Now that I have had the Zune for a whole day the true nature of it is starting to become apparent. Not that I don't like it ... I'm not a huge fan, but it isn't bad. I haven't had a chance to test what I feel is the most compelling aspect of it, the social networking capabilities. The device itself is an MP3 player that, to me, doesn't evoke an emotional response on any level. It is a device that is a utility ... no statements or anything, just a device.
I do like the hardware, it is the software that is a real pain for me. Maybe it is because I am so comfortable with the iTunes and iPod integration, but it just doesn't speak to me. Having to log into all those damn Microsoft accounts just to purchase Zune Points is really something that I am not interested in. It is so clear to me now just how much of an advantage Apple has when it comes to the user experience related to the software/hardware integration. I wonder how someone who doesn't like Apple feels? I am sure the Zune is so much better for so many people, but this is my space and that is my impression. At the end of the day it is a good device and honestly only the second non-Apple MP3 player I have owned. Before my iPod I had a Rio ... I felt the same about that as I do the Zune. It works, but nothing else. At least the Rio connected to iTunes.
So I sat down and recorded some thoughts about the device yesterday and tried to give a balanced report -- a lot like Fox News ;-) ... I also sat down with a few ETS people and got their reactions. Keep in mind this is the first time I have ever tried to create a podcast like this -- just me editing a lot of stuff together. It may be annoying, but I am trying to get better at this. At any rate, here is a link to the ETS Special Edition Zune podcast at Penn State on iTunes U. Thoughts?