Saturday, August 6, 2011

What Microsoft can do to improve Zune Player user experience

Some time back I said that I had enough of iTunes and moved to Zune Software as the default media player and podcast downloader. I am quite pleased with it, but it with no flaws. There are few things they can do to make it a much much better software.

Here’s my list.

1. Double clicking the video playing window doesn’t make it run full screen. Almost all the software work like that, but there is a first to everything. But that is not a good thing at all. Add that feature.

2. Make that timeline longer! How can we precisely navigate to a location like that? Dumb! It stays the same size even when you maximize the window. Make it navigate using the mouse, scroll for going forward and backwards just like JetAudio. (Following is the actual size of the timeline)

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3. And we need a way to set keyboard shortcuts. Shortcuts to go into different pages, shortcuts to easily pause and resume track CTRL + P is such a crap key combination) Make proper use of the mice with lots of buttons. Winking smile 

4. Make it manage music just like iTunes does. What I am saying is, when you drag and drop music files onto the player, it should make folders for Artist, Album and rename the music and copy to the location you specify in the settings. Bring that feature. That is one of the two reasons why I have to use iTunes. Other being that I have an iPhone, but even if I had a Windows Phone or Android, I will still have to use iTunes to media management.

5. Support more music formats. Let me rephrase it; support all the formats Windows Media Player supports. These are the few formats it supports at the moment.

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6. And also it should cache the thumbnails. It always reloads them. While it is not ugly as Windows Explorer, as in it first shows the files and then generate the thumbnails, Zune does it nicely. But still, it would be faster, if it saved thumbnails. Heck, why cannot it use the readily available Windows’ own thumbnail cache??

These are the issues I see at a quick glance. I’m sure there are more, but at least these should be fixed or introduced with the next version, or an update. Then it would be an awesome music manager, player and podcast downloader. (Of course I haven’t used it with a Windows Phone, which is a major feature of the software, and I’m sure I will find more problems when I explore that area.)

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