In Defense of Zune

zuneheaderEverything is unfair.

For four years, I lived in MP3 player bliss. When harsh winter crept up on us, a loose pocket and a snow drift conspired against my beloved. What came after was an Edgar Allen Poe novella in both cruelty and overwrought melodrama. In January, her play button began to malfunction. “I’ll still love you,” I whispered in the depth of a chilled night. I was at her side a week ago when her insides clicked into an unchargeable jumble of metal and magic. She currently rests beneath a tea table in reverent regard.

Now I need an iPod, and everything is unfair.

Evil is prone to melting.

Evil is prone to melting.

The typical reaction to my tale of woe is a snide smile. “Aw, you had a Zune? That’s adorable.”

I have tried to roll my eyes in good-natured humor. I realize Microsoft made a funny little product on the coattails of a better company. Plus, there was never a large enough design difference to cause a valid raucous soapbox defense. When I purchased a Macbook Pro last week, it came with a funny little music program called iTunes.

After one week, I am filled with enough hate to fuel a gasoline-powered eruption of soapboxing. However, this blog is not meant to complain, no matter how valid the argument. So after digging my fingernails into my couch, I discovered the core of my frustration.

“My God,” I verbally realized in overwrought dramatics, “the masses are unaware of the superiority of the Zune interface. Hurry, to the blogosphere!”

Of course, no one will probably take me seriously. You know what? Shut up and listen… to yourself, reading this article. Aloud, apparently. Okay, just shut up.

Soapboxing is hard. Wait, is my butt that big?

Soapboxing is hard. Wait, is my butt that big?

My Zune interface has a lot of music. It accepts all file types, I can alter album covers, I can receive music from friends without worrying, the design was nice and natural, you get awesome collages when you leave the thing running… in all, it was perfection.


See? You have album artists, album covers and songs all in automatic alphabetical order. Pictures, videos and playlists are at the top, and easy to sync with your chosen device. Got a weird file type? Well, Zune will play it. Microsoft is used to dealing with an absurd range of different programmers.

iTunes? I hate it.

itunes grab

JUST LOOK AT IT! Everything is crammed into the left side, and a few songs are clumsily listed at the bottom. And this is an old screen shot. My iTunes came with a giant side add about Ping (which is stupid in and of itself), and about three more useless side icons. That is only the beginning, though.

Some of my songs have no album art. That is due to the way I procured the songs, namely outside of iTunes (and vague illegality). Other non-iTunes songs showed up elsewhere as .wma files. They will not play at all.

iTunes on a Macbook is deceptively petulant. You didn’t get this music through us? Then you will enter everything manually and you will thank us for it. I realize they want everything to be legal, but iTunes on a PC plays more file types. It is as if they expect more from Macbook users, like we are all altruistic in our music gains.

Hipsters are statistically more likely to be jerks.

Hipsters are statistically more likely to be jerks.

So I hate the program, but that is probably just a matter of being used to something else. I’m sure some of you are grinning at my lack of iTunes ability. However, there is one thing I need to address.

If everyone had Zunes, we could share music so much more easily.

Because Zune is (was, sniff) able to play anything and everything without restriction, we could share with abandon. The music industry should hate this, but everyone else should love it. I can (could, sniff) send songs to fellow Zune users, who could then listen to that song three times before the temporary file was deleted. Awesome and convenient.

In addition to better picture quality (at the time) and wide access to radio, Zune was simple superior. Sadly, the anti-Microsoft crowd was able to push it into obscurity. Zune was never perfect, but it had some great ideas and a great software. Now that I’m getting an iPod, I realize all the more how lucky I was.

R.I.P. my beloved. I’ll never forget you.


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