Ask ZuneSpring August 2010


It’s almost time to get back to the daily grind fellow college students! We’re just a week from stuffing our fat surpluses in overly snug desks, and gathering more ammunition for our impending fight against “The Man”! Yeah, I’m way to excited to get back to school, but before we break out the freshly sharpened pencils, and currency to purchase some of that culinary disaster we call campus and cafeteria food, let’s first school you on the Zune. Send your email questions to, message us via Twitter at @ZuneSpring, or leave us a voicemail at  1-847-4ZSLive. Now let’s get down to some good old-fashioned education. Schools in for the Fall suckers!


Make it Last Forever

Jake asks “What are your best practices for conserving battery life?”

A: Modern portable devices always have one their trade offs with battery life and Zune is no exception. The more you keep that gorgeous screen on the more battery power you suck down. The more you browse the internet or run apps the closer you come to having a dead battery. Here’s my favorite battery life tips.

When possible, make a playlist. Take away the burden of having the device process anything. Playlists are better on battery life then hitting the play all button. Playing individual albums or artists also helps.

Don’t use the apps. I find that leaving my device’s Wi-Fi on is fine. It’s when you are using it that it becomes a problem. Apps that use the Wi-Fi, drain power at an astonishing rate. The Twitter app is great and all, but is it worth walking home with nothing to listen to?

This is of course the most obvious one, but I’ll list it as well. If you’re worried about your battery dying while you are still on the go, dimming the brightness on the screen may help you get every last second out of your device as you can. By default each Zune is set to the medium screen brightness setting. If you are in a battery crunch go to settings, display, and adjust your brightness to the lowest setting possible.

To Buy or Not To Buy?

David asks “Do you think now is a good time to purchase a Zune HD?”

A: Dave, can I call you Dave? I think purchasing a digital media player this close to the fall is certifiably insane. Each fall Apple, Microsoft, and every other take company worth it’s overly inflated SEC earnings report; hold elaborate press conferences to announce the gear they will be trying to convince you to pre order. Don’t get me wrong, it isn’t a bad time to buy a Zune HD, it’s a bad time to buy any kind of technology. There’s always some poor sap who was crazy enough to purchase a device, just before they know it’s successors is going to hit the streets, then visits forums and social media networks complaining about how he was personally offended that they released a newer model just weeks after he made his purchase. Don’t be a victim!

A Pony Taken Out to Pasture

Ann says “I still don’t get why Windows Media Player is in Windows 7. Zune is better. I read this on from you [“I think you’ll start to see Microsoft continue to fill out the Zune software’s capabilities, in preparation for it’s inclusion in the next version of Windows. In the fall we noticed hidden half implemented support for Internet Radio. Even in the recently released 4.2 update Microsoft added libraries to the software. When people talk iTunes alternatives on Windows they don’t mention Windows Media Player. Why would they? The spotlight is on Zune. Now they’ll add features from Windows Media Player, and once they’re done, it’ll be taken out back and shot, as it should be.”]” You via Dorado: Another Piece in the Zune Puzzle

A: I’ve been singing that tune for years sister. I think they will make the switch to Zune as the standalone install sooner or later but for now, I don’t think Zune is ready for the kind of pressure. There are still features and technologies that are in Media Player that aren’t available in Zune just yet. I think your quote is hilarious if only because that’s been my stance ever since Zune 4. I wasn’t grand standing in that quote. I actually do think Windows Media Player needs to go.

I think that does it here folks, join me next month for another round of questions and answers. As always you can email us at, message us via Twitter at @ZuneSpring, or leave us a voicemail at  1-847-4ZSLive. I look forward to your inquiries!

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