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NEWS!> So, I just got a Microsoft Zune...

Posted: Wed, 27th Dec 2006, 6:39am

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ben3308

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....and I think it's pretty awesome. I got a white 5th generation 30Gb iPod for Christmas and my dad thought it'd be okay if I simply took it to the returns counter at Target and exchanged it for a brown Zune, which is exactly what I did. I'm not dissappointed with the exchange one bit.

I absolutely love the Zune. It's sad that it only supports WMV for video, so all my iTunes stuff (like $130 worth of video) won't work, but that's something I can live with.

Right out of the box the Zune is nice. With about 1/4 battery power and 20 or so preloaded videos and songs, it's a dream to use.

Despite the horror stories (reformatting the computer's OS!) of the Zune software installation from the guys at Engadget, the process went smoothly for me, taking all of 30 seconds. Within about a minute of hooking up my Zune, ALL of my songs and playlists from iTunes were already automatically synced into Zune's software and loaded onto the Zune.

Talk about awesomeness.

My next bout is to find (through whatever means) the iTunes videos that I love and put them on my Zune. I don't think there's a good way to remove DRM from iTunes videos, so I think I'm best off with a DVD Ripper. So far, the WMV quality of the videos is lackluster, and hooking it up to the TV makes for horrendous output. No doubt MS will support more files and higher resolution as the Zune gets older.

Any other Zune users here? What are your impressions? Do you have any videos?

Last edited Sat, 27th Jan 2007, 9:22pm; edited 3 times in total.

Posted: Wed, 27th Dec 2006, 6:48am

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Bryce007

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This is normally where I'd turn into a creative labs fanboy and go on and on about the Zen Vision: M....


However, Question: How is the sound quality on that? I heard it's pretty awesome, but I have yet to try it myself. Also, It can do 16:9 video, right?
Posted: Wed, 27th Dec 2006, 6:55am

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ben3308

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The sideways aspect is a tad wider than 4:3, not 16:9. If the video is encoded to pan and scan or something of the sort, it'll letterbox it a little. Some episodes of The Office are skewed, I think this may be an encoding problem. My main problem so far is being able to group video into playlists like for TV show or such (not a capability yet), though I can cross-reference things with "Actors", which I just use for TV show title.

Compression of video is also a problem right now. Since most of my other downloas (non-iTunes) are DivX encoded, I'm having to decode, re-encode, and then transcode to the Zune. Sounds like alot of work, but I'm trying to work it down to a science.

This one-click transcode thing I got worked well, except for right now I'm watching Dave Chapelle with a small "trial version" watermark stamped in the middle.
Posted: Wed, 27th Dec 2006, 5:45pm

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DigiSm89

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I got a black Zune for my birthday. It indeed is awesome. Not large and bulky as critics have reported and much more elegant than the iPod (though the latest iPod gen is rather pretty, much prettier than its predecessors).

For video Ben, search for a program called "Super". I've been using it to convert to Zune format. I've also been using a program called YouTube downloader to download YouTube videos and convert them into Zune format.

There's also another program called FeedYourZune for delivering podcasts to Zune.

Compression of video is a bit of a problem, I would agree. Too many steps. Thing is, I read somewhere that the Zune uses Windows CE 2006 and a mini version of Windows Media Player to play the content. The maximum format support for the Zune is really dependant on the max support for WMP. In that respect, I doubt .mov support could come in the future.

Ben, you said TV output looks horrendous, right? How close to the original quality would you say TV output looks on a scale from 1 to 10?
Posted: Wed, 27th Dec 2006, 11:14pm

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ben3308

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The main thing that is the make-or-break for Zune's video capabilities is 720x480 support. This way, the Zune wouldn't have to re-encode already compressed higher res .WMV's AND the quality would obviously be better.

Playing stuff on the TV on the Zune is horrible. Right off the bat, the Zune's interface scaled up looks gross: think early 90's anti-aliased GIFs. For playing videos, think the same thing, but with animated GIFs. Playing the compressed files on my computer's LCD look great. I'd rate it at a 7-8. Playing on a TV fares closer to a 4. This needs to be fixed, ASAP, because my family uses the iPod all the time to watch stuff on TV.

Audio quality is top notch, significantly better than the iPod's (my bro has the Apple player, I have the Microsoft), and pretty much on par with the stellar Creative Zen Vision.

Number two thing to bring to Zune is DivX/XviD file support. The Zune doesn't even need to support this natively, the software should just be able to decode/re-encode these files. If WMP can do it, how hard should it be for Zune software to do it?

Also, I think "Zune Software" needs a name. ZuneNation or something? Just a thought.

Okay, well that's about all I've got to say. Today, my Zune was definitely turning heads, and people who left the Apple Store in the mall slowly migrated towards the Zune-advertisment-friendly Dell Store.

Score one for MS. If video's fixed and RSS and podcasts will work with the onboard wireless, the Zune just may be an iPod killer.
Posted: Wed, 27th Dec 2006, 11:26pm

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DigiSm89

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If you could adjust compression in the Zune software like you can when recording tv in Media Center, that would be neat. Like say, you can set a maximum resolution, and the software would tell you how much space is available to load movies of that res.
Posted: Thu, 28th Dec 2006, 7:44pm

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Penguin

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Not to be prejudiced because I have an ipod, but it sounds like a lot of a hassle. If it's between regular and widescreen, that means it always has letterboxing, right?
Posted: Thu, 28th Dec 2006, 11:20pm

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ben3308

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The Zune screen isn't 16:9, it's slightly taller, like between 4:3 and 16:9. So letterboxing occurs on the top and bottom of things like The Breakfast Club and Anchorman (just added 'em to my Zune from DVD with DVD Shrink!) and either clipping (zoomed video) or letterboxing (on the sides) occurs on TV shows.
Posted: Thu, 28th Dec 2006, 11:43pm

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DigiSm89

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It is a lot of hassle for video. There are only a few Zune video outlets on the web, so you end up having to convert every video you have in order for it to work on Zune.

A central Zune video store wont be coming out until first quarter 2007, I believe.
Posted: Fri, 29th Dec 2006, 3:13am

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ben3308

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mVPstar wrote:

A central Zune video store wont be coming out until first quarter 2007, I believe.
You do realize the first quarter starts at the very beginning of 2007 which is in just three days, right?
Posted: Fri, 29th Dec 2006, 3:28am

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nfsbuff

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I can completely agree with all of the things said here. Having owned a Zune since Nov. 14 (launch day...ya I know wink ) I can say that it is a great little player. Sound is top notch and the software (despite what you may have read) is very simple to use.

But honestly, the selling point for me was and is the extremely straight-forward user interface. Its simple. Period. I just finished a class at university on user interface design, and it was quite nice seeing multiple good interface practices being used.

And the first thing I'm always asked? "Is it an Ipod killer?" No. Not now. BUT, just remember you're comparing 5th Gen (Ipod) to 1st Gen (Zune). Give it some time to develop and Apple may get a real run for their money.

Oh and Ben, I thought it nice to show off my Zunes video with a couple BMW Short Films smile
Posted: Fri, 29th Dec 2006, 4:12am

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DigiSm89

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ben3308 wrote:

mVPstar wrote:

A central Zune video store wont be coming out until first quarter 2007, I believe.
You do realize the first quarter starts at the very beginning of 2007 which is in just three days, right?
Um....so?

I said first quarter, not first day of 2007.

And I'm only speculating first quarter based on how soon video sharing over wifi will come out through a firmware update. They said video sharing might be available really soon, so I speculated first quarter '07 would be Zune video time.

It could very well end up being first half '07 instead. razz
Posted: Fri, 29th Dec 2006, 7:31am

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ben3308

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nfsbuff wrote:

But honestly, the selling point for me was and is the extremely straight-forward user interface. Its simple. Period. I just finished a class at university on user interface design, and it was quite nice seeing multiple good interface practices being used.
The interface rocks, especially the clean-cut-ness of the text (a LARGE improvement over the already cleanly visible text on the iPod, so that's saying something!) and the zoom/pan transitions when going back to a menu or such.

The only tweak I'd like to see- and I think this is highly probable- is to be able to group video. Hell, it comes preloaded with "music video" and "movie" groups (that are gone now that I've deleted most of the preloaded stuff), so I'm sure I'll soon be able to make "The Office" or "80's movies" groups of my own. Also, video details need to be editable.

As of yet, I can't set an author or description to a video that is visible on the Zune. The file summary itself will have this data, but nothing is present on the Zune.

The next tweak I think should be supported is the ability to put pictures beside artists when browsing music on the Zune, much like how pictures of the albums pops up when browsing by album.
Posted: Fri, 29th Dec 2006, 7:57am

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rogolo

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Damn you Brand Loyalty!

You're the one who won't let me fully enjoy my Wii or voluntarily come within 50 feet of a Zune!!

...

I'm sorry, Brand Loyalty. Did I hurt you feelings? Here, let me just play on my Sony PSP while using my Apple iBook to look up cheats for the game. Will that make you happy? Good. Let's get some ice cream.
Posted: Fri, 29th Dec 2006, 8:18am

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miker

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I was checkin out my friends Zune and noticed how slow it is on song switches. It would freeze up and take like 10-15 seconds per song change. Maybe something to do with the (UGLY) Album picture displays on the screen when listening to an album.

I'd choose the Video Ipod over it any day. O-o
Posted: Fri, 29th Dec 2006, 8:47am

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Joshua Davies

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Zune really is the most pointless and limited media player out there. I really can't think why anyone why buy one over the vastly better alternatives.

Still, if current sales are anything to go by it'll be a collectable in a couple of years.
Posted: Fri, 29th Dec 2006, 9:58am

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ben3308

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miker wrote:

I was checkin out my friends Zune and noticed how slow it is on song switches. It would freeze up and take like 10-15 seconds per song change. Maybe something to do with the (UGLY) Album picture displays on the screen when listening to an album.
Your friend must have poorly compressed images if they show up bad, and his Zune must be a dud, mine switches songs in under 1 second, 2 if it has to pull up scaled down higher res album art.

schwar wrote:

Zune really is the most pointless and limited media player out there. I really can't think why anyone why buy one over the vastly better alternatives.
Ah, but pointless to whom? I think I failed to mention that I actually returned an iPod and got the Zune. Why? Because what the Zune has is what matters to me. Instead of talking on a "well look at the average consumer..." scale, let's talk on a personal scale:

The Zune has a larger, wider screen. Playing back things like Mission Impossible 3 or The Office is noticeably different on the iPod Screen vs. the Zune screen. Screen brightness/clarity/size is also why I ruled out any of Creative's Vision series: the screens are just too dim for my use.

I'm extremely graphics/tech-savvy and oriented, and I want something that can play movies, be them mine or otherwise. I simply rip DVDs to the computer with DVD Shrink (shrinking the filesize as well, takes all of 10 minutes), then run 'em through WinAVI and they're ready to be synced to Zune, with amazing clarity in compression that fits on a Zune. To Joe Consumer, videos won't be so easily had; but for me- someone who can easily solution-via-Wikipedia the crap out of a problem- it was easy.

Now I have Anchorman, The Breakfast Club, The Rundown, every single episode of Aqua Teen Hunger Force and The Office, and ALL of my iTunes music and playlists (I stopped purchasing music from iTunes when they politely told me that my 300 dollar 3G iPod was only supposed to last a year before the HD and battery gave out and it went brick) on my Zune, and I just got mine within the past two days. With about 3 hours of work with the device, I've got it loaded to the brim with everything I need.

I also care about customization and UI. The Zune's UI is not only unique, but it's also smooth and customizable. Being able to change the background image is one huge plus. When someone picks up my Zune, they immediately know it's mine. Why? Because it's got a huge ass picture of me as the background, that's why.

Next up is design, and the Zune is a good competitor to the iPod in this regard. I know it's not as pretty, but MS definitely took a course in ergonomics and aesthetics before sending out the Zune. Again, design is what drive me away from the Creative players: too much whitespace around buttons and branded things (like the words "play/pause" on a button, or "Creative" slapped on top).

Durability is important to me. I'm known to accidentally slip my keys into the same pockets as my electronics, or commonly touch my mp3 player just after handling greasy pizza; so obviously the Zune wins. My experience with the iPod has been horrible when it comes to scratching/smudging/rainbows of oil all over the device. I'll take a faulty-proof doubleshot matte finish, thank you!

Lastly, I like being unique. Now that I've got video and music GALORE on my Zune, it matches DIRECTLY up to an iPod, 'cept my Zune is one in a sea of a million iPods. Couple that with the large screen and radio, and my Zune, mine specifically, is better than most any iPod will ever be. Now not only am I unique, but I'm unique with a superior device. Score! My brother and father both have iPods (I BOUGHT my Dad's for him!) and they love 'em, but what my Zune can do makes 'em green with envy. biggrin

I think before you throw out words like "limitations" and such, you should perhaps list what's limited. I am in no way a Zune fanboy (I love the iPod to death, honestly), I just think the Zune deserves fairer, more real-world consideration from the tech-savvy crowd. We're smart enough to write programs and make movies, we oughta know how to overcome the probable "limitations" that a device entails.
Posted: Fri, 29th Dec 2006, 11:33am

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Sollthar

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I think I failed to mention that I actually returned an iPod and got the Zune.
Yeah, some people are just beyond sanity... But that's life. smile

my Zune, mine specifically, is better than most any iPod will ever be.
Heh, of course. That's because it's you... It's "speshul" no doubt. wink
Posted: Fri, 29th Dec 2006, 12:40pm

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vilhelm nielsen

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Heh, of course. That's because it's you... It's "speshul" no doubt. wink
"It's a little bit special, Just a little bit special"

-Stephen Lynch refrence.
Posted: Fri, 29th Dec 2006, 2:23pm

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DigiSm89

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miker wrote:

I was checkin out my friends Zune and noticed how slow it is on song switches. It would freeze up and take like 10-15 seconds per song change. Maybe something to do with the (UGLY) Album picture displays on the screen when listening to an album.

I'd choose the Video Ipod over it any day. O-o
There's a firmware update that specifically fixes lagging problems such as those. Did your friend download that update?
Posted: Sun, 31st Dec 2006, 3:50pm

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Penguin

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ben3308 wrote:

I'm extremely graphics/tech-savvy and oriented, and I want something that can play movies, be them mine or otherwise. I simply rip DVDs to the computer with DVD Shrink (shrinking the filesize as well, takes all of 10 minutes), then run 'em through WinAVI and they're ready to be synced to Zune, with amazing clarity in compression that fits on a Zune. To Joe Consumer, videos won't be so easily had; but for me- someone who can easily solution-via-Wikipedia the crap out of a problem- it was easy.
Or you could rip the DVD and drag it straight to itunes for your ipod.

I think the main weakness of the zune though is that it doesn't have anything like the ipod nano.
Posted: Sun, 31st Dec 2006, 4:43pm

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A Pickle

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Is there some sort of refusal to believe that Microsoft made a good competitor to Apple's product?
Posted: Sun, 31st Dec 2006, 5:42pm

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ben3308

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Everywhere I've looked people are bashing Zune, when in reality, it does pretty much everything an iPod does. It's got better support on a few more features than the iPod and worse support on a few others; but in the end they really pretty much even out.

I just hate how people are bashing the lack of smart playlists or Vista support or video support when really the Zune does have those things. As for ripping DVDs and dragging them "straight to the iPod": I've never seen such a thing. Two of my family members in my household own iPods, both technically savvy, and they've had no such luck getting any DVD onto an iPod.

Unless you mean ripping using DVD Shrink, then converting the .VOB to an acceptable format like .m4v? Then importing to iTunes and having it convert to proper iPod resolution? But wait, isn't that the same amount of steps a Zune takes?
Posted: Sun, 31st Dec 2006, 5:46pm

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Serpent

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It seems like it matches up, but there is currently no software (free) that makes it as convenient as say... Handbrake to iPod. Handbrake rips DVDs to iPod friendly format, and you can customize every aspect of the compression as far as size, quality, etc. Then there are tons of freeware that convert tons of files into iPod friendly format by just dragging in a bunch of files, hitting convert, and then waiting. The only thing I want on my iPod, is a nice screen. That thing scratches way to easily. I don't think the Zune will please the general population either, because they all have iPods, and all there stuff is on iTunes. Sure, you can switch, but they don't know how. Apple has built an empire in the mp3 industry that I don't think will fall to anyone anytime soon. As far as the user interface goes, I don't see why I would choose the Zune over an iPod. iPod has a very simple, quick, easy-to-use interface; there's no doubt about that. Maybe the Zune has a nice one too, but I don't see how the background customization would sell it. Maybe it's awesome, but the iPod's interface is just so sleek and clean, I don't think any picture would surpass its simplicity. If I want to customize my iPod, I'll just get a custom skin printed from DecalGirl or some other site. Speaking of the exterior, I think the Zune is much uglier, personally.

So, after reading this thread, I have come to the conclusion that Microsoft did not convince me to sell my iPod and get a Zune. The Zune pros are just wider screen and less scratchable screen. These would be great on iPod, but the convenience of the iPod to my Mac is just so much better. I hope Apple redesigns the iPod next time around to make a better screen, and a bigger screen. I'll end my 2 cents with the following picture from engadget; iPod right, Zune on the left.

Posted: Sun, 31st Dec 2006, 6:16pm

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jmax

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I think people are forgetting that both players are primarily portable music players that happen to have a video function. Obviously the Zune is slightly more devoted to the quality of that video function than the Ipod is, but the Ipod relies on its ease of use and sound quality for sales. If you are looking more for a player more aptly designed for video, the Archos line leaves the Zune and (hurts me to say this, but apple may release a nice big two-handed widescreen one soon) the Ipod in the dust.
http://www.shoparchos.com/searchresults.aspx?search_id=2&culture=en-US
Posted: Mon, 1st Jan 2007, 1:37am

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ben3308

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jmax wrote:

but the Ipod relies on its ease of use and sound quality for sales.
IMO, Zune is just as easy to use, but software-wise I can see that argument. As far as sound quality goes, the Zune's quality and fidelity in sound seems to be an improvement over that of the iPod.

Like I said, for Joe Consumer, the iPod might be better. Switching from iPod to Zune also isn't a great idea. But if you're just buying a new player, I'd go Zune. Bigger screen, virtually scratch resistant. I've carried it unshielded in the same pants pocket as my car keys without it scratching. Now THAT's a feature worth switching for. For me at least.

Also an Archos would be nice, but a dedicated audio player like a Zen, Zune, or iPod is what most people are looking for when they buy electronics like these. That, and the Archos storage doesn't come close to comparing to Zune/iPod pricing.
Posted: Mon, 1st Jan 2007, 2:11am

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Bryce007

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I feel like mentioning the Creative Zen vision: M.


Superior in nearly every way to both the Zune and the Ipod. It's almost tragic. I plays practically every video codec I've ever tried, Has it's own superfast software that automatically converts then transfers video files. It's battery goes MUCH longer than anything I'd need, It's screen is almost Nicer than my PSP's screen. It's also got a better file system then either of the others and also happens to recieve and record Radio AND voice messages.


Does the Zune have the ability to play full resolution DivX files on a TV using an AV cable like the Creative does? I never did hear about it's video support...
Posted: Mon, 1st Jan 2007, 2:14am

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A Pickle

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I've made it a point of mine to avoid using Creative products as much as possible. biggrin
Posted: Mon, 1st Jan 2007, 2:30am

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DigiSm89

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I was originally going for the Zen. Last time I checked, the Zen held the #1 spot in mp3 player sound quality.

Though, when I heard of 360 and MCE integration, the Zune won me over.

How is software in terms of Zen? That was another major point in which I was iffy about with the Zen. I have Creative Jukebox (came with my Creative sound blaster card) and I don't really like it. I was unsure of what kind of software would come with the Zen.

It's a shame that people only see the iPod as the sole "ends-all" mp3 player in the market.

It's like going to Banana Republic for the same shirt that can found in a store like Old Navy or Target.
Posted: Mon, 1st Jan 2007, 3:49am

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A Pickle

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I dunno. I think the Zune is a good player, but there were stupid things that happened at launch... such as the Vista incompatibility, and the fact that the Zune doesn't work with Windows Media Player... etc.
Posted: Mon, 1st Jan 2007, 4:06am

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Sollthar

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In the end, an iPod is - like all apple product - not just a probuct, but a lifestyle... wink


But agreed, a scratchresistant screen is INDEED a good argument. I've already messed up my ipod pretty much.
Posted: Mon, 1st Jan 2007, 6:43am

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Lior

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I have a Zen vision w. The size was bigger then expected; but the video is just awesome. Also, I don’t like bashing the IPod or the Zune; but a replaceable battery is what really won me over. I had an IPod and had to send it in to have the battery replaced. If that’s not a bothersome, you tell me what is. Creative to me is the superior brand. I love apple products; but in terms or getting the best bang for ur buck, creative Zen vision w all the way.
Posted: Mon, 1st Jan 2007, 7:08am

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ben3308

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Bryce007 wrote:

I feel like mentioning the Creative Zen vision: M.


Superior in nearly every way to both the Zune and the Ipod. It's almost tragic.
I dunno if this is completely true.

You're right about video codecs, and definitely right about being able to record radio (though this is a planned update for the Zune firmware, I've heard), but I think the UI and general hardware design of both the Zune and the iPod beat really anything comparable (30gb multimedia player) on the market right now; even the Gigabeat, which is just an altered final draft of the Zune. What always kept me from the Zen Series was what I considered an overly complex design and waste of space. As far as hardware and firmware goes.

The face of the iPod is half screen, half wheel- and that wheel has all the buttons incorporated. The face of the Zune is 2/3 screen, 1/3 wheel w/ two discrete side buttons. IMO, the Zen Series lost it when they made the buttons so big and bland; that's what has always killed it for me. Also, the Zune does have the best finish of all of 'em. Scratches and mess on the player can get cumbersome.

Sound quality gets noticeably better when you go from iPod to Zen, but not so much from Zune to Zen. I spent probably a few hours running between Brookstone and Sharper Image in the mall listening to all three players, lol.

All-in-all, unlike my old iPod, I'm completely happy with my Zune. And sure, there's always something bigger or better (a pricey PVP or an 80gb Gigabeat or the like), but for movies/TV Shows/Atomic's videos/my iTunes playlists, the Zune handles things just fine, and that's all I care about.
Posted: Mon, 1st Jan 2007, 4:56pm

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Penguin

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Hm. I thought that you would be able to bring them straigth through itunes. You could go through imovie after ripping the dvd, and that would be the same amount of steps as the zune too I guess.
Posted: Mon, 1st Jan 2007, 5:45pm

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Zea

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Since EBGameStop now sells The Zune, I'm thinking about trading it my old Xbox for credit, and using it to get one.

I've messed around with the Zune a lot and I really like it. The interface is a lot more interesting than the scroll up/down of the iPod's.
Posted: Mon, 1st Jan 2007, 9:10pm

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ben3308

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Zea, y'know that website in your old signature, ZuneDose, was pretty much what made me get a Zune. No lie.
Posted: Wed, 3rd Jan 2007, 6:13am

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Zea

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Thanks Ben, props to ya. ZuneDose was a Zune info site we created to help the hype, which all turned into GameDrift.com. (Which is what is there now.)

I'm actually getting a Zune this weekend with the help of my girlfriend (she is returning her Nano and giving me the in-store credit.)

I'll let ya know how it turns out; i'm actually *Edit for "gayness" razz*

I think the brown/green tinted Zune media player looks quite intuitive and interesting.

Last edited Wed, 3rd Jan 2007, 8:13pm; edited 1 times in total.

Posted: Wed, 3rd Jan 2007, 8:46am

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Bryce007

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Zea wrote:

i'm actually eyeing the brown one.
Could that have sounded....Gayer?


I'm only kidding mate. But really, the Zune is certainly better than a nano...
Posted: Mon, 15th Jan 2007, 1:35am

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ssj john

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I'm actually starting to use the zune software just to play music on my computer more than itunes. It runs faster way way faster than itunes does when a scroll through music and play video's. The marketplace also browses faster. The only down side to it is when I minimize it, it doesn't shrink into a mini player on my taskbar. But all other things considered i think in terms of a media player and an online market it is superior to itunes. I have not seen the zune itself but apparently from what i hear it's becoming a very strong rival of the ipod video.

Is it me or does it seem microsoft is finally coming around and making good quality stuff.
Posted: Tue, 16th Jan 2007, 7:05pm

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Mellifluous

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How easy is it to convert Divx files to wmv for the Zune, and what's the process involved? Does the Zune software do it or do you have to use a 3rd party software?
Posted: Tue, 16th Jan 2007, 7:28pm

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DigiSm89

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If it's already in WMV or MP4, Zune will convert it into the proper res and bitrate for the Zune.

If it's another format, you have to use a third party tool. I'm using one called Super to do it.

EDIT: Actually, I just realized the Zune software is converting .mov files now. An update possibly?

Last edited Wed, 17th Jan 2007, 12:11am; edited 1 times in total.

Posted: Tue, 16th Jan 2007, 10:37pm

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Lithium Kraft

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Yeah, I'm actually pretty excited for the Zune. It's all in personal preference, though. My friends, who have been all-Apple since their old Mac with a 15MB hard drive, and of course despise me for my support for the Zune (it's annoying, he keeps saying the iPhone will kill the Zune when they are in two completely different categories and can't be compared), so they prefer the iPod and refuse to hear any of my arguments.

At the moment I can't afford anything because we're short on money, but I will definitely consider the Zune and other options when I get enough money.

By the way, Zea, nice website. I saw the article about the XXX companies signing with HD-DVD and started laughing uncontrollably. I wouldn't be surprised if everyone's going to buy HD-DVD players now because of this. wink Also, I watched the Halo 3 in HD. I hope my mom isn't finished doing laundry, because I think I crapped m'self.
Posted: Tue, 16th Jan 2007, 11:23pm

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ben3308

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I'm so freakin' excited about my Zune now! I've got over 79 videos, whole seasons of TV Shows (The Office, Aqua Teen, and Venture Bros, namely), some great new release movies (mainly DVD rips, by myself and people online), and random episodes of Jackass, Robot Chicken, or Dane Cook skits. Most of this stuff I got from Google Video thanks to their great "Download as .MP4" feature. A GREAT resource for everything Zune is ZuneBoards.com, I'd HIGHLY suggest it.
Posted: Wed, 17th Jan 2007, 12:06am

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jmax

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I love the Office. How does it compare to the UK version?
I've heard good things about both, but don't understand the differences.
Posted: Wed, 17th Jan 2007, 12:13am

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DigiSm89

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I edited my post above.

Apparently, the Zune software DOES convert .mov files on its own.

So without using another tool, you can play .WMV, .MP4, and .MOV on Zune (will convert .mov).
Posted: Wed, 17th Jan 2007, 12:49am

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Mellifluous

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jmax wrote:

I love the Office. How does it compare to the UK version?
It's pretty good actually. It's slightly less agonising, relying more on humour than anti-humour/realism. The David Brent character (Michael) seems more well-intentioned and comes across as more sympathetic...occasionally. And the Gareth equivalent, Dwight, is much funnier and better in my opinion!

Definitely worth watching. It doesn't blatantly just redo the UK episodes, they've actually come up with some great episodes that are nothing like what Gervaise and Merchant did.

But let's not go too much off topic into an Office debate.
Posted: Wed, 17th Jan 2007, 9:41pm

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jmax

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No, let's talk about Zunes.

However, it's worth mentioning that the iphone made me wanna watch the Office. I was on apple's website and they had a clip for the "demo video" button on the iphone. I watched it, and then rented and watched seasons 1 and 2 over the next 2 days.
Posted: Wed, 17th Jan 2007, 11:58pm

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Atom

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I think the point of them putting the Office on the demo flash video was not to make you want to rent the DVDs, but rather, buy them on iTunes. Marketing gone sour.
Posted: Fri, 19th Jan 2007, 12:15am

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Mellifluous

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I just got a zune today ordered from BHP for less than the price of a 30gb ipod over here (my Phillips Gogear, whilst easy to use, has a slow processor, which has been annoying me for a bit). First impressions are good, from opening the thick board box to seeing the zune itself. Was very easy to set up and felt very comfortable to use. I learnt all the controls in 5 minutes without reading the manual, and with my pc being a Windows, it just feels right. Hopefully, my positive experience will continue.
Posted: Wed, 24th Jan 2007, 9:43pm

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ccirelli

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Word on the street is Apple will be introducing a new iPod in June / July, when the iPhone ships. Basically it will be an iPhone.. without the phone part. All other features (the OS, mini-apps, etc.) will be included.

I'm going to sit tight with my meager 512mb Shuffle for a bit. smile
Posted: Wed, 24th Jan 2007, 10:29pm

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Mellifluous

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Heh, wise. These damn technological devices are always getting updated.
Posted: Wed, 24th Jan 2007, 11:57pm

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jmax

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I wish they'd stop.....just kidding.
Posted: Thu, 25th Jan 2007, 10:19am

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Mellifluous

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Forget the Playstation 3, I can't wait til the PS8 comes out
Posted: Thu, 25th Jan 2007, 8:35pm

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Fill

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Mellifluous wrote:

Forget the Playstation 3, I can't wait til the PS8 comes out
Psh, you know the Xbox 1440 will beat the crap out it.
Posted: Sat, 27th Jan 2007, 9:21pm

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ben3308

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Rating: +1

AWESOME NEWS!

The guys over at ZuneBoards have made an awesome audio/video metadata editor aptly named "zMeta".

The UI is clean, and resembles that of the Zune, AND it works, requiring you to simply open a file, edit it, then close it. No re-encoding or anything like that involved.

The one catch is that Zune software doesn't carry over new metadata to files already on the Zune, so you'll have to copy your Zune stuff to your computer, edit the data, delete the originals off the Zune, and re-sync the edited ones.

For descriptions of things like TV Shows and movies, I find the Episode Guides listed at Wikipedia work extremely well.

Hope this helps y'all out, it has certainly helped me! I now have TV Shows, Movies, Video, and Music Videos sections on my Zune, and it puts different TV series into their own folder; listing how many episodes are in the folder.

Awesomeness.
Posted: Sat, 27th Jan 2007, 10:53pm

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Mellifluous

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Cool, thanks