Not that I am in the business of reviewing hardware… but I do get my mitts on a lot of different technology these days. Some work related, some not. I attended a Microsoft event in the Chicago area recently, and had the luck to win a door prize of a Zune media player. I had that brief rush that comes with winning something, but then thought to myself, “oh boy, a Zune.”

I’m know I’m very late in the game on reviewing the player… but I can tell you this: I am not impressed. It was a long and complicated software install, which is a turn off right away. Will somebody please tell me why MS decided to not make this device sync with Windows Media Player? I guess that would make too much sense. I suppose there was so much functionality in the device that WMP couldn’t do it justice… but perhaps people should be given a choice when installing it.

As an example, I’ll use my Creative Zen Vision 30gb media player. I can plug it into any Windows XP PC and have it recognize the device with no additional software required. I can even sync it with WMP, or manually drag compatible files to and from the device in Windows Explorer. Not so with the Zune. You must install the software.

The navigation is much more clumsy than the iPod it is trying so hard to emulate. But I guess you can excuse that because, given enough time with it, one could become proficient. Also — why didn’t Microsoft put a Mini-USB connector on the device, rather than the proprietary connector it currently uses? The connector is really awkward to plug and unplug (on the device end). Not cool. What I do think is cool, however, is how it has the display set up for video — the landscape mode, which gives you a larger screen experience. But that’s about the only positive thing I have to say about it.

So my first, and probably last, Zune will likely end up on Craigslist or at my in-laws’ garage sale.

[tags]zune, mp3 player[/tags]