A while ago I wrote about my experiences with the Zune, my only complaint was the fact that the Zune social features are locked out if you live outside of the continental United states. Well this evening I returned to my attempts to get access, first I tried the FroxyProxy plug-in for FireFox I but could not find a usable US based proxy. However the delay caused in contacting the proxies did allow me to snag the URL for Zune.net’s sign-up page before it redirects to the region error that has been taunting me. After a few further searches I came across a forum post proposing that for some reason Opera was allowing users outside the US past this redirect. I have an alpha build of Opera 10 installed so I gave it a try and …. it works! I’m not sure why exactly but it allows you to complete the sign-up process without a hitch.
So a couple of months after getting my Zune I’ve finally got onto the social. So what do I think? Well it looks like I’m still locked out of the marketplace so I can’t give a view on that, other than that it doesn’t appear to add much to the already solid Zune experience when viewed within the application. However if you look at your Zune.net profile in a browser you see a lot more information. There is the normal web 2.0 recent activity feed and a comments section, in addition to this there are stats tracking most played tracks and artists as well as what your friends are playing. Lots of this information is incorporated into the Zune Badge which is clearly being targeted to the MySpace and Facebook crowds. My friend feed is looking a bit empty at the moment so if this has been of use to you please feel free to add me (AndyMarch)