Zune-alicious: The Setup & Software

[Ed. note: If you haven’t already, then first read about the Zune unboxing here.]

After removing the Zune from its box, it was time to begin the software installation. This process took about ten minutes total, but since I was working on other things while doing it, the time passed quickly.

The following pictures are a series of screen shots captured during and after the setup process, including some screen shots of the Zune music store. All screen shots are thumbnails, so clicking on them will show them in full size.

To get started, the CD must be inserted; the setup program will connect to the internet and start looking for updates…

…agree to the user agreement, and then…

…begins the actual installation. This part probably takes the longest – five or six minutes.

The computer must be reset, and then comes the configuration and personalization.

Here’s where I entered the code for the free two weeks of Zune Pass. So far I am really enjoying the $15/month service – I think I will be keeping it past the trial period.

Since I already had music on an external hard drive, I imported it all to the Zune library.

And that’s it – setup is done!

Now let’s take a look at the Zune Marketplace; this is the screen you’ll see when you first enter.

You can search by artist’s name, album, song…

…by genre or year.

Now let’s take a look at some of the more specialized screens. The first is the screen showing the videos in my library.

Here are a couple of the views showing the albums in my library as well as a close-up on one’s contents.

But since I have the all-you-can-eat pass for at least two weeks, I want to show how you can download almost anything in the Zune Marketplace library to yours. Each album, when chosen, will display a series of choices. This one shows Buy, Play, Download or Tell A Friend. I just hit download, and so it begins…

It is always possible to check active downloads by hitting the button under marketplace

Just about any band you can imagine – even some of the more obscure ones – are on Zune. Most can be downloaded with no problem, but there are some interesting exceptions.

This particular album is shown on the marketplace, but it is not available for purchase, download or play. A very cool feature is that it shows the songs I already have in my library.

This album is available for purchase, but not for download or play.

This album is not available for purchase or download, but it can be played on the computer.

Visualizations may be displayed while songs are playing…

…and you can either set the player to automatically sign in on future visits or require passport information.

This email came after I had activated my trial…

Dear Judie Hughes,

This mail is confirmation that you successfully activated Zune 14-day Trial Pass on Tuesday, November 14, 2006. Here are the details:

Congratulations! You just received a 14 day trial to an all access pass to explore the world of Zune. With your 14 day trial Zune Pass subscription, you have ‘all you can eat’ access to millions of songs in the Zune Marketplace. You can explore to your heart’s content, listen to that new album (or old classic) you have been thinking about, even explore new genres – and then download the music to your Zune and take it with you. You can listen to the songs you download for the duration of your subscription period. You can still purchase songs or albums individually if you like and you can cancel at any time. For information about how to manage your account or how to purchase an additional Zune Pass, go to www.zune.net/meetzune/accounts/. Rock on.

If you have any questions, please go to www.zune.net/support or call Zune Customer Support at 1 (877) GET-ZUNE.
Thank you for using Microsoft Online Services.

The Microsoft Zune team.

What I Like so far: Easy to navigate, huge music selection, all-you-can-eat monthly plan is about the same as purchasing a CD a month while allowing access to millions of songs.
What Needs Improvement: I’m pretty happy so far…

More later!


About the Author

Judie Lipsett Stanford
I've had a fascination with all types of gadgets and gizmos since I was a child, beginning with the toy robot that my grandmother gave my brother - which I promptly "relieved him of" in 1973. I'm a self-professed gadget magpie. I can't tell you how everything works, but I'm known world-wide for using a product until I have a full understanding of what it does, what its limitations are, and if it excels in any given area — or not.