Friday, September 18, 2009
Posted by Jason Dunn in "Zune Talk" @ 11:30 AM
As a Zune MVP, my hope is always that I'll be able to bring my experience to bear and help the Zune team improve their products. I have a passion for the Zune to succeed, and to help Zune owners get the most out of their product - that's why Zune Thoughts exists. Unfortunately, the Zune MVPs weren't given a chance to test the 4.0 software prior to release. And, even more unfortunately, the 4.0 software looks like it could have used some broader beta testing - I've never had so much trouble with Zune software as with the 4.0 release.
As evidenced in my Deep Dive series on the 4.0 software, I tried an on-camera install of the full 4.0 software package downloaded from Zune.net, and it failed miserably. Getting the 4.0 software via Windows Update worked on my main "Zune computer", but when I tried to do the same thing on my wife's computer (an HP Slimline running a squeaky clean install of Windows 7) it didn't go so well.
The install completed, but when the software loaded, this is what I was presented with:
Let me decode that for you: the database knew that it had 13,593 songs on it, and 670 different artists, but only one album was listed. I tried exiting and re-starting the software, but it didn't exit and when I tried to re-start the after after a few seconds, I got an error message about the Zune software already running. Sure enough, Zune.exe was still running, even though the UI has exited. I killed the task, and started up the software again. Same problem: only one album listed. I then went into the Song view, selected all the songs, and deleted them from the Zune software. Going into Settings, I clicked on the button to "Restore media previously removed from collection". After a few seconds, my albums started to show up. I clicked on one of them to listen to it while the scan continued, and after a few minutes the software crashed:
Thankfully, after re-starting the software again, the scanning and music listening is still working. I'm left wondering how the 4.0 software, which is based on the 3.x codebase well over a year old, could have become so flaky. This is not a good experience for old, or new, Zune customers. And I haven't even mentioned the disaster that is the photo collection scanning...