Zune, Day 2
Thursday, May 03, 2007 by Dave Winer.
I have a lunch in SF today, which means a BART ride, so I thought I'd take the Zune with me instead of the iPod, to listen to some podcasts and some music, but I can't figure out how to add a folder to the list of folders it synchs up with, or how to even get it to recognize the device (which is attached via a USB port). It might be a Parallels issue. So many pieces of software to get working with each other.
Later... Turning Autoconnect on for USB in Parallels did the trick, although it caused XP to crash but reboots are really fast in this environment. It's synchronizing now. What is it copying onto the device? I have no clue. :-(
So far I've put at least three hours into the Zune, and I haven't managed to get one of my songs or podcasts to play on the device. Granted, a lot of the difficulty has been using the device inside Parallels on a foreign operating system. But, a fair amount of the difficulty has been in getting meaningful feedback from the software. The controls are impossible to find, the settings a first-time user is going to look for aren't there (of course they must be there, but I poked at all the obvious controls and didn't find them). The online help is pretty useless.
It seems the designers of this product could benefit from having a similar goal. Measure the performance of the device in terms of the success of a first-time user. True, in 2002, I had similar problems with the iPod. But it's not 2002 anymore.