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Kistaro Windrider, Reptillian Situation Assessor

Unfortunately, I Really Am That Nerdy

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Spreading my luck
Here at Microsoft, the humble 8GB Zune seems to be the default random-ass drawing prize for filling out surveys or otherwise participating in the administration of the company. It's also been used as a "thank you for not driving" prize, and a few other things. I have no need for one, as my 80GB Zune is a little more to my taste- 8GB simply isn't enough space to fit my indecision onto comfortably.

It came to pass that I did indeed win such a drawing. (Of all the people in Building 37, I and the person diagonally across the hall from me were the only two winners. This amused us, and the woman giving them out.) It was for a "so what do you think of the new building?" survey, which I answered mostly so I could rant about some of the worse design decisions here.

I therefore have a new black 8GB Zune; the box has only been opened to verify that all the pieces are there. I'd like to get something of use out of my prize, and it's a shame to let a perfectly good MP3 player go to waste (honestly, in my experience, the Zune really is a very good media player) when someone could be using it.

I'll start with y'all.

This is an auction. If anybody here wants the Zune, bid in the comments. I'd rather sell it to someone I know, so this isn't a generally open call for passing this around, but I'm not hiding it either; if you know someone who really wants an MP3 player and can outbid what's been posted so far, let me know.

Bids do not have to be monetary and can involve trades for products or services. It may not be obvious which bid is "winning"; this is entirely fine with me. (Actually, that's part of the fun.) My value on things may not match anybody else's.

Once I get bored with this, if I have any bids that offer something I'd be willing to sell the Zune for, I'll sell it to the person who made the offer I like the most. Yes, there's trust involved because this isn't being run through a major auction site; I reserve the right to reject a "winning" bid from someone I believe won't deliver on it. And if none of the bids seem like a reasonable trade, I'll declare this "reserve not met" and then go use an actual auction site instead.

Any interest? New-in-box Zune 8, box opened only to confirm that every part is present, including cable and pack-in earbuds.

Edited to add: tugrik has offered to engrave the back of the Zune with the pattern of your choice, free of charge, as long as you accept the extra delay and that it's going to involve experimental settings as his first time getting to aim his laser at a Zune.

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Hmm.. I'll open the bids with a bed full of huggles.




The sentiment is appreciated, but, uh, reserve not met.

I'd put in a transient bid: I want to know how well the black zunes engrave (assuming it's a 'blank' black one and not one of their pre-made, already-engraved designs). So I'd enjoy having it for a very short time before passing it back to you or on to whoever you specify. :)

Were you to send it to me I'd try to laser engrave it with a custom logo once I get some power-tests done on it. The only caveat is that the engraving may not be perfect as I figure out the settings.

This way I get to figure out the Zune settings to do them in the future for other folks, and someone else still gets a (customized) zune to keep and use!

They're all metal-backed. I don't think there's any difference between the back on Zunes of the same model in different colors- a black Zune 8 should engrave the same as a black Zune 4, which should engrave the same as a green Zune 4. The Zune 16, and of course the 30/80/120 might have different backing textures, though.

Still interested given its similarity to things you may have already tried? If so, then it will become an option for whoever wins the auction, whether the auction is completed here or on another auction service (probably furbuy). So it won't be up to me about this offer, it'll be whoever eventually does want the Zune...

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I recommend the Zune with no reservations. I got my Zune 80 to replace my not-enough-space-left Zen Vision 30GB, and it's worked excellently. The most recent software upgrade has made it occasionally crash when loading an album, which is fixed by an easy reboot; it didn't do that before this upgrade, and probably won't after the next one. Also, with my all-day every-day heavy-duty usage, it's done it to me twice in two months.

The Zune has a much better interface, better battery life, higher audio quality (yes, higher audio quality than Creative Labs!), and better pack-in software. The disadvantage is that the Zune software on the PC must be used to transfer files, unlike how Windows Media Player works with the Zen players; Creative's PC media player was so bad it was just about mandatory.

My opinions on an MP3 player are driven mostly by the sound quality, which again is the basis for my recommendation here. I'd go with the Zune.

I'll bear your children XD

(Honestly, I have a video iPod so I neither want or need a Zune, but hey, it'd be a win-win situation if you went for it ;)

One of these days I'll get around to getting an MP3 player ( I know, it's such a horrible thing in this day and age to not even own any form of portable music device).

Sadly, I have nothing of value to offer for such a nice thing as that. Having just lost a good portion of my tiny savings in the purchase of a new stove for my house, I don't have the money to go bidding on shiny new things, lol.

About the only thing of value I could possibly offer would be my oil painting skills.

I wish walmart gave out such nifty prizes, lol. That would be nice.

I already have a 4GB ipod nano, but I'm still interested. My technolust is getting the better of me. Not sure if I really NEED this, though.

*offers hat(s) maybe?*

How do Ipod and Zune compare- specifically regarding file storage and transfer? I kinda hate Itunes and how you have to use their stupid little interface to manage files. Can the Zune be recognized as a mass storage device (a la thumb drive) to allow me to directly add/remove files manually via Windows Explorer?

Unfortunately, the Zune is no better than the iPod in this respect. (Actually, it's even less cross-platform, and hasn't been jailbroken yet.) The Zune requires the Zune software for data transfer. I personally dramatically prefer Zune Desktop over iTunes, but that doesn't solve the underlying problem that Microsoft declined to implement PlaysForSure or Mass Storage for reasons that are completely incomprehensible to me. (HAY GUYZ LETS MAKE OUR PRODUCT HARDER TO USE TO ENFORCE AN INTEGRATED USER EZPERIENCE HURR HURR HURR) (I legitimately typo'd "experience" there and decided to elave it) Furthermore, it cannot carry files that are not media it is capable of playing or, in the case of images, viewing- and it will downscale pictures before copying them onto the device.

That said, the Zune's library navigation is marginally better than the iPod's, and the audio quality is an order of magnitude better- although you need real earphones to tell, the crappy pack-ins (crap-ins?) included with each are insufficient to tell the difference. The $30 Phillips SHE9500 earphones are sufficient, though, and my $185 UE super.fi 5 pro makes the differences in audio drivers rather pronounced; as a result, I'm never going to buy an iPod.

If you're still interested, please solidify your bid. I was already planning on asking you what you'd charge for a tail before the next Rainfurrest anyway. And if you're not interested in the Zune, no worries, I'll bribe you later.

While it would be pleasant to have a music player with actual battery life -- as opposed to my decrepit iPod 3G that can almost but not quite finish booting when removed from life support -- I shouldn't even bother bidding. We're an all-Mac household, and while I understand that it's technically possible to transfer files to/from the thing with non-Windows boxen these days, I don't need the hassle.

Actually, the Zune hasn't even been jailbroken to that extent, as far as I know. Unfortunately, you wouldn't be able to use the Zune without a Windows computer to connect it to.

Which, in my opinion, is massive fail on the part of my employer. Restricting the use of a product will not help it succeed in the marketplace- they didn't even implement PlaysForSure. The Zune software is nice- at least, it is now- but it totally locks out people who aren't already Microsoft customers, which seems really counterproductive. Apple got more mindshare with Windows users via the iPod; Microsoft should use the Zune to show that we actually can produce a polished and good product, and maybe you should try our operating system if you like it.

That said, the Zune relies on the desktop software to keep its database consistent; the thing is running Windows Mobile 5, though, which already has Windows Media Player, so it's obviously able to scan storage for media files. It seems like a perfectly reasonable design to allow Mass Storage upload, and then require a scanning period to integrate the files into the library. It would take significant development time, though, just to support a small market that is 99% likely to go for the iPod no matter how good the Zune is. That's a guess; I have no insight into the Zune team, and my lack of connections is the only reason I'm even allowed to guess.

What sort of battery life would that have? I have a Creative 30GB that's great when I can plug it in, but a little clunky, and the battery is starting to fail (and is expensive to replace). Something smaller with better battery life would be nice for some things. :) Also, custom engraving? SHINY.

I would be bidding art, most likely, unless I have/can do something you would prefer. One full-size piece, either desktop-size or 8x10 (whichever is larger, proportions adjustable), subject negotiable but probably 1 or 2 characters and simple background. (My delivery time might be a bit slow, though; my scanner broke the other day, so it would either be a runaround to get a sketch scanned, or sketched directly into the computer, which is more awkward.)

But who would be the 2nd character? :O

Art for Zune. <3

Not going to bid for it. XP; Just a comment saying it's a shame there is no Mass Storage support for it as it disallows some cool things like USB On-the-go.

I already have a Nokia N800 Internet Tablet for my multimedia needs. The battery life isn't formidable and the size as well, but it got a good support for formats and has a nice screen resolution of 800x480 and a little kickstand in the back to kick. :D

Since no one's actually placed a bid yet, figure I'd throw in a bid. Should I win, what may happen to it once it gets behind closed doors at work is not my responsibility.... Mwhahahaha.... MWHAHAHAHA!

Oh, *cough*, I mean $7. >.>

inuki42 and talakestreal have each placed meaningful bids, and of the two, inuki42 is winning. If taren is sincerely interested and clarifies his bid, he's likely to take the lead.

$7 isn't really in the running. :p

I would bother to bid if I had spare change or other goods or services to exchange. Considering MS continue to be dumb in the sense of not selling them over here yet! Otherwise they would be on my Christmas list! My iPod 3G 40GB is now on its second battery. :|

I think they're only selling them where they have a distribution agreement in place for Zune Marketplace content, and I think their agreements are presently USA-only. I'm not sure, though, as I don't work on that team; and if I did, I'm quite certain I couldn't tell you a thing, much less my own gueses. Yay NDAs!

A Zune would be a bit fun, mostly because they are rare over here. Engraved stuff is even fancier! Rumors have it they don't even work with Norwegian windows, but I have an English version on my work PC, so I should manage.

Since I can't think of any possessions I have, can spare, and would be of interest to you, I'm going to make a boring bid of plain ol' cash.
100 USD plus postage, payable over paypal.

This is currently the winning bid. Furthermore, this meets my reserve.

Unfortunately, you'll have to use PayPal twice: once for me for the Zune and shipping to California, and once to Tugrik for shipping to you.

I'm not considering this bid final yet, though. The reason a Zune is hard to get is simple: the bottom is labeled "NOT FOR DISTRIBUTION OUTSIDE THE US". However, I signed no agreement to that effect when I received the Zune. (The team giving them away paid full price, instead of corporate discount price, to avoid the "no reselling for a profit" clause on Company Store merchandise; they expect people who already have Zunes, like me, to sell off their prizes at a profit, which is exactly what I'm doing. The Zune therefore lacks the COMPANY STORE: NOT FOR RESALE sticker.) Also, I'm not a distributor.

That said, I don't know if the software will work for you. I'm quite confident the Zune Marketplace will not, but I have my suspicions that you don't really care about that. (This is probably the reason for the distribution limits; Microsoft probably doesn't have their Zune Marketplace offerings licensed for sale outside of the USA. They'll block that based on IP addresses.)

Please go to http://www.zune.net and download the Zune Software- confirm that it works on your computer. If it doesn't, it won't work to synchronize the Zune, either. And if you find that you hate it too violently to use it even for a bit, well, you'll have that same problem trying to synchronize the thing...

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