Friday, January 4, 2008
Posted by Jason Dunn in "Zune Talk" @ 05:00 AM
I have great respect for Grahm, having linked to Anythingbutipod.com's reviews many times over the years form Digital Media Thoughts (now Digital Home Thoughts), but I disagree with many of his points and thought it would be worthwhile explaining why. It's a common, but completely inaccurate perception that simplicity in function always means simplicity in design, and conversely, that rich functionality always means complexity in design. We have an expensive cork screw that only does one thing - takes corks out of bottles - but the first time I used it I was completely baffled because it was so complex to operate, even though I knew exactly what it was supposed to do. On the other hand, the first time I picked up an iPhone I was able to navigate from function to function with ease - it was quite intuitive, despite having many functions. And that's saying a lot coming from me for anyone that knows how I feel about most Apple products.
I can understand Grahm's basic point that the Zune should be razor-focused on delivering a great media experience, but that doesn't mean it should come at the expense of other features that users want. The Zune team's excuse last year for not offering Media Center TV show sync was that they were focusing on music first and foremost. If that were the case, then why did they ship a heavy, thick device with a big screen that clearly screams out for video? Their hardware design wasn't in line with their marketing talking points - if music was the #1 goal, then a small, flash-based Zune should have been shipped first.
But I digress...let me tackle each of Grahm's points one by one. Here are all of the feature he doesn't want to see, and my thoughts on each point. You should go check out his article first before reading my rebuttal points. This are my own opinions of course, so I welcome your feedback on this list.