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Frank Ahrens

A great and vigorous discussion here yesterday on Microsoft's Zune vs. Apple's iPod.

Right now, I'm crashing on the big buyout of Clear Channel, but later -- hopefully today -- I'm going to go through all the comments (more than 160 so far) and commit a little journalism on them. So far, I've tried to delete the profane or otherwise inappropriate ones (you people are passionate about your MP3 players!), but what I want to do is truth-squad some of the comments and cull some of the better ones into a separate post that people can use as a sort of rough-draft consumer review.

A couple of folks speculated that some of the comments came from Microsoft and Apple contractors, i.e., people hired by the companies to plant favorable posts about their product and unfavorable ones about the competition on blogs such as these.

I don't know if this is true -- that's the thing; there's no way of telling. But I bring it up so you will be aware that this practice exists and to encourage you to take the comments, like you should take everything, with a grain of salt.

Today In The Post:

* Mike Musgrove gets you ready for Friday's rollout of Sony's PlayStation 3 with a look at rivals Nintendo Wii and Microsoft's XBox 360. The "Console Wars," they call it.

* Veteran NBC ad-man Randy Falco replaces AOL topper Jonathan Miller less than a month after Miller's turnaround strategy starts to bear fruit. Tough town. I would be very interested in hearing from AOL employees about the mood on the Virginia campus, whether you saw this coming and what you thought of Miller. You can post comments below or e-mail me. I'm going to be writing more about this.


* One more thing to be terrified of: Clever British criminals have figured out how to use an MP3 player to bug ATMs to steal customer identity information and then rob them silly. The Brits learned the trick from Malaysian gangs. Good thing our American criminals are still low-tech.

By Frank Ahrens  |  November 16, 2006; 1:21 PM ET  | Category:  Frank Ahrens
Previous: Who's Zuning? Are You Zuning? | Next: Listeners Send Clear Channel Clear Signals

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Mac News breaks down WHY an under powered and visually un-exciting zune should keep Apple up at night..

It's really interesting and has analysis that fan-boys of either side can appreciate. The gist is that by diluting the mystique of the iPod and bringing it back down to a non-fetish commodity (which it is, as evidenced by yesterday's vituperative "chat"!), they level open the playing field and flood it. And while the zune won't beat the iPod on artistic grounds, it allows microsoft to leverage their ability to cut deals and make the zune a winner on business grounds.

Posted by: Tony | November 16, 2006 7:01 PM

Frank - I'm not an aoler, but curious about the real reasons Jason Calacanis/Netscape left at the same time as Jonathan Miller and what aoler's think of that. And why didn't it even get a mention in the Post or on Post I.T. when it's fired up across the blogsphere and managed to get ink in the New York Times?

Posted by: Amy | November 17, 2006 9:06 AM

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