(or are you just pleased to see me)

OK, after talking about media players just over a month ago, I couldn't stop myself from buying a Zune when I was in the US last month (no willpower).

Zune 30 GB Digital Media Player (Brown)At $249 + tax, with the exchange rate currently so favourable, it worked out about £130, which is a pretty good price. I had to go for the brown one, since it's a little different to the predictable shiny white or black that every other gadget seems to be. The edges of the device even have a distinctive green hue which appears to catch the light nicely (click on the pic and zoom in on the resulting image, to get an idea).

I think a lot of the reviews of the Zune have been a bit disappointed about the fact that it's not really all that revolutionary - apart from the wireless sharing piece - but I personally think that's one of its strengths. It's packed full of nice touches which aren't immediately obvious - like the fact it switches any playing media to Paused if you pull the headphones out.

Another nice usability feature - when the device is in the "sock" that it comes with, you can feel the dished 4-way control below the screen, so it's easy to change volume or skip back and forward without needing to see the Zune... something I didn't really appreciate until I started using it.

Now I'm looking forward to the launch in the UK!