If you don’t want to read my somewhat long description about it right now, then skip it, and start reading under the dashed lines. That’s where my wishlist is.
The Zune software + Zune Marketplace(or ZuneM) is pretty much like WMP 11 + URGE, and iTunes + iTunes store, except worse. Really bad. Has the same looks and elements of WMP 11 + URGE, model of iTunes + iTunes Store, but put together in a horrible way.
It’s somewhat uglier than both of them, crashes sometimes than both of them, not as full featured as the both of them, and is (like I said) not as good as the both of them. Personally, I think WMP is better than the Zune Software and iTunes. It definitely wins in looks, simplicity, and just works. So, what do I have to say?
Here’s pretty much what I think that the Zune Marketplace/Zune software should improve on:
- DRM-less tracks offered – People need that option. I want to do whatever I want with the media I purchased. NO restrictions!
- More media – Videos is a definite need right now. Where are they? I can find some songs on iTunes that I can’t find on ZuneM. Audiobooks? TV shows? Movies? Games? Podcasts? If it’s possible to get that stuff on Xbox Live, why not ZuneM? Lyrics support is also widely needed. I would love to see the lyrics along with the music playing. A major feature needed that isn’t currently available. Official lyrics playing on my Zune would be better than printing off a nasty lyrics site.
- Better looking theme – These days, looks count as much as the stability of the software itself. A glossy black theme, with white text, reflective album art, neat visual effects, interactive features, stuff like that. May be over the top, but it would work. Better than the 1970’s style-indie-rock-groovy style they’ve got going on. It’s kind of yucky.
- Payment by real currency – Many people complain about this. What’s with the point system? Especially one that’s hard to remember how to convert? Many people don’t complain about the Xbox Live way of purchasing. But then again, not everybody is a gamer, but there are a sure lot of music lovers. So please, ditch the Microsoft Points system, and use the real currency in the country. Much more easier than trying to re-teach the population how it works.
- International music – Where’s the support for other markets? Zune isn’t yet (as of now) sold in other countries, but many people have a love for international music, and there shouldn’t be a region lock preventing the purchase of music from foreign countries. We really need that.
- Web browser purchase – Buying right off the internet would be convenient if we’re away from our personal computers. Sort of similar to the old MSN Music service(although it has to be way more similar to the new Zune Marketplace I’m talking of right now) you can just sign-in to your account, and download tracks on-the-go. Works great and efficiently for travelers. Needs to be well advertised too, or nobody will notice. It could also be located on the MSN Music site, and would be a great accessory to get more people to visit that site.
- Possible migration to WMP 11 – Sorry, they tried, but the Zune software is just horrible. I don’t see what’s the harm of putting it on WMP 11. I’m tired of the Zune trying to imitate that iPod + iTunes model with their own Zune + Zune (software) model. It’s just not working. Especially when it’s still kind of buggy. WMP 11 is so great. So please, consider putting Zune Marketplace on WMP 11. That would also make it work with other players that use WMP, and thus add more sale. Even if they’re not using a Zune, ZuneM gets a nice wad of cash from possible buyers of other players. Smart move, if you ask me.
- Tour of ZuneM – A nice on-screen tour to show the neat touches to the new Zune Marketplace would be helpful. Show newbies how it works, and how to optimize it for yourself. Would be better than exploring on your own without a clue.
- Popularity bars – The iTunes Store has bars next to each media item, to show the popularity rating. It’s very helpful sometimes, and I find myself wanting to buy it, after I test a sample. The ZuneM’s way of showing popularity, is just by putting media at the top of the list. Not very helpful I should say.
Zune (software) itself:
- Option: Stop using it – Like I’ve said for the millionth time, put Zune Marketplace on WMP 11 and allow Zune management on there. It’s so buggy, that it’s hard to believe and update could fix it. A migration to WMP 11 is better than working on fixing the current software.
- WPF/Silverlight app. – Based on what I’ve seen of it, doing that would really promote that platform if they do it correct. Nice and slick, it would be a great way to work with music management. Just make it nice, and people will love it. Although WMP could get the same bit of treatment, and be nicer than it already is.
- Make it faster – Sometimes, it takes like a lot of seconds to open it. Browsing can take a while. Syncing takes a while. I don’t know exactly how it all works, but always increasing the speed/efficiency of the Zune software would be nice.
- iTunes-to-Zune converter – rips off the DRM off of iTunes purchases, and can now work with the Zune. I don’t think there’s anything illegal about this. It’s just simply taking it one step further.
- Keep some elements of the old one – Even though I (and many others) complain about it, there are some touches that I would like it to keep. Like the breadcrumb navigation, visual stacks effect at the left of the media controls when music is playing, and that’s about it.
That’s really about it. That’s the most I could come up with. Just improve on the Zune Marketplace, consider migrating ZuneM and Zune management over to WMP 11, and ditch the old Zune software. That’s pretty much every Zune owners’ dreams. So please, consider doing these options. If you have any more wishlist items that should be included, please put a comment, and I might add it. Thanks.