Getting Started with Zune: 7 Hours of Hell

imageI’ll preface this whole thing by saying that I’ve been a hold out when it comes to a "media device".  I have never owned an MP3 player, iPod, Zune before.  I was getting ready to buy an iPod touch, but got swayed by the excitement of the Zune launch that I had to see what it was all about.  I got a Zune Arts Original ("Bird 2") with my name inscribed on it.  I’ve been anxiously awaiting the arrival of my Zune80 in the mail. Opening the box was like getting a present in the mail: a beautiful white box with a gold envelope and suede satchel inside.  I quickly took my Zune out of it’s home and turned it on – hoping to immediately experience some of the music and videos that I knew came pre-installed on the device.  Instead, sadly, the message I got was:

Please go to

Or something to that affect.

When I try to type the URL in from memory I was directed to an error page on the Zune site.  I finally was able to navigate on my own, through the Zune web site, to a getting started page where I was instructed to install the Zune software.

Even though I had already created a Zune ID I still chose the "Download and Sign Up" option because I wasn’t sure if there was something else that I was supposed to sign up for.  When you’re already signed in to your Zune ID the "Download and Sign Up" button is confusing because it routes you to a page to customize your Zune card.  If it knows that I’m already signed up – why does it even show me the button?!  Stupid, but I can overlook that.

So I navigate back to the download page and click the download button.  Then I watch the progress dialog update itself to inform me that I have 2 hours, 37 minutes and 8 seconds more to wait before my Zune software is installed and I can being using my Zune.  WTF!?!

I decide to let it run – what other choice to I have?  I then immediately head to the Zune forums looking for troubleshooting topics on the issue.  I rummage around the site and can’t find what I’m looking for.  I spent another fruitless hour conducting Internet searches in hope of finding something – zilch!  2 hours later the install times out.  AWESOME!

So then I get the bright idea to save the installer to disk before trying to run this.  An hour and half later, I complete this successfully.  Now I’m ready!

NOT!  I run the Zune installation software and it gives me an error saying it can’t complete and redirects me to a KB article.  I then install the package from the KB article.  This takes another 2.5 hours.

Now I’m really ready!  Let’s get to it, f’ing Zune!

NOT!  I try to run the "startzune" executable extracted onto my system and it fails the same way.  I then have to rummage through a mysterious "x86" folder and randomly click on the various installer packages in there to figure out which one might be the fix for my problem.


After each "package" I try, I repeat my attempt to run the installer and continue to fail 2 more times.

I then go back to my desktop to try to run some of the other things that were extracted from the KB article installer and realize there is a shortcut for the Zune software on my machine.  Somehow it magically got installed.  I click it and it launches.  Great…but weird.

Just as I began to think that I solved my problem and I’m now really ready to use my Zune I have to get a firmware update:


Just another half hour – no big deal – it’s already been 5 and-a-half HOURS!

Now, officially 7 hours later, I’m synching my music to my Zune.  Maybe tomorrow I’ll get to actually listen to something.

Dare I say I’m wishing I got the iPod Touch.  F$*#!
This Zune better get really good, really quick!



  1. Heather said

    You\’ve left me speechless Becky – totally unacceptable first run experience imho!!!

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