Despite the fact that there’s still no true support for the Zune software on Vista yet, there are some hacks out there that enable it to run. So, I bit the bullet and bought myself one this week. The biggest caveat is that even with the hacks I still couldn’t get it to update my Zune’s firmware which is required before you can even start using the software. I had to go to an XPSP2 machine here at work, go through the setup, install the firmware update and then uninstall the Zune software. :
So how is it? I love it! Other than the fact that the Vista install isn’t available yet (then again, neither is the OS technically), I don’t know how anyone can possibly say anything bad about this thing. The screen is gorgeous, the UI is intuitive, battery life is really good (though I’m not a junkie like some people) and the FM radio tuner really is a huge win. I haven’t used the WiFi sharing feature yet, but as many others have pointed out I’m sure Microsoft is going to be releasing firmware updates that eventually enable more scenarios for WiFi (connecting to marketplace, your home network, etc.).
I’m not afraid of DRM, in fact I’m all for it. That said I think the biggest mistake is that the Zune doesn’t support Plays-For-Sure. I had purchased a bunch of music from MSN Music back in the day which is completely unusable on my Zune. Hopefully MS wises up and supports that spec with a firmware upgrade. If they don’t they’re really just doing a disservice to customers who bought into the whole campaign and are adding fuel to the flames of DRM opposition.