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Random Zune thoughts:

  • Is it a requirement to use the 200x200 JPG album art that is usually 10-12 KB in size? Stretched to 240x240, the quality is poor. If the average song is 3 minutes @ 192 kbps (roughly 4 MB) and the average album is 12 songs, the Zune can hold about 575 albums. Doubling the album art quality would reduce the Zune capacity by a whopping 1.5 songs.
  • Zune Marketplace downloads are 192 kbps WMA files. Even played through $30 headphones, the audio quality over a 128 kbps MP3 is dramatic. I kinda wish I hadn't ripped all my CDs into 128 kbps just to save a little drive space. I'd still use MP3 as support is so ubiquitous.
  • The preloaded content is a blast. Having so many music videos, video clips, pictures and music right out of the box was a great idea. It will also introduce the musically-limited to some great bands.
  • Losing the preloaded content sucks. Don't partner the Zune up to any old computer thinking you'll just re-partner to your media machine later. If you need to change the partnership, all content on the device is removed, including the preloaded stuff. I hadn't even seen/heard all of it yet!

Ooh, you ripped to 128, ouch! That's nothing though... one of E's friends got a new Forester a few years ago and offered to take us for a spin. Not only did he embarrass himself trying to drive the thing, he was thoughtful enough to put in some MP3 CD's he had made. He bragged about how he ripped them at 96kbps because you can fit so much more on one CD and because (oh God) "you can't tell the difference anyway." Now, I am no audiophile by a long shot... but I bet even a deaf person could tell the difference. He CRANKED IT UP, too. Oh, the humanity.

There's been speculation that Apple will be able to preload iPods with content since settling the case with Apple (the Beatles' record company) recently (like, a couple of weeks ago). They were restricted from doing so up til now because distributing media in that manner would have been grounds for confusing Apple Inc. with Apple Records. I'm not saying they will, but they will be able to. I heard a prediction that they will come out with a "Beatles iPod" now which seems probable to me. They're supposed to be getting the Beatles' catalog in iTunes soon, and the Beatles are Steve-o's favorite band I think. That'd be kinda cool.

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