Doing a thorough brushing of the gift horse's teeth

by Michael S. Kaplan, published on 2008/06/21 03:01 -04:00, original URI:

So I was given a 4 GB Zune, and I do think that is very cool (how I got this is really beyond the scope of this blog).

But I discovered something really interesting.

If you look at all of the music I have, between commercial CDs and bootlegs and online purchases and everything else, I have somewhere just barely south of 500 GB of music.

And although I have no problem coming up with reasonable subsets for the older 30 GB Zune or even the newer 80 GB Zune, there is a real problem with the newest one.

I can't reasonably express an appropriate subset that will fit into 4 GB.

Now probably over half of the music that is there is not really something I'd consider for this situation, but we're still probably talking about over 225 GB of music which I can't subset into 4 GB without re-syncing several times a week (and even then the music I end up wanting isn't there and I have to suffer through the fact that there is really no way to predict with 100% accuracy what one will want to listen to later.

So if I realize that the gift is probably the wrong size for me, does it make me ungrateful if I feel like it doesn't fit?

Here I am trying to figure out if there are ways to automate the sync process so I can just build a different device each day. Really hoping to make it work, but realizing it isn't the most productive use of my time.

An kind of relevant additional example is:

A shirt I was given at TechEd -- the only one left was a small. and I don't fit in smalls.

I was grateful for the folks who really did their best to get me the shirt, but really I'll probably end up giving it away to someone who it will fit.

I am baffled, really -- if in the end they both are not ultimately useful to me, why if neither item cost me anything am I so much more reluctant to give away the Zune?


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jon on 21 Jun 2008 4:36 AM:

1. Because the Zune is worth significantly more than a shirt

2. Because the Zune is technology and so inherently more exciting

mjb on 21 Jun 2008 5:37 AM:

fortunately this can easily be scientifically determined: how many days, listening non stop would it take to listen all your music.

The  answer to that answers your question nicely

MikeR on 21 Jun 2008 9:17 AM:

Use it for podcasts (if you listen to them).   I have a beat up old 2GB Sansa I use for OTR - it holds a lot of OTR.

Krishna Kumar on 21 Jun 2008 9:49 AM:

I think you should give away the music. At 500 GB, you have roughly around 250,000 hours of music. If you listened to them every single minute of the day, it should take over 25 years.

I have a similar problem on my song collection. There are songs I have listened to more than a hundred times and others I have never even heard once.

Steve Crane on 21 Jun 2008 10:32 AM:

Yep, podcasts or audiobooks.  Having two devices does away with the problem of losing your place in podcast or book when you want to listen to music.

Michael S. Kaplan on 21 Jun 2008 11:07 AM:

Of course there is always playing them at a higher speed to consider. :-)

Or the fact that some were ripped at higher definition settings (taking up more space) to work at the problem from another direction.

And of course many of the CDs are bootlegs of different shows from the same artist -- so there are many "sort of" duplicates or varying quality, which whittles away in yet another way.

So in terms on unique music, I think I might fall short of the nirvana of 250,000 hours. :-)

Programmerman on 26 Jun 2008 5:58 PM:

The Zune will remember where you are in a podcast for when you come back to it later.  It doesn't have great support for audiobooks at the moment (they need to be in a supported audio format (mp3, wma, aac)).  If you change their genre to Podcast before the Zune software sees them, you can sync them as a podcast, gaining all the remember-its-place benefits of being a podcast.  There's rumors that they'll add Audible support by the end of 2008 (nothing confirmed).

You can also just save it for a gaming device, a portable DVR head (if you use Vista Media Center), or a really slick-looking digital photo frame.

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2009/01/06 Zune in the zone (aka It is not easy to embarrass a man with no shame)

2008/07/21 Behind facebook status like: "...somewhere between 'Addictive' by Faithless and 'Addicted' by Juliana Hatfield."

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