Here’s what I did after getting my new Zune HD (and after charging it):
I first installed the new Zune Software 4.0 on my Desktop PC to have the latest version for use with my new Zune HD. After which, I plugged in my Zune HD and immediately got a message stating that I need to upgrade my Zune HD firmware to the latest version.
After doing so, my firmware was upgraded from 4.0 to 4.1 which was fine with me! Then, I went under “settings” in the Zune software and began to adjust the different options and identified my folders for monitoring and syncing my videos, music, and podcast files. I also configured the “Wireless Syncing” to connect to my home router (with WEP passcode). I normally don’t wirelessly sync (since it is so slow), but I thought configuring this setting was necessary for use with the Internet browser. When I was all done, I then started the syncing process.
The videos on my system seemed to sync significantly slower than on my Zune 80, which I’m guessing is because the Zune HD uses a flash drive while the Zune 80 has a physical platter disk drive. Roughly, it seems about 4-5 times longer to sync my WMV video files on the Zune HD verses the Zune 80. During the syncing I examined the temporary “transcoding” folder that the Zune software uses for converting videos to Zune-compatible format, and I did notice several .tmp files being generated (which could indicate conversions being made). It’s hard to say if the Zune Software was required to convert my video files from the WMV format designed for the Zune 80 to a different spec for the Zune HD, but that might be the reason for the slow syncing. I’ll need to check out the actual spec numbers for compatible videos on the Zune HD and see if they are different for the Zune 80.
Also, during the syncing process the screen on my Zune HD turned off and I need to press the lower center button to have the screen light up again showing the “SYNCING…” display.
I should note that my Zune HD didn’t have any games or apps installed by default. You need to go to the Marketplace in the Zune Software to select desired games and apps for download. It’s noted on the apps download page that the available apps and games are only compatible with the Zune HD, so the older Zunes won’t be able to run them.
From what I can tell there were 7 games available (e.g., Chess, Sudoku, Texas Hold’Em, Hexic, etc) a Weather app and basic calculator app. Just for kicks, I downloaded both apps for testing on my Zune HD. The calculator app looked pretty nice because it can be displayed in both portrait and landscape mode.
So with my handful of music files (243 MB), 26 video files (9.5 GB), picture files (8.4 MB), assorted podcast files (800 MB), and a few games and app files (35 MB), I’m using up a reported 10.6 GB of space leaving me with 19 GB free. So, that’s really not too bad for my standard usage, as it gives me some more room to store a few more TV shows and podcasts.
What’s also nice, is that I can have both my Zune 80 AND Zune HD connected to my Desktop PC at the same time, and the Zune Software will sync both devices. I’m not sure if that was possible with the older Zune Software, but it is definitely doable with the 4.0 version.
In some upcoming postings, I’ll review the actual usage of the Zune, playback experience, and how well the games and apps work on my new Zune HD.