[sc:mobile-category ]Over the last couple of weeks I’ve had the chance to use my HD7 as an MP3 player over several hours each day (commuting by train). Before I had picked up the HD7 I had purchase a pair of Jabra Halo Bluetooth headsets. These were intended to be used with my previous Windows Mobile phone, but WM just didn’t really have a good media player and so they sat around feeling lonely .
However with WP7 and the Zune media player, they had a chance at usefulness once more.
WP7 is leaps and bounds above WM as media player, it’s heritage from the Zune HD is clear and much of the functionality from the HD comes across to the phone. There are a few functions that don’t make it across, like artist profiles and pictures, which seems like a strange omission since the challenging piece is the back end and that’s clearly in place. However, this does not impact the player itself.
Microsoft has just shut down the Zune Originals store for purchasing the Zune HD online, so it looks like WP7 may soon be the only option for a MS based media player.
- WP7 keeps just about everything from the Zune HD.
- Background playing doesn’t seem to impact the use of the Phone and I was able to play games at the same time as listen to music.
- The volume/track controls can be accessed without unlocking the phone.
- Disconnecting the headset placed the music on pause.
- The Halo headset includes a mic so you can answer phone calls from it.
The not so bad/not so good:
- Every once in a while the headset would disconnect, don’t know if it was WP7 or the Halo at fault (happened maybe 3 times over almost two weeks, so not a huge deal)
- Inconsistent interface in WP7 sometimes made it hard to restart a playlist instead of selecting it anew. For example, in the main “Music and Videos” hub, there is a play button beside the music entry, if I have a playlist paused, will that play the playlist or play everything in the music group?
- Battery life, on a normal day, if I use 20% of the battery I’ve had a busy day. With approximately 2 hours of music playing each day, that rose to 60%. I don’t know if that was the media player or the Bluetooth, but either way, ouch.