zune in, zune on to a tune that's live

Late last week I received a Zune in the mail.

In case you don't know, and I didn't know until I received a comment on a post a couple weeks back, Zune is Microsoft's own mp3 player. June 13th was the release of the product in Canada, however, they've been around in the States for a while now. Anyway, following up on the comment, I'm trying out a Zune to see how it works with the promise that I'd report on how it goes and who I talk to about it - I guess this is pretty anonymous, reader-wise...

So: so far... Well basically immediately there was a snag. During the phone interview prior to them sending me the player I was asked about being able to run Windows despite having a Mac in order to use the Zune software, and I said I could, because, you know, Parallels. But the version of Parallels I have isn't updated for the 2.0 USB necessary to use the Zune... So I need to find some sort of workaround. Interestingly (typically?) Microsoft has decided to go with a necessary program which will not work for Macs - like the one I've been using for a couple of years now and has all my music on it. Apple had done the same thing with the original iPod, I believe, and it wasn't until they opened iTunes up to PC users that iPods really took off. In terms of brand loyalty, I use a Mac because I like the operating system more than Windows, find that add-ons are better and programs crash with much lower frequency. But Apple is also just a big company without much invested in me in particular, and that's fine, but it means that if someone else had a better/cheaper mp3 player that worked in conjunction with my music/my computer, I would think about switching teams. And while that might be an atypical attitude, I doubt I'm completely alone in feeling that way.

So, for now I will work on figuring out how to get this thing working and installed. I would really like to get this unit working. The display seems to be better than that of the iPod from what I've read online and the Zune also includes an FM radio and syncs wirelessly via computer, Xbox, or to other Zunes in order to share songs - all features unavailable on iPods.

Otherwise I am really enjoying the sound quality on the "Premium Headphones" (earbuds) that they sent along with the unit - the sound quality is way better than anything similar I've tried before.

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