Tuesday, August 7, 2007
Posted by Jason Dunn in "Zune Talk" @ 07:00 AM
Looking at the size of the Zune screen, it's pretty obvious that it was designed for more than just music - if music was Microsoft's only goal they should have put out a small, Flash-based player with a smaller screen. Instead, they put out something with a bright, 3" screen running at 240 x 320 resolution. The whole thing looks like the now-defunct Portable Media Center players, and they used an updated version of the OS. The Zune should be great at doing video - but it's not.
When I went on a week-long vacation at the end of June, I wanted to use my Zune to watch some video content. I had a bunch of TV shows on my Media Center PC, and I had some DVDs that I wanted to rip. Pretty standard scenario for any portable media device. Failing #1 of the Zune is the lack of Media Center support - unlike Windows Media Player 11, the Zune desktop software can't work with DVR-MS files, which is the recording format for Media Center. A registry hack has been discovered that allows the Zune desktop software to work with DVR-MS files, but any time you have to hack the registry to gain missing functionality, I consider it a failed scenario. The Zune is a Microsoft product, so it's inexcusable that eight months after launch it still doesn't work as a mobile companion to anyone that has a Media Center PC.