in Music

Zen Micro firmware wish list

I’m quite happy with the Zen Micro MP3 player, but being the nagging bastard that I am, here’s what I think might come handy in a later version of the firmware:

  • USB drive mode: I don’t know if it’s just me – while the new firmware is supposed to let me mount the Zen’s hard drive as a USB drive without additional drivers, I can’t get this to work. Or has this been marketing doublespeak and only refers to the designated storage that you can reserve for non MP3 stuff – is there no way to mount the whole drive???
  • Audio file types: This is probably something that needs to be addressed by desktop apps like iTunes and WMP10: I would like to be able to differentiate and/or filter between music and other audio content like podcasts or audiobooks. This is needed if I want to shuffle just among my music files, for example
  • Automatic bookmarking: I came across this when I accidentally hit “stop” in the middle of a podcast. Wouldn’t it be nice if, whenever you do something like that, the player automatically bookmarks the time you left listening mode and lets you return to it later? Maybe these bookmarks could even e stored in the comments part of the file’s ID3 tags??
  • Last listened to: It would also be nice when the file has last been *completely* listened to. See above
  • Caching: I was astonished to find out that I often have to wait a few seconds when moving between playlists, obviously because the hard drive has to start spinning again. PLEASE – this is soooo 80s – I’m sure someone can come up with a clever caching algorithm to make this smoother for the user.
  • History: This would be an additional menu item in the “DJ” menu: let me see the 50 files most recently listened to. This is much more useful (to me at least) than the files I have played most.

This is it for now, all in all I’m pretty happy with the Zen Micro. A leather case would have been nice, though. There doesn’t even seem to be one by third party vendors.

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  1. (disclaimer: this is not a zen bashing comment)
    FYI, most of what you describe is standard on the latest iPods.
    – USB drive mode always works for my iPods
    – Podcasts and audio books are flagged “skip when shuffling”
    – the iPod doesn’t have bookmarks you set, it has an automatic “remember playback position” for podcasts and audiobooks. When you change tracks, sync, etc. it stores the last playback point and resumes there when you play that track again.
    – Last played date and time is stored with each track when you completey listen to it.
    – The iPod can dynamically update (no sync required) a recently played track list on the iPod based on the last played time and the file type.
    – Caching is just as bad on the ipod

    Though, the ipod has no recording, FM, easy outlook sync, etc.

  2. (disclaimer: this is not a zen bashing comment)

    FYI, most of what you describe is standard on the latest iPods.

    – USB drive mode always works for my iPods

    – Podcasts and audio books are flagged "skip when shuffling"

    – the iPod doesn't have bookmarks you set, it has an automatic "remember playback position" for podcasts and audiobooks. When you change tracks, sync, etc. it stores the last playback point and resumes there when you play that track again.

    – Last played date and time is stored with each track when you completey listen to it.

    – The iPod can dynamically update (no sync required) a recently played track list on the iPod based on the last played time and the file type.

    – Caching is just as bad on the ipod

    Though, the ipod has no recording, FM, easy outlook sync, etc.

Webmentions

  • DeveloperZen.com February 16, 2006

    [IMG] Constant Bearing, Decreasing Range [IMG] Doing My Little Part- Weblog of Mark Finnern [IMG] Software Alphabet Soup [IMG] The Village View [IMG] theotherthomasotter [IMG] Venture Chronicles [IMG] http://www.gadgetguy.de – The GadgetGuy [IMG] Yet Another Software Blog

  • DeveloperZen.com February 16, 2006

    [IMG] Constant Bearing, Decreasing Range [IMG] Doing My Little Part- Weblog of Mark Finnern [IMG] Software Alphabet Soup [IMG] The Village View [IMG] theotherthomasotter [IMG] Venture Chronicles [IMG] http://www.gadgetguy.de – The GadgetGuy [IMG] Yet Another Software Blog

  • Welcome to www.ekampf.com February 16, 2006

    [IMG] Constant Bearing, Decreasing Range [IMG] Doing My Little Part- Weblog of Mark Finnern [IMG] Software Alphabet Soup [IMG] The Village View [IMG] theotherthomasotter [IMG] Venture Chronicles [IMG] http://www.gadgetguy.de – The GadgetGuy [IMG] Yet Another Software Blog