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.NET Hobbyist Programmer Staying Confused in a Busy World

My wife and I were talking by phone while I was at a store when she mentioned that she wanted an MP3 player for use around the house.  Easy in-car use was also a requirement.  I went to the music player display case to see what was offered.  A full 80% of the boxes were various flavors of iPods.  The rest were Zunes with a couple of Samsung units.

Since I have a bad opinion of Apple DRM and iTunes lock-in, I bought her a 4GB pink Zune and brought it home.  My wife loved opening the box and playing with all the bits.  We both agreed that the out-of-the-box experience was great.  She went off to do some grocery shopping while I handled the task of installing the software and getting the thing running.

The great hardware happiness died an ugly death during the software installation.  The process was agonizingly slow.  The software prepared the computer for installation three times.  The Zune software appeared to get installed three or four times, although I knew those were small support programs, then ... reboot!  What?  What does a simple music player need to restart the entire computer for?  While writing this blog post, the software also automatically ran Microsoft Update without my permission and contrary to my Microsoft Update system settings.  Very rude!

The total length of the install seemed like I was installing Microsoft Office and Visual Studio at the same time.  It took nearly a half an hour on a computer with nothing else running and no other load on the broadband modem.  I can only assume the 33MB of dedicated files are supported by numerous other changes -- and all this on a fully updated Windows XP system.  I actually ended up with multiple restarts for multiple updates.  I was disappointed the install process was so miserable, but grateful it went forward with no errors.

Happily, my wife saw none of this and was soon listening to a few of our CDs I had ripped previously.  She dutifully listened to the music that came with the player, then spent some time learning the Zune software deleting it all.  She judged it all to be crap.  The only artist she recognized of the bunch was Bare Naked Ladies and that was only because they sang a song for Disney's movie Chicken Little.

She loves the size, feel, and interface of the Zune.  That part of the experience was great.  The car kit just worked with no problems.  She is happy, and that was a primary goal of the purchase.

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Posted on Sunday, March 16, 2008 11:29 PM Software , Personal | Back to top


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