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June 07, 2007

Zune Software Installer Needs Improvement


I was in the middle of writing an entry about the Zune, when it occurred to me that the iPod attracts so much attention, it seems hardly anyone realized that the real competition isn't the iPod, it's iTunes.  After all, without iTunes the iPod is just sleek paperweight.  I thought if anyone wouldn't overlook the importance of making a great music jukebox and music store, it would be Microsoft with all it's emphasis on software.  So I began downloading the Zune software to check out how it compared to iTunes.  The first thing the installer does is check for updates.  Huh?  I just downloaded it, how could there be updates?  Somehow though, there are, and it has to download them.  This on top of the time I spent downloading the installer.  Finally it finishes with the updates, and I get this lovely "Installation Error" message above.  Wow.  There's a link on the screen so I click it which instructs me to dive into Windows Event Viewer to try to figure out what happened.  Double Wow.  This is where the average person would just give up.  I've been using Windows since forever, installed countless applications, and this is the first time I've had to look in Windows Event Viewer to troubleshoot an installation.  Also I've used every version of iTunes since version 4, and I've never had any installation problems.  Now, I don't own a Zune, I just wanted to try out the program, which you'd think would be something Microsoft would want to encourage.  But this experience has been totally disappointing and frustrating.  I even found myself getting annoyed at the language on the help page:

Use the information in the Date and Time columns to locate the events that were logged for MsiInstaller during the time that you could not complete the Zune software installation.

Are you kidding me?  When "I" could not complete the installation?!  It's the Zune installer that couldn't complete the installation, and somehow I'm getting blamed.  The copy should read more like "during the time when the Zune software installation failed."  Microsoft really needs to work on Zune software installation experience and try to keep from blaming users for their software problems in help documentation.  I'm going to work on installing it again tomorrow, even though it really doesn't deserve another chance.


I don't know what people do. Or rather what they have done to their computer. But I've installed it on both my home built computers, a computer running Vista, and I know of about 6 other people that have installed it, no issues.

That being said, I know it is an issue for some people.
I've bought songs with the Zune Marketplace, the software works excellent for me. I love the Zune. Who knows, maybe I'm just lucky.


Here's a little rundown of what it took to actually get the Zune software installed.

When I spoke to a Zune tech support I was told me that for some reason the problem can be traced to a default setting on some computers. So most likely, I and other people with similar problems, didn't do anything to cause the problem...

I own both a Zune and iPod. It took me about 30 minutes to get iTunes software installed and all of my songs, pics, and videos onto my iPod. Not a single problem....EVER. It to me weeks to get the same progress done with my Zune. It took forever to convert all the video files. It actually crashed my pc repeatedly. iTunes never once crashed, still to this day not once. I can convert files in no time with iTunes, a mere pipe-dream with Zune software. I don't know how many times I threw something across the room because Zune crashed during video conversion. And thats all before you start to use it regularly for maintenance and updates and updating you're library. It also likes to just occasionally remove a random file from you're library when you synch it. You may also find that it has a mind of it's own when updating album covers. POSITIVE NOTE (1/1) You can use any picture for an album cover, thats kinda cool. But I'll sacrifice that feature and decided never to update my Zune again and just uninstall it. Why, you ask when I can just leave it there and not use it? Because Zune software occasionally crashes when it is NOT RUNNING. It has crashed my pc when I wasn't even using it.

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