This week I picked up a Zune (or Zune 30 as its going to be called). Zunes are not available in the UK but I had the opportunity to get this one and took it.2007-10-09 001 003

Most readers will know about the Zune but I thought I would write down some of my first impressions.

The first thing you notice is that the packaging is much better than most Microsoft products, it comes in a nice box with slide out draw, it’s a well thought out design, much better than the impossible to to open without industrial equipment or cutting your finger off Xbox accessory packaging.

The actual Zune device is very nice, with a solid feel. Installing the Zune desktop software was a problem as Zune is not supported in the UK, so after a quick search I found a workaround and I got the software installed. The software is nothing special just a re-branded version of Windows Media Player, hopefully the V2 version will be better and have some kind of support for downloading podcasts like iTunes.

Syncing up was straight forward and I have my main Media Center PC syncing to the Zune and my UMPC as a 2nd syncing point.

In use the device is great, it is very reminiscent of Media Center with the pivots and galleries. It was great on the way to work listening to a random selection of my music, some of which I have not listened to in years. My next task is to sort some playlists out, on my Media Center PC I have all the family’s albums including  my wife’s music (James Blunt and Elton John) and stuff for the kids so the random selection was great but it is dangerous driving whilst listening to James Blunt as it is know to make me fall asleep if I listen to more that one of his tracks 🙂 So I think I should create a driving playlist.

It’s great having all my pictures on the Zune, the automatic syncing means I will always have some recent pictures of the kids to show off.

I tried converting a DVD to WMV then getting that on to the Zune which worked great, and video playback on the Zune is very good. I am looking forward to the V2 software so that I can sync Recorded TV with it.

Overall I have been pleased with it, and am looking forward to the v2 software

Does anybody have any advice for syncing podcasts with a Zune? What Podcatcher do you recommend with it (and don’t say iTunes!)

I have also opened up a Zune Forum on

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