It's been a long while since I posted anything completely off topic, so bear with me.
I'm a Zune guy. Not the fancy HD version and not with functionality built into a Windows Phone. No, I have a first generation, 120 GB, big old Zune. It sounds great, holds more content than I will ever need, and works just fine. I do find that I like the convergence of having content on my phone. My upcoming choice between sticking with a Motorola Droid (which I love) and a Windows Phone is for another day.
The thing that people don't appreciate about the choice between MP3 players is the desktop side of things. Every time I have to deal with one of the iTunes accounts in my house, I am reminded how much better the Zune desktop client is than iTunes. For starters, while iTunes is entirely functional in its design, the Zune client has an appealing look to it. But, the main thing is that when I plug in my Zune, it syncs new content, removes played podcasts, and generally does what it is supposed to do without any fuss. I can't say that is true of iTunes. For whatever reason, I find I am often struggling with iTunes to get it to sync properly and, almost more important, to understand exactly what it is doing. We use our mobile devices for podcasts more than anything else, and maybe that is an area where iTunes is weak.
The Zune client also provides really good recommendations for content. It's "mix view," which shows how artists relate to one another, is also great. I don't use many of the social features built into Zune. I wish they would be adopted to the podcast market. It would good to find the small cohort of people who listen to both Skeptoid and This American Life.
The big problem I am having in iTunes is trying to isolate the iPad library from two iPod libraries all of which use the same credit card info in the iTunes store. The libraries keep ending up merged. And, since it is not possible to do what Zune calls a "reverse sync," I don't want to delete the libraries on the PC. I know there are third party utilities to sync from the iDevice to iTunes, but it seems to me that I should not need to do that.
Why am I thinking about this? One, I have recently had to replace the HD in my main home computer and have been wrestling with iTunes to get everything back to normal. Also, because Matt and Jessica from the Zune Inside Podcast alerted me to the recent appearance of Zune Man on Robot Chicken. In this episode, Steve Jobs is attacked by an angry Compact Disc Man and Zune Man.