Tip Tuesday: Zune on Mac (Software)

It’s no secret that the iPod didn’t start to take off in popularity until Apple released a Windows version of its iTunes client software–many people would argue that the iPod would not be the success it is today were it not for Windows support. At the same time, the Portable Media Player battle is often seen as a microcosm of the OS Wars, with the two players reversing roles. In the Red Corner, we have Apple, a small company whose flagship operating system controls less than 5% of the PC market, but whose iPod media device accounts for 60-70% of all media player device sales. In the Blue Corner is Microsoft and its juggernaut Windows (with ~90% market penetration) and Zune device (~10% HDD player sales).
Currently , Apple’s iTunes client runs on both Windows and Mac OSX, while Microsoft’s Zune software is Windows-only. Is it worth it for Microsoft to port the Zune software to OSX, in effect “giving a glass of ice water to somebody in hell“? Sure, it would give the tech pundits one more thing to scratch off the list of preconceived issues with the Zune family, but would it actually matter? We’ll leave that kind of hardcore thinking for the Philosophers, because today is Tuesday!
So you’ve run out of options, you’re stuck in California without a Windows PC in sight, or you’re an artist (it’s one or the other), and yet you still need to find some way to get the latest hipster single onto your Zune to impress that client and hopefully close the deal. Installing Zune on a Mac is just like installing on a Windows machine, except…virtual. Fret not, fellow Zuner, it’s not as bad as you’d think. Sure you’ve got to acquire a virtual machine software (like VMWare or Parallels) or run Boot Camp and install a copy of Windows, but you can handle that, right?
After this, you’re in Virtual Zune paradise. Just don’t forget the paper umbrellas.
The process should be similar with VMWare on Linux. Though I haven’t heard any reports about this year’s software, Zune-Online’s Kostas Tzounopoulos showed that it could be done with gen1 software, the only caveat being that USB 1.1 was the only supported transfer method (a.k.a. slow data transfer).
And that’s it for this week! Check back next week for another tip. Got any idea, thought, or suggestion? Paste it in the comments link (I’ll be nice, I promise) or check out the forum.

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