For folks with Zune HD over 4 months......

DudeItsMe

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I bit on the Zune HD 64 Gb. Not expecting anything different from any other Zune HD's, but it'll be here tomorrow.
 

NIVO

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I bit on the Zune HD 64 Gb. Not expecting anything different from any other Zune HD's, but it'll be here tomorrow.

let me know how you like it dude. Im seriously about to pull a trigger on something, its either this or a Cowon J3. The ability to manipulate the sound and dial it in where my ears like it is huge to me.
 

Bahamut

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let me know how you like it dude. Im seriously about to pull a trigger on something, its either this or a Cowon J3. The ability to manipulate the sound and dial it in where my ears like it is huge to me.

If that's the case, get the Cowon as it offers far more capability in that regard. The Zune HD doesn't even have an EQ function you can tailor - it's merely several presets for predefined factory settings and they aren't going to make someone like you happy at all. :)

The Cowon units are far better at such things, and they simply offer more options to get it sounding the way you want...
 

Jodiuh

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I bit on the Zune HD 64 Gb.
Your first order of business is to sign up for the Zune pass trial. Your next step will be to download One More Time by Daft Punk and Audiosurf from the apps section.

Xfer both to the HD. Go nuts.
...its either this or a Cowon J3. The ability to manipulate the sound and dial it in where my ears like it is huge to me.
FWIW, I bought the Cowon S9 and the HD. The Zune has preset eq settings, that's it. The Cowon had literally hundreds of options and tweaks. I searched forums for the best settings and experimented for days on the Cowon, but never found anything I liked. And here's the irony...Zune HD sounds wonderful out of the box with no changes. The only tweaks I need on this device are volume up, volume down. Mated with the TF 10's classical, pop, rock, and trance sound amazing. The only other DAP I prefer over the HD is the Sony X, but that sold for $300, has loads of bugs and performance issues, and does not have the Zune pass. <---mind blown! Being able to view related artists while listening on your Zune and instantly expand your musical taste and variety kicks so much ass. Its just so full of win.

Edit: the s9 and d2 are very cold players, nothing ever came across as natural. The worst offenders were classical and electronic tracks. The zune on the other hand is more balanced with a wider range imo, especially the low ends depth. Why not order both from amazon and keep the one you like better?
 
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NIVO

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Your first order of business is to sign up for the Zune pass trial. Your next step will be to download One More Time by Daft Punk and Audiosurf from the apps section.

Xfer both to the HD. Go nuts.

FWIW, I bought the Cowon S9 and the HD. The Zune has preset eq settings, that's it. The Cowon had literally hundreds of options and tweaks. I searched forums for the best settings and experimented for days on the Cowon, but never found anything I liked. And here's the irony...Zune HD sounds wonderful out of the box with no changes. The only tweaks I need on this device are volume up, volume down. Mated with the TF 10's classical, pop, rock, and trance sound amazing. The only other DAP I prefer over the HD is the Sony X, but that sold for $300, has loads of bugs and performance issues, and does not have the Zune pass. <---mind blown! Being able to view related artists while listening on your Zune and instantly expand your musical taste and variety kicks so much ass. Its just so full of win.

Edit: the s9 and d2 are very cold players, nothing ever came across as natural. The worst offenders were classical and electronic tracks. The zune on the other hand is more balanced with a wider range imo, especially the low ends depth. Why not order both from amazon and keep the one you like better?

excellent and valid points. Im still torn over which to get, although im also wanting the HD radio side from the Zune as well. Lots of channels in this area and where i travel for work and job sites. Decisions, decisions!
 

Bahamut

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The area that I live in is surrounded by mountains on all sides, and the antenna towers of all the TV/radio stations are situated on those mountains to feed over the valley, so one would think the coverage here would be pretty nice but, that's not the case. And I live in the dead smack center of all of the entire metro area - the geographic center of it all and when I owned a Zune HD for a few days, the radio reception was spotty at best.

Obviously you have to have the headphones/earbuds plugged in as that's the FM antenna for reception - I don't know if using the Zune HD on a dock alleviates that requirement and uses the dock connector/power cable/etc for such a purpose.

In this area we've got 12 stations broadcasting 26 HD channels (with 10 more supposedly on the way, per HDRadio.com's database which I just checked) and honestly the only one I got reliable solid reception on here at home is the public radio station here. I'm in a 3rd floor apartment that's line of sight with most of the towers in the southeast too so the signal off those towers should be coming to me completely unimpeded but, even so, the signal levels on all but that one station for HD channels are basically unusable.

All the others gave me somewhat acceptable FM reception but the HD channels just didn't "get it" for whatever reason. I can't say if it was the specific unit I had, or just something about my location, etc, all I can say is that I had decided to get the Zune HD and one of the reasons WAS that we had a wide variety of HD radio content here to choose from and I was somewhat disappointed at the reception I found.

I ended up selling the Zune HD I had (for a small profit, actually) was that I found it too lacking for such a device. I've owned multiple iPod touchs and then got rid of them because they get boring over time, guess I just have a permanent case of "Upgraditis" when you want something, you get it, and get bored with it fairly fast. The Zune HD lasted me all of a few days and was gone. Battery life was great, sound quality is almost unmatched (and many reviews at HeadFi.org and other sites back that up favoring it over any iPods of late), and I liked it but, it was (for me) too damned small and lacking in too many capabilities.

I'm back with my Axim X51v PocketPC that I've had for 6+ years now. Still does a better job overall than any device I've yet to find and it's always there, rock solid and reliable, capable, expandable, and just the best device I've ever used personally. Maybe I should buy another one just in case this one tanks... ;)
 

Jodiuh

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Here in phoenix, I get great reception on plenty of stations. As good as the HD channels are, I'm usually too distracted with the Zune pass.
 

DudeItsMe

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To be honest, the Zune HD 64 surprised me.

I really was not expecting to like it as much as I do. Yeah, it plays music and has apps. However, coming from a Zune 120 GB, the interface is so much different and there are so many things I love. I love how quick it is. I love how I can play music just by hitting the play button and the playlists that are brought up are actually pretty good. It is much smaller than I expected, however, the keyboard is surprisingly easy to use. I can type faster and more accurately on the Zune HD than I can on a Blackberry Storm (having used neither one for a long time. For me, there was no learning curve with the Zune HD keyboard because of the accuracy and sensitivity of the touchscreen).

If you don't have a Zune HD, it's definitely worth checking out. I've seen 16 GB refurbs as low as $99. The 64 GB is pricey, but I used more than 32 GB on the first day.

I've definitely been using my Zune HD more than I ever used any PMP, mainly because it's small but capable. It's fun to carry it around the house when I'm doing boring things like cleaning. It was definitely expensive, but I think I'll get my moneys worth out of it.
 

caw2007

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I had a Cowon S9 before I went back to Zune. The thing that drove me insane was the UI. It was horribly confusing. I also damaged it by dropping it from a fairly low height, though I have to admit they were good about the RMA process and fixed it with no hassle. The curved back proved to be a bigger annoyance than I had expected because it essentially made it highly unstable when sitting on a flat surface.

I was going to to get a J3 but I decided to go for a Zune HD 32GB and have been very happy.
 

Jodiuh

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Ah yes, forgot about how incredibly cheap the PS felt compared to the Zune. It was like gobots vs transformers.
 

jeremyshaw

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I'm back with my Axim X51v PocketPC that I've had for 6+ years now. Still does a better job overall than any device I've yet to find and it's always there, rock solid and reliable, capable, expandable, and just the best device I've ever used personally. Maybe I should buy another one just in case this one tanks... ;)

Hee Hee. We should start a club. I still have my h4150 as my primary media player, since it can play almost any media format with TCPMP and quite a few addons (mkv, flv are the major two I care/d about)..

It's video decoding is a wee bit slow, and I need to lower the quality, at times :(, but I manage - espeically since I don't have to cut up my desktop's CPU time to convert files. :D

Though I have heard ATi allows Windows Media Player (and possibly the Zune Software) to use a GPU to transcode media files. Is that true? If so, then I'll probably buy a Zune HD to replace my vernerable h4150 (no Wireless G/N; B & BlueTooth only), I've had too many issues with my first gen iPod touch 8GB to care about it much longer (busted headphone jack, constant safari crashes, and finally - no more iOS updates past 3.x.x).
 

Bahamut

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Yah, the X51v has the Intel 2700G video chip on it with dedicated video RAM (16MB) and with TCPMP and a few plugins it'll play absolutely anything - all the Xvid rips I have play without needing a damned thing at all, and I even hard-set the CPU to 208 MHz and still get the 30 fps without frame skipping because of that Intel chip as well as far longer battery life because of locking the CPU so low.

And all those rips play at their native resolutions (as encoded) since I've got the 640 pixel wide screen (landscape) - most of them are done at 576x(whatever) but I've got a few I've done myself at 640 wide... looks great, sounds great (the X51v gets seriously loud off the headphone jack), etc.

Probably the reason I keep using it (aside from it being one of the most solid pieces of hardware I've ever owned) is that it does pretty much everything I require and the only "want" I might have would be 11g wireless which I could add with an SD Wi-Fi card but, hell man, using Opera mini on this thing is way way faster than most anything else. :)

I see so many devices out there these days, and I still haven't found one yet by anybody - Apple, Cowon, Archos, SanDisk, etc etc - that can touch this Axim, I really haven't. I keep telling myself I'll find something sooner or later, and I really honestly had high hopes for the Dell Streak but, alas, every time I see another review or another forum posting about it I just get more disappointed. Anand did a review of the Streak a few days ago and didn't say anything I found positive overall about it, sad to say.

But, the Zune HD is a decent piece of hardware when used specifically for its designed purpose: a media player with a few more options (browser, etc). It has a fantastic screen (too small for me), outstanding audio quality and power (I prefer a decent audio amp so it's got headroom), it's got decent battery life (it ain't now Cowon S9 however), and is relatively inexpensive compared to the competition. Unfortunately, none of that is enough to make want another one...

I will agree with those that own them and have a Zune Pass (although I never bothered with that subscription service or any others) that the subscription is probably the one thing that's the Zune HD's "saving grace" at this point. Without that I doubt half the current owners would have one, which is a pretty broad statement but, of the people I know with a Zune HD they all have the Zune Pass as well and specifically state or have stated if Microsoft ever discontinues the service they'll dump their Zune HDs really fast. ;)
 

Jodiuh

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Without the ZUNE pass, I would own the sony x. Best sounding dap I've ever heard and physical controls too. However, id never have been able to listen to the variety of tunes I do now.
 

BillR

Born Again Cynic
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I use my Zune HD pretty much everyday. I spend way too many hours at the Dr's office (waiting) and watch movies or listen to music and it does what it's supposed to do and it does it everytime. Nicer then my original Zune and sounds better. Plenty of radio when needed. Plenty of clean volume with no AMP needed.
 

ccgenerals

Limp Gawd
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Jan 19, 2008
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i still use it and it's still nice and pristine because i skinned it. My brother bought one because i had one and his ipod video is crapping out.
 

heatlesssun

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I always hear the pundits say that the Zune HD was unsuccessful but considering that Microsoft spent ZERO marketing the device I'd say it's done ok, I actually personally KNOW people that have bought them.
 

Astral Abyss

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I've been playing around with Zune Pass and had a question for you Zune owners. When I download music from the Store using the subscription, it always puts it in WMA format. All my other stuff I ripped on my own is in MP3 format and being as OCD as I am, having some stuff in WMA and some stuff in MP3 annoys me. Is there anything I can do about that or am I screwed unless I pony up and buy the whole Album? I kind of figure I'm screwed...

I also don't like how it puts all my music that I download via subscription in a seperate "Subscription" folder on my PC. I have folders for all my music albums already, but now I have duplicate band folders inside the subscription folder with stuff in there as well. It's getting confusing as I add more music. Any suggestions there?
 

jeremyshaw

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I've been playing around with Zune Pass and had a question for you Zune owners. When I download music from the Store using the subscription, it always puts it in WMA format. All my other stuff I ripped on my own is in MP3 format and being as OCD as I am, having some stuff in WMA and some stuff in MP3 annoys me. Is there anything I can do about that or am I screwed unless I pony up and buy the whole Album? I kind of figure I'm screwed...

I also don't like how it puts all my music that I download via subscription in a seperate "Subscription" folder on my PC. I have folders for all my music albums already, but now I have duplicate band folders inside the subscription folder with stuff in there as well. It's getting confusing as I add more music. Any suggestions there?

Just ignore it, lol. I gave up a while back. As long as:

stuff appears normal in WMP, WMC and my H4150.

I don't care about how the backend looks.


NOMINALLY, I have it organize everything by rip settings (I dunno if Zune software is seperate from WMC or not), and everything is orderly in my "My Music" location.


As for WMA, it probably has to do with the DRM of "Zune Subscription"
 

Jodiuh

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Haha, mines a mess too. Some in subscriptions, some in the root folder, and I never knew they were wma files this whole time. It all looks the same in the Zune interface.

Before I started using the pass, this would have drove me nuts. But now, it takes over everything and I could care less. I'll never use another player that's non subscription based.

Heard a song, downloaded the album, enjoyed the music...repeat.
 

Astral Abyss

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Haha, mines a mess too. Some in subscriptions, some in the root folder, and I never knew they were wma files this whole time. It all looks the same in the Zune interface.

Before I started using the pass, this would have drove me nuts. But now, it takes over everything and I could care less. I'll never use another player that's non subscription based.

Heard a song, downloaded the album, enjoyed the music...repeat.

I do like Zune Pass except for one major problem. A lot of the bands I like are either not allowing the full album download (2-3 songs are "album only") which pisses me off, or their albums are not available for download at all. The biggest problem here, and I'm sure is not coincidence, is that it's usually the most popular songs that they want to charge me to download and I can't even use my credits for a lot of them. :-/
 

heatlesssun

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Yeah, this is about the only issue with Zune Pass which is unfortunate and it seems to depend on what stuff you like as to how often this is a problem. I'm into Trance and there's a lot of gaps in that genre as well but I'll listen to about anything and there's always stuff to try and that's this service's greatest strength, finding new music.
 

Astral Abyss

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Yeah, this is about the only issue with Zune Pass which is unfortunate and it seems to depend on what stuff you like as to how often this is a problem. I'm into Trance and there's a lot of gaps in that genre as well but I'll listen to about anything and there's always stuff to try and that's this service's greatest strength, finding new music.

I agree. It's great for finding new music and at least you can listen to entire songs to get an idea if you like the band or not. I'm mostly into Metal (Prog, Symphonic, Black, Death, etc) and it's pretty hard to find a lot of that on Zune that I can actually download. One thing that's cool is to fine something on Rock Band Network that I like and then go onto Zune Pass and download the whole album.
 

Jodiuh

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I'm into Trance...
Mind if I add you through Zune? Would that allow me to see your music library, tastes, etc?

Listening to Pandora today and heard Ebla by E.S. Posthumus. Not quite a trance song, more of an orchestra/electronic/choir combo, but amazing nonetheless. Never heard of these guys before and now I have an even bigger backlog of tunes. :D
 

jeremyshaw

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Mind if I add you through Zune? Would that allow me to see your music library, tastes, etc?

Listening to Pandora today and heard Ebla by E.S. Posthumus. Not quite a trance song, more of an orchestra/electronic/choir combo, but amazing nonetheless. Never heard of these guys before and now I have an even bigger backlog of tunes. :D

Yeah, they made the NFL theme, the Battlestar Galatica theme (reimagined series), [all I can pull off of the top of my head] I love them.
 

Jodiuh

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BSG?! I knew they were something special.
6ba5b25b.gif
6ba5b25b.gif
 

NeoMatriX724

Limp Gawd
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Jul 26, 2007
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I live for ZunePass...I got it and haven't looked back. I used to torrent and meticiously keep my collection...now I don't have to and it's the best thing in the world.

I've had some pretty bad hiccups with my Zune but have been able to recover. Still using it so that has to say something.

If you're looking for apps and other functions besides music and video...there are better devices. If you're looking for something small, and plays music REALLY well with a slick interface, ZuneHD is your ticket.
 

heatlesssun

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I've had some pretty bad hiccups with my Zune but have been able to recover. Still using it so that has to say something.

What kind of hiccups? I've never had any significant problems with my 2 Zune 80GBs and my Zune 32GB HD and I've had all three devices since launch day.
 

Redleader

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I have a 32GB ad 16GB with Zune Pass. They do everything I need and more stuff I dont. I would recommend an HD to anyone.
 

Jodiuh

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What kind of hiccups?
fun story. Plugged the hd into my htpc overnight. Grabbed it in the morning for a weekend trip. Fired it up after a long day...nothing. no battery symbol, nada. Thought it was toast. Came home, turned on the tele to find my order # fer rma...no htpc.

I pulled the surge from the wall before the trip...the NIGHT before the trip.
 

Bahamut

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fun story. Plugged the hd into my htpc overnight. Grabbed it in the morning for a weekend trip. Fired it up after a long day...nothing. no battery symbol, nada. Thought it was toast. Came home, turned on the tele to find my order # fer rma...no htpc.

I pulled the surge from the wall before the trip...the NIGHT before the trip.

Ouch... double ouch. :(
 

Jodiuh

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Everybody's ok. :D

Edit: This thread has everything but pics and artistalbum/song recommendations.
 

Jaerb4

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I do like Zune Pass except for one major problem. A lot of the bands I like are either not allowing the full album download (2-3 songs are "album only") which pisses me off, or their albums are not available for download at all. The biggest problem here, and I'm sure is not coincidence, is that it's usually the most popular songs that they want to charge me to download and I can't even use my credits for a lot of them. :-/

I don't have a Zune HD, but I've had a 80/120 and a Pass for a year and a half and I'm done with it. For the first year, it was perfect. Now I get artists removed or albums shifted around, which means the older versions of an album don't work. Even worse, syncing is just a horrible experience, especially when you have more songs than the Zune can hold. Once you overqueue, there's no way to undo it without clearing the Zune and starting over. :/ And then syncing will sometimes stall out or won't cancel, and you're screwed if you remove the Zune while it's syncing.

Right now, about 80% of the songs on my 120 are unusable. There's still on there and taking up space, and my Zune subscription is active, but when I try to play them, it tells me the usage rights have expired or the file can't be found, etc.

So yeah, I'm heading to a store to get a Cowon J3 now and I cancelled my subscription yesterday.
 

Jodiuh

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I know this is a Zune thread, but I don't give a shit. I want impressions when you get it. :D

What differs this from an S3? Also, why did you pass on the Zune HD? (since you can get them locally w/ an ez return policy)
 

Astral Abyss

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I don't have a Zune HD, but I've had a 80/120 and a Pass for a year and a half and I'm done with it. For the first year, it was perfect. Now I get artists removed or albums shifted around, which means the older versions of an album don't work. Even worse, syncing is just a horrible experience, especially when you have more songs than the Zune can hold. Once you overqueue, there's no way to undo it without clearing the Zune and starting over. :/ And then syncing will sometimes stall out or won't cancel, and you're screwed if you remove the Zune while it's syncing.

Right now, about 80% of the songs on my 120 are unusable. There's still on there and taking up space, and my Zune subscription is active, but when I try to play them, it tells me the usage rights have expired or the file can't be found, etc.

So yeah, I'm heading to a store to get a Cowon J3 now and I cancelled my subscription yesterday.

You've pretty much confirmed my worst fears. I also hate being forced to use the Zune music player and interface. I think I'm going to ditch the whole setup.

Cowon J3 was my other choice. If they had a 64GB J3 I'd have been all over it. At least their 32GB J3 has a SDHC slot...
 

Jodiuh

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I'm just curious, but why does one need more than 16GB of music on their player @ one time?
 

Bahamut

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Seems most people want to carry their entire music collections with them when they're on the go. Me personally? I throw a few hundred songs on my Axim X51v, fairly random stuff most of the time, and I'm good for a few days. No way in hell I'd ever expect or want to carry a lot more, I suppose.

But for some folks it's everything. Now, I do have a 16GB SD card that I use for the X51v so I also put several movies at a time on it (~700MB Xvid encodes) of movies I like too but, even so I've never really maxed out the space on that card. I don't think I've ever put more than 12GB on it at one time...
 

jeremyshaw

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Seems most people want to carry their entire music collections with them when they're on the go. Me personally? I throw a few hundred songs on my Axim X51v, fairly random stuff most of the time, and I'm good for a few days. No way in hell I'd ever expect or want to carry a lot more, I suppose.

But for some folks it's everything. Now, I do have a 16GB SD card that I use for the X51v so I also put several movies at a time on it (~700MB Xvid encodes) of movies I like too but, even so I've never really maxed out the space on that card. I don't think I've ever put more than 12GB on it at one time...

lol, I have a 1GB card that rotates between [Star Trek episodes + one-two albums] at a time.

And that's how I still roll :D (almost 4 years later... :().
 
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