Instructions for Zune

By Tony Smith

Often referred to as the "iPod Killer" in its pre-release stages, the Zune is Microsoft's entry into the portable mp3 player market. The Zune has many features similar to those of the iPod, but it also has some unique features of its own. Some of the notable differences include integration with the Xbox 360, wireless Zune-to-Zune sharing, and portable gaming capability. The Zune is quickly gaining popularity in comparison to Apple's iPod models.

Check Your System

Before using your Zune player with your PC, it's a good idea to make sure your system meets the minimum requirements. Here are the current minimum PC requirements for the Microsoft Zune:

Microsoft Windows 7 (all versions), Windows Vista (all versions), Windows XP with Service Pack 2 (Home, Professional, Tablet PC, or Media Center Edition 2005 with Rollup Update 2), or Mac OS X with Boot Camp running a supported Windows operating system.

At least a 500Mhz Pentium class processor.

At least 256 megabytes RAM.

At least 200 MB free hard disk space.

A CD or DVD drive. Internet access is required to buy songs and videos.

A 16-bit sound card or better.

A monitor with at least Super VGA resolution and a video card with 64 MB of VRAM) and DirectX 9.0b.

A USB port.

Zune Controls

The "Play/Pause" button is at the top right. Press it to play or pause your current song or video. If you press and hold the button, it turns the Zune off or on.

The button to the top left is the "Back" button which you press to go back to the previous screen. You can also press and hold the button to return to your "home" screen.

All your other controls are located on the Zune pad in the center. Moving your finger up the pad increases the volume. Moving your finger down the pad lowers the volume. Moving left will scroll backwards through media library while moving right scrolls forward.

The faster your move your finger across the pad, the faster it scrolls through your library.

It's important to note that when you're watching video on the Zune, it goes from portrait to landscape orientation automatically. Fortunately, the Zune rotates the Zune pad as well so that the controls still work the same way.

Other features on the Zune include a hold switch to lock your Zune, a headphone minijack and a connector port to sync your Zune with your PC.

Getting Connected

First connect your Zune to your PC using the included cable. The Zune software launches and automatically scans for music, videos, pictures, apps, podcasts and channels that it can use. You have three choices for syncing your Zune with your PC. You can choose "All'' which will import all the information the Zune is compatible with. If you select "Items I choose" the Zune will only import the types of files you select, such as all audio files. If you pick "Manual Sync," you have to pick and choose each file you want to upload.

As your movie and video collection grows, you can always repeat this process to add files on your PC to your Zune or files on your Zune to your PC.