I’ve got a Zune 80 which I love even more since the upgrade to 3.0 added Audible audio book support. I mainly use the Zune for podcasts, but being outside the US and not being able to legitimately use the Zune Social and Marketplace, there’s certain features I’m lacking. I know there are work-arounds to access these (like changing your regional settings in Windows), but I have reasons for not doing that.
When I’ve got the Zune software open, it checks all my podcast subscriptions and downloads new episodes. I had to add the RSS feed manually for each podcast since I can’t get to the Zune Marketplace podcast directory – actually, I’m going to digress a minute and say that this is really bad on the part of Microsoft/the Zune team – I understand that there are licensing issues regarding selling music, tv shows, etc, in different territories, but there is NO reason why you can’t provide Zune users around the world (and I’m talking about the software now, which is available for anyone to download, not the devices which are only sold in the USA) with the podcast directory containing content that is free and available wherever you are! There’s also no reason why you can’t enable “The Social” too – it’s ok to let people all over the world share the number of times they played a particular track! The only thing you have to limit is the ability to purchase content. You should be able to do that without restricting the stuff that’s free!!!
…anyway, where was I? Ah, yes, downloading new episodes…
Yesterday when I opened the Zune software, it started downloading over 80 different podcast episodes. Now I’ve always been able to see what these were, if I clicked on each and every podcast subscription it would tell me if there were any episodes of that particular subscription currently downloading or pending download. I’d always thought it would be nice to see all the current and pending downloads in a single list. Recently I discovered this facility does exist in the software, but I guess it’s under Marketplace, and I can’t see that! (I’m guessing that showing someone in the UK a single list of all the free podcasts that they’re subscribed to perfectly legally would anger the RIAA or something!)
Well yesterday, I accidentally clicked on the label saying that an episode was pending download, and it turns out that it’s actually a button that takes me to the download list! A happy accident and a very welcome find. :-) [UPDATE: You can also click on the "Downloading x of y" message at the bottom of the window and get to the same place.] I’m sure that everyone else already knew about this – it’s probably in the documentation/help that I’ve never read, but at least it’s given me an excuse to write this post and grumble about the one issue that really gets on my nerves regarding the Zune! ;-)