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Syncing: Windows And Mac

The Windows Phone 7.5 Review, A Month-Long Experience

Syncing: Windows

We believe that one critical weakness of WP7 is the imposition of using Microsoft's Zune software to sync. You can't sync contacts with Outlook like you could in previous versions of Windows Mobile.

Furthermore, music, videos, pictures, and podcasts have to be synced using one of three schemes: All, Items I Choose, or Manual.

  • All: Automatically syncs everything of that media type in your collection with your player or phone. When you sync, any media items you added to your collection are also added to your device—as long as there’s enough storage space available. Any items you removed from your collection are also removed from your device.
  • Items I choose: You choose which specific items or categories of items you want to be synced automatically (for example, you can choose to sync artists, genres, playlists, picture folders, and so forth). Choose an item by dragging it to the Device icon. When you do that, a sync group is created that includes the item. When you sync your device with your collection, any changes you made to items in your collection that are part of a sync group will also be made on your player or phone.
  • Manual: Choose manual sync to control exactly what gets synced to your device, rather than having Zune Music + Video automatically sync the changes in your collection. When you sync, you manually add and remove items from your device.

The Zune software sorts videos into five categories: TV, Music, Movies, Other, and Personal. You aren't able to edit video tags like you do for music, though. Instead, you have to use freeware software to alter metadata.

Syncing: Mac (Instructions)

Given Apple's effort to create harmony between its devices, we have a hard time picturing a Mac user buying a WP7-based smartphone. At least one person at Tom's Hardware falls into that unlikely category, however, because he likes the WP7 interface and lower smartphone price tag.

Syncing on a Mac is hardly ideal; there is no Zune software for OS X. Instead, you need to use the Windows Phone 7 Connector, which enabled sync'ing through iTunes and iPhoto. Transferring to the phone is pretty easy. But going the other way is more difficult because you have to import pictures and videos through a directory listing. If you're shutterbug or enjoy recording videos, previews only appear as a small thumbnail, which can make hunting for specific files more challenging. In addition, you don't get Marketplace support or the ability to sync wirelessly.

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