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Chris G. Williams Beware: I mix tech and personal interests here.
I recently received a review copy of this e-book, and as someone who not only owns but enjoys his zune, I was pretty stoked to read it and see if there was anything I didn't already know about. There was, but more on that in a bit.

Eight Great Ways to Get the Most From Your Zune is part of the O'Reilly Shortcuts series. The material is concise, nicely organized and ultimately very helpful. I picked up a couple tips here and there. In fact, I would give this book a glowing recommendation to any Zune newbie if not for one thing.

The author of this book, Erica Sadun, appears to have a real axe to grind with Microsoft. It's no secret, I like Microsoft. I like their products, their culture and I have a lot of friends that either work there or feel the same way. So, to be blunt, portions of this book were offensive.

The author makes comments throughout the book, such as: "The player is called “Zune”. The software is called “Zune”. Confusing, isn’t it? Unfortunately, that’s the way Microsoft designed things." or "If a file will not play back, it may be because of the media restrictions associated with the file. (We’re talking Microsoft here, after all.)" At one point, the author explains how to turn off the Zune Customer Experience Improvement Program, in a section titled "Opting Out of Big Brother."

To me, this goes beyond factual and to the point, instead becoming opinion. Does this kind of book really need the personal commentary? I could certainly do without it, and the quote from Steve Jobs trashing the concept of sharing via Zune. (No joke...)

Ok, so enough complaining. Does the book, despite its flaws, achieve its purpose? Yes it does. It's priced attractively at less than $10 and is an ebook so you can put it on the pc/laptop you sync your zune to. All the technical info and walkthroughs are accurate, with loads of screenshots.

If you can get past the annoying tone the author takes, it's a good reference.

Overall recommendation: BUY
Pros: good info, very helpful, lots of tips.
Cons: snarky and condescending tone. Posted on Tuesday, March 27, 2007 3:54 PM Reviews | Back to top



Comments on this post: Eight Great Ways to Get the Most From Your Zune - a review

# re: Eight Great Ways to Get the Most From Your Zune - a review
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I like your review, but you do fail to see one thing: The personal commentary may not be liked by you, because you appear to be a very logical person who likes the facts, and then a just-get-on-with-it approach.

Personally, I like facts with a bit of interspersed humour. That's just me. So the book is trying to cater towards all types of readers - the factual, the short-attention spanned ones like me, the emotional ones, and the process-oriented ones.

Look through the eBook again and see if there are parts which list the process, and then says something nice about it.

However, too much of off-topic banter is something which is bad. If the book is like that, then I'll heartily agree with you.

Left by David on Mar 27, 2007 9:27 PM

# re: Eight Great Ways to Get the Most From Your Zune - a review
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Thanks for your comments.

I read the book "cover to cover" 3 times, and I looked up specific things from the contents to gauge the usefulness as a reference.

I don't have a problem with jokes or humor. I do have a problem with "irony", sarcasm and condescension in a technical publication.

Snarky comments have no place in what is effectively a how-to book. They detract from the useful material.

I covered the good and the bad about the book. Not much more I can do.
Left by Blogus Maximus on Mar 27, 2007 10:21 PM

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