ZuneHD launched, apparently

Microsoft's ZuneHD is obviously an excellent gadget: small, beautiful and high-end. But the service is broken on launch day, making it impossible to access pretty much anything on a device that can't do anything interesting or new without this access. The marketplace is inaccessible ("Try again later") and my first two hours with it have been an exploration of "unknown" errors like C00D11CD, which could be a DRM failure, a full Zune, a full hard drive, or a network error (that's a bingo!) I was able to get the Zune 4 software installed, at least, so am able to copy music to it that I already own. Sounds great. Update: It's fixed! Things are downloading right now. Update II: It's not fixed! It lets me see the apps and stuff and I can click "download," and it tells me its "100% downloaded," but then it changes its mind and says Can't Download. I'll click on some more stuff and see what happens. Update III: At last! Apps are now IN COLLECTION. This stuff wouldn't be that big of a deal were it not for the fact that the service side is where the magic is. (Moreover, the ZuneHD doesn't do anything out of the box, not even appearing as a removable drive: it must be sync'd to a Windows PC first and updated.)

About Rob Beschizza

Rob Beschizza is the Managing Editor of Boing Boing. He's @beschizza on Twitter and can be found on Facebook too. Try your luck at besc...@gmail.com  
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21 Responses to ZuneHD launched, apparently

  1. haineux says:

    So, since Rob didn’t mention it, I checked Gizmodo, and apparently:

    1) Zune is in stores, for sale, today. Presumably one can walk in and purchase.

    2) Giz confirms that the Zune software is not actually on the hardware until you download and install it. (This is probably due to them developing right up to the wire. Yes, Apple has also had a similar problem in the past.)

    3) Giz didn’t seem to have a lot of trouble downloading at 0330, and there’s no great outcry of frustrated Zune Guys on The Interwebs. Or at least on Fark and Ciz.

  2. styrofoam says:

    I think the inability to use the Zune prior to today was billed as a ‘feature’. It sounds like so much has changed on the back end that there must not have been a graceful way to do it, and they knew a bandaid approach was better.
    Not sure when Rob’s last update was, but it looks like they were hitting the ‘prime time window’. Sucks for people that may have been up at midnight hoping for a zune, but… seriously? c’mon.

  3. Charlie says:

    “Full Zune” sounds kind of dirty.

  4. Crashproof says:

    While I’m sticking with my Zune 120, I updated the software and firmware today without a hitch.

  5. zikman says:



    a pithy statement reminding the user exactly what they are to expect.

  6. unknown-error says:

    How is it anyone has “distrust” for M$ when Apple is literally writing the book on hardware and software control. You guys are lapping up these terminal goods (short life span) all the while ignoring the fact that soon you wont be able to access the actual content you buy/rent without either of the big brothers’ approval. I for one will stay with the small troubled platforms with there novel incarnations. I never have to update, I can always play my content and never have to worry about DRM/Hybrids. When we go full digital distribution I will sit back and enjoy my legacy tech and all my pedestrian media (archived) and smile while you guys wait for approval. Whether you M$ or Jobs fan-boy “wake up and avoid the techs like the plague”

  7. michaeljohnprince says:

    is microsoft seriously this inept?

    These poor guys are never going to catch a break. It’s starting to get frustrating to watch Apple do this with ease (with a wounded CEO!) and Microsoft can’t keep up with all cylinders firing.

    Sad… epic fail.

  8. dculberson says:

    I’m no MS apologist, being an iPod owner myself, but Apple has also had a lot of problems on launch days. Not quite as many as Microsoft, of course.

  9. styrofoam says:

    “3) Giz didn’t seem to have a lot of trouble downloading at 0330, and there’s no great outcry of frustrated Zune Guys on The Interwebs. Or at least on Fark and Ciz.”

    Both of them, you mean?

    I’m really enthralled by the Zune, but I think it has mostly to do with “teh shiny” and HD radio tagging, which isn’t that big of a deal.

  10. GizReader says:

    When I first turned on my Apple Touch, it too, “doesn’t do anything out of the box.” Just sayin.

  11. jberlin says:

    They don’t need a break and they aren’t poor. What would help is good management, something they clearly do not have.

  12. ridestowe says:

    can I connect this to my mac? or is it pc only?

  13. matt blank says:

    Mine is sitting in a UPS truck out in the west Utah desert somewhere right about now. Hopefully it’s fixed tonight when I get home. Poor MS. They have a chance to do well with this since it’s something that actually innovates and competes. Lets hope they don’t completely screw up.

  14. Antijoe says:

    This, along with my general distrust of M$ means that I’ll be avoiding the Zune like the plague!

  15. haineux says:

    And, for those that are watching the Zune HD launch with interest from the sidelines, DaringFireball explains, in one sentence, why the Zune HD is NOT any serious threat to the iPod Touch or iPhone:


  16. bex says:

    Looks interesting wonder if it will be released in the UK if so it would have to be tweaked to get DAB as there is no HD radio over here

    I assume that there has been a rush to tweak it so that is why it has no firmware installed

  17. Rob Beschizza says:

    PC only AFAICT

  18. bex says:

    the chip (SP1010) used for the hd radio supports DAB as well so I assume depending on the firmware it would work OK on European types of digital raidio if it ever gets over here.

  19. styrofoam says:

    I can’t knock MS for having connectivity issues when rlling out a new platform and way to connect multiple users (I’m guessing that it’s not as slammed as the iPhone registration servers, but there’s a big chunk of code being downloaded right now, and platform being moved to.)

    On the other hand… error messages REALLY need to mean something. It’s not like there’s not enough room to say, “The app store doesn’t appear to be up right now. Try again!”

  20. Brandon West says:

    After the nightmare I had trying to activate my iPhone, this doesn’t seem that bad.

  21. north says:

    You would think they would have rolled out the software/network side a week ago so as to have a smooth launch when the hardware hit.
    At least that’s what I would have done, and I’m an idiot.

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