Figure Use the Monitored folders setting to specify where Zune looks for content

Unlike Windows Media Player, Zune enables you to remove default locations such as your Music, Pictures, and Videos folders from the Monitored folders list. I've never understood why this wasn't possible in Windows Media Player; after all, many users prefer to locate media in other locations and forego Microsoft's default folder structure. That said, it is technically possible in Windows 7 to remove, say, My Music from the list of folder locations that are used by the Music library. But that's sort of a balky workaround. It's nice to be able to do this on a per-application basis instead.

In the next step of the wizard, you determine the file types for which Zune will be the default player. Zune's format compatibility is an interesting combination of Windows Media Player and Apple iTunes. It supports Microsoft formats such as WMA and WMV, open formats such as MP3 and JPEG, but also Apple-friendly formats such as MPEG-4, H.264, and AAC.

What Zune can't do, unfortunately, is play any protected content purchased from the iTunes Store, so TV shows, movies, and audiobooks purchased from iTunes are still incompatible with Zune. However, newer music files purchased from iTunes are A-OK: Apple switched to DRM-free music in 2008, and all the new stuff works just fine with Zune.

Until you're ready to commit to Zune full-time, you may want to unselect all the formats presented by the wizard, retaining the current default players. Later, when you've grown comfortable with Zune, you can decide whether to switch, just use it for certain file types, or dump it altogether.

To change these settings later, you can always access Zune's Settings dialog, of course, but Windows 7 includes a handy Default Programs applet that works even better. From the Start menu, select Default Programs. Then, in the window that appears, choose Set Your Default Programs. Next, from the list that appears, select Zune (and/or other media player applications) and configure accordingly. For example, if you'd like Zune to be the default player for every file type with which it is compatible, you can select Zune from the list and then click the link titled "Set This Program as the Default." To use Zune for only certain file types, click "Choose Defaults for This Program" instead.

In the wizard's next step you can choose whether you want to automatically and silently participate in Microsoft's Customer Experience Improvement Program. We recommend doing so. Microsoft uses the anonymous data it collects to improve its software, and the results of this program have had an enormously positive impact on software as diverse as Windows, Office, and Zune.

Once that's done, the setup wizard ends and you're dumped into the Zune player's main user interface. (If you already have content on your PC, it's copied into Zune's media library. You'll look at that in the next section.) First, click the Settings link in the upper-right corner of the application window. This provides the three settings areas configured earlier, but it also includes a great number of others, as shown in Figure 14-7.


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