Microsoft, it does seem there are some legitimate criticisms of the new device.
With that in mind, here’s Tech Digest’s 10 Reasons To Hate Zune. Don’t worry, we’ll have 10 Reasons To Love Zune on Thursday. Stick the boot in, then cuddle up. It’s called tough love. Anyway, on with the kicking.
1. Only 30GB of storage space. With Apple having just released an 80GB iPod, Microsoft comes across as a little bit stingy. How are we going to fit our 50GB of illegally downloaded Hollywood blockbusters onto it?
2. Name ambiguity. Do I pronounce it Zyoon or Zoon? Until someone gives me a definitive answer, I’m sure as hell not walking into Currys to be patronised by some twerp who can’t wait to correct me.
3. Who wants Wi-Fi sharing anyway?
Especially when it’s 30-second song samples, and only of stuff you’ve bought from the official Zune store. I don’t want to spend every bus journey fending off requests from kids who want to send me their latest Lady Sovereign mash-up. EDIT: See comments for correction to this point.
4. The brown Zune. I mean, brown. Jesus.
5. Another closed ecoysystem. So let me get this straight, will the songs I buy from the Zune store work if I buy another MP3 player in the future? Or will I have to buy them for the third time, having already repurchased all the ones I already got on iTunes?
6. Wot no games? I thought this was supposed to be Xbox in the palm of your hand. Swizz! Yes, I know this may be the rumourmongers’ fault rather than Microsoft’s. But still.
7. It’s not that stylish. And if this is supposed to be an iPod-slayer, isn’t it duty-bound to look nice? I’m not saying it’s ugly, but [insert yo’ momma joke here]…
8. It won’t work on Macs. Hello Microsoft, us Mac-owners aren’t all lap dogs of the Jobs Empire, y’know. Some of us might’ve quite fancied buying a Zune, but apparently it won’t support Macs at launch, and the Zune Marketplace will be Windows-only too. Cheers for that.
9. It won’t work with Napster. Or, indeed, any digital music store that uses Microsoft’s own Plays For Sure DRM platform. D’oh!
10. They’re being a bit shifty about Zune’s battery life. This could mean it runs out of juice in 10 minutes unless used with the screen off and at 10% volume. Or it could mean it ships with futuristic fuel-cell batteries powered by rechargeable goblins, I suppose.