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on January 9, 2012
In Sept of 2011 I bought a new 120 GB Zune Gears of War 2 Special edit. Within less than 2 months this device stopped working. It displayed a message that said "contact customer service." Well good luck trying to get customer service from Microsoft!! Microsoft no longer lists a customer service number on the website. They want you to troubleshoot by using the website and the forums. Most of the forum are fellow customers complaining about the lack of customer service. After searching the website for several hours, I finally found the online chat service. Here is where I would like to add that I am an IT professional, so I feel like I know my way around a computer, (and a hint to anyone that is trying to find this online chat; enter through the accounts and billing tab and select more options). The online chat for customer service is well hidden, deep within the website. The online customer service was quite painful, took several days to finally get everything in place for me to return the device for repairs. Almost 3 weeks later, I received a refurbished replacement model. I used the refurbished/replacement device for less than two weeks and this device quit working, and displayed the same "contact customer service" error message. I again went through the whole painful process with online chat support, but this time I was blessed with a rude, condescending agent, who seemed to really hate his job (but I really can't blame him for this part). I was told that the original warranty would be transferred to the replacement device. When I went to place a repair request, the website stated that the model's warranty had expired Feb 2010. O.K., this is a problem since my original purchase was Sept. 2011, and I received the refurbished device in Dec. 2011. After over 2-3 hours of "online support", I was told that I would receive an email within 24-48 hours that would confirm the warranty dates had been corrected; and I would be given further instructions on how to get the second defective device replaced. Five days later, I had not received any communication from Microsoft whatsoever! So back to online support I go. For over 24 hours, the online support was not available with a screen displaying "all agents are busy helping other customers." By the time I finally got to an online agent, I was pretty irate. As the situation escalated, this agent agreed to call me on the phone so he could get a clearer understanding of the whole situation. This guy was calling me from France. Honestly, I was so relieved to finally be talking to a live human on the telephone that I did not care where called me from, or how difficult it was to get through the language barrier. This guy was awesome! At this point, I have been trying to get a functioning device, or a refund of my money, for over two months! He escalated the issue to his supervisor, who in turn escalated the issue to a customer service supervisor in the United States. 30 minutes after this phone call, I received another phone call from the US supervisor. This guy claimed to be shocked, appalled, and very apologetic for the pathetic service I had been receiving, and the fact that I had now received 2 devices that did not work. This is when I am told that Microsoft has stopped making the Zune, opting instead to focus on the manufacturing and marketing of the Windows Phone with Zune capabilities. O.K. Big mistake if you ask me, no way in hell I would even consider another Microsoft product purchase after this experience, especially when other much better devices are available. I am sure that I am not the only consumer that is against how manufacturers think it is O.K. to replace a new, under warranty, yet dysfunctional device with a refurbished device, instead of with another new device or a refund. The US supervisor informs me that since Microsoft is no longer making the Zune, parts and replacements are in short supply. The only restitution that would be offered to me is that my 120 GB special addition device purchased as new just 4 months prior, would now be replaced with an 80 GB refurbished device. I don't think that I am out off line to think that I am getting doubly screwed here!! So my choices are, 1. Have a nonfunctioning 120 GB device that serves as a very expensive paperweight and shell out more money on an iPod; or 2. Accept the pathetic offer of the 80 GB refurbished replacement, still at a financial loss and a loss of memory, and hope that the thing actually works. Yep, there it is, the double screw over! The irony here is, I purchased this particular device, not because of the Gears of War special addition feature, but for the 120 GB memory. So, the moral of my story is, don't waste your money on this particular product, or with a Zune period. It is a big gamble on if the device will work, the Zune has been discontinued, parts and service are in short supply, and Microsoft customer service sucks beyond belief! Buy at your own risk. The only reason I have given this product a one star rating is that it does not allow for negative stars. Oh, and as you read, you may be thinking why did not contact the distributer or Amazon in regard to this issue. I did! I attempted to contact both, and both were slow to respond to emails, the distributer would not give a contact phone number, and both Amazon and the distributer told me it to take it up with the manufacturer.
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on January 7, 2009
I had a 160GB iPod Classic and I was rather impressed with it but then after seeing friend's Zunes and how much more user friendly and sleek they looked always wanted one larger than an 80GB....then Microsoft answered my prayers and made not only a 120GB monster they made one with Gears of War 2 stuff on it!! I finally jumped upon the Zune band wagon and I'm far more impressed with the Zune than the feels really nice in your hand and the iPod seems much heavier....the Zune also seems less prone to destruction such as scratches and the likes as the iPod is cromed out and too shiny all around....but the Zune's laser etched back and design is less scratch prone and much nicer looking all together.....the "Crimson Omen" on the Gears 2 edition is extra it the look gamers and Gears of War fans will drool over......sound quality wise I will give the edge to the Zune as well...for some reason I was listening to my iPod with Bose headphones and noticed far more distortion and crackling in the headphones than the Zune which seemed pretty clear no matter what I listened to....and in my truck through the auxilary port the Zune also seemed to sound more clear and had more precise bass...not to mention the Zune's screen is about double the iPod's size and has better resolution it seems and the Gears of War pictures allows for some cool customizations.....all in all the Zune is a true iPod killer as someone mentioned before...I'm thoroughly impressed with the Zune functionality, sound quality, interface, and over all quality...not to mention the Zune Tunes is every bit as easy to use....drag and drop...a great MP3 player Microsoft has won this old iPod lover over! To protect your investment I recommend a screen protector and the clear Speck Dragon Toughskin so you can still see the ultra-cool "Crimson Omen" etched on the back of your awesome Zune. :-)
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on February 6, 2011
I have had my 120GB G.O.W.Zune for over 2 years now. I must say that I have ever had a problem with hard drives failing, battery life draining, etc. I previously had a 30GB Zune 1st gen, which was also great.
The music quality is only as good as what you put in, be it 128bit-320bit. Zune also allows you to wireless sync your Zune, as long as you have WiFi. This means I can leave my Zune in the living room connected to the stereo, and add and delete content from my Zune from my computer. This does drain the battery significantly, but its nice to have the option.
The only con that i have is with the Zune player software itself, not the desktop software. It allows you to shuffle all albums/songs etc of your collection, but not one particular artist. For example, i can shuffle all of my Metal music, all of my R & B music, or all of my music, but i cannot choose to just shuffle my Pink Floyd collection or any play list. Sometimes, all I want to listen to is a few random Pink Floyd or Santana songs, not every classic rock artist.
The Zune desktop software is great, however, if you are a media info freak like I am, you will get frustrated with the desktop software. The software will NOT change the properties of the music file as WMP does. This gets frustrating as Zune can categorize an Alternative group as a Metal group and vice versa (I don't know how many times Deftones has ended up in my Metal collection....)
If you can look past this and are not a meda info freak like I am, this will not bother you.
Either way, this is still a reliable, sturdy dependable media player that will always strongly recommend...
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on July 18, 2011
The zunes are absolutely great music player. Wifi syncing is an incredibly wonderful time saver, especially when you are a busy person who doesnt always have the time to go and find a cable and let it sit there to copy, its easy to get ready to leave the house while still getting your latest cd added to the zune :). Another major plus is that the zunes actually are able to playback 320kbps sound files, where the ipods typically limit the files to 256kbps (and thats only if you are smart enough to go into the settings and specifically enable support for files over 192kbps files, which is the default on both the ipods and zunes, although i found it was a lot easier to find the spot to turn enable maximum sound file quality on the zune)... 256 vs. 320kbps may not be a huge difference, but there is definitely some extra clarity to the bass and snare, and less enmeshment in bands that tend to use a large number of instruments simultaneously (i.e. its a must for a metalhead ;) )Great battery life, i know that both microsoft and apple claim about the same 35 hours of battery life for music playback on their sites, but being an owner of both a 120gb zune and a previous owner of a 120gb ipod classic, I will say that the zune definitely has the upper hand in battery life, whether you turn the screen on frequently to change songs or not.
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on January 17, 2011
I had one of these devices, and it broke well within warranty. After dealing with very difficult support, I was shipped a replacement, which also died of a hard-drive error well within warranty. This time, it is a whole new ball game. I'm first told that I may be sent an 80gb device and some "premium earphones," then elevated to tier 2 when I explain that that would be in violation of their warranty FAQ as posted. He promised to call me back within 24 to 48 hours, which did not happen. I then called the following day, spoke to several techs who assured me there was nothing they could do, and was promised a call back. The call back was never received, and so I called again. This time, after being told through tier 1 and 2 support, and tier 1 escalation that there was nothing that could be done, I was promised a 120gb device and the return of my defective device, as they had some in stock. The tier 2 escalation rep promised a call back days later, and failed to call back, prompting yet another call. After another hour on hold, I was put in contact with him again, and he frequently spoke over me and changed from apologetic to somehow "referencing notes" that now claim a different scheduled call back time. After earlier promising that no other call back would be missed, he tells me that they may not be able to return this call back on time. Worst service experience ever, will never buy another Zune Product.
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on March 18, 2011
I've had a long history with Zune, from their 8Gig to the now 120Gig. Partnered with Bose ear buds, the sound quality is just plain - perfect, and that is why I bought it in the first place. Pictures, Games, and Social are nice and are like icing on the perfect cake. It has all the features one needs and could possibly want except one - it needs an equalizer function to better experience the music. While the music playback quality is superb in its own right, I would just like the ability to fine tune as I feel necessary for the genre of music I am listening to.

The battery life is excellent and will get you through 24 hours of straight listening easily.

Partnered with the Zune software application and the Bluetooth update/sync feature, I can download music from any vendor, store in my computer and if I want in my Zune 120 it will automatically put it there.

If you're considering the Zune over iPod, I recommend the Zune, as my daughter has an iPod and is frustrated over being locked into iTunes, their pricing and less than robust music selection. If you do your homework and weigh all the features of both, I think you'll find the Zune as the best product for what it was designed for.
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on December 12, 2011
I ordered this unit because I wanted to try a Zune. It arrived, and I could not get it to charge. The vendor suggested I file a repair request with Microsoft because it was purchased new and has a manufacturer warranty. After contacting Microsoft, they indicated that the vendor is NOT an authorized Microsoft vendor, and the warranty expired in 2010. I requested to return it to the vendor because the unit was defective and they refused, saying that because the seal was broken, Zune units are not eligible for return. I then tried filing a claim with Amazon, as Microsoft indicated I should, and they rejected the claim, saying the vendor has a published policy for no returns on Zune. If I was in the market for any electronics (Computers, Flip camcorder, Zune players, ipods, Tabs, Tablets, PC Hardware, Software & projectors- We will not accept any returns if the unit has been open and the factory seal is broken) again, I would NOT buy from this vendor. Bad purchase experience. I now have a lump of Zune metal sitting on my desk. I am not a happy customer.
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on February 8, 2009
I have had the Zune for a few months now, and think its a great all purpose mp3/media player.

The only reason I did not give it 5 stars, is the software is lacking features that power users would want. For instance, you cant drag and drop mp3/media directly to the Zune software (itunes supports this).

Also, microsoft made some dumb assumptions on how people create playlists on the fly while listening to the Zune. The concept of quick playlists was removed during a recent firmware upgrade in favor of something called "now playing" which is not persistant between power cycles. I found this feature not usable.

It only supports wmv and mp4 video formats, which is a typical microsoft annoyance, you end up having to convert alot of divx movies to something the Zune prefers.

Other than that, the Zune works very well. It supports music, movies, podcasts, videocasts (awesome selection of free content), cool games, radio, market place, wireless access to sync and browse the marketplace to download songs. If you have multiple Zunes you can also trade (wirelessly) songs with the others.

If you have an xbox360 and a live account, it integrates with your microsoft points and your xbox360 live account for music purchases and the like. Its all works seemlessly.
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on July 10, 2011
The ZUNE 120 is an awesome mp3 blows away the iPod that is fraught with rules and regulations coupled with a less-than-Zune quality sound reproduction!! I am truly disappointed that Microsoft has discontinued making these amazing players, and only have the 16G and 32G ones for sale. The larger capacity ones can only be found online. I have filled this Zune (it's a present), and another one I own up with over 40G of pure music from my CD collection, and there is still so much more room to add songs, videos, and photos to it. The 'Gears of War' player comes with videos and photos, and a cool skull etched on the back!! Perfect!! This one came from a distributor affiliated with Amazon..though I am not so sure they still are because of California's unreasonable tax laws causing Amazon to eliminate California vendors. (Blame Sacramento legislators and Jerry Brown making this a business-unfriendly state...sad!) Oh well...Zune rocks, and Amazon does too for finding them!! Thanks!!
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on October 2, 2012
After previous experience with both iPod and Zune, I had to snatch one of these before they are gone. From the much friendlier Zune software to the user friendly interface, I prefer Zune any day. That being said, the 120 gb Zune has enough storage for my music and videos. Much lighter than my earlier 30 gb Zune, it maintains a big, clear screen. The opportunity to get a cool, themed unit was a bonus, as the case has a great design, and the pre loaded content is a nerdy plus for gamers. Too bad Microsoft has abandoned the Zune platform and marketplace, as it has been superior to its competitors for awhile. My Zune experience is what led me to Xbox in the first place.
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