Microsoft launched the second version of their Zune hardware yesterday and their software today. For the most part I am really very happy with the progress that the platform has made, but I am also quite disappointed in a couple of choices that I do really consider a big step back. I’ve already commented in a couple of locations about the change to the ratings system from 5 Star to Heart/Broken Heart, but I just posted the following message in the Zune Forums about the lack of auto playlists:
As a software engineer I do understand that sometimes the process of creating software involves making trade offs and sometimes good features get cut for good reasons. Given that auto playlists seemed to function pretty well in the first version of the software, what was the design decision around not implementing auto playlists in version 2? I am really honestly curious.
I would have put this in one of the existing posts complaining about the removal of this feature but I really want to try and start from a position not of blame or anger, but one of curiosity.
Too be honest I am very disappointed since auto playlists is one of the features that I consider to be absolutely required for me to take media management software seriously. I have a really hard time thinking of any media management software that doesn’t have this sort of feature as significantly lacking. In many cases software in this market that does lack auto playlists at least have a compensatory feature of allowing some sort of extensibility to the application through plug-ins or whatever but that is also missing from Zune v2.
Thanks for the work that you have done in the software and the great improvements that do exist. I’m going to give it a serious opportunity to see how the software fits into the way that I consume my music collection but without something that I consider so fundamental to the way I perceive the ideal method of that consumption I have a hard time seeing how this can work for me in the long term which makes my monetary investment in the hardware seem like a really very bad idea.
I hope I get an answer, though I don’t expect the majority of the replies to keep the tone of the message too civil.