A couple of weeks ago, I purchased a new HP computer from Circuit City. The machine is pretty nice and runs Vista Home Premium, 64bit. Just about everything I’ve thrown at the OS has been problem free. All but the bloody Zune Marketplace software. It’s been nothing but a headache. I’m having sign in issues, content that I’ve purchases no longer plays or, in some cases, does not even show up in the software. I purchased several videos from the Marketplace. Two of them I had to download twice..the first time I downloaded them, they only showed up as .TMP files. I was able to figure out what they were, but I bought them to watch on the bloody player. So, I downloaded them again. This time, they downloaded correctly and, after RESTARTING the Zune software, they showed up under Collections/Video/TV. The next video I purchased also required a second download. However, no amount of restarts seems to matter…they just refuse to show up in the software. I can see them in Windows Explorer and even PLAY them using the Windows Media Player. BUT…when I right click on them and select Play with Zune, the Zune software tells me that the content was purchased elsewhere and it refuses to play them.
I never had a real problem with the Zune Marketplace software until now. I would read the forum posts in the Zune.net forums and see the problems that other said they had. Some of them, though, I just dismissed because the writers seem to want to find problems and publicly berate the Zune and those who use. I am starting to think, though, that those people were not far from the mark. I like the Zune allot. I love the Marketplace software. But these problems are frustrating enough to make me want to move elsewhere. I am hoping it is just a problem with the 64 bit version of the Marketplace software and that a fix will be coming. I should not have to reboot my computer before using the software nor should I have to restart the software every time I purchase something. If I do, I will spend the rest of points and never buy anything again from the Marketplace.
Microsoft needs to make sure that everyone has a great experience with Zune. There is far too much competition out there for them NOT to ensure a great experience. Granted, Zune Marketplace and iTunes are the only real ecosystems, I could surely marry the Amazon MP3 store to a nice smartphone (like the PRE when it is out) and use Microsoft’s own sync technology to move content around. I have no problems doing so. And, I’m sure, others would not have a problem doing so. Most ‘normal’ people would just buy an iPod. As atrocious as iTunes is, it does work. It may insist that the iPod you’ve had for a year is new every time you use it, it still PLAYS YOUR CONTENT.