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Old 08-12-2010, 11:13 AM
Burning_October Burning_October is offline
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Default Is It Worth Getting A Zune HD?

I've had my eye on one of these for a while, and soon I may get the chance to pick one up. However, reading through the forums on Zuneboards.com, the general impression seems to be that the HD will soon either be replaced by an HD 2, or by Windows Phone 7, with no more updates after that.

So, is it worth getting it now, or should I hold out and start looking into other players? Also, in general, is it a good player, reliable, etc (and do you eventually get used to the pause/volume/skip buttons being in a seperate menu, or is that bothersome in practice?). Thanks for any help you may provide.
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  #2  
Old 08-12-2010, 11:38 AM
Olley Olley is offline
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"Worth" is the trick word. Whatever it does today it'll still be able to do after new products come out. The question to ask is "Is a Zune HD worth it's price to me today?". Given the price cuts I'm seeing around the web, an HD is closer to worth it's price now than it was when brand new.
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Old 08-12-2010, 11:49 AM
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Briankealing Briankealing is offline
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I believe it's worth the money. It's very reliable, the sound quality is outstanding, and the screen is beautiful. Getting used to the media compass is very easy, and I think it's far easier to use than a volume rocker (sliding your finger up the screen makes volume increase, sliding down makes it decrease, or you can just press the buttons).

It's noted that you can buy the Zune HD for really cheap off Amazon and I believe NewEgg and Dell are giving away Zune HDs in various hardware bundles.
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Old 08-12-2010, 11:54 AM
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McDougal McDougal is offline
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It really depends on your needs. Do you care about the touchscreen, apps, and Internet? If all you do is listen to music, then no, the Zune HD is not worth it in my opinion. It is, however, a great device and when it might not be the greatest music player, has amazing hardware, and is a reliable device, for the most part (except for an occasional firmware freeze or lockup). And don't forget about the wonderful sound quality, even though it has no custom EQ (just a few horrible presets). Was it worth $220 when I bought it back in September? No. Is it worth $160, the price now? Yes. So to sum it up, if all you care about is listening to music, then you will not be happy with your purchase. But if you want and will use all of the extras such as the beautiful touchscreen, Internet browsing, a few apps/games, and excellent video viewing, then this might be the device you're looking for. And about the Zune HD2, I know nothing about it, but it will probably be a better deal if you can wait. And Windows Phone 7, that's a phone, so the catch there is you have to pay the monthly fee, and if you can afford it, great, if not, then stick with a Zune. Good luck!
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Old 08-12-2010, 12:37 PM
Burning_October Burning_October is offline
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I'm looking for something that does music first and foremost, with apps and internet as a nice little bonus. So this seems right up my alley. Thanks for the help everyone.
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  #6  
Old 08-12-2010, 12:39 PM
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lem7 lem7 is offline
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McDougal your ZuneHD still freezes?...ever since 4.5 I never had one single freeze.

ZuneHD is worth it... Its dirt cheap to get a refub or used one. Been using my ZuneHD for 6 months and no problem, also my brother ZuneHD is still going strong as well. Watching video on this thing is absolutely awesome and the music experience is something you can't get from other players.
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Old 08-12-2010, 12:44 PM
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McDougal McDougal is offline
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@Burning_October, great, I hope you enjoy your Zune HD!
@lem7, yes, I still experience freezes and lockups. Not very often though. Maybe once every couple of months, the last time I experienced a lockup was maybe two months ago, and I haven't experienced anything since. What's really annoying about the lockups though, I am unable to turn the screen back on, pause my music, or do anything but restart the device, and after I restart it I lose my place in my song, very annoying. But it happens so little that I don't really care about it anymore.
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  #8  
Old 08-12-2010, 01:38 PM
clubdirthill clubdirthill is offline
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I love mine, but if I were you I would wait and see if there is going to be another software update or price drop first.
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  #9  
Old 08-12-2010, 02:02 PM
Icky6 Icky6 is offline
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Personally I'm going to say yes and no. It does have a great screen with rich colors, very sturdy and quality hardware, and a touch interface whose smoothness I've not seen anywhere outside of Apple's devices.

However, without the Zune Pass it does almost nothing better than any other PMP. That's not to say it's bad, but it seems to me that the people who are really excited about the Zune HD consider the Zune Pass as sort of a necessary requirement... I personally don't want to spend $15 a month on the pass, but if you do I think you can expect a greater feeling of "there is something special about this device". For the one month I did have it, it did become sort of an all-out music machine and definitely that can be interesting for some people. II wasn't so voracious for new music that I used it enough, but again you may be.

If you aren't interested in paying $15 a month for the Zune Pass, skip the Zune HD.
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Old 08-12-2010, 03:44 PM
Burning_October Burning_October is offline
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Although i'm not getting a Zune Pass (not available in Canada), the Zune does everything I want, is cheap considering what you get, and uses software I love, so I think I may get one still.
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Old 08-12-2010, 04:08 PM
NSILMike NSILMike is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Burning_October View Post
Although i'm not getting a Zune Pass (not available in Canada), the Zune does everything I want, is cheap considering what you get, and uses software I love, so I think I may get one still.
All indications are that when WP7 releases, Canada will get Zune services for the phone. I'd be very surprised if you didn't also get them for the Zune devices...
However, unless you are in a rush, I'd think hard about the phone vs. the pure media player. Smart phones are growing, while media players are flat to in decline. the innovation has or will shift to the phones...
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Old 08-12-2010, 06:21 PM
Burning_October Burning_October is offline
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I've thought about that, but I like my current arrangement of dedicated media player w/ cheap little phone for basic calling/texting. I don't need a phone with lots of features, the data plans and hardware cost too much, and I prefer keeping the things seperate anyway. Thanks though, and I had forgotten about the Zune Pass maybe going worldwide.
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  #13  
Old 08-12-2010, 11:52 PM
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poisonousjuice poisonousjuice is offline
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You'll definitely enjoy your Zune HD. There will be new Win7 phones coming out around the holidays and maybe even a Zune HD2, who knows. But the Zune HD offers a great interface, crisp display, good sound quality, and a nice handful of free apps to keep you occupied on the bus, train, toilet, etc.

and if you are ever able to get a Zune Pass, it's an even greater experience. As long as you're using it mostly for music & video and don't need more than a dozen games/apps, and don't mind the possibility of a 'better' device coming out before 2011, go for it.
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  #14  
Old 08-13-2010, 10:19 AM
m_k m_k is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Olley View Post
"Worth" is the trick word. Whatever it does today it'll still be able to do after new products come out. The question to ask is "Is a Zune HD worth it's price to me today?". Given the price cuts I'm seeing around the web, an HD is closer to worth it's price now than it was when brand new.
Some serious questions that I hope can get serious (and accurate) answers:

1. Is it possible to install/reinstall/flash/reflash the firmware without a live Internet connection? In other words, can the device be set up (or re-set up) without a server at MS being online and running the software necessary to set up the Zune?

I have several products (developer software tools) worth thousands of dollars that I can no longer use because the suppliers require product activation, and no longer provide it for those products.

I know that at least with the hard drive Zunes, it is sometimes necessary to reinstall the firmware (when mine went wheels-up that was the first thing they ORDERED me to do -- several hours of wasted time sitting there downloading over my dialup modem connection that which I already had stored on my hard drive, because the installer insisted on re-fetching via live online connection. I have since then found out how to coerce my older (3.1) version firmware to install WITHOUT online connection, but I have no idea if this can be done with newer versions, and I'm not going to find out. First, the current software package is far too bloated to successfully download over dialup modem, and second, I am not willing to gamble on the future usability of my device, by installing a version that MAY not be able to be maintained independent of the "Mother, May I?" protocol.

2. If the HD's firmware does require live online connection to the company's server, is Microsoft going to commit to keeping that server online and operational on an eternal basis? If not, then what timeframe will they provide? Since -- in a "mandatory Mother-May-I" scenario -- the device will go brickish the first time it NEEDS to be reflashed AFTER the server goes black, this would seem to be an important consideration to potential buyers.

The bottom line would seem to be that in a situation in which a product may need server connectivity to continue operating, a prospective buyer would need to either gain assurance that the connectivity will be there for as long as he owns his device, or, that he is willing to consider the device to be a disposable item.
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Old 08-13-2010, 01:03 PM
FallenArms3 FallenArms3 is offline
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I don't think that's too much to be concerned about. Microsoft has shown good dedication to Zune owners in the past. Even so, the entire firmware of the Zune HD (currently) has been archived independently. If you found a way to flash it yourself with the older ones, chances are you can still do it with the HD.

Honestly, it's not something I'm too worried about, and I intend to use it for a long time.
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  #16  
Old 08-13-2010, 02:07 PM
NSILMike NSILMike is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by m_k View Post
Some serious questions that I hope can get serious (and accurate) answers:

1. Is it possible to install/reinstall/flash/reflash the firmware without a live Internet connection? In other words, can the device be set up (or re-set up) without a server at MS being online and running the software necessary to set up the Zune?

I have several products (developer software tools) worth thousands of dollars that I can no longer use because the suppliers require product activation, and no longer provide it for those products.

I know that at least with the hard drive Zunes, it is sometimes necessary to reinstall the firmware (when mine went wheels-up that was the first thing they ORDERED me to do -- several hours of wasted time sitting there downloading over my dialup modem connection that which I already had stored on my hard drive, because the installer insisted on re-fetching via live online connection. I have since then found out how to coerce my older (3.1) version firmware to install WITHOUT online connection, but I have no idea if this can be done with newer versions, and I'm not going to find out. First, the current software package is far too bloated to successfully download over dialup modem, and second, I am not willing to gamble on the future usability of my device, by installing a version that MAY not be able to be maintained independent of the "Mother, May I?" protocol.

2. If the HD's firmware does require live online connection to the company's server, is Microsoft going to commit to keeping that server online and operational on an eternal basis? If not, then what timeframe will they provide? Since -- in a "mandatory Mother-May-I" scenario -- the device will go brickish the first time it NEEDS to be reflashed AFTER the server goes black, this would seem to be an important consideration to potential buyers.

The bottom line would seem to be that in a situation in which a product may need server connectivity to continue operating, a prospective buyer would need to either gain assurance that the connectivity will be there for as long as he owns his device, or, that he is willing to consider the device to be a disposable item.
1) Yes- there is a complete install package that includes software and firmware online. It's useful for folks who want to install on a different PC w/o internet, and for folks w/o windows update access. You could archive that, although you'd have to remember to go get the new versions occasionally.
2) N/A. And for any company who would make that commitment... yeah, right. It's good only for as long as they don't change their mind. I wouldn't depend on that.
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