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printed September 20, 2014
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Review: Microsoft Kin One and Two

Form Basics Extras Wrap-Up Comments  9  

Music Camera Photos/Video Browse/Customize Extras  

Kin is the first phone to proffer a "Zune" music experience. Both phones will ship with a two-week Zune Pass trial, which lets users stream as much music as they wish, and even keep a handful of MP3 tracks for ever and ever. Zune Pass costs $15 per month once the free trial is over.

I am disappointed that Microsoft makes it so hard for Apple users to take full advantage of the Kin One and Two.

First, Zune Pass doesn't work with Macs. Period. Not at all. You need a Windows-based machine in order to use Zune Pass. That means Mac users can't stream music to their devices, which is a shame.

Microsoft offers a client that Mac owners can use to at least side-load their own content onto the Kin. The software can recognize the playlists and photo albums users have built in iTunes and iPhone and transfer content to the phone. It's a shame that there's no Mac compatibility with Zune. This means Mac users can't purchase music directly from their device, or take advantage of some of the Zune-specific software on the device.

As far as the user interface is concerned, it is nearly identical to any Zune media player. Users can control the equalizer, but that's about all the control you have over playback.

I can say with authority that the FM radio works great.

 

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