Back in February I wrote a review on my new Zune, which I am still enjoying, mostly due to the FM radio, I might add, but I wanted to spend a little time on the app I am using to pull down my video and audio feeds.
I had an iPod before, and will preface this review by noting that the first annoyance I had was that the software wasn’t as 1-step easy as the iTunes software, but that is the price you pay for a more open player I suppose. More on that when I discuss the sync process in a moment, but I will say this is the only problem I had with the software, and I was promised that later versions will answer this issue.
Download and Setup:
The first step to using the software is to download it from feedyourzune.com. The process is painless and once installed, the program loads with a handful of sample channels and your fireant feed. These samples are easily deleted, thanks to a recent requested addition (so I’ve seen on a few message board rants).
The service allows you to add feeds seperately, or to add shows directly from your fireant account. If you choose the former, a simple copy/paste of the RSS feed is required, much like adding show feeds in iTunes. If you choose the latter, you must first open a fireant account and the management of that account is online at fireant.tv. The process herein is even easier, providing the show that you want to watch is one of those listed at fireant. Adding a show is a simple one-click event, and the resulting feed in your FeedYourZune software includes all the shows that you are currently subscribed to download.
Because I watch/listen to a variety of shows, some are not listed at Fireant, so my software contains both the fireant feed and a dozen or so other individual show feeds. You can see a few of them above.
Syncing Your Zune:
The major issue I had with the software was the sync process. Again, I will say that this is to be fixed in a soon-to-be-released revision. From Josh at FeedYourZune:
Currently, FeedYourZune adds all downloads to the Zune software, which you can then use to sync to your Zune device.
For a future release of FeedYourZune, we are working on direct connection to the Zune device and transcoding media files to ensure they will be able to play on your Zune.
Currently though, the way it works is that the FYZ software refreshes the individual feeds everytime you open the software. Then, you have the option of downloading whichever episodes tickle your fancy, and then you have to open the Zune software and sync from there. Not painless, but worth the trouble to avoid iTunes, in my opinion.
It apppears to me that the software is monetized by the Zune accessory advertising in the far left corner. Some, I’m sure, will complain about that, but for me, that was not something that I minded. In fact, I rather enjoyed seeing the accessories as they are in short supply locally.
I’m sure there are more items to cover, but for me the whole process was a breeze. As I said, I have read a variety of annoyed message board posts, so I think the early version of this software was probably much more ‘beta’ than even this ‘preview release’, but all in all I liked the software enough to make it my primary means of video/audio feed delivery.
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