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Who's Zuning? Are You Zuning?

Frank Ahrens

So, Microsoft's iPod-killer, the Zune mp3 player, went on sale yesterday.

Apple's iPod has 75 percent of the mp3 market; Microsoft is trying to make a dent in it. Some recent research shows that 30 million of about 110 million U.S. households own at least one iPod. That's penetration.


Microsoft Zune (AP)

Our technology columnist, Rob Pegoraro, will review the Zune in Sunday's paper.

But I want to hear from you. Write in if you've purchased a Zune and let us know what you think.

Or, if you're thinking about buying a Zune because you either are fed up with your iPod -- it doesn't do things you want it to do, maybe -- or you just want to give Apple some competition.

And, on a larger scale, this gives us an opportunity to rant/rave about the iPod. It's five years old now -- a graybeard in technology years. Give me your iPod stories.

Me, personally, I've been through three so far. The first one got stolen from the YMCA, so that's a push. But the second one simply froze up after a year or so and the Apple store guy said it would cost a lot to unfreeze it -- shocker -- and they happened to be offering 10 percent off new iPods if I traded in my old one so I wouldn't throw out the old one and send its toxic contents into the ecosystem, polluting rivers, killing snail darters and slaughtering scores of orphans. Well, that was what I inferred. So of course I bought a new one.

I suspect lots of folks have a love-hate iPod relationship. Now's your time to vent!

Today In The Post:

* Fascinating piece by Mary Jordan on today's front page from Malaysia about how police abuse was exposed and punished because the brutality was recorded on a cell-phone video camera and posted to YouTube. Reminds me of a few years back when human rights groups began handing out video recorders to volunteers who were then able to expose abuses all over the world that had previously remained hidden.

Elsewhere:

* Even the Clampetts (their first home, not their second one) can get high-speed Internet now, thanks to satellite dishes.

* As if your cell phone wasn't already enough of a LoJack, now your buddies can use it to find you without having to text-message "where u at?"

By Frank Ahrens  |  November 15, 2006; 1:00 PM ET  | Category:  Frank Ahrens
Previous: Camping Out for the PS3 | Next: Zune-alanche!


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Comments

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I bought a Zune yesterday and am pleased with it so far. This will be my fourth and my previous favorite was the Creative Zen Micro, which had more features. Considering that they were features that I didn't use, I doubt I will miss them. I have no doubt that the Zune will pick up more features in the future through software download, as has been the case with both of the Xbox game systems.

Posted by: Geoffrey | November 15, 2006 1:34 PM

I grew up on a Mac, and I think that's when i started to dislike everything about it. I got an IPOD for a graduation gift, but it wouldn't play any of my existing music/video files unless i payed an extra $50 to get "ITUNES Pro". It didn't play pictures at all. Aside from that, it slowed my computer dramatically, and the only way i could get it off was to erase my hard drive and re-install windows. So, I got a Samsung that uses windows media player (free), and doesn't require that stupid AAC format.

Posted by: Byron | November 15, 2006 1:35 PM

My son is on his 3rd ipod nano. The first and the second had problems with the screen. Bad news was that the purchase of the first one took all of his saved up BDay money and money he earned from doing chores to buy so his heart was broken when it broke. The good news was that Apple replaced the iPod in both cases without charge since the problem was not caused by abuse. I have never been an apple fan but I have to admit they handled the situation positively and quickly. I might look at buying a Zune for myself, but I will wait to see what others think, and to see if it is more durable than the IPOD nano.

Posted by: MySon | November 15, 2006 1:36 PM

The Zune VIOLATES COPYRIGHT LAW by trampling upon the "fair use" provisions of those who have purchased recorded entertainment.

How does this provision work?

If you buy a recording you may record it for your self, either for a backup copy or to play in more than one place - say on your pc and in your car. Th US SUPREME COURT has allso determined that you may also give it to a friend - LEGALLY.

How does Zune Violate the Law?

After you beam a song to your friend - one that you MUST have PAID for... That friend MUST also purchase it within tree days, or three performances, whichever comes first. THAT FACT violates the fair use provisions of US copyright law.

MICROSOFT IS VIOLATING COPYRIGHT LAW AND ITS CONSUMER PROTECTIONS OF FAIR USE OF PURCHASED ENTERTAINMENT MEDIA.

Posted by: Joel Easton / Onestring King | November 15, 2006 1:37 PM

I bought a 3rd Gen iPod right when I heard the press release about 3 years ago. I have used it ever since... but the thing that kills me about Apple is, nothing has really changed on it. I mean, the new ones look identical to mine, minus the new gray scroll wheel and tiny color screen. But, other than that, they haven't added much functionality. No wifi, no FM radio, no stunning video (it's still slow as balls and requires an Apple-esk codec), and most importantly it looks the SAME. How long can they continue to pop in a new firmware and call it "the next generation ipod". I think not too much longer. The Zune appeals to me, thought it is a little bigger, because it's different. It has wifi, it has a NEW OS, it has an FM radio, and eventually, via software updates, this thing will run almost any developer's software. I can see them adding the wifi transfering, feeds, email, maybe even a browser, and obviously games (to cash in at the xbox live side). I'd be welcome to join the social...... which is why I'm making the switch to the Zune. The iPod is a dead horse that Apple keeps putting the saddle on. The Zune is the new pony to play with. Now, if only it had a removable HD and battery :)

Posted by: Tony | November 15, 2006 1:38 PM

There's no such thing as iTunes pro - obviously you work in the Microsoft marketing department.

Posted by: WTF | November 15, 2006 1:51 PM

Hope zune will succeed as it is a Microsoft product.

Posted by: blesson | November 15, 2006 1:51 PM

I love my ipod mini

Posted by: NAT | November 15, 2006 1:54 PM

Mmh, i can't buy a ZUNE until 2008 because i don't live in the US. So much for market penetration. I'm happy with my ipod photo and my ipod nano and i can't wait for the ipod phone.

Posted by: Foreigner | November 15, 2006 1:58 PM

What marketing genius at Microsoft crowned the Zune an "iPod killer"? Lost in all the hype about the Zune is that there are quite a few good alternatives to the iPod already that seem to be inherently superior to the Zune. I have a Creative Zen M which, similar to a video iPod, has a 30gig HD, plays any mp3s you own or other files from services like Napster or Real's Rhapsody, shows photos, and plays a number of standard video formats. The file sharing feature seems to be DOA with the silly copy protections Microsoft has put on it (even on mp3s you burn yourself!). Who is going to transfer a file just to be able to listen to it 3 times?? Buy a Creative/Sandisk/or other plays for sure mp3 player and a subscription to Napster and listen to endless music for $15 a month.

Posted by: DC | November 15, 2006 2:00 PM

The Zune doesn't appeal to me at all. It is bigger and clunkier. While the screen may be bigger, it has the same resolution as the iPod so it will be grainier. The WiFi feature, as currently configured, is absolutely meaningless to me. It amazes me that Microsoft would push "Plays For Sure" as the big advantage for the last few years and now the songs these fools purchased under this moniker won't play on the Zune (typical Microsoft). From what I've read, it isn't even configured to work with Vista! I've been through three generations of iPods (upgrading because added features) and the old ones I've sold to friends are still working wonderfully. I think I'll stay with the iPod for now.

Posted by: Doug | November 15, 2006 2:00 PM

The limitations MS puts on wireless file-sharing make the Zune a non-starter. The convoluted points system makes it a non-finisher. I am advising my friends to avoid this DRM-encumbered piece of junk.

By contrast, users can easily set iTunes up to rip CD's to unencumbered mp3's instead of Apple's proprietary AAC format. Also CD's burned from iTunes can be ripped to decent-quality mp3's. This makes iTunes' restrictions the least obtrusive of the commercial music download services.

Posted by: Klaatu | November 15, 2006 2:02 PM

I've no problems with my iPod and I have no reason to switch. I've never really seen MS put out any groundbreaking products, and I doubt this is one.

Posted by: Kent | November 15, 2006 2:02 PM

microsoft r nubz l2p

Posted by: Anonymous | November 15, 2006 2:03 PM

The Zune is a piece of trash. If you bought any Music from the MSN Music store or anywhere else that provides for Microsofts "Plays for Sure" DRM format you can't use it on the Looney Zune. Besides that Zunes much described "wiFi" capabilities are DOA there is virtually zero value as you can't actually play the tune more than 3 times and is solely included so there is some "feature" that Zune has that has no equivalent in an iPod.

BTW: I find it amusing that the day Zune is formally unveiled Apple announces a partnership with the major airlines that allows users to charge iPods in flight and play the videos through the seatback screens in the planes. This is amusing since the Zunes non-starter wifi integration (which isn't actually wifi - 802.11 at all) will prohibit users from even using the device on planes inflight.

Wake up folks the only positive comments on any message boards about Zune are from Microsoft shills.

The comment from Tony that supposes that the iPod of today is the same 3rd Gen iPod he bought is misinformed at best. Can his 3G iPod be used to play games? Can it play video or display photos? Is this guy a Microsofty in disquise or he just a moron?

Posted by: Zune Dead on Arrival | November 15, 2006 2:07 PM

Byron, it is too bad you didn't get someone who knew what they were doing to show you how to work things with iTunes. There are so many inaccuracies in your post that it is obvious you had no idea of what you were doing. As another poster stated, there is no iTunes Pro. Also, AAC is not required for iTunes.

Posted by: Jump | November 15, 2006 2:08 PM

I still can't believe the Zune won't even work with vista. I mean come on, Vista's been in the works for over half a decade... it's not like it was a surprise to the guys coding the Zune software.

The wireless feature is hopelessly crippled by all the restrictions placed on it, and the Zune store 'points' are a blatent attempt at trying to undercut the .99 cent iTunes purchase with a psychological '79 point' price (which is actually only .25 of a cent cheaper.. yippy!).

Pack all that into a device that is about as unattractive a design as we've seen in the portable music player category and you get yet another Microsoft product that could have had potential, but instead will collect dust under the beds of the poor kids who's parents are uninformed enough to put one under the tree this year.

Maybe this is another MS attempt at the old "sell them crap, so they'll be thrilled with updates that add basic features that we should have included in the first place".

Posted by: Anonymous | November 15, 2006 2:10 PM

http://www.menk.com/blog/archives/2006/09/27/zune-defined

Posted by: Zune Defined | November 15, 2006 2:11 PM

I have 3 iPods and they are work just fine. I don't see anything in the Zune that would make me want to switch.

Posted by: Mr3 | November 15, 2006 2:12 PM

Playing with iPod is like running with having hands tied up tight. The defaults of iTunes PC interface sucks ! It took 3 days to get used to its Sync feature. Its not intutive. If you need any kind of repair including battery you need to go to Apple store. After all it is one another music player. Soon it will be one among many. All Apple did was mesmerized easy-mould teen-brains...

Posted by: Ram | November 15, 2006 2:13 PM

The reason that the iPod has been able to "penetrate" the market is because the iPod is, by and large, a wonderful piece of electronics. It isn't perfect, but neither is much else in this world. I have two 4G 40GB iPods, and I'm not willing to trade them in for anything else quite yet - certainly not for the Zune.

Posted by: Kent | November 15, 2006 2:13 PM

I bought zune yesterday from Walmart and I already started loving it. I owned two iPods for almost 3 years and I hated it. I had lot of problems with it. My first one went dead after one year. The second one I had to go through lot service calls to make it work. I spent almost 600 dollars for the piece of crap for just 3 years. I think it is too much. I hope Zune will keep up to its hype. Eventhough I don't like some of its features, I still like it overall look and feel. Even I dropped it into the floor once and it worked like charm even after that.

Posted by: Zuner | November 15, 2006 2:14 PM

I had an Ipod that I bought refurbed from apple, it died about 2 weeks after I bought it, after arguing with thier customer service they replaced it with a new one. I am very satisfied with it and even bought a Sony car stereo with an Ipod interface. I use it mostly in my car through the interface. Does the Zune have that capablility? Will I have to keep rebooting my Zune because it crashes or gets viruses? What about sypware or adware..is that going to play on my Zune?
I really don't think the Zune will take much of a market share away from Apple. I certainly don't want to rent my music, I buy CD's rip them to my computer and send them to my Ipod, can't get much better than that.

Posted by: rick | November 15, 2006 2:15 PM

My first 40Gig 5th Gen iPod is still with us today, and going strong. While I've never been thrilled with iTunes for Windows (used to be slow as hell, but better in recent versions), I like the simplicity of the iPod design over the competitors whose "features" I'll probably never use. 30mil iPod users don't care about wifi, they care about listening to music, and the iPod does that in a more straight-forward way than any of its competitors, and you can't compete with that by offering a more complicated product.

Sux to be MS

Posted by: malph | November 15, 2006 2:17 PM

In response to Ram's post:

-"Playing with iPod is like running with having hands tied up tight. The defaults of iTunes PC interface sucks !It took 3 days to get used to its Sync feature. Its not intutive."

Umm... not sure what 'l33t Haxored' version of iTunes you've got running buddy... but if it took you 3 days to figure out that to sync an iPod with iTunes all you have to do is plug it in and wait a moment for it to finish the sync.

Also, most humans would have no problem "Running with having hands tied up".. unless you happen to walk on your hands. Your analogy made me laugh :)

" If you need any kind of repair including battery you need to go to Apple store." -

If I'm not mistaken, the Zune battery is non-removable as well. (I could be wrong, feel free to correct if that's the case)

Posted by: Gerry | November 15, 2006 2:18 PM

iPod - 1000 songs on your pocket
Zune - 1000 songs in your briefcase

Posted by: Anonymous | November 15, 2006 2:21 PM

But will it play on my Delta flight? In 2007 you can hook up your video iPod to a dock connector on any of 6 airlines including Delta and United and watch iPod content. So much for the "larger screen" advantage of a Zune. Oh and when will there be Zune car integration? That is what happpens when you have a monopoly or near monopoly. If you don't like that then remember that Apple users for years have heard the "but there is not enough market share" refrain when software came out. All's fair.

Posted by: B. Hatfield | November 15, 2006 2:22 PM

I'm a Mac user, so the Zune isn't an option for me. I've got a nearly five year-old second generation iPod (the first touch-wheel design) that's still going strong, and I'll probably get a new 30 gig iPod (or a nano if they get up to 10 or 15 gigs) when it finally kicks the bucket. No battery problems so far either.

I think the Microsoft and Apple zealots are both overstating their respective cases for and against the Zune. Apple fans are right that its current implementation of wireless sharing seems so lame as to be useless, but I think that it has a lot of long-term potential if Microsoft puts continued effort into improving it. I actually kind of like the looks of the thing. The points system at the store also seems really unappealing to me, but I guess it hasn't held back the Xbox crowd, so maybe it won't bother as many people as I suspect. The big screen is also a nice feature and could be a key selling point -- even though I have no interest in watching video on an MP3 player, the larger screen makes navigating and scrolling through a large music collection much easier.

The other key aspect of this is the long-term strategy. Microsoft seems to be willing to lose a lot of money in the short term to gain market share, so they'll have plenty of chances to improve the product and figure out what features work best and appeal to consumers. Of course, that's a mixed proposition -- the Zune's current relatively efficient and elegant navigation system is a pleasant surprise given Microsoft's long history of feature overkill combined with poorly designed interfaces. Will they be able to resist the temptation to load the Zune up with everything they can think of, thereby losing an important aspect of its potential appeal? (A lot of the iPod's appeal has to do with design and with ease of use, not the presence or absence of particular features.)

The Zune seems like a first generation product with some potential and a lot of money behind it. What we're seeing now is the first word, not the last word... But as a Mac user I don't forsee being unhappy with the iPod any time soon.

Posted by: JJO | November 15, 2006 2:28 PM

Who buys anything first gen from MS?

Apple will release a new iPod in the coming months that will make the Zune look so outdated even Bill will go back to his iPod. MS employees aren't allowed to have their iPods visible at work. Now that's democracy.

Posted by: Bill Who? | November 15, 2006 2:28 PM

This isn't the first time a company has dubbed its product an 'ipod killer' and prob won't be the last time, either way i very much doubt that MS will make much of an impact! iPod is simply the king because of the 'street cred' assciated with it - it is simply cool to own one, that doesn't make it a good device... I own a Sony A-Series Walkman, Sonys always have amazing battery lifes and I have never had a problem with any Sony i have ever owned, in short i wouln't go with either iPod or Zune ever.

Posted by: RSH | November 15, 2006 2:28 PM

In case it wasn't obvious from his loser post.

Posted by: Byron is a plant | November 15, 2006 2:29 PM

I got my Zune midnight on the 14th.....been using it for a while and I have to say that it is a wonderful product. But a lot of people will miss out on it because they keep comparing it to the iPod. Yes its thicker than the iPod but it is not thick and clunky, using it for a day now I have realised that. Why compare all its features to the iPod? If it does not have one thing that the iPod does then it counts against the Zune and if the Zune has something the iPod doesnt then it still counts against the Zune, i think thats how most people judge it. They were all expecting an iPod with the microsoft logo. You do not like its features? by all means buy an iPod, then buy the next generation simply because apple tells you to....microsoft is not stopping you. Why people will go out of their way to write nonsense about a product they have not used is beyond me. The real funny thing is, iPod lovers are so arrogant as to think microsoft is trying to get them to switch, but in reality there are MANY MORE people who have not even owned an mp3 player before who will in the future.

Posted by: First Zune User | November 15, 2006 2:30 PM

Following up... Byron up near the top of the thread seems to be making stuff up. There's no such thing as iTunes Pro, and iTunes is free. Also a 3rd generation iPod actually looks quite different from the new ones (in the relatively restricted range of such things) -- the third gen were the ones with the circular buttons above the touch wheel (and to me the least elegant and appealing of pretty much any iPod design so far). New iPods are considerably thinner, have bigger, brighter, color screens, and lack those horrible buttons.

Posted by: JJO | November 15, 2006 2:33 PM

gnaa first post

gnaa.us FTW

Posted by: Gary Niger | November 15, 2006 2:48 PM

Who wants another device to carry around anyways. Ipods and Zunes both are pointless, my cell phone plays MP3s and its smaller than both players, plus its a phone has Wifi, bluetooth, and games. So I guess if you want more crap to carry around get an Ipod or Zune.

Posted by: J | November 15, 2006 2:56 PM

get a cowon A2 .. FLAC is pure

Posted by: pooty_tang | November 15, 2006 2:57 PM

I still have all three of the iPods I've purchased; the original 5GB, first generation shuffle and fifth generation 'video' iPod. All of them still work perfectly. I DID have to replace the battery in my original after two years. Other than that, I've never had any issues with any of them.

Here's why I have NO interest in the Zune: Which company do you trust to innovate more, Microsoft or Apple? For me, it's a no brainer, Apple wins hands down. If you want so-so copies of someone else's ideas or technology, go Microsoft. Early adopters who bought 'plays for sure' products found out the don't on the Zune. All of the music I've purchased on iTunes still plays on all of my iPods.

For Christmas this year, I'll probably purchase at least two of the new iPod shuffles for gifts. I'll be purchasing NO Zunes...

Posted by: TechNomad | November 15, 2006 2:59 PM

Are you "Zuning"??

Ahhh, out of the mouths (or keyboards) of suits. It's so cute when they try so hard to be 'cool' and 'hip'.

On a more serious note, I hope you at least got paid to use that title, otherwise it's just sad.

Posted by: Shane | November 15, 2006 3:01 PM

D.O.A.

This thing violates fair use sharing, and is lame. The only benefit the hardware provides is an fm tuner.

My Nano stays.

Posted by: Joel | November 15, 2006 3:05 PM

Apple started a revolution with the iPod. Noone, perhaps not even Apple had any idea it would go as far as it has.

It will be interesting to see how Microsoft's Zune compares, but so far, the result to me is rather predictable. The UI might be ok, but the physical design is a cheap imitation compared to the original iPod with its drawn stainless steel back and its double-injection molded optically clear and white polycarbonate front face. The case design had close to zero draft, and almost no front face radius. Yet there were no injection mold imperfections in a design that would normally accentuate imperfections. It was a very expensive, risky, inventive, cutting edge design.

In short, it blew the competition away. There really was no comparison.

So, looking at the Zune, do you see the same cutting edge design excellence? To me, it pales in comparison. Its a very inexpensive, predictable, safe design and it shows.

On the other hand, the Zune appears to have a decent UI. We'll see....

Posted by: roger | November 15, 2006 3:07 PM

I picked up the Zune and am fairly pleased. It really doesn't offer anything too groundbreaking. The ability to share music is not that interesting to me as I'm sure I won't be around many Zunes.

I am coming from my lovely Rio Karma which still IMHO is the best DAP out there. The features it offers and the price can not be beat.

The Zune is a bit pricey and not more amazing than my ipod video

Posted by: Marcus | November 15, 2006 3:16 PM

Count me as another happy iPod user. I've got a 2nd Gen 10 Gig (that I'm constantly juggling songs on when I find new stuff that I need to shoehorn onto it). Other than it getting a little flaky when I loaded a Linux OS onto it a couple of years ago to play some games (I reinstalled the software and all was fine), and a battery that drains too quickly in cold weather (I've gotta get a car charger), it still works like a champ. Apple has added a few welcome software features since I've owned it as well, including a better shuffle option and podcast download support. But I'll buy a new one in a heartbeat when it dies so I can watch movies and TV shows (ripped and purchased from iTunes) and have a lot more songs in my pocket and car.

Many of the complaints about iPod, as others have noted, are just based on misinformation. My biggest complaint with non-iPods is that they don't work on Macs, which is a deal-killer for me. And in general, Microsoft seems to be much more into lock-in than Apple these days, with the Janus/PlaysForSure/Zune DRM and its various and changing levels of restrictions as opposed to Apple's FairPlay version and its consistent and much less onerous set. I've got two computers at home and two computers at work, with iTunes on all of them, I've purchased hundreds of songs off iTunes and burned dozens of CDs of those and the thousands of other songs I've ripped/downloaded into iTunes, and I've swapped thousands of songs onn and off my iPod, and I haven't run into a DRM restriction yet. Thanks, Apple.

Posted by: Spellman | November 15, 2006 3:17 PM

When was the last time Microsoft did something original? And when they do copy something, they do just a horrendous job at it. Ever since I've been introduced to the world of Apple, I've been a huge fan of it. Every product is designed simple, clean, artisitic and user friendly.
My iPod has worked flawlessly since I bought it. I don't see myself switching.

Posted by: Tom | November 15, 2006 3:23 PM

You can't use a Zune as a hard drive. The number one reason I bought an iPod back in 2001 was the fact that it allowed me to carry my large files any where I wanted to go. So the Zune is a dud. Even the built-in wifi is a dud, it doesn't allow for transporting your files anywhere.

Posted by: veggiedude | November 15, 2006 3:24 PM

No way to this crippled "sharing" thing on the Zune. Real sharing or don't bother at all with it.

Posted by: andrew | November 15, 2006 3:25 PM

I've got a 30G video ipod (I guess that's 5G). Had it about a year; it works fine. Never had a problem. I've got plenty of video on it, and I find the screen pretty easy to watch. I've never had any significant problem with iTunes -- the biggest problem I ever had was when they added album art, and the new version locked up when updating my album art -- several times. The ONLY feature on the Zune that interests me is the FM radio, and I've never understood why the iPod doesn't have it.

Beyond that, I agree with the comment above -- why would you buy a first-generation Microsoft product? What's your level of confidence?

Posted by: TMU | November 15, 2006 3:29 PM

I have an iPod that frequently annoys me. Sometimes, it simply freezes without provocation. So, for Christmas I am likely to get a Zune even though I find the the RED iPod tempting (but the freeze game scares me).

Second, whether it's Apple or not, I dislike monopolies or quasi-monopolies. This moves me toward the Zune.

Third, there's no reason to get overly invested in these companies. They mostly collect our money anyway. Some of the comments above are so hysterical they make you think Zune is an alien about to abduct the author's mother. Relax guys.

Finally, comparing the Zune and iPod NOW isn't particularly smart. We'll see where things stand after the next six quarters.

Posted by: Manhattan Nerd | November 15, 2006 3:31 PM

Why does Microsoft want to be all things to all people? First they wanted to be Apple. Then wanted to be Netscape. Then wanted to be Sony. Then Google. Now it is Apple again. No wonder Windows is a mess. They can't concentrate on being one thing.

Posted by: Tony Martin | November 15, 2006 3:31 PM

You've got to be kidding me. I had an iPod Nano (Untill I recently traded it with my PSP for an iPod Video), and it was exelent. It was extremely easy to put songs on and off, and the iTunes store doesn't make you buy clumps of "points" to buy your songs with. My iPod never gave me any troubles, and I really hope Microsoft bombs with this one, because the iPod is an exelent MP3 player, and Microsof doesn't need anymore money. The Zune isn't worth the hassle. It has Wi-Fi but you can't connect to the internet? Listening to a song for 10 seconds counts as one play? With the Zune and 30gb iPod Video both priced at $250, there's no reason to buy a Zune.

Posted by: Chris | November 15, 2006 3:35 PM

2nd Generation iPod. 10G, still going strong. I had to deal with the crap that was MusicMatch for the PC to get it to work with our PC prior to iTunes going to Windows.

You thikn Synching is hard on iTunes, try almost any garbage used by Windows. Even with current programs you are looking at utter crap compared to the simplicity of iTunes for managing and synching music. I don't have to worry about the Zune adding DRM to my ripped CDs and I can use AAC, MP3, Lossless, and other forms of storage for my music and they will play.

Zune is nothing but an attempt to get into a position to muscle record companies into pushing Apple out of the Market. Unlike Windows 3.0, this time Apple is expecting it.

Posted by: CrazyJoe | November 15, 2006 3:38 PM

I have a 1st Generation iPod Shuffle that I have dropped on the bus several times, kicked across the street (accidentally), rolled around the car, shoved into pockets and backpacks, and dropped in a public restroom (it wasn't TOO NEAR the latrine...). Still works wonderfully.

I have an iPod Nano I use in my car and with the Nike + iPod - fantastic.

I rip my own music and buy from iTunes - with money, not "points" - what a concept...

I'm going out this week to buy the latest iPod with video. No thanks, Microsoft

Posted by: daddydoodaa | November 15, 2006 3:43 PM

I love my Creative Muvo v100. plug and use it.

Posted by: Kevin Scheidt | November 15, 2006 3:44 PM

I bought into Microsoft's playsforsure and I was suckered. I will buy an iPod next time. I learnt my lesson and I should have listened to my friends. And yes, I will probably buy a Mac the next time I need a new PC.

Posted by: Playforsure sucker | November 15, 2006 3:45 PM

I can't think of any reason why someone would want a Zune (unless you work at Microsoft). It will never win the war against the iPod because it was technologically irrelevant before it even shipped. If Microsoft wants to beat Apple in this area, they would have to buy them like they have done with many other competitors OR create a device and content model that is absolutely hands-down better than Apple's iPod and iTunes Music Store. Even then, they would still have to out innovate Apple to gain parity in the marketplace given the huge headstart that Apple has with the iPod. That's about as likely as TVA dismantling hydroelectric dams to save a few snail darters.

BTW, we have 4 iPods in our household. Once I lost my 1st-gen iPod in the ATL airport and I assumed it was gone forever. Two weeks later I received a call from the local Apple Store telling me I could come by and pick it up at my leisure. Pretty cool that someone would turn it in and pretty cool that Apple would go to the trouble to locate its owner who lives 600 miles away.

Posted by: podster | November 15, 2006 3:45 PM

I've never liked the ipod at all. Some people buy it as a fashion statement and don't know how to use it. And what bothers me the most is how people just buy stuff without looking around. I have a Creative Zen Vision: M and I got it a few months ago. It's worked perfectly even through all the water and scratches its been through. Why I say this is because Microsoft has included some of its features in its music player that I think all music players should have, such as the radio and suchlike. The Ipod doesn't have stuff like that. Ipods are also overpriced for what you pay for. Its such a ripoff. Ipods are crap

Posted by: kaboomafoo | November 15, 2006 3:47 PM

The only hope for this brick is if the RockBox team figure out how to hack it. That's the only way it will be worth anything. Or you could just avoid the imitations and go with an iPod. Seriously, Apple's had years to fine-tune their model and get all the kinks worked out. Microsoft? Ha! There's no way they got it right in the first release. One reviewer reported their INSTALLER was bombing in media center 2005. That's just sad.

In addition, you can take an entire library of mp3s and sync them to an iPod through iTunes or the newer version of Winamp -- both are completely free. There's no need to re-purchase anything or get innundated with the DRM-hell that is a Microsoft's pathetic attempt.

Let's see how long it takes before the Zune firmware is hacked. It will be really funny to see Linux running on a Zune.

Posted by: blurry | November 15, 2006 3:48 PM

I like the IPod, and dislike microsoft's products, but I welcome this move. It promots competition and creativity.

Posted by: Ronald | November 15, 2006 3:51 PM

Nobody's saying the Zune shouldn't exist; competition is good. It'll probably be better a year from now than it is now. But, if you want a music player RIGHT NOW, I don't see how you wouldn't feel more comfortable with the iPod.

Posted by: TMU | November 15, 2006 3:58 PM

I got a nano last year, it has had no problems. The Nike ipod kit is awesome (it froze twice, but I got over it) and the size is perfect.
Zune has no such kit, until it dose have a Nike or New Balance, or whatever kit, I wont be interested.
Oh, I use a macbook, cant connect to it via zune anyway.
Guess I wont be a Zune Gune

Posted by: Don | November 15, 2006 3:59 PM

I switched to Apple for two reasons - better hardware/software integration and less virus issues. I own an IPOD for the past 3 years with absolutely no problem. What gets me more than anything is Microsoft rips off other company's ideas and packages them as their own.

They offer no real innovation of their own and what could have been a new idea like WI-FI is extremely short-sited. Who would buy just to sample songs?

Microsoft slogan should be "Thieves in the Night"

Posted by: Switcher | November 15, 2006 4:00 PM

I bought a 40Gb iPod in late 2004 that seemed to have died a few months ago: problems with the hard drive.

As I read from some of you here, I followed the same path as you did: asked Apple for assistance but they would charge way too much. So I took the plunge and repaired the iPod by myself.
It's very easy to do, just google to find some sites on how to disassemble and repair your iPod and don't get charged for 100s of dollars/euros.

Posted by: Ewald | November 15, 2006 4:03 PM

I'm using a 5GB (1st Gen) iPod - replaced battery once and I'm still happy with it. Meanwhile bought a couple of Nano's and Shuffles for friends and family - but I'm keeping my original iPod until it kicks the bucket. Windows users will find the simple iTunes interface hard to fathom - but computer-phobes and non-Windows users have found iTunes just easy. Zune will only survive because of the money MS is willing to dump on it just to keep the analysts off its back - "where' your contender to iPOD? - Well we have one - just wait a few more years..."
AM

Posted by: AM | November 15, 2006 4:11 PM

Why would I Zune if the thing has an 802.11 device in it but I can't connect to it with my laptop? (example: automatically syncing the Zune with music I was listening on my computer or just recently downloaded.)

That's a deal breaker.

Posted by: Patrick Riley | November 15, 2006 4:11 PM

My 3rd generation 40 gig ipod has worked fine since I bought it. I teach exercise classes and plug it into the club stereo. I have my music broken down to BPM and put the 100 - 200 song play list on shuffle. The music is always different and enjoyable.

Next Ipod I buy will be the full screen & touch screen video one that is coming out after the first of the year.!? I can only hope.

The Zune won't tempt me in the least. I never have any problems with itunes or downloading music from CD's.

Posted by: Mark | November 15, 2006 4:12 PM

I've haver owned MP3 player. So, I don't have a lot of knowledge about MP3 players. I will probably buy one soon, without knowledge. I will probably just go to a shop and take one with just checking the body color, memory size and price. So, Microsoft will have a chance to sell a Zune to me because I don't know how much iPods are better than Zunes. I just don't have real experience of using MP3 palyers.
But I have money to buy a MP3 player. Whatever I buy, I just read the manual and use it anyway as I do for my Windows PC.

Posted by: k256 | November 15, 2006 4:13 PM

I just think it's funny that someone who hates monopolies would be interested in buying a microsoft product.

Posted by: Chris | November 15, 2006 4:17 PM

My wife bought and 20 gig iPod and was delighted, no so much in the music but its hard drive capacity. So I went out and bought a 40 gig. Zune doesn't interest me and apparently, from all the reviews, it's typical Microsoft: They have the money to develop something. Let's hope they can't strongarm everyone into using an inferior product.

Posted by: Mike | November 15, 2006 4:19 PM

Count me among the people who love the iPod and never have had a problem with it. I had a second generation iPod for about three years and never had one bit of trouble. I had to buy a new one because my car got broken into and the only thing they took was my iPod. Interesting...

I now have an iPod with video. The screen is ok, I suppose. It wasn't what I got an iPod for in the first place, but when I was forced to replace the device capacity was a bigger issue. Staring into a postage stamp to watch video just doesn't make sense to me. Still, it's fun for airplane trips, etc.

Also, I used my iPod with both a PC and a Mac and both times, the integration of the device onto the machine was seamless. The folks who have been griuping about that on this board probably just had some bad luck or something, but my experience has been quite good. I will always been wary of Microsoft products because their track record of releasing less than stellar products is a long one.

What I do not understand is why Microsoft is trying to break into a market when they are a day late and a dollar short. Apple has captured the portable music market. Fine. Microsoft would be far better served plowing money into R&D and figuring out the next 'big thing.' After all, that's how Apple invented the iPod and brought itself back from the dead after it lost mightily to Microsoft in the computer wars...

Posted by: Glover Park iPod fan | November 15, 2006 4:26 PM

It's time for a change. Zune is a new iPod.

Posted by: Anonymous | November 15, 2006 4:27 PM

I'm an iPod Mini owner and after less than two years my battery is practically dead. It actually started dying before the one-year mark. So when I heard about the Zune, I hoped and prayed Microsoft would have enough foresight to include a user-replaceable battery. No such luck.

I'll wait and see who can release the product with the bigger "wow" factor. The iPod and its software are not difficult to use, but I'm extremely hesitant to purchase another one after my battery problems. Zune just isn't appealing enough (and I didn't even think of the wifi on planes dilemma).

Wait and see, people. Wait and see.

Posted by: matt | November 15, 2006 4:29 PM

Sixth generation ipod all the way! Don't say I'm ignorant, because I know stuff that you don't! just look it up, "widescreen ipod"

Posted by: Bovine | November 15, 2006 4:30 PM

hmmm..neuros digital audio computer...80 gig hard drive, plays music (ogg/mp3/flac/NO DRM crap!)... all i really need.

Posted by: Cliff | November 15, 2006 4:32 PM

Do you remember the big bad Dell's attempt at an IPOD killer? (It was so impressive that I can't even remember the name..dj or something). I see Zune and I see a striking analogy to Dell's ipod killer in terms of its feature (oops I have to add the term "innovation" per MS), and its future.

I strongly prefer and wish that a valid IPOD competitor arises even for my beloved Apple. The competition is good for the technology and my wallet except if it is MS.

MS has the track record of gaining the monopoly at any which way + cost. And when the competition goes away,they will rob/punish the poor consumers who originally helped them gain the monopoly by overcharging, bad customer support/service, buggy products and essentially bullying them at their will. It's Bill's way or else.

This well documented MS behavior is one of the main reason why anyone who is even slightly informed will be wary of and avoid anything MS at any cost if possible.

MS has earned their $ but they also earned their reputation. The latter I think will go a long way toward their demise or down fall.

So, do you still want a ZUNE?

Posted by: beware | November 15, 2006 4:32 PM

I've had a 20G iPod for about 18 months now. Just recently the hard drive started making noises and skipping songs. It seems like the lifespan of this product is right under two years. Now I feel very inclined to purchase a Zune because of the unlimited songs for 15 dollar the nice interface and the FM tuner. I'm still waiting for the podcast feature but i don't think it will take very long. Would love to hear more people in this forum who actually have a ZUNE write about their experience instead of just a bunch of MS haters.

Posted by: EdOmaha | November 15, 2006 4:35 PM

If we can succeed in writing our own software for the zune it will be far superior to any player on the market. The software-defined radio feature will be very convenient if its potential can be unlocked.

Posted by: Don | November 15, 2006 4:37 PM

Zune is simply another option for consumers to pick among the digital players. IPod still rules with its simplicity in design and "cool" look. Zune can not beat that. I hope the next Zune will fair better in the look and color. Man! the colors they have now is terrible. For me, it's just another player for people to own.

Posted by: thomasn | November 15, 2006 4:42 PM

106,000 iPod's have been sold every day seven days a week in 2006. Do the math, that's a lot of iPods. There are not that many Apple fanboys out there.
Could it be the iPod is simply great?
I think so!
Zune is a reworked "Plays for sure" product that died due to lack of interest. Microsoft thought they could generate interest making it brown and calling it Zune.

Zune is quickly becomming another word for screwed, as in Dude, you got Zuned.

Posted by: Freddy the Pig | November 15, 2006 4:43 PM

Byron why are you lying... "wouldn't play any of my existing music/video files unless i payed an extra $50 to get "ITUNES Pro"

There is no such thing as iTunes Pro! And besides Apple does not charge for the iTunes program to begin with. It sounds as if you MADE the entire story up.

You are a M$ Windoze fanboy and you know it.

Posted by: htown1962 | November 15, 2006 4:47 PM

I purchased a Zune yesterday, and I LOVE it. I am a wedding photographer, and the ability to carry around alot of photos to show brides is very nice. Also, the resolution and clarity of the display is perfect. Very crisp, colorful, and clean. Also video playback is very nice. The FM tuners very way cool, especially since I like to listen to NPR. Also, the music library is very easy to use and very intuitive.

The only current drawback is the Zune Marketplace store. Once they get that going, it will be able to completely compete with the IPOD. My guess is that they will do that soon.

Posted by: Brian Sutton | November 15, 2006 4:49 PM

"I bought a 40Gb iPod in late 2004 that seemed to have died a few months ago: problems with the hard drive."

Same thing happened to me, Ewald. Same model, same size, except mine didn't last that long -- about 8 months. Apple replaced this unit, as it was still under warranty. But wouldn't you know it, the same thing happened again a few months down the line; this time the warranty was gone. So I decided to fix it myself and buy a battery for about $30. This is cheap, but it is NOT simple to crack that sucker open. I had to eventually use a butter knife. The replacement battery worked fine for -- you guessed it, a few months.

Here's the kicker, though. I plan on buying an 80GB iPod soon. The interface just makes sense to me -- I really don't need to see if the Zune is more intuitive -- and, please correct me if I'm wrong, but is there a higher capacity player out there? It appeals to me because I can have ALL of my music with me.

I've accepted that my bad luck, home wiring, and kitchen utensils most likely led to the demise of my first two iPods. I'd never buy an extended warranty on anything else, but I'll shell out the extra $50 for peace of mind that for the next couple of years, I'll have a mp3 player that I know I'll like.

Posted by: Jon | November 15, 2006 4:49 PM

I hate to love the Ipod but in today's society what choice does one have? It has, by far, the most accessories. I have a 1st generation Ipod and its battery life is totally depleted. It could never hold the expected charge of 8 hours from the start anyway. I feel that Zune has a lot of problems with it but I believe that they will be able to resolve it within a short period of time. I am looking forward to making the switch within a year or two. :)

Posted by: HI | November 15, 2006 4:50 PM

I am so impressed by the way iPod scrolls. It is hard to scroll and select songs using keys, espically after you have tried iPod.

I bought an iPod mini for my wife, and want to buy a new one for myself. Zune is not bad, just not as stylish, small, light as iPod. These are not important though; the key issue is, I am lazy and don't want to use the inefficient way to navigate.

Moreover, I want an iPod nano. There is no Zune Nano.

Posted by: Simon | November 15, 2006 4:51 PM

I have 2 ipods, my parents have 2 ipods. Mine have been used exclusively with Linux (Debian) for music updating for years. I use them plugged into hefty computer speakers (with subwoofers) instead of a stereo and also take them walking, driving, etc.

I have to admit after reading some Zune reviews that it looks bigger and uglier and less intuitive to navigate content. It reminds me a lot of a pocket pc (which I have two of, neither of which I use... too big, clunky, flakey and a weird combination of lots of potential but no polish... sounds like the Zune!)

Posted by: dave | November 15, 2006 4:57 PM

The problem with the Zune, is that Microsoft is blatently trying to rip off Apple's model. The design is similar to the iPod, and their marketing is like a bad copy of Steve Job's strategy. It oozes with phoney faux cool. What Microsoft needs to do is follow their own path and design a product that not only looks brand new, but changes the portable media player game. They could have designed a totally forward looking device with its own brand of industrial design, removed DRM, made music sharing easier, and made a online store that doesn't force you to spend $5 each time...however they failed so far on all fronts. What is particularly boring about the Zune is that it is trying to compete with Apple by copying their strategy. What Microsoft has to do is create a totally new product which reframes how people view a portable media player, and with the Zune so far, they have failed miserably. Companies that aren't creative come up with cheap rehashes of the same product. I can think of a million better possibilities for portable media players than what is out on the market... Why are companies so conservative in their approach? Until I get to design my own device, I am sticking with the iPod, as so far it has presented itself as the best solution.

Posted by: Mr. BoJangles | November 15, 2006 5:03 PM

My 60 gig iPod is four months old and I find it almost as unimpressive as the Zune. The Zune is not news. When will one mobile device be able to play and record FM radio, satellite radio and line-in audio/video? When will people who cannot afford top-speed broadband be able to download TV shows without waiting forever? When will we see a variety stereos and TiVo-style boxes that swap data from multiple mobile devices? When will we be able to do these things wirelessly, without requiring an intermediary desktop or laptop computer? Mobile digital audio/video has seen only marginal advances since the iPod came on the scene. I hope that Microsoft uses its capital advantage wisely, listening to consumers and genuinely innovating, for a change.

Posted by: Dan | November 15, 2006 5:06 PM

If the MS Zune is so great, why is Microsoft selling them at a loss? The current selling price for the MS Zune is below their cost, and interestingly at, or near, the cost of a comparable iPod.

Posted by: Questioner | November 15, 2006 5:06 PM

Creative labs already has a superior product to the ipod (Zen Vision) & what keeps people still buying ipods is because it's all they know! (CLONES) apples file format is annoying. I had to convert songs after I downloaded from itunes to mp3 so that I can use on a non-ipod player. Apple does have the market cornered on accesories though such as car stereo compatability etc... so that alone may sway me next time around when i'm due to upgrade. Also MS did put out xBox1 that was/is a better gaming console than ps2 so sometimes ol' Billy gets it right.

Posted by: Anonymous | November 15, 2006 5:07 PM

The problem with the Zune, is that Microsoft is blatently trying to rip off Apple's model. The design is similar to the iPod, and their marketing is like a bad copy of Steve Job's strategy. It oozes with phoney faux cool. What Microsoft needs to do is follow their own path and design a product that not only looks brand new, but changes the portable media player game. They could have designed a totally forward looking device with its own brand of industrial design, removed DRM, made music sharing easier, and made a online store that doesn't force you to spend $5 each time...however they failed so far on all fronts. What is particularly boring about the Zune is that it is trying to compete with Apple by copying their strategy. What Microsoft has to do is create a totally new product which reframes how people view a portable media player, and with the Zune so far, they have failed miserably. Companies that aren't creative come up with cheap rehashes of the same product. I can think of a million better possibilities for portable media players than what is out on the market... Why are companies so conservative in their approach? Until I get to design my own device, I am sticking with the iPod, as so far it has presented itself as the best solution.

Posted by: Mr. BoJangles | November 15, 2006 5:08 PM

As long as I can get one for free. Reason? I don't know of a product with a Microsoft name on it that worked. Windows 98 SE came close but they only got it there right before they stopped supporting it. Xbox was also pretty good but it required a modchip and Linux to work properly. So Microsoft, if you are listening, send me a Zune and I'll do my best to put up with another half assed product of yours to the best of my abilities.
Now, does anyone know how to mod this thing?

Posted by: I want a Zune! | November 15, 2006 5:08 PM

The problem with the Zune, is that Microsoft is blatently trying to rip off Apple's model. The design is similar to the iPod, and their marketing is like a bad copy of Steve Job's strategy. It oozes with phoney faux cool. What Microsoft needs to do is follow their own path and design a product that not only looks brand new, but changes the portable media player game. They could have designed a totally forward looking device with its own brand of industrial design, removed DRM, made music sharing easier, and made a online store that doesn't force you to spend $5 each time...however they failed so far on all fronts. What is particularly boring about the Zune is that it is trying to compete with Apple by copying their strategy. What Microsoft has to do is create a totally new product which reframes how people view a portable media player, and with the Zune so far, they have failed miserably. Companies that aren't creative come up with cheap rehashes of the same product. I can think of a million better possibilities for portable media players than what is out on the market... Why are companies so conservative in their approach? Until I get to design my own device, I am sticking with the iPod, as so far it has presented itself as the best solution.

Posted by: Mr. BoJangles | November 15, 2006 5:09 PM

ummmmm... ithink all of the iPod users are crazy i cirrently have a nano and it works ok the Big problam is that i cant get it to turn off half the time so it eats my batt. so i will expect to be switching soon for the zune

Posted by: TAG | November 15, 2006 5:10 PM

If you hold down on your iPod, it turns off. That's a tip for you.

Posted by: Mr. Smythe | November 15, 2006 5:14 PM

Do you know that apple and microsoft are pretty much alike, but apple "claims" to be better with its 12% computer market share. Just letting you know.

Posted by: Donkey Kong | November 15, 2006 5:17 PM

Whether it is Microsoft or Apple is really irrelevant in my opinion. I don't care if a 3rd rate company comes out with the next killer portable media player! The point is to create the best possible product for the consumer, and the Zune is pretty unimpressive in my opinion. It seems to be an uninspired product with the "monkey see, monkey do" mentality when compared to Apple's iPod. Although there are many shortcomings on the iPod, I still wholeheartedly believe that it is the best player on the market. If Microsoft can come up with something better, than they deserve to compete, but until then, I am yawning and waiting for the next version of the iPod.

Posted by: Nincompoop | November 15, 2006 5:23 PM

To everyone who touts the Zune's FM radio as a reason to get one, FM reception has been available, via the optional remote control, for the iPod (5G) since last year. (Frankly, though, I got my iPod four years ago because I didn't want to be stuck with listening to the radio.)

And to the "wedding photographer" who likes to carry around a lot of photos to show the bride, here's a tip: you can fit exactly as many photos on a 30 GB iPod as you can on a 30 GB Zune. And you can fit a hell of a lot MORE photos on an 80GB iPod than you can on a 30GB Zune.

Posted by: Garett | November 15, 2006 5:34 PM

Nope, no iPod, no Zune. Everyone saying that the Zune violates fair use, guess what? SO DOES THE IPOD. iTunes songs can only be copied to 5 devices, and in the EULA you agreed to, you agreed that Apple is allowed to decide whenever they want to change that number.
Don't get me wrong, MS is no better. All these devices limit my rights as to where and on what I can listen to music I purchased.
I will not purchase any item that is part of any attempt to reduce my rights. And, BTW, i'm not downloading illegally either, just doing without.

Posted by: Great Scott | November 15, 2006 5:37 PM

I have four Ipod's in my house: 2G, 3G, 6G, and nano. They have all worked great and i have no complaints about them, but I don't understand why people think that if you like an Ipod then you have to hate the Zune. I, for one, am seriously thinking of getting one. I have always wished that the Ipod would come with an FM radio built in and the WiFi would be a pretty cool feature to have on my campus. Also, why are so many people making such a big deal about the Zune currently not working on Vista, Vista hasn't even been released yet. And besides, Microsoft has already said that the Zune will be completely compatible with Vista when the OS finally launches. If for nothing else, I like the Zune because it will bring some much needed competition to Apple which hasn't really added anything new to the Ipod in a while... longer battery life and brighter screen was a joke the last time around.

Posted by: victor | November 15, 2006 5:38 PM

I played with a Zune at Comp-USA. First, it cannot be used as a hard-drive, whereas I use my iPod almost daily for this purpose. Second, the Zune cannot be used as an alarm clock, whereas the iPod can. Third, the Zune's images cannot be played on my television, whereas I often display pictures and videos from my iPod to my TV. Foruth, I can play games on my iPod, while you cannot on the Zune. (this will never change for the current Zune, as the hardware will not support this). Those are three major minuses. Come on, Microsoft flew bloggers to Seattle to allow them to test out the Zune, hoping they'd have something nice to say. They did not. That should tell you something.


People should understand, that the consumer will be the ultimate loser if Zune ever takes off. Why? Apple actually has demonstrated it is fighting for prices of music to remain reasonable. Apple unsuccessfully also fought to have no DRM protecting songs. When it could not get the labels to budge, it fought for reasonable DRM. Microsoft is already showing its willingness to give ground to the record companies by giving them a cut of the player. This will mean more expensive prices for you because Apple will now have to agree to this when it comes time to re-negotiate prices with the labels. Make no mistake, the labels want Apple to fail, so they can continue to do what they always did, screw you. Apple also has been dropping the price of its iPod line. The only reason Zune is $249 is because Apple lowered its prices.

Four final things. First, Apple never ever charged for anything called iTunes Pro. It does charge for Quicktime Pro, but the Pro version is not needed to watch videos or view photos. Second, Microsoft might update the Zune, but currently it merely is a repackaged version of a product that has been on the market for a year. Accordingly, the version on the market now will unlikely be updated through firmware. Three, everybody knows Apple will be coming out with an all new designed product in January. Why buy year old technology from a company that will eventually screw you. Fourth, Zune's credit system is misleading, and is again designed to make money from you. Why do I have to give Microsoft five dollars before I can buy one song?

Posted by: Zune stinks | November 15, 2006 5:47 PM

Let's put it this way:
Apple has been putting out great, innovative products in the music business for years, without much competition from Microsoft. Now that they actually have some sort of competition, what do you think that Apple is going to do? Slack off and get worse? I bet they'll come up with something soon to counter the Zune, and it will probably be much better. I've never had a problem with my iPod, and I've used it, and iTunes, with a PC before I got my iMac (which I love). No problems with either, and my iPod (4th gen) is almost three years old.

Posted by: RockstarNavigator | November 15, 2006 5:54 PM

Not sure what's funnier: people complaining about Apple's "monopoly" and "closed system" in relation to Microsoft or the fact that the Washington Post puts up these comment pages. I suspect the writers and editors use these to relieve tension in the news room. Some of these comments are comedy gold.

Posted by: Manassas | November 15, 2006 5:56 PM

I liked the post above which indicated new features that should be seen in media players: A/V recording input and output, Built-in Radio (Satellite/FM/AM/TV/Shortwave) with recording capabilities. Wireless transmission of these recordings to other users would be also be excellent. Podcasting/YouTubing is already in the public consciousness, but let's make it even easier by letting users share what they find interesting in the ever-flowing mediasream, and share these sounds and images when connected to a computer or other media device! In terms of sharing, streaming of each others' music libraries would be ideal, since bandwidth isn't large enough. It could be a streaming technology much similar to how the iTunes program shares what is in each person's library (if the function is turned on). The sharing method used in Microsoft's Zune is too prohibitive. Incorporate these features with a set top box similar to what Apple's proposing with their new iTV device to make the whole thing integrated with your life!
Make a user serviceable/replaceable battery! Make the product look even more futuristic than the iPod! Hire some forward thinking archetects/industrial designers or artists out there... I could think of tons of other features I'd like to see, but there are many more...

Posted by: Mr. BoJangles | November 15, 2006 5:57 PM

I have a creative MUVO player (512 MB) that I carry around most places, and don't think I'm missing much. In fact, I can save my docs that I'm working on to my player and cart them around with me, since the interface is simply a USB flash drive.
I also use my 1 gig card on my Walkman branded cell phone for most of my music. And my phone also features MobiTV (which plays some live channels) and an FM radio,as well as a feature called MobiRadio, which is similar to satellite. Besides, I can download real games onto my phone, also.
I don't foresee buying either product anytime soon.

Posted by: beth | November 15, 2006 5:59 PM

The Microsoft marketing 'grass roots' contractors are really out in force on this one. Noone I know is going to waste money on a Zune. _NO_ONE_

For the record, I went from a 3rd gen ipod to a 5th gen ipod and have had nothing but good experiences with it, the video takes longer to load than a music file 1/100th of its size, but what does one expect. and as to shills claiming they cant use video or existing music with their ipod/itunes, thats b-s. convert your videos to mpeg4 and they work just fine, and ALL of my several years of collected music works perfectly with itunes (granted i dont have many .flac or .ogg files in my collection).

cheers.

Posted by: Out in Force | November 15, 2006 6:10 PM

I have a hatred for iPods. I have one of the 1st gen iPods and there are so many glitches. Then I bought a new iPod shuffle and I had to return that one because it would not allow me to upload songs to it. Another thing I hate about iPods is the iTunes software. It's extremely slow, lags your computer, and it installs a service so everytime you start your computer iTunes service will also start if you don't know how to turn it off. I have given up on iPods. But I don't think I'm ready to get a Zune just yet.

Posted by: IT Guy | November 15, 2006 6:20 PM

I am just bored of the iPod and its raving fans and am looking forward to switching to Zune. Apple never cared to improve its iPod until now. Hope it makes iPod even better with new features. Competition is good for the consumer anyway.It doesn't matter if anybody switches or not to Zune, if Microsoft can market it to the new buyers that can suffice for a start.

Posted by: sadhurao@yahoo.com | November 15, 2006 6:28 PM

I'm a long time Windows user who bought a 4G 60GB iPod Photo a year and a half ago. It worked (and continues to work) so flawlessly that I bought an iMac a few months ago. Apple now has a customer for life. Their products are elegant, beautiful, and they just work. No fuss, no muss, no BSOD's. If and when my iPod dies, I'll go straight to the store and buy another one. The reason I carry 60GB of music is so I don't have to listen to the radio, and the WiFi aspect of the Zune seems so poorly executed as to be useless.

So now I own PC's and I own Apples. If I could only have one computer and one DAP, my choice would be my iMac and my iPod. Case closed.

Posted by: tfcdb06 | November 15, 2006 6:34 PM

iPod killer? Youve got to be kidding me. The wireless technology is so pointless, it kills so much battery life and anyway who wants to seem like a minfless drone searching for someone else with a zune...i know i don't

Posted by: Bryan | November 15, 2006 6:35 PM

I thought MSFT was a software company. No? I guess when you have a problem with a Zune you can bring it back to one of MSFT's stores... in the back of Walmart. ;)

Someone please walk into an Apple store with a Zune and ask to return it or ask for a different color because brown stinks.

No that is youtube material.

MSft please do what your good at... making browsers. Ouch!

Posted by: Sleepless in Seattle | November 15, 2006 6:36 PM

You guys want a radio, try amazon. You can get one at a savings of over $241! No kidding, look!

http://www.amazon.com/COBY-CX7-Portable-Radio-Blue/dp/B00006I563/sr=1-10/qid=1163634490/ref=sr_1_10/102-5301189-3740907?ie=UTF8&s=audio-video

$8.34 and you get AM too! You could tape it to your ipod (or heck, your zune) and increase your feature set dramatically!

OMG!!! NO MP3 PLAYUR HAS AM!!!! EXCEPT FOR MEE3!!!

Posted by: Chris | November 15, 2006 6:50 PM

Zune is a piece of junk. This is Microsoft's 3rd time trying yet another "iPod killer" strategy - they failed doing it with MSN, then they failed in partnership with MTV, now the xBox team is trying it.

Microsoft products rarely work. Besides, who wants an iPod killer. Ask consumers - do they want something else? No. Especially when the primary difference from the iPod is that it's bigger and clunkier. LAAAME

Posted by: Jack Robertson | November 15, 2006 6:52 PM

I have three ipods. I still have my orginal first gen. I love it still. Battery life is great and it is very durable. I have a 3rd gen mini and love it for running or travelling. I aslo have a fifth Gen video ipod. Never had a problem. I use it all the time to watch video Podcasts, TV shows, and Movies, I love it. The Zune is a loon. I heard the battery life will be horrific if you zune with friends via wifi. Apple will respond with a zune killer -a new video ipod and iphone!

Posted by: Tyler | November 15, 2006 6:54 PM

I got my 30G ipod last yr as a gift and I love it so much. I have no problems with my ipod at all. I play my ipod in my car as the cd player. I am not sure if zune can do that. After reading about the song transfer and the restrictions with the zune seems too complicated for me..I don't think I need to switch to it. I just want something simple like ipod. Plus there is nothing wrong with my ipod.

Posted by: Ipod | November 15, 2006 7:04 PM

http://www.engadget.com/2006/10/10/apple-about-to-announce-wireless-video-ipod/

If you want something new and not the old ipod....maybe you should wait for Apple new invention "widescreen ipod"

Check out the picture on the website...

Posted by: save your money | November 15, 2006 7:07 PM

I'm the target demographic for this product and have just finished evaluating all the portable music players. I've concluded that the apple ipod is still the best in market and that is the one I will purchase. Come on people. Microsoft doesn't do anything right. Why should we trust them on this lousy first gen catch up product. Anyone can come to market with a copy product. What is so original about this one?

Brown? Ugly color.

Radio? You don't think apple could have added the radio? They didn't because we don't want or need it. The whole point is for us to listen to our music, not some chump clearchannel pay for playlist. Also, anyone used a portable FM radio lately? Drifts in and out when you are on the move. Useless.

Wireless? Doesn't use wireless with your P.C. Only wireless between other zunes. Considering the fact they will only sell about 100 of these things, good luck finding someone to hook up with.

Ipods still rule the day. Zune is for rubes. Anyone posting here promoting Zune is probably a low paid Microsoft shill. They make statements like "I'm bored with the Ipod", or "I'm tired of Mac fanatics." These are not critiques of a product.

Posted by: max | November 15, 2006 7:07 PM

This is a good analogy of the Zune philosophy.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/J_Allard

Posted by: Mr. Moneybucks | November 15, 2006 7:08 PM

Kent, ever hear of windows? I think that's a successful microsoft product.

Posted by: Eric | November 15, 2006 7:09 PM

I have three iPods.I have NEVER had any problems with any of them EVER.The Zune is just a brown lump of junk.Considering all the second-rate things about it...size,weight,that ridiculous "point system"...well I am not too worried about it being anything close to an "iPod killer".

Byron,if you are going to post about how to use Mac applications,at least KNOW what you are talking about....

Posted by: J. | November 15, 2006 7:10 PM

My favorite part of this post is reading all the MS apologists lying about iPod and slobbering all over the Zune, as if they know what the heck they're talking about after approximately 12 hours of use.

Posted by: Dan | November 15, 2006 7:13 PM

I recently went to the store to buy a Zune. Well I ended up leaveing the store with the new video iPod, for several reasons. First of all, Ive had a hard time organizing my music with Windows Media Player, it automatically adds all music files it finds on your computer to your library. That leads to a disorganized mess, and I could not see trying to clean it up or have all that on my Zune. 2nd, media purchased from iTunes will not work with Zune and likewise anything from Windows Marketplace will not work with iPods. I believe Zune would be better for playing videos, but none are currently offered by Windows Marketplace where as iTunes has many.

As for my new iPod, its a well known brand, so I dont have to worry if it will stop working or anything, yet Microsoft has had problems with introducing new products and technologies. I was a little dissappointed, since I had some videos I was planning to put on it, only to find they were incompatible. The iPod also lacks some features that you would expect in such a modern and technological device. After 5 years the thing is only about a centimeter thick, and can play videos but still doesnt have an FM Radio. The Wireless sharing feature offered by Zune is very interesting, its innovative things like those that will make or break Zune. As for only being able to play the song 3 times, im not sure how well that will go over.

I still cant decide if I made the right decision, but I encourage people to try Zune(even though I didnt)

Posted by: some guy | November 15, 2006 7:13 PM

Facts: I installed iTunes on my Windows box in 2002. I hated it.


Last year I got a mac mini, and suddenly iTunes makes sense. I can't live without it.

People I know who work at mac stores INSIST that iPod buyers get the extended warranty. That's always struck me as a problem with the iPod, but if it has the interface you like, then cough up the extra $50.

I avoid most first-generation gear. Bugs in manufacturing, problems with the devices, etc. I don't even bother with it any more. I wait for the second generation to come out. You should, too.

Posted by: Seymour Fortesque | November 15, 2006 7:17 PM

As a rebuttal to the comment "Dead on Arrival", Zune would be allowed to be used on an airplane. Its wireless can be switched on and off just like laptops which are also allowed. Forgot about that part didn't you? Personally, I won't be getting a Zune but congrats to MS for making a DIFFERENT mp3 player. For a company that touts "think different" Apple's iPod has become way too common.

Posted by: Airplanes and Zunes | November 15, 2006 7:19 PM

http://www.hainsworth.com/?p=991


if people like zune because of their bigger screen than ipod...then maybe you should check out this new ipod-
The screen covers the entire face of ipod...

Posted by: John | November 15, 2006 7:23 PM

NOW I know why they picked such a stupid name for the thing!!! So they could manufacture a cute verb! "Zuning" "Are you 'Zuning'?" When I first saw the billboard (and every time since) I thought - what idiot didn't learn the lesson that cute names are not effective in getting people to an Internet site.. I stupidly thought it was another music theft site like kazaaa or something... "Zune" Who would come up with that word? It describes nothing.. like that 90's "Blue Martini" website loser thing... What is "Zune"? Now "Zone" would have been much better.. You know, as in "music zone" or "erogenou.. oh never mind. The point is ZUNE isn't a word.

Then I saw this little item in the Post... what do you wanna bet money is involved? I mean do we really think a reporter came up with the perfect faux-verb of the non-word "Zune"... I'm referring to the wish-it-was-catchy mix of letters spelling out Zuning". Right. Annnd conveniently it is a place where he is inviting us - and microsoft shills - to comment on it! I can see the meeting..."I know - let's get em' zooming around with it... we'll call it ZUNE and then we can say in the coffe house that I've been "Zuning' around all day" Yeah! That gets us into pop language culture! Wow we'll sell a million of them! It worked for ABC when they re named OC "The OC" for that TV show..."

Am I "Zuning"?

NO. I am NOT. Thank you very much.

I don't like having the english language manipulated by a marketing department in order to pander to me.

Zuining... Really? Please.

Posted by: Twilight Zune | November 15, 2006 7:24 PM

Buy an mp3 player that suits your needs.

I dont have either Ipod or Zune, but I have the Creative Zen Vision:M, and frankly, I think it's the best cus it has more features than the Ipod and Zune and it sells for around 250 bucks. Go check that out

Posted by: kaboo | November 15, 2006 7:32 PM

To Twilight Zune and others who suggested that The Post or I took payment or takes payment from companies such as Microsoft to promote their products: Of course I/we don't. Are you kidding? I would and should be fired for such an offense. (Further, Post reporters cannot hold stock -- aside from that in mutual funds -- in companies we cover. It would be a conflict of interest.)

I don't care if the Zune sells, or it doesn't. Either way, I'll write about it.

I care what consumers think about it.

I care about how consumers interact with technology.

And I'm afraid that I came up with "Zuning" all on my own. I happen to think one of the best traits of English is its malleability (which *is* a word) and its flair for whimsy.

Posted by: Frank Ahrens | November 15, 2006 7:36 PM

Wow, I think that's the first time I've ever seen a Post blogger contribute to his discussion. WTG Frank!

Posted by: Chris | November 15, 2006 7:45 PM

Well, apparently if you listen to all these iPod fanatics, no other company should even dare to discuss producing a product that is similar to the iPod. I just can't believe all these people actually build their lives around these goofy things. I wonder how many of them were able to tear themselves away from their little toys to vote last Tuesday.

Oh well...the main problem with Apple is their closed architecture and business model...whether it's a Mac or an iPod, you have to trust Apple to do the right thing forever, 'cuz there's no other game in town but them...that's why Apple customers are so focused on convincing you that THEY made the "right" decision, and YOU didn't...just like a Repub talking about an Democrat.

On the other hand, MS really isn't very savory either, what with all the DRM restrictions on the device. Who wants all that external control on their "personal" property...MS might as well lease the thingy to you instead of sell it...it's like you're buying a license to use the hardware...and Apple isn't really much different.

So I'll stick with my Brand X mp3 player...weighs nearly 9 oz., carries a 30G harddisk, runs for hours...and doesn't even know what DRM is.

I'll switch when it breaks or there's a breakthough on music distro that actually benefits the customer.

Posted by: crabshaw | November 15, 2006 7:45 PM

It's Apple for computers and iPods and Microsoft for lemons.

Posted by: J Curtis | November 15, 2006 7:56 PM

If you want to buy a song from the Zune Marketplace, your credit card won't do. you cannot pay with your credit card, you have to buy Microsoft points! Just like in Xbox Live. Obviously it has to be $5 or more worth of MS points to be able to use their service...Let's revise: you first see your usual and comfortable credit card rejected; then you are informed that you have to use MS points, not money; and then, you have to find out what a MS point is and what it's worth, because although a track costs 99 cents, that equals in MS points 79 points... And you have to buy at minimum the equivalent in MS points of 5 dollars...

Posted by: zune is a joke | November 15, 2006 7:59 PM

I still have my original 5G ipod from 6 years ago and it works just fine. (note, when the old ones freeze up you have two choices, crack the case with two triagular pieces of packaging plastic (you know that clear sorta stiff stuff that holds products on a cardboard hanger card at the store) and unplug the battery, or let it sit a month to completely run out of juice. They do come back to life.) Despite my having a perfectly working ipod, boyfriend just bought me a 60G video ipod for my birthday (with a very sweet custom etching on the back). The screen is fantastic on it. I would not have believed that it would be compelling to stare at something so small for a half an hour at a time, but it is. And the boyfriend installed podcast conversion on the mythtv box so our house has its own podcast server filled with the latest of our favorite tv shows. That's the really cool part. Without source video, what would be the point? Well, there is that youtube to podcast converter too... forgot about that.

The lack of radio tuner has never been an issue for me. Radio where I live really sucks. Now, if an mp3 player offered satellite radio, then we'd be talking about something.

Posted by: Marie | November 15, 2006 8:04 PM

I've been a PC user since 1981 when I bought an IBM PC XT. Two days ago I purchased my first Apple laptop. I currently run XP on my two home PC's and have no plans to go to Vista because of past problems with Windows and Internet Explorer. I'm a grandfather now and have little desire to spend my time in retirement supporting Gates software. Now, you ask me if I'd buy a Zune or an Ipod ? There is no choice in my mind, Apple has this locked up. My son is a graphic designer with Disney and he works on both PC's and Apple's. He loves the Apple and is constantly trying to get me to convert. After visiting the Apple store and getting unbelievable support I purchased my first Apple Mac. I may buy more Apples because I normally replace my systems every 3 years. I won't make Steve Jobs much richer but I'll have more time to spend with my grandchildren thanks to Mr. Jobs. Oh, bye the way, I worked for IBM for 30 years before I retired.

Posted by: RP | November 15, 2006 8:14 PM

I am happy to see a decent competitor. I love my iPods and have no desire to switch, however I did go to see the Zune on the day it was released. All in all it looks like a respectable device. The Zune is cool and iPod does need a built in tuner. Microsoft missed the mark with the wireless capability. Make the device synch wirelessly with your computer...that would be cool.

Hopefully this starts a price/feature war. If that happens we (the conusmer) win. I am not a Microsoft fan nor a Microsoft hater....I make my living with their products. I am an iPod halo effect Mac user and feel that iPod's real advantage is still the iTunes software (not the store). Before I had an iPod or used a Mac, I used iTunes for my music files simply because it was an awesome peice of free software. I think that it is superior to Media Player 11.

Posted by: john noonan | November 15, 2006 8:31 PM

A 2006 Zune includes wireless hardware, so a software upgrade can expand it's wireless features in the future.

A 2006 iPod will never have any wireless features.

I won't buy an iPod, because iTunes doesn't offer a subscription music service. (Yes, a subscription, like cable television or satellite radio.)

Posted by: JohnJ | November 15, 2006 8:32 PM

I have seen a lot of the comments on other sites. almost word for word. Most of the people here dogging the iPod or boosting Zune are plants, hired by Microsoft to talk up their substandard product. It's actually pretty pathetic. If you make your living that way, you are a real tool. Not to mention a professional liar.

Posted by: MS Plants abound! | November 15, 2006 8:51 PM

The Zune.net web site states:

"Best of all, the song you sent isn't just a 30-second preview­--it's the whole song! Your friend can sample the song up to three times in three days, flag it on their device and then, if they like it, they can buy it later from Zune Marketplace."

The below claim that "That friend MUST also purchase it" is completely false. The purchase is optional.

********

Below Posted by: Joel Easton

>The Zune VIOLATES COPYRIGHT LAW

>After you beam a song to your friend - one that you MUST have PAID for... That friend MUST also purchase it within tree days, or three performances, whichever comes first. THAT FACT violates the fair use provisions of US copyright law.<

Posted by: JohnJ | November 15, 2006 8:53 PM

I've had my ipod mini (it's a collectible now!) for 2 years, I think. But it has been great. I have dropped it a million times and have had no problems. Since I am a non-geek, I really like the easy interface of itunes. I doubt I will be watchng t.v. on my handheld anytime soon, since most t.v. is crap. I hope to keep using this for a long time. I like the wheel thingy. Since I remember when cassette players (the first red one was 100 dollars, the sony walkman, I think, and I totally coveted it. This was in 1983, and that was more than I would pay for a pair of shoes! Since I am a addict to footwear, that is saying something!)

Posted by: jane | November 15, 2006 9:02 PM

By hosting this blog, Washington Post at least implies that they either endorse the content, or don't object to posts which may be fraudulent. iTunes Pro? Come on, you don't have to be an IT expert to spot that lie.

As for "slowing his machine dramatically" or having to erase a hard drive, reinstall windows, etc. these are clear indications that Byron is a worshipper at the Church of Microsoft, and his preacher has been demonizing parishoners of other churches as followers of Satan. As a result, his screed is simply fantasy combined with fraud.

There are plenty of legitimate criticisms which can be made of the iPod, but Byron wouldn't know about any of them, any more than he could tell the difference between a Mac and a grapefruit.

You should remove posts like his which are nothing but fiction.

Posted by: Thingamabob | November 15, 2006 9:21 PM

I am satisfied with my iPod Video and so are pretty much all the people i know who have had, or do have different iPods. I've used it in both Windows, and Mac OS. Both work beautifully. I use it for everything; games, music, video, calendar, contacts, photos, podcast.

It bothers me that people who either; don't know what they are talking about, don't know what an iPod is vs. any other player. Or people who are really not smart enough to be aloud to own a computer of any kind; start complaining. Thus making absolute fools of themselves. Scaring the general public, and those who also don't know better.

However... to Byron, If you had problems with iTunes slowing windows I would guaranty there were other problems already present. And adding another program, from Apple or not would have been the last straw. Not to mentions Windows has never "played nicely" with 3rd party software, and requires allot of maintenance.

Posted by: Ice Cream Man | November 15, 2006 10:13 PM

Posted by: RP | November 15, 2006 08:14 PM

The post by the above listed poster is truly and intelligent remark. And clearly and honest man. Kudos to you "RP"

In other news, my grandfather used to work for IBM too.

Posted by: Alex | November 15, 2006 10:20 PM

My sole iPod is a first-generation Shuffle, and I think it's absolutely great! In general, I prefer simple, uncluttered designs--not products that have a ton of hardly-ever-used features crammed into it. The Shuffle is robust, handy, and fills the bill for me perfectly.

Posted by: Jim | November 15, 2006 11:10 PM

ZUNE SUCKS! Can't wait for the first virus to spread amonst "the Social".

Posted by: hahahahahaha | November 16, 2006 12:03 AM

I got an iPod mini a little over a year ago and switched to an 80 GB iPod recently for the extra memory. I had no problems with either one. Not saying I'm in love with iPods (it's just a little gadget, after all), but Apple products sure haven't created a lot of headaches for me.

IMHO, Microsoft has made a mess of a lot of things: computer security (viruses, spyware, etc), DRM ("PlaysForSure"... ha ha ha) and PDA software (tried a PPC for a few months and nothing worked reliably). In my experience, buying Microsoft products inevitably leads to spending a lot more time and money to make them actually work.

I think competition is very important; I just don't think Microsoft is going to make a competitive product.

Posted by: JP | November 16, 2006 12:04 AM

I Think 'iTunes Pro' Brian is a Bot.

Posted by: Dee | November 16, 2006 12:08 AM

I have purchased eight iPods over the last 5 years. Every one of them (presumably including the one that was stolen :-( ) continues to function perfectly, simply, elegantly. They just work. Music is easy to purchase and maintain in iTunes. Oodles of different music formats are compatible with the iTunes jukebox. The iPod is becoming a standard audio status symbol for many automobile companies and now six major airlines. Remind me: why would I want to switch from Apple? Answer: No reason.

Zune brings nothing interesting to the table. The FM receiver is static-y, the Wi-Fi feature and 3 day/play music beaming is awkward and contrived, the Zune Store point system is MS's stealthy way of hanging on to all your little residual micropayments left over after buying your 79 point (99 cent) songs. The Zune software is not compatible with MS Vista! Zune's form factor is not hip.

The conspiracy theorists among us say that Zune 1.0 is just the first iteration of the MS juggernaut building up steam and that we should remain wary of the brand dilution and spoiler strategies MS uses, such as the per-unit kickback to the recording industry. However, unlike the desktop / OS space, where MS was able to compel computer manufacturers to bundle their OS with hardware, thus guaranteeing ever-growing market share, the consumer electronics space is a different cat.

"Good enough" doesn't make it for long. Hence the many digital audio players who have tried but failed to make inroads into Apple's dominant position. Even copying Apple's "walled garden" strategy of iTunes/iPod will not succeed. MS's soulless corporate identity will prevent it from finding that killer app.
d

Posted by: daniel | November 16, 2006 12:10 AM

I have a Nano, and it still stuns me to this day that it's so darn small. I feel like it's one of those Milky Bars you can bite into .. Yummy.

Well, Version 1.0 of any MS is going to be junk. Windows 1? IE 1? Wasn't until v3 they started to gain traction.

Competition should make good products, Unfortunately the Mkt Leader always seems to trip'n'stumble when Microsoft is on there tail... Apple has been one of them, so has Lotus, Netscape, Sony etc.....

So Apple, don't stumble, or we will all end up owning Zunes (At least then the social aspect will kick in).

Posted by: Dipak | November 16, 2006 12:16 AM

Microsoft has gotten a lot of flack for the WiFi feature on the Zune, which I admit is at best a novelty. It seems to have slipped by the majority of observers that despite the half baked WiFi sharing, it's still a solid Digital Audio Player.

The Zune marketplace seems to be a batch of nonsensical ideas thrown together, I wouldn't be surprised to see Windows Media Player integration soon. As for buying points in blocks, it's not a convenient or logical setup, but as with the other problems with the Zune software, they will likely be improved as the Zune/Xbox Live Marketplace evolves.

Bottom Line, if you hate the iPod's touch wheel(I do) and you don't mind a clumsy music management scheme, the Zune is a viable (but probably not the best) choice. The Zune will probably become a competitive alternative to the iPod eventually, but until Microsoft throws a lot more money at it, the offerings from Creative and Sandisk are better alternatives to the iPod.


Posted by: ubermensch | November 16, 2006 12:34 AM

I have been looking for a media player and after reading this quite frankly Brand X is looking better and better. Basically I am seeing that if the manufacturer wants to be my music provider I am going to end up dealing with DRM which no matter how you slice it limits how I use my content. Also I, as an individual, dont need a device that has been dumbed down to be sure grandma can use it.

Posted by: gkb | November 16, 2006 2:08 AM

Why is my 20Gb 3G iPod the thing I couldn't live without. Because in a very simple and elegant way it gave me back my love for music. I can carry around all my music whereever I like. And it has never let me down. Same for my wife's Nano.
iTuines an the Mac is wonderful, as i live on the country I enjoy being able to buy music from home, at a fair pice.
Zune? Not for me, doesn't work on Macs.
But also because:
- the point system is stupid
- wi-fi is only valuable if you at least can connect to your copmuter
- looks and design: too big too clunky for a 2006 product
- the strange feeling that Microsoft by getting into bed with Universal e.g. (whose CEO calls all of us thiefes for a start) shows that it is bad old microsoft after all: that means a monopolistic anti-consumer corporation you want to milk every dollar out of your pocket (subscriptions? come on a shareholder's dream but a customers nightmare!)
andyk

Posted by: andyk | November 16, 2006 2:13 AM

I really don't understand why anyone would want a Zune. My family and I love our current 3 Ipods. Am planning on buying a new Shuffle for Christmas and will probably buy a video Ipod in Jan/Feb.

The devices are great! Software is easy and intuitive. I ripped my CD collection of about 1500 (took forever!) and love having them on my PC now. Ripped as MP3s so I could go elsewhere but why would I?

I'm also a crossover to Mac now. My MacBook Pro is currently in Ankorage and on the way! After spending a fortune on anti-this, that and the other software in a losing battle to protect my PC ($400+ Geek Squad bill just last week) I'm moving over to a Mac. (I switched to PCs about 10 years ago and have hated almost every minute of it.)

Anyway, Zune seems like a waste of time and money. Apple innovates, makes things easy, provides great service and support, and doesn't screw its customers like MS does.

I love love love my Ipods!

Posted by: Jay | November 16, 2006 2:16 AM

Meh. Average product with plenty of MS money behind it. They don't want or need an elegant device as this is just a corporate political wedge in the door that the iPod built. Just take a look at the music agreement they landed last week and you'll get a sense what the end-game is for MS. It's about trying to have as big of a piece of the pie as possible and the products are typically just the device to implement a business ulterior motive.

Posted by: Fuzzy | November 16, 2006 6:16 AM

I just don't understand.

Why would anyone buy and iPOD or a Zune when a any PDA does the job and more for almost the same price? ANY smartphone you could buy today has an MP3 player!

Posted by: Omar Khouri | November 16, 2006 7:13 AM

My daghter bought a zune yesterday. She said she had a har time deciding whether to buy the ipod 30gig or the Zune. She had been holding out for Zune. When she bought it, she said she didn't like it. She said she thought was "clunky" and "ugly" compared to her friend's ipod 30g. She returned the zune within 4 hours of purchasing it, in exchange for the ipod, which she appears to be happy with.

Posted by: John Carolak | November 16, 2006 7:46 AM

Thoroughly unimpressed with the "zune". Its a poor attempt at an ipod copy. When I first heard about it, I was pretty excited. But now, at its release, im very disappointed. Just another "ipod killer". We've seen so many of them... In my oppinion, Microsoft tried to make a decent alternative to the ipod, and failed.

Posted by: Sarah Wilson | November 16, 2006 7:59 AM

Yea MS plants for sure here.
But The Post is always taking cheap shots at Apple.
MP3 phone have AWFUL battery life, that's why.
http://blog.wired.com/cultofmac/2006/10/washington_post.html#more

If you don't like Apple then at least buy Sandisk but not Zune from THE monopoply giant.

Posted by: davewhite | November 16, 2006 8:05 AM

Ever since the iPod first came out, I've refused to get one because I didn't see what the big deal was. I went and got myself a Sony NW-HD5 Walkman. It's the equal of the 20 gig iPod and in my opinion better. I have never had any problems with it, plays MP3's without a problem, the battery is removable and lasts up to 32 hours of playback. The program Sonic Stage is much easier to use than iTunes and has much more flexibility built into it. It's unfortunate though that its no longer produced because Apple flooded the market and no one got to see what a great music player it is.

And one last thing, they're no added features. I wanted a music player so I can listen to music, not look at photos or watch videos or play games, music. But if the Zune ends up doing well, I might consider getting one in the future.

Posted by: James Russell | November 16, 2006 8:20 AM

As a Mac person i've always used ipods. I've never had a problem with an Ipod. I'm always shocked as PC people that feel they need to put Mac's and ipods down, when they have clearly never really used them. Like "Byron" who says he doesn't want to pay for "Itunes pro", what the hell is that? There is no such thing. Why try and put people off? Sad. I know ipods have had some bad press, but when something gets to 85% market share they have to find some dirt for a story. I personally know many people who have been converted to a Mac for the ease, speed and reliability, but never the other way around. People should keep an open mind.

Posted by: Ryan | November 16, 2006 8:45 AM

Zune!! Vista!? Both are the lamest attempts to be more like Apple. Microsoft sees what is right about the way Apple does things and is trying really hard to catch up. It has been painful to watch Microsoft try and release Vista and there are going to so many problems with this change over and compatibility.

Don't get me wrong-Apple has it's downside too but having been a PC user up until 3 years ago i've have experienced both sides. What Apple has to offer isn't perfect but they are sooo ahead of the curve. It has taken Apple basically 20 years to get where they are today but it's now paying off.

Posted by: iheartmac | November 16, 2006 9:15 AM

What I don't like is the current Microsoft digital .wma music services are not compatible with the Zune player. I sell digital music at www.burnlounge.com/welcome and thought about purchasing the new Zune because we have .wma files. But no, these won't work on the Zune player. Any suggestions?

Posted by: welcome | November 16, 2006 9:33 AM

Historically, MS has ALWAYS been riping off apple. Pretty much every new great software apple has come out with, MS has made a lame copy of and taken credit for it. It looks like they figure they can d the same thing here with the Zune. However, this time things are different. Apple knows that market and knows the consumer. Plus MS is trying to compete in an area Apple is in my oppinion unrivaled in: hardware. Micorsoft's inexperience in hardware and it's knack for lack of qualitiy is painfuly clear in this product.

Posted by: John Siepierski | November 16, 2006 11:00 AM

I have no interest in the Zune. I am quite happy with my present iPod. I do not wish to share my music and playlists with those around me; that's private information I have no wish to share generally. I use the iPod to block out contact when I am travelling or reflecting; I don't wish to have interruptions. Goodbye to the social!

Posted by: Barry | November 16, 2006 11:12 AM

As far as cracked screens....
Don't sit with a Nano in your back pocket!

To bad people can't buy common sense as well.

Posted by: dw | November 16, 2006 11:14 AM

I will never buy a Microsoft product ever again.

Posted by: Doug | November 16, 2006 11:30 AM

No one *loves* Microsoft products but there are many people who *love* Apple products. That should tell you something about those who shill for either company and the companies themselves.

Posted by: spoonyfork | November 16, 2006 11:31 AM

I have a 5G video iPod and my wife has an iPod mini. We love our iPods.

No Zune for us, but thanks for asking.

Posted by: Microsoft Bob | November 16, 2006 11:41 AM

more than half of these post are not even about you owning the Zune. Thanks for all the non helpful information.

Posted by: Jeremey | November 16, 2006 11:52 AM

I bought the black after deciding brown was not as nice. Its a cool device and not clunky. Thats garbage spewed by little minded people. The player weighs less than one ounce more and is less than one larger. Its a minor difference at best. It fits my hand well and is balanced. It is not clunky. DRM is here to stay, get over it thieves.

Posted by: ZuneMAX.com | November 16, 2006 11:55 AM

I will say the iPod could have a bit more in terms of functionality (wifi, radio, ability to create, edit and delete playlists) but there is one reason why I WILL NOT purchase a Zune:

iTunes Music Store

Y'all can complain and scream and yell at iTunes doing this to your system and iTunes doing that to your system but the iTunes music store is a goldmine for hidden treasures. Many artists are seeing the cash cow in releasing their music for purchase on iTunes and at $9.99 (for most albums) it is inexpensive and fun to shop. I am into the very niche genre Acid Jazz/Acid Lounge and with iTunes I have discovered dozens of hard-to-find artists of which I can audition 30 seconds of their work, read other reviews, and with the click of a button download an album as fast as I have to type in my password.

Did I mention for us die-hard fans of certain artists we have had access to first-purchase concert tickets and exclusive album cuts with pre-purchase and all sorts of other goodies through the music store?

The only way Microsoft can sruvive the MP3 player market is to join forces with the iTunes music store. There is no way they can touch even a fraction of that market.

PS-Byron's post, who ripped you off into purchasing iTunes PRO, LOL? Wow bud, either you got suckered or you didn't try very hard to work with iTunes. There is no such thing as iTunes PRO...

Posted by: Doodelicious | November 16, 2006 11:55 AM

Here's a tip for Microsoft, try making something original rather than copying what is alread good. All MS ever does is copy something then try to lock it down to rob the public and make millions. MS with a original idea, what a concept....doubt we will ever see that as they continue to be the bully in te market while cntributing little to new technology knowledge or innovation. Wonder how long before spyware and virus creeps int Zune. For now and I'll stick with iPod for my iLife and Zune this hack copy out.

Posted by: Chuck | November 16, 2006 12:10 PM

I have not yet purchased either an ipod or a Zune. I still use my Sony Walkman cassette player during my walks. I was all set to buy the new generation ipod (80 gig)last month when I heard about the Zune. I decided to wait until the Zune came out to make a decision on what to buy. Most reports talk about the improbability of current ipod owners switching to Zune. But what about people like me? I am trying to make the best decision I can for the initial purchase of a digital player. Does anyone have any definitive recommendations?

Posted by: Ron | November 16, 2006 12:34 PM

Being part of "The Social" sounds eerily like becoming part of the Borg Collective in Star Trek. Microsoft is once again making it's "Resistance is Futile" marketing campaign.

Posted by: Joey | November 16, 2006 1:02 PM

I got my Zune on the 14th and it's my first mp3 player, but I've been keeping track of the articles on it for a month now. Every site I look at covering it is full of iPod users thrashing it, though few actually know what it can and can't do let alone have actually used it. I have no brand loyalty and actually buy things based on what I use them for regardless of who makes them.

I have had no problems with my Zune thus far. Everything installed and worked flawlessly. And despite being slightly larger and heavier than the iPod, it still fits everywhere I've put it and my legs don't feel any extra strain when carrying it. The difference is insignificant.

I also don't understand how people can complain so much about its lack of accessories. It's been in stores TWO DAYS! More stuff will be made for it. I like the fact that its software is upgradeable, too. If MS sees demand for features, they can add them without requiring owners to buy new ones.

Overall, my experience with it thus far has been positive. My only nitpicks are that the PC software is not very intuitive and should have been integrated with WMP. The player itself is great IMO.

Posted by: Jon | November 16, 2006 1:20 PM

I have a 4th generation 20 gig ipod and recently acquired the clip-on shuffle. (fabulous for going to the gym, out walking, etc) My older "brick" ipod is still going strong.

I don't think the zune is crap. It is just not compelling compared with the ipod. I think it will evolve into a more compelling product but at the same time it will keep Apple on its toes for greater innovation as well.

If we had never heard the word "ipod" before, we'd probably all be running out to buy our zunes.

The test will be if zune ever becomes incorporated into the lingo like the word "pod" has been. There are aquapods, storage pods and more that I can't think of. Then microsoft will know it has a winner.

Posted by: Evie | November 16, 2006 1:26 PM

I've had a iPOD Gen 3 for about 3 years now and it has been great. I've replaced the battery myself- no big deal you can get a replacement off ebay for $15.00. I've encountered no problems with the unit;nor have I had to replace it. My wife as a Nano and it holds up very well and sounds good. Don't use iTunes use EphPod to manage the transfer of music to/from your PC and IPod.
The Zune sounds interesting but I can't see switching over to MS, especially to their first generation model. Eventually MS will get it right but it may take about 2- 3 years. I'm sure Apple with counter with a new model which has more appeal to the end consumer. Job's isn't stupid. He knows the value of keeping existing customers.

Posted by: Brian | November 16, 2006 1:35 PM


I don't own an iPod or a Zune, but in my research to get a new portable player, it seems quite clear that the Zune does nothing better than an iPod. For the little features like radio and wireless, there are thousands of iPod accessories that one can purchase. I don't need them. So that just leaves quality and software to compare. Well, i did download iTunes for free and tested it -- it's amazing even if you don't have an iPod!!! I now use it as my PC music player and have ripped several CD's to it. If the iPod is as easy to use, i can see why it's more popular than any other player.

Oh, and even though i use a PC every day, Microsoft has not proven to me that they understand or care about music and movies or even long-term computer user experience. Some MS products just suck. On the other hand, from what i read, Apple is consistently ranked highly on both product quality and service. That matters to me, not the report from the kid who didn't read the manual on how to reset his iPod after he dropped it. Moreover, the Windows market share would be the last thing to convince me to buy a Zune. Porsche has a lower market share than Hyundai, too -- should that tell me which is a better car?

My christmas list has an iPod at the top.

Posted by: no problem | November 16, 2006 2:12 PM

I agree with everyone on the uselessness of the pseudo-WiFi on the Zune. Someone said this wasn't 802.11?? If that's so, then even future software and firmware updates will not be able to salvage the viability of that feature. Strike one.

I like the overall design, though I've not held one yet to get the tactile love from it. My wife's 30gb iPod feels very good in your hand. We'll see how that works out once I've pawed it some.

I have used iTunes, and I have to say that I loathe the software. It was oddly putting duplicates of the same tracks over and over again on the iPod, after I had adjusted the mp3 ID tags. My solution was to wipe the iPod and start over, so I go into iTunes, and try to find where I can just select all the tracks on the device and hit "delete". No such luck. I had to browse the web for a bit of time to find a special program to reformat the iPod to its original state. What a pain in the butt!

My current Creative Zen Sleek has much better software, and allows me to access the tracks directly from windows explorer, in a similar (but not identical) manner as a USB drive.

I'm hoping that the Zune ends up with much better synching software than either of my family's current two mp3 players. If it does, then I'll buy. If not, then I'll stick with my Zen for a while.

Posted by: W Rast | November 16, 2006 2:13 PM

Even if I were unhappy with my iPod, which I am not, I would not get a Zune for two reasons: 1) no smart playlists, which would make managing thousands of songs very difficult; and 2) no bookmarkable files, which would make listening to audiobooks almost impossible.

Posted by: Kate Nepveu | November 16, 2006 2:28 PM

Hi W Rast, erasing your ipod thru itunes either song-by-song or all at once is easy to do and easy to figure out how to do. Sorry you had trouble! But next time, ask your son/daughter/niece/nephew ;P

Posted by: Chris | November 16, 2006 2:46 PM

Only complaint I've had about the ipod is how fragile the viewing screen seems to be. I bought one for my dauther at Christmas last year (with an extended warranty) from a big retailer. Two weeks later the screen was cracked and the retailer did not want to honor the warranty. They said the ipod was abused and that Apple would not authorize a replacement. After an hour rant they gave me a replacement anyway. Have you seen the ipod commercials with the kids dancing around with their ipod? How do they do that without cracking the screen!

I have two other very old ipods that I continue to enjoy, a 2GB and a 10GB. They are not fragile at all.

Posted by: Mark | November 16, 2006 2:51 PM

WIFI to computer... trouble with this as a concept goes as follows: 1) Transfer speed it too slow to sync any respectable amount of data, meaning that 2) the portable device will sit there, draining its little battery while it picks up the lastest albums and video from your computer, which means 3) you'll have to plug it in to charge it while that is happening, in which case you might as well ... plug it into the computer and get 400Mb/s transfer instead of 1Mb/s (assuming bluetooth speed). WIFI for sync doesn't make any sense, given that. When faster chipsets and better batteries become available this will change, but we aren't there now.

Posted by: Marie | November 16, 2006 2:56 PM

I bought a 20 gig 2nd gen iPod in November 2002. Still using it...take it to the beach, listen at work, in the car, basically everywhere. Other than it's short recharge life (about 2.5 hours per recharge), it has worked reliably great. And four years of use...longer, by twice, than any Walkman player ever held up over the years.

Posted by: Chuck | November 16, 2006 3:23 PM

I have FM radio on my iPod. It's not free, I had to buy a combination remote control/radio tuner for my iPod. It's very easy to use, just plug it in and radio appears as an option on your menu. The radio tuner interface is great and it is easy to set your favorite stations.

Posted by: Cool Librarian | November 16, 2006 3:46 PM

Interesting to note from reading all the above posts....it seems everyone who has actually used or bought a Zune are very impressed....this is only the first of the Zunes...its a heck lot nicer than what the first ipod introduced to the world...

Also by the end of this year there will be 10 million Xbox 360 users all being fed integration with zune...humm?

Posted by: Isaac | November 16, 2006 3:53 PM

My first IPod cost $20000 and needed a new battery after TWO years. It required software called I-tunes and would work with my LPs.

I bought a Zune yesterday and it's amazing. The songs only cost 79 points! Wow!

Posted by: Timmy | November 16, 2006 4:38 PM

Why do people get so riled up about MS being late to the game and copying other products? For every type product in all marketplaces under all categories, there is one original and lots of copies. AND guess what - that drives prices DOWN, and drives innovative product differentiation UP! Ultimately, all these products leap frog each other in features and quality, so who cares who was first. In 25 years no one will care who came first or remember this. Do you care that Ford invented automobile mass production? I bet lots of you own Toyotas.

Do you care that Pan Am was an innovator in cross Atlantic flights. I bet lots of you fly American. (And Pan Am couldn't stay afloat).

So I applaud MSs late entry - it can only end up benefitting us, the consumer. Ultimately, we decide who plays in what markets. So sit back and enjoy the competitive ride!

Posted by: Felafelball | November 16, 2006 4:42 PM

Felafelball has an excellent point. Using Microsoft products is just as pleasant, comfortable, relaxing, and customer-friendly an experience as flying is these days.

Posted by: JJO | November 16, 2006 5:05 PM

This is just so typical of microsoft.....

Just tried to download the Zunes player software from the Zune website. The response I got was that it's unable to detect my operating system. It then mentions that one of two types of systems are compatible. One of them is Windows XP SP2.

I HAVE Windows XP SP2.

There's no magic to doing this. Just go to the website and click on 'Download'. What a piece of crap this is! Arrgghhh!

Posted by: puuopae | November 16, 2006 5:28 PM

Just switched my wife from iTunes/iPod to a Sandisk with Rhapsody. Not only is it totally easy to use, but I'm saving so much money now! She used to buy a few albums a week from iTunes and listen to them once or twice, now we pay $15 a month and she can drag and drop anything she wants to.
Plus it has a radio and plays videos. She loves it and it's cheaper all around.

iTunes and Zune are both stupid

Posted by: TechHead | November 16, 2006 7:14 PM

i bought a brand new car yesterday for 15 hondas**

** 1 honda = 100 dollars

so songs cost 79 points! big whoop! it's still 99 cents, regardless of what you call it. and they don't even have a big selection.

Posted by: when 79 = 99 | November 16, 2006 7:33 PM

Our family has 5 iPods of various styles. We are completely happy with all of them, and iTunes is a wonderful resource. The most recent addition is the new iPod shuffle, and it works great.

None of us care about style points; we like our iPods because they work well.

Since getting into iPods, I have increased my spending on music by quite a lot (and I mean a lot). 30% of my music is from iTunes, the rest from CDs.

Posted by: iPod family | November 16, 2006 7:40 PM

I've had a first generation iPod since first released and the battery just now gave up. No problems until now. That's 5 years with the same battery. Plugged in to charge all the time when not in use. I bought a replacement battery from Small Dog Electronics and replaced the battery myself following detail instructions. Any so-called freeze ups can easily be restarted by pressing the menu and play/pause buttons (upper and lower).This unit now provides living room or other room tunes sitting nicely on the JBL player/speaker.

I also have a 40 gb click wheel iPod a couple of years ago and have had no problems there either.

When I want pictures or the phone I'll get another iPod in an instant.

Posted by: hankeypank | November 16, 2006 7:42 PM

Ho hum... tired of all the hype. Itunes? Zune? over-rated hyperbole as far as I can see.... I prefer simple little players like my Creative Zen (straps to my wrist, has an FM tuner, and records off the air) and my RCA Lyra (holds 4 gigs, all that I need, for less than $50, and is super-thin)... if I want music, I still buy the CD's and rip to high quality mp3's... hate services with their special licenses, lack of backup, rip-off policies, bloated software, low-res mp3's... all of my players plug into some nice thin-film amplified speakers... what more do I need?

Posted by: Brett Breitwieser | November 16, 2006 8:33 PM

well i did download the zune software so far it seams very easy to use i had no problams with the download it dose ask for the Zune but if you just wait a min. it says skip and you can use it without it.

Posted by: Travis | November 16, 2006 8:57 PM

When I bought my Zune at Best Buy all of the clerks there didn't even had it on display and others even thought that it didn't even come in. After asking for one they found it stashed in the back and eventually everyone started to look at it more profoundly. I love my Zune. The only downside of it is the battery time of watching movies on it, I don't mind for now but hopefully when Microsoft redesigns it by next year when they release the larger capacity version of their Zune player the battery time will increase as well. Thank God for the Best Buy trade in warranty.

Posted by: Larry | November 16, 2006 9:18 PM

Have the iPod Photo for more than a year and love it, I am scracthing my head reading all the posts here, especially those that hate iPods!

Anyway iPod, can't jog without it!

Posted by: MacUser | November 17, 2006 1:36 AM

Most of these comments come from pop enthusuasts. For serious, ie adult, music audiences, the iPod is a device still falling short of the exacting standards of more discriminating tastes. Transition passages, a commonplace in dramatic music, cannot be played without an excruciatingly grating skip and scratch; the hard drive obtrudes its mechanical whine into the hushed attentiveness of every pianissimo passage; and the string orchestra generally suffers most from the harmonic larceny that goes under the alias of Compression. Add to these faults the deficiencies of a library that cannot distinguish an Allegro from an Amadeus, let alone get them in the correct order, and we must see in the iPod the familiar example of sophisticated artifice masking a vulgar pretension to true Art.

Posted by: Gordon Tryon | November 17, 2006 2:33 AM

Correction: apparently the Zune does do smart playlists, they're just not obvious. I still can't use any music device that doesn't let me resume playing an audiobook where I left off.

Posted by: Kate Nepveu | November 17, 2006 10:56 AM

Firstly, I would like to say this is not a comparison to an IPOD. I haven't owned one, though I have played with several other brands of MP3 players. Most of my media playback experience comes from using a PocketPC and 1gig memory card addons.

Packaging: I was concerned when I first pulled my brown Zune out of its VERY NICE packaging because I couldn't find a charger or much of anything else. After a few hesitant moments, I found cool compartments in the package that contained headphones, a little brown soft-cloth baggy and a USB connection cord.

Install: I put the included CD in and it not only set up my drivers, registered and installed an interface/media player for the laptop, but also synced my stuff and upgraded the internal Zune software right away (claiming to give me more stable and faster network sharing). It required that I have internet access naturally for this step, but that's cool with me.

Power: It has a lithium ion battery, which means long battery life without the 'memory' problems associated with earlier battery types. No charger! The battery was showing only a partial charge right out of the box, but I happily found that it gathered its charge from the small trickle provided by the USB port. Very nice, no more boxy power supplies!!!

Graphics: Wow. Big bright screen (compared to my Pocket PC). Menus fade in and grow and slide around very much like those in Windows XP Media Center Edition. Synced pictures on it? Then you can use them for your background. Those get faded, resized, rotated, zoomed and all that other jazz for you depending on what you are doing.

Audio: I played with some ripped Mp3s and wma files I had on my laptop (they automatically synced to the Zune for me) and they sounded great with the provided ear buds (the ear buds are magnetically attracted to one another which prevents them from getting tangled up in your pocket). The bass response was VERY nice. I haven't even bothered messing with the equalizer yet, but I saw it in there. The FM radio has scanning and presets available for you, and you can set it to which ever continent you happen to be on. No AM though. Would it have hurt to put AM on it too? Why not?

Video: The included video clips are way crisp with no lag. They are vivid on the screen and the sync even grabbed all of my TaeKwonDo belt test videos and shrank them to be viewed on the Zune. The Settings show that you can broadcast your videos to the XBOX 360s in your home (I don't even have one yet, but it's the thought that counts). One video format I would like to have seen supported by Zune is the .dvr-ms format used by Windows Media Center. I found a plug-in to convert that format to .wmv format which syncs automatically (even if conversions are needed) and plays fine with the Zune however.

Controls: I am not so certain I like the wheel control yet; there is no tactile feedback (meaning, no little bumps to tell you which portion of the wheel you happen to be pushing on in the event you aren't looking). Nothing on the wheel to indicate which way is scan, volume, select or what-not, but the documentation or push-to-test works well enough. I understood later as I was viewing videos in Landscape mode that the Up-Down-Left-Right was changeable, so it explains the lack of indicators, but not the lack of tactile response.

Overall: I am very pleased with my purchase. I chose the brown version because it matches (to some extent) the interior of my wood-grained Bimmer; and because to be 'cool' one should be different. When I hear all of the IPOD bigots saying the Zune sux 'cause it ain't an IPOD, I wonder what ever happened to 'Think Different'.

Posted by: Wil Dobson | November 17, 2006 1:27 PM

I like Looney Zune, it seems like a good name for such a device :) All new stories and reviews that I have read about the Zune seem to be negative.

Posted by: Jenn | November 17, 2006 3:12 PM

My new Zune crashes every time I try to sync my music collection. It will download music for a couple of minutes and then lock up. Every time.

I figure I should have all of my music on the thing by next week some time at this rate.

Posted by: CLGraham | November 17, 2006 7:07 PM

I love my Zune, and the integration with the Xbox/Windows Live system is going to only make it better as more and more features are put into the system.

The audio is fantastic, video playback smooth, and the built-in sharing of media over my network is fantastic! I can't imagine how awesome it would be to be in a dorm right now with a few Zune users and a few '360s. Microsoft is going to score points in a big way with the 16-24 age group with the Xbox integration.

I can't wait till my sister and brother get theirs to play with the WiFi a but.

Posted by: DJ Nathan V | November 17, 2006 7:13 PM

Never bought an iPod. I work in the semiconductor industry, and just couldn't pony up the bucks for a mostly marketing product(e.g.: nicely colored plastic); after all, most of the other MP3 players on the market have far surpassed the iPod in performance and features on a number of dimensions. Actually bought the Zune on a whim, and so far I'm impressed. Good battery life, lots of content available. Form factor is just fine - its in that zone where a little bit bigger or smaller won't matter unless it reaches that quantum size which is closer to a compact cellphone. The only gripe I really have is that it does not utilize standard interfaces. I expected it to use Mini-USB for the data and power, a standard microphone jack, and WiFi for the wireless interconnectivity. Kind of a bummer to see more proprietary interconnects - too many cables and standards already. Oh well. I'm enjoying it for now.

Posted by: kjsilver | November 17, 2006 8:29 PM

Zune canot beat my iPod. Why would i buy zune if :

1. it's almost 2 times bigget then my iPod video
2. it is heavier
3. it is uglier
4. ZuneMarket vs iTunes?!? No thanks
5. i dont need FM
6. wirless on Zune is as from what I see usless
7. much more content for iPod
8. much more accessories for iPod


Maybe in 5 years Zune develops in something really good, but right no it's just a bad copy of iPod.

Posted by: Primoz | November 17, 2006 11:46 PM

i have lg chocolate cell phone. I love it. I can put microsd card upto 2gb in it. If i need more songs i can carry with me. It's easy to trasnfer songs from my computer to my cell phone through memory card. I love my phone itself. I don't want to carry more than one thing in my pocket.

:))

Posted by: san | November 18, 2006 11:33 AM

Oh look something else that microsoft stole.

Posted by: John | November 22, 2006 8:56 PM

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