The Zunetanic Revisited

Apr 21st, 2008 | By | Category: Digital Music, iPods & Portable Media Players

The ZunetanicMolly Wood has a great take on the state of the Zune over at Crave, offering 5 reasons she’s leaving the Zune behind and a scary tale about how her Zune erased thousands of her songs:

About two weeks ago, I was going on a trip. My Zune’s battery had run out, so I plugged it in to charge it to take on the plane with me. Despite my settings in the Zune software not to sync all my music, video, pictures, and podcasts, the Zune started its sync dance.

When it was complete, it gave me this message:

10 items added

2,372 items removed


Yep. The software, in its auto-sync wisdom, removed every single song from the device that was not stored locally on the computer. There was no prompt, there was no “I can’t find this” warning like the iTunes Library will sometimes offer. It just decided, out of what I assume was some misguided antipiracy effort, to remove any songs that it couldn’t find on my hard drive. What if I were syncing the machine with two different computers with two different music libraries, you ask? Too bad. Zune is in control.

And you know what? I don’t like being told what to do. I don’t like sitting on a wiped Zune two hours before I’m supposed to leave from the airport. I don’t like software that ignores what I think is a pretty specific request for manual syncing, and I don’t like device behaviors that assume I am stealing music. What this all boils down to, I’m truly sorry to say, is that I don’t like my Zune. Hello, again, little iPod buddy.

Any media player is going to have its bugs and quirks. Unfortunately, Microsoft has failed to make the Zune’s bugs and quirks worth putting up with.

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No Responses to “The Zunetanic Revisited”

  1. Carol A says:

    I don’t think the Ipod is totally free of its own annoying behaviour – as a friend of mine found out when her daughter bought her an Ipod, filled it full of favourite music, using her laptop, then went overseas. No more sync! Trying to tell the Ipod to change computers is a nightmare. Thank goodness I bought a Sandisk Sansa – in fact 2 of them (not both at once!) The car model is set to function as a normal storage flash drive, so I can travel and update content by using drag & drop from any computer, the handbag model is on sync mode as it gets used a lot for podcasts. Oh, and why do I have 2? well I broke the headphone socket on one and bought a new one, then husband took the old one apart (yes, it unscrews) and soldered in another (more robust!) headphone jack. Try doing that with most electronic gadgets.

  2. JayR says:

    As a Zune owner, I can tell you that Molly has no clue what she’s doing… The sync process is simple: the PC is the master library, and the device’s library mirrors what’s on the PC. The sync will add tracks to the device that have been added to the PC library, and will delete tracks which have been deleted from the PC library. It will NOT, however, delete tracks which were added to the device via another PC or sent wirelessly by another Zune user. When doing a sync, it will only delete files which were removed on that PC. In order for Molly’s scenario to have happened, she must of had those 2500+ songs on the PC, she performed a sync, and then she removed those 2500+ songs from the PC library. Articles like this don’t surprise me when they are found on any site owned by CNET — a company notoriously pro-Apple and anti-Microsoft.

  3. Uncle Drew says:

    But anytime you have a device which decides for you it’s problematic.

    My Zune was doing okay with podcasts but lately it just won’t sync all of my newly downloaded material.

    In terms of flexibility I, too, am much happier with my SanDisk cheapy model, because I can use Windows MediaPlayer on any computer to do whatever the heck I want without a bunch of restrictions on my actions.

    Stay tuned!

    Uncle Drew – Hungary’s podcast

  4. Debb ie says:

    I need help I got my zune for christmas and i can’t do anything with it my computer says i don’t have cookies
    or something like that can some one PLEASE HELP so i can use my zune . Thank ‘s to who ever can Help

  5. Martin says:

    Uh, JayR, I can totally see Molly’s problem happening, considering the problem’s I’ve had with my Zune. You describe how it SHOULD work. She’s describing a bug. My problems are with the simplicity of the software. No menu bar? Podcast control is atrocious. I long for the days of my iPod, until it died.

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