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Author Topic: An Open Rant to the Zune Team  (Read 9946 times)
Zaff Sans
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« on: June 28, 2007, 05:57:30 PM »

Do I enjoy my Zune? Yes!

So now that is out of the way, let me say the following:

What I do not like, in my opinion, is the seemingly lack of seriousness on the part of the Zune team when it comes to this device.

Zune has be on the market for the past 7 months. In this time we have seen a grand total of 1.5 software updates. One that fixed the shuffle, which I confess I never even noticed was broken, and the other one I cant even remember. Seven months and this is the full extent of the updates? A few months ago I read, from a Zune team member that they were going to release some cool things "soon". That was February, it is almost July. You guys made the device, are you telling me that it takes this long to do anything with it? And if you guys are waiting until Zune 2 to do anything, then you are snubbing the rest of us whom have bought a product that will be one version behind when it is released. If you have something new, put it out now, the Zune 2 folks can have those things too, but there is no reason that we cant have them now as a thank you for jumping to your device.

That is if you guys have anything.

Also, the extent of the Zune advertising has been beyond incompetent. Several lousy ads early on, that never described a blasted thing the device did, ran at odd hours on fringe channels. How on Earth did MS clear those things to air is beyond me. Several months later, the Zune team released a new, better ad, that ran a few times, and totally dissapeared. There has been no other ones produced. Why? The few people from the Zune team that understands what communicating with the public means, say that Microsoft is totally behind them. Ok, so act like it! Ad banners and a few print ads, which are the only Zune ads that seem to exist, just don't reach people like good old fashioned TV. Run some fricking ads! Get in front of the camears! Setting up parties at bars and clubs is a waste of time and money. MS doest even talk about the Zune at its events, what is the deal with that, Zune folks?

And frankly, Zune folks, your whole PR effort stinks! You don't respond to attacks from the ipodnicks and their media cheerleaders, and you do pretty much zero communication with the network of sites that are BEGGING for some news and information. That to me is a sign of arrogance or just plain laziness. Where is the official Zune blog? You should be regularly talking with the folks that have invested in your product. No, Zune Insider does not count. With all due respect to that site, links to free Mp3s and random postings of old news is not what is needed. There is something totally wrong when the biggest Zune news for the past three months has nothing to do with the device it'self.

Yes, yes, I know, be patient. That is always the standard reply. But, folks, these guys need to get off there collective butts and start acting like they really want this. No one is asking for something Earth changing everyday, but some new feature, once a month, should be a priority. Buzz will be generated for 30 days, every month, keeping the Zune in the news and keeping the Zune community talking about the product. What can you do quickly?

RSS reader
Clock
Weather widget
Pong
Wi-Fi finder
Animated backgrounds
Wireless upload to Flickr
Even something like a audio "ping" whenever another Zune comes into range.

Or just release an SDK and let people out here experiment making content.

These are simple little things that can tide the Zune community over until the big stuff is ready for the public. Producing nothing results in nothing but a community that has nothing to generate buzz over, and thus you have Zune sites talking about Apple products. Just my 2 cents.

Sorry for the rant. Well, maybe not.
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kitron
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« Reply #1 on: June 28, 2007, 06:30:45 PM »

Great rant,
Can you somehow post this on zune insider.
I don't know how we can tell Microsoft that they are totally missing the boat on everything these days.

We should've had more updates by now, more rumorrs, more accessories, more models.  What are they thinking?

For me it got to the point where I am going to use the device till it dies on me, but there is nothing exciting about it.
How are they going to attract new customers(new kids), this device could be doing a lot of cool things but is not.
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Endless
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« Reply #2 on: June 28, 2007, 08:23:37 PM »

Great observations. I definitely agree on the SDK. If there was an SDK I would definitely take a stab at programming.
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tbird
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« Reply #3 on: June 28, 2007, 10:34:42 PM »

Good second post. Grin
I think you will fit in just fine around here.
Oh, and by the way welcome.
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Bond007
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« Reply #4 on: June 28, 2007, 11:19:33 PM »

Your is justified in my opinion and there is reason why Apple seems to work harder on Ipods or just put more time and effort into their products by designing well, good marketing, etc.

This is because Steve Jobs gets his employees dedicated to working on Apple products and knows how to make his employees get excited about working on a product by rewarding them in the end.  He actually gave all Apple employees iphones to reward them for their hardwork.  Why didn't Microsoft do that for their employees with the Zune?

http://www.engadget.com/2007/06/28/jobs-pulls-an-oprah-12m-in-iphones-for-all-apple-employees/

It is a good way to build a fanbase within your own company and when Microsoft employees see what their hardwork has produced with a product like the Zune they will tend to work harder and refer friends and family to support the product.  It seems to me that Microsoft is not supporting their products with the true love and the spirit of wanting to be number one like Apple do with a majority of products.  The Iphone maybe a flop, but at least Apple can say they put more hardwork into the product and marketing than Microsoft has done with the Zune since launch.
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mmmwww
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« Reply #5 on: June 29, 2007, 12:02:21 AM »

why didn't Microsoft do that for their employees with the Zune?

http://www.zunerama.com/zune-versions.php

The Magenta and Orange Zunes were a gift for the Zune team at launch.
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vkoser
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« Reply #6 on: June 29, 2007, 05:17:35 AM »

Great post Zaff

I will add one simple feature to your list of things and that is audio bookmarking.  The fact that I cant listen to an audio book and return to it after going to music and have it keep my place makes the device nearly useless in my opinion for audio book listening.  Many of the audio books I have are not multiple tracks and hours long so it becomes very difficult.  The same for podcasts, some of them that i listen to are 15-20 minutes and having to find my place to hear the rest of one after i get back in the car to drive home is a hassle that I shouldn't have to deal with.

I love the zune but that simple lacking feature is something that i notice and think about every single day, and a real shortcoming compared to the ipod.
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Bond007
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« Reply #7 on: June 29, 2007, 05:44:19 AM »

Thanks mansonpwiley I did not catch that or realize that Microsoft gave the Zune team an orange Zune.

It is still not a good sign. You mean Microsoft gave them free Zunes for their hardwork, but none of the hardwork has really or truly been shown in 7 months.  It is like nothing interesting or major is happening.  It is odd that before Apple works on something or is planning to work on something there is more rumors, interesting stuff, and major things happening than what the Zune community has received in 7 months maybe that will change when Zune 2 comes out, but it seems like Microsoft is disappointing or forgetting about current Zune owners.
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elfman
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« Reply #8 on: June 29, 2007, 10:21:19 AM »

I will add one simple feature to your list of things and that is audio bookmarking.  The fact that I cant listen to an audio book and return to it after going to music and have it keep my place makes the device nearly useless in my opinion for audio book listening.  Many of the audio books I have are not multiple tracks and hours long so it becomes very difficult.  The same for podcasts, some of them that i listen to are 15-20 minutes and having to find my place to hear the rest of one after i get back in the car to drive home is a hassle that I shouldn't have to deal with.
A-FREAKIN-MEN to that one, vkoser. This is a basic functionality issue, and it's not been addressed at all yet, and that's just plain bad. Makes listening to an audio book a chore... this was a horrible oversight by the original design team.

As for frequent updates, I understand that wouldn't be too practical because of all the testing that needs to be done when you change firmware to make sure that nothing got broken. However, it would nice if each maintenance release would include just 1 added feature... that would show good will, wouldn't it?
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JohnCz
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« Reply #9 on: June 29, 2007, 11:01:41 AM »

...However, it would nice if each maintenance release would include just 1 added feature... that would show good will, wouldn't it?

Exactly, that was what I expected.  I agree, it would go a long way in building community support, confidence & faith.  In my mind, Zune is failing to meet expectations.  I thought in early May things were turning around..okay nothing significant to existing Zune users but at least Microsoft launched a new ad campaign and a few new re-packaged Zunes.  What are they doing to build on that momentum?  Last two weeks have been silent.
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« Reply #10 on: June 29, 2007, 01:20:11 PM »

On the note of the SDK. I think it would be wise of Microsoft to release a Software Development Kit when the Zune V2 is released. In my point of view, that would keep interest in the original Zune while the Second version is receiving new interest.
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Bond007
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« Reply #11 on: June 29, 2007, 05:44:39 PM »

The Zune has major potential and Microsoft could have done more with the first Gen Zune device than they have done now, but anyway I do not care about that right now.

What makes me sick is that the media like CNN for example make fun the Zune and the Zune does not get the respect they deserve.  For example do you people know that the first Gen Ipod only sold $125,000 when it first came out.  The Zune has had better sales during launch week than the first Gen Ipod, but nobody really mentions that.  If Microsoft can out sell the the first Gen Ipod 5 years ago when it first came out can you imagine what next gen Zune sales are going to be like.

Microsoft is entering the same market just like Apple did 5 years ago with doubters and people saying they are 5 years too late, but when Apple came out with the Ipod it was not the first MP3 player in the market.  In fact MP3 players had not even blown up, so people were doubting Apple too, but now they are on top of the market.  I think we are not giving Microsoft credit for what they have done with the Zune so far and what it could be.  First Gen products are not always perfect and if some of you Tech Geeks who bought a Zune disappointed then maybe you should have waited for Zune 2.  I think Microsoft were not trying to attract Tech Geeks and just made a device for first timers with the main features just so they could test the water and build a small fanbase like the original Xbox until Zune 2 comes out, but the should not alienate current Zune owners in the process.
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Endless
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« Reply #12 on: June 29, 2007, 06:43:52 PM »

The Zune has major potential and Microsoft could have done more with the first Gen Zune device than they have done now, but anyway I do not care about that right now.

What makes me sick is that the media like CNN for example make fun the Zune and the Zune does not get the respect they deserve.  For example do you people know that the first Gen Ipod only sold $125,000 when it first came out.  The Zune has had better sales during launch week than the first Gen Ipod, but nobody really mentions that.  If Microsoft can out sell the the first Gen Ipod 5 years ago when it first came out can you imagine what next gen Zune sales are going to be like.

Microsoft is entering the same market just like Apple did 5 years ago with doubters and people saying they are 5 years too late, but when Apple came out with the Ipod it was not the first MP3 player in the market.  In fact MP3 players had not even blown up, so people were doubting Apple too, but now they are on top of the market.  I think we are not giving Microsoft credit for what they have done with the Zune so far and what it could be.  First Gen products are not always perfect and if some of you Tech Geeks who bought a Zune disappointed then maybe you should have waited for Zune 2.  I think Microsoft were not trying to attract Tech Geeks and just made a device for first timers with the main features just so they could test the water and build a small fanbase like the original Xbox until Zune 2 comes out, but the should not alienate current Zune owners in the process.

Truth be told in that statement.
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Palmer Deville
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« Reply #13 on: June 29, 2007, 09:43:27 PM »

The Zune has major potential and Microsoft could have done more with the first Gen Zune device than they have done now, but anyway I do not care about that right now.

What makes me sick is that the media like CNN for example make fun the Zune and the Zune does not get the respect they deserve.  For example do you people know that the first Gen Ipod only sold $125,000 when it first came out.  The Zune has had better sales during launch week than the first Gen Ipod, but nobody really mentions that.  If Microsoft can out sell the the first Gen Ipod 5 years ago when it first came out can you imagine what next gen Zune sales are going to be like.

Microsoft is entering the same market just like Apple did 5 years ago with doubters and people saying they are 5 years too late, but when Apple came out with the Ipod it was not the first MP3 player in the market.  In fact MP3 players had not even blown up, so people were doubting Apple too, but now they are on top of the market.  I think we are not giving Microsoft credit for what they have done with the Zune so far and what it could be.  First Gen products are not always perfect and if some of you Tech Geeks who bought a Zune disappointed then maybe you should have waited for Zune 2.  I think Microsoft were not trying to attract Tech Geeks and just made a device for first timers with the main features just so they could test the water and build a small fanbase like the original Xbox until Zune 2 comes out, but the should not alienate current Zune owners in the process.

Bond. You should compare the size of the MP3 player market when iPod launched vs the size of the MP3 player market when Zune launched. I think you will find that as a percentage of total purchases the two devices were much closer if not in favor of iPod success. 

Then,  you have to take into account that upon initial release the iPod was mainly for Mac users - a very small target audience. It wasn't until a year later that iTunes for Windows was released.

The quantity of Zune sales has been very mediocre compared to the size of the MP3 player market.

Your statement...

 "The Zune has had better sales during launch week than the first Gen Ipod, but nobody really mentions that.  If Microsoft can out sell the the first Gen Ipod 5 years ago when it first came out can you imagine what next gen Zune sales are going to be like."

...is basically null and void when looked at from a relative stand point. It's like having $1000 in the bank in the 1800s vs having $1000 in the bank today.
« Last Edit: June 29, 2007, 09:45:11 PM by Palmerdeville » Logged

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gwheaton
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« Reply #14 on: June 30, 2007, 06:35:33 AM »

Quote:
"In this time we have seen a grand total of 1.5 software updates. One that fixed the shuffle, which I confess I never even noticed was broken"


To me the Shuffle is still BROKEN.

Can some one else verify this for me.

Have shuffle turned on, Select any Album, and then Select "Play All".

Let the album play until the Zune has played all the songs and stops.  Then press the "Play/Pause" button to play the album again.  Guess what, the Zune does not re-shuffle, it plays the album in the order that it played it the last time.  And will keep playing in that order until you go back and re-select "Play All"

Thanks
« Last Edit: June 30, 2007, 06:49:32 AM by gwheaton » Logged
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