Trying out a Zune

OK I had pretty much given up on the Zune, but the latest devices actually look nice (the small form factor ones), and now with the subscription service PLUS the keep 10 songs forever each month offer, I am compelled to try.

Trying to get it to work on my XP machine tho was an abject failure. The software download went fine, but there is some DRM problem, I can’t download any tracks. Did a clean install of Zune, deleted all my DRM directories, ran the resetDRM tool that Microsoft provides — dead dead dead. Filed a service request with Microsoft 36 hours ago, no response. The forums are no help. Stunningly painful experience. Tells me that the Zune team doesn’t really test on old crufty XP installs.

I don’t have another machine sitting around, so I decided to go for degree of difficulty points and installed VMWare Fusion on my Macbook Pro, installed Vista, and installed Zune. OK I can at least download tracks now (after massive futzing with file directory permissions on the Mac side, in the Fusion app, and in the Windows install). Plugging in the Zune, USB connectivity wasn’t flawless but good enough, if it doesn’t work for you, just keep attaching the device and eventually all will be well.

So now downloading the top 50 albums of 2008 per the Rolling Stone, as well as the albums listed in the WSJ this weekend. This is what I like about the Zune, the ability to try out music for basically free. That said, the install troubles on XP (and the many forum postings indicating that this is a common problem) is going to kill acceptance of the device.