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You are here: MacNN Forums > Hardware - Troubleshooting and Discussion > iPhone, iPad & iPod > The one and only Microsoft Zune thread

The one and only Microsoft Zune thread
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icruise
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Nov 15, 2006, 01:04 AM
 
The Zune isn't really directly related to the iPod, but since it is supposed to be an "iPod killer" device, it's natural that there be some discussion of it in the iPod forum. However, to keep things organized, I ask you to make all of your comments here in this thread. New threads created in the iPod forum about the Zune will be locked.

Here are a few things to get you started:

A quick introduction of the Zune on CNN (which goes hilariously off track)

A New York Times article on the Zune

The Wall Street Journal's Walt Mossberg reviews the Zune

The New York Times' David Pogue reviews the Zune
     
wilsonng
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Nov 15, 2006, 01:51 AM
 
http://forums.macnn.com/103/ipod/317425/zune-vs-ipod/

That's an interesting post that super_lee/MY TECH LISTS put on but I have to bite at some of the points made.:


WiFi was touted as a big feature.... But you can't sync to your Zune and your computer with WiFi. It's connected via wired connection, not WiFi.... That is a big misleading thing for me. You can use WiFi only for sharing music. The WiFi only works between two Zunes.

Microsoft said the Zune's WiFi capabilities would create a big social network with sharing songs. Sure, you can send an audio file to someone else and it'll self-destruct in 3 days like a Mission Impossible letter. And you can't forward a shared song to someone else. So much for sharing.... I'm personally not in the habit of turning on WiFi in a coffee shop just to share my music since I'm more concerned about battery life than sharing the wealth.

So the social aspects of the Zune are pretty much an overhyped feature. It's a shot in the dark that just happened to not hit the target.

WiFi Winner: None. the Zune can't sync to my computer via 802.11g and the restrictions on sharing shared songs are quite limited. The Zune's first shot at WiFi stumbles and falls right out of the starting block.

Content: The Zune's store isn't up to par yet to the iTunes store.... Given time, the Zune shop can match it. But as of launch time, the iTunes store still has way more artists signed up and more songs available for download... And the Zune videos clearly aren't up to the amount that is available on the iTunes store.

Content Winner: iPod (for now but the Zunes store should be able to match it one of these years).

FM Radio is a much hyped feature that adds very little to my listening experience.... If I have a 30 GB hard drive full of songs, why should I even bother with the radio? My playlists features ****MY MUSIC***. Not music that the radio stations are trying to push on you with their payola scams where music studios try to bribe radio stations to play their songs more often. My playlists are also commercial free! A big plus for me! I can always select a song on demand rather than call up Mr. DJ and ask "can you play that song you just played 20 minutes ago?"

I also have the iPod remote control with FM capabilities but I have never used the FM radio. I'm too busy enjoying my podcasts and my own personal music library.

FM radio Winner: Zune (for those who remotely care about FM radio. Otherwise I'm gonna enjoy my 30GBs of music and podcasts that already resides on my iPod).

The Zune's screen is a little bigger than the iPod but both feature the same number of pixels (320 x 240). The 3" screen just makes the pixels bigger and thus makes it more pixellated when you blow up the resolution.... Take a look at the old iBook 14" and the PowerBook 12". Both featured 1024 x 768 resolution but things looked better on the PowerBook 12" rather than the iBook 14".

Screen Winner: iPod (bigger doesn't always mean better)



Alot of the reviews give the Zune a mixed reaction....a nice first salvo at the iPod/iTunes juggernaught but not even close....

Here' one from Peter King of CNN/Fortune magazine...

Zune vs. iPod: the battle begins | 1 | FORTUNE


And another article about the iPod vs. Zune myths:

10 iPod vs. Zune Myths


So Microsoft's first attempt to attack the iPod/iTunes empire failed with their PlayForSure technology. I'm betting there are a lot of pissed-off companies who bought into the PlayForSure platform and saw Microsoft drop it completely...

The Zune is Microsoft's second attack... The first generation Zune will attract people who can't stand to see the classic iPod white colors or that silver Apple logo on their facorite mp3 player. But it certainly isn't enough to persuade people to switch.

Nice try,Microsoft, but maybe next time...
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icruise  (op)
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Nov 15, 2006, 02:08 AM
 
I'm not sure I buy the argument that a bigger screen is worse. I've yet to see a Zune in person, but I doubt the extra .5" is going to make the screen look like crap.

I haven't heard anything about outdoor visibility with the Zune. Does anyone know how it compares to the iPod? What about color depth and brightness?
     
©öñFü$íóÑ
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Nov 15, 2006, 02:39 AM
 
I think what Microsoft is trying to say is that sometimes it's not all about the music.

FM radio is good when you're traveling and want to keep up with the latest weather/traffic/news. I mean, if you don't wanna carry around a bulky laptop in the woods, a portable mp3 player with a built-in FM tuner may just be for you.

Personally, I'm one of those people who would use an iPod to not pay attention to the weather/traffic/news.

Don't bully me, I got an Uzi... HOO-HAH!
     
Simon
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Nov 15, 2006, 04:55 AM
 
In this interview their anxiously trying to say something good about Zune, but it all collapses when one of them pulls out her new shuffle.

CNN.com Video

[Edit: shucks, just noticed it was already posted.]
     
michaelb
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Nov 15, 2006, 04:57 AM
 
Originally Posted by öñFü$íóÑ View Post
FM radio is good when you're traveling and want to keep up with the latest weather/traffic/news. I mean, if you don't wanna carry around a bulky laptop in the woods, a portable mp3 player with a built-in FM tuner may just be for you.

I think a 30GB iPod + iPod Radio Remote would still be less bulky than a Zune.



Even the positive comments about the Zune say that while the casing has a nice rubberized finish, it is too square and a bit on the thick side.

Still, I wouldn't count Microsoft out just yet. Windows 1.0 and Windows 2.0 were crap, but Windows 3.0 blasted the Macintosh into oblivion. The company stays the course, and it's not all about the better product winning.
     
Simon
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Nov 15, 2006, 05:00 AM
 
On a side note, this is nowhere near "the one and only" Zune thread. There was a thread on it in here already long ago.
     
michaelb
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Nov 15, 2006, 05:17 AM
 
Originally Posted by Simon View Post
In this interview their anxiously trying to say something good about Zune, but it all collapses when one of them pulls out her new shuffle.
What I found more interesting is the discussion on the the TWiT #76 podcast... About 15:10 mins in, Leo starts reading the contract that Microsoft made everyone who wanted to have a Zune review kit sign.

Combined with the large amount of cash and promises of cross-promtion Microsoft poured into the blogosphere (and which Andrew Baron of Rocketboom nobly rejected), it's a bit alarming the underhand tactics Microsoft are going to try in gaining marketshare.

Bill and Ballmer play dirty.





Wireless sharing is Zune's killer app: Microsoft CEO
     
icruise  (op)
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Nov 15, 2006, 10:18 AM
 
Originally Posted by Simon View Post
On a side note, this is nowhere near "the one and only" Zune thread. There was a thread on it in here already long ago.
Uh, yeah, I know that, but the point is that from this point onward, all Zune discussion goes here. I don't want the forum filled with multiple Zune threads.
     
LSK6453
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Nov 15, 2006, 05:31 PM
 
My favorite is that the Zune is not Vista compatable
     
wilsonng
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Nov 15, 2006, 06:08 PM
 
Originally Posted by icruise View Post
I'm not sure I buy the argument that a bigger screen is worse. I've yet to see a Zune in person, but I doubt the extra .5" is going to make the screen look like crap.

I haven't heard anything about outdoor visibility with the Zune. Does anyone know how it compares to the iPod? What about color depth and brightness?
Well, having a 3.5" screen with 320 x 240 resolution doesn't look as sharp as having a 2.5" screen with 320 x 240 resolution.

The 3.5" screen just magnifies the picture, giving it a less crisp look. If the Zune's 3.5" screen had more pixels then it would help to improve picture clarity....

At least, that's my take on it....



-----------------------------

I remembered reading an article on the internet where Steve Ballmer got his panties twisted in a bunch when he was asked if he would allow his children to buy an iPod.

The answer was pretty much an emphatic "hell no!" There were alot of devices that are better than the iPod and that they all use the Microsoft PlayForSure platform....

A few months later, PlayForSure was trumped by the Zune and a whole lotta dissed partners are steamed about getting dumped by Microsoft.
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Jackonicko
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Nov 15, 2006, 08:07 PM
 
Exactly. More pixels and a bigger screen, and you'd be laughing. But this way, pictures just look less sharp.
     
icruise  (op)
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Nov 15, 2006, 08:26 PM
 
Frankly, it sounds like you're trying to turn a defeat (and one of the few areas where the Zune beats the iPod, if only slightly) into a victory. I've used a lot of mobile devices (PDAs, phones, etc) and while it's true that a smaller screen of the same resolution will look a bit sharper, it's also... smaller. In any case, 3" screen will look just fine at 320 x 240 resolution. If it was a 5" screen then maybe you'd have a point. Or are you saying that a player with a 2" screen would be better than the iPod because it's sharper?

Let's not be so partisan as to deny when the competition actually has a good feature. Of course, in order to get that slightly bigger screen, they had to turn it on its side, which means you have to hold the player on its side while viewing video and landscape-format pictures. It also means that there isn't enough room on the player for a large input device like the iPod has. So it's certainly a matter of give-and-take.
     
ink
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Nov 15, 2006, 09:14 PM
 
Can you say anything nice about Zune? | Technology | Guardian Unlimited Technology

Then there's the wireless sharing. Steve Jobs dismissed this: "It takes forever ... You're much better off to take one of your earbuds out and put it in [a would-be girlfriend's] ear. Then you're connected with about two feet of headphone cable." Steve Ballmer defended it: "I want to squirt you a picture of my kids. You want to squirt me back a video of your vacation. That's a software experience." Which prompted the observation: "Steve Jobs can make sharing earwax sound sexy. Ballmer can make a digital file transfer sound like something you'd need to clean up after."
Squirting? Is Ballmer attempting to create a new internet meme, or is that what it's actually called?
     
mac1896
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Nov 15, 2006, 09:38 PM
 




Now I know why the Zoon is brown !!!

It matches Gate's Jacket and Ballmers a**-kissing tongue !

Gee, I hope they're friendly..........
     
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Nov 15, 2006, 10:23 PM
 
Good God, Ballmer is fugly.

Am I the only one wondering why this isn't a sticky?....
Signature depreciated.
     
icruise  (op)
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Nov 15, 2006, 10:27 PM
 
I suppose it wouldn't be a bad idea to make it a sticky for the moment.
     
Gossamer
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Nov 16, 2006, 01:55 PM
 
Originally Posted by ink View Post
Can you say anything nice about Zune? | Technology | Guardian Unlimited Technology
Then there's the wireless sharing. Steve Jobs dismissed this: "It takes forever ... You're much better off to take one of your earbuds out and put it in [a would-be girlfriend's] ear. Then you're connected with about two feet of headphone cable." Steve Ballmer defended it: "I want to squirt you a picture of my kids. You want to squirt me back a video of your vacation. That's a software experience." Which prompted the observation: "Steve Jobs can make sharing earwax sound sexy. Ballmer can make a digital file transfer sound like something you'd need to clean up after."
Squirting? Is Ballmer attempting to create a new internet meme, or is that what it's actually called?
Originally Posted by NYTimes article
During the playback of any photo or song, you can view a list of Zunes within 30 feet. Sending a song takes about 15 seconds, a photo 2 seconds; you can’t send videos at all.
Good one Ballmer.

icruise: I definitely agree with you. All of the OMG SAME RESOLUTION is annoying. My 14" iBook had the same resolution as the 12" iBook. So...everything was bigger and easier to see. Watching DVDs was a lot better. Not as sharp? Like you can really tell the difference.
     
No Time 4 Love Dr. Jones
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Nov 16, 2006, 03:49 PM
 
A friend of mine got one, and while it's definitely lacking in the Apple sexy department, it works fine for music and video, as one would expect.

However, the hype and selling points on it are mostly hot air, as was demonstrated when he tried to share music with his girlfriend 10 feet away and the song wouldn't transfer due to a DRM error message, lol.
     
icruise  (op)
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Nov 16, 2006, 04:15 PM
 
Yes, that brings to mind a couple of things that I didn't realize about the Zune (and that make even less attractive, if that's possible).

The monthly subscription plan is NOT an "all-you-can-eat" full access plan to all of the songs available in the Zune store. Some albums are only available for purchase. Some albums have some songs (i.e. the "good" ones) that are only available for purchase. This kind of crap is *exactly* why the other music stores have not been doing well. And there are some songs that you can't send using the Zune's wi-fi. Which ones? You'll just have to try and see, apparently.

True, iTunes does have some songs that you can only buy when you buy the album (not as singles) but that's nothing compared to the confusion that is Zune Marketplace.

Zune Marketplace: yuck - The Unofficial Apple Weblog (TUAW)
     
No Time 4 Love Dr. Jones
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Nov 17, 2006, 01:38 PM
 
After reading dozens of Zune reviews from both "sides", I have to say that the assumed arrogance, superiority and fanboyism so often attributed to Mac users are just as rampant in the Windows community. Most of the comments made in reply to Zune reviews by Windows users completely ignore the convoluted nature of the Zune Marketplace, instead focusing on how they're glad the supremacy of the iPod will finally be trumped.

The sexy factor of the iPod form factor and ease of use aside, iTunes is ultimately (in my opinion) THE x-factor; even the most dyed-in-the-wool Windows users I know never complain about buying and getting their songs onto their PCs and iPods. Without a coherent and straightforward purchase-and-download mechanism, people will shy away from it, and it seems that's the reaction the first iteration of the Zune Marketplace will elicit.
     
MattJeff
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Nov 20, 2006, 10:57 PM
 
how is the zune doing on the market? #'s on sold, anyone know? i havnt seen comercials or heard anyone talk about it in "the real world"
     
icruise  (op)
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Nov 20, 2006, 11:58 PM
 
The article below is all I've seen (although I haven't really been looking). Essentially it says that the Zune may be taking sales away from other iPod competitors (SanDisk, Creative, etc) but isn't doing much to the iPod. Pretty much what I expected, at least from the first generation.

Report: Apple Developing iChat Smartphone: Financial News - Yahoo! Finance

By the way, I saw a Zune in person at Target yesterday. After a very brief examination, I think the screen is a bit better than the iPod's. At least it's bigger and as I thought, it doesn't look coarse or anything in comparison. They were encased in giant metal security cages, so it was pretty hard to see how big or clunky it actually is, and of course you can't tell the weight either. Overall, not that impressed, especially with the button setup. That's a poor substitute for a scroll wheel.
     
hellsbells
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Dec 13, 2006, 11:49 AM
 
I'm new to this forum and registered because I am currently in the process of making the decision between an ipod or a zune. I can't seem to find anything that will give me a clear answer on what the real differences are between the two. Can anyone break it down into simple terms for me?

TIA
     
icruise  (op)
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Dec 13, 2006, 12:13 PM
 
Functionally, they are sort of similar (they both play music and display photos and video), but the iPod is physically better designed. Its scroll wheel makes it easier to navigate through long lists of songs, and it's smaller and thinner. It also has much better software associated with it -- iTunes and the iTunes Store. iTunes is widely regarded as the best jukebox software out there, and of course the iTunes Store is by far the most popular music store, which means they often have exclusives or artists that the other stores don't. The iTunes Store is also are easier to understand than the complicated plans used by other stores. Don't forget that the Zune is only compatible with Windows, while iTunes works with both Windows and Mac. The iPod also benefits from literally hundreds of third-party accessories like cases, speakers, car kits and the like.

Put another way, the iPod is better in pretty much every way but two: it has a slightly smaller screen than the Zune and it doesn't have wi-fi functionality. At the moment, all that wi-fi on the Zune lets you do is share a song with another Zune owner (which they can then play up to 3 times in the next 3 days). You can also send pictures, but that's it. I can't for the life of me imagine why anyone would choose the Zune over the iPod, unless they just have an irrational dislike for Apple or iPods.
     
Simon
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Dec 13, 2006, 12:17 PM
 
Originally Posted by hellsbells View Post
I can't seem to find anything that will give me a clear answer on what the real differences are between the two. Can anyone break it down into simple terms for me?
In terms of software it's either the iTunes Store or the Zune Market Place. The latter has a subscription model (with a limited catalog however), the former is based purely on buying/owning music.

In terms of hardware the Zune competes with the 30GB iPod. The Zune has this wireless sharing feature (which I personally find crippled due to all the restrictions and thus useless) and a larger screen (although it doesn't have more pixels so you don't get to actually see more). The iPod is lighter, smaller and has superior controls. Of course the iPod also comes in many different models to chose from; there is OTOH only one Zune.

Unless you absolutely want a subscription based model or the wireless sharing feature, I'd go for the iPod.
( Last edited by Simon; Dec 13, 2006 at 12:24 PM. )
     
hellsbells
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Dec 13, 2006, 02:47 PM
 
Thank you...that makes a lot more sense than the other sites.
     
tboparis
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Dec 25, 2006, 12:36 PM
 
Originally Posted by LSK6453 View Post
My favorite is that the Zune is not Vista compatable
Not Vista compatible? That's weird, why would Microsoft do that when both are out? I have trouble believing this: it wouldn't make any sense. If this is the case i believe there will be an update soon. How can anyone be so stupid?
( Last edited by tboparis; Jan 28, 2007 at 09:58 AM. )
     
arng1
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Jan 7, 2007, 09:00 PM
 
I really don't think the zune will ever be the king of the mp3 market. No matter what microsoft does they will never be able to catch up to the almighty ipod.
     
arekkusu
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Jan 10, 2007, 05:10 AM
 
Has anybody noticed what the zune logo looks like backwards?
     
icruise  (op)
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Jan 10, 2007, 05:55 AM
 
That's hilarious.
     
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Jan 10, 2007, 03:29 PM
 
Originally Posted by arekkusu View Post
Has anybody noticed what the zune logo looks like backwards?
priceless
     
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Jan 12, 2007, 07:05 AM
 
Originally Posted by arekkusu View Post
Has anybody noticed what the zune logo looks like backwards?
That and "brown".

They can call it "Earth Tone" but it looks like crap (literally) to me.
     
the.one
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Jan 13, 2007, 02:24 AM
 
Originally Posted by arng1 View Post
I really don't think the zune will ever be the king of the mp3 market. No matter what microsoft does they will never be able to catch up to the almighty ipod.
I think that of any MP3 player currently on the market, it has the best chance. I don't think that any SanDisk player will be catching either one of them anytime soon.
     
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Feb 3, 2007, 11:01 AM
 
i dont know about you guys, but the Zune looks cheap in quality..
     
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Feb 23, 2007, 04:21 PM
 
Michael: Hasn't everything been sort of discovered now by like Magellan and Cortez?

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Feb 24, 2007, 08:49 AM
 
I finally got an up-close and personal encounter with the Zune at a local retailer.

I'd rate it a: Yuck and a Yawn!

I haven't seen the 'Zune Market Place', but from what i've read, it sounds lousy. I think subscription music services are a rotten idea to begin with. I don't want to rent music.
     
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Mar 9, 2007, 11:43 PM
 
I only had a few minutes at Target the other day (I was looking for a firewire to dock cable in the iPod section; stupid of me to think they would have one. Even the Apple store doesn't carry them anymore, and the "genius" that I asked said there wasn't such a thing!) How's that for sentence structure? Anyway, I overheard somebody asking for a Zune and then the Target employee basically asking him "why" and why didn't he want an iPod? I missed some of the response, but came around the corner to hear the customer being surprised that the Zune wouldn't work with iTunes. Since his brother had already set up his music collection in iTunes, he opted for an iPod. As an Apple user, shareholder and iPod user, it was all I could do to keep from doing a dance. I can understand the customer's desire to do something different since everybody has an iPod, but it seems as if the ease of iTunes trumped that.
     
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Mar 16, 2007, 03:32 PM
 
To be blunt, Bill Gates is trying yet again, to SHOVE his communistic Wintel propaganda down our throats. Just like Mr. Gates stole the Apple OS to plagiarize it into Windows, Bill is trying ever so desperately to force feed Windows manure into our face. He can't stand the FACT that Apple has the BEST media player in the world so, Zune is his lame-azz attempt to one-up Apple.

GET LOST BILL GATES AND SELL YOUR COMMUNISM SOMEWHERE ELSE OR BETTER YET, JUMP OUT OF YOUR CANDY AZZ "WINDOWS" YOU LOVE SO MUCH!!!!!!!!!
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Mar 16, 2007, 06:40 PM
 
Originally Posted by gulmatan View Post
...SELL YOUR COMMUNISM SOMEWHERE ELSE...
Wouldn't that be fascism, since he seems to want microslough to control everything?
     
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Mar 16, 2007, 08:33 PM
 
I just don't see Zunes around Boston like I see iPods.
     
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Mar 16, 2007, 09:22 PM
 
Originally Posted by Corpsecorps View Post
Wouldn't that be fascism, since he seems to want microslough to control everything?
Oh! So that's what Gatesism is? Fascism has a new name then. Next thing you know it'll be "Domino's Pizza brought to you by Micro$$loth." Better let Webster's, Oxford and Brittanica know so they can revise their dictionaries and encyclopedias accordingly.
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Mar 23, 2007, 11:15 AM
 
Originally Posted by ValVashon View Post
I only had a few minutes at Target the other day (I was looking for a firewire to dock cable in the iPod section; stupid of me to think they would have one. Even the Apple store doesn't carry them anymore, and the "genius" that I asked said there wasn't such a thing!) How's that for sentence structure? Anyway, I overheard somebody asking for a Zune and then the Target employee basically asking him "why" and why didn't he want an iPod? I missed some of the response, but came around the corner to hear the customer being surprised that the Zune wouldn't work with iTunes. Since his brother had already set up his music collection in iTunes, he opted for an iPod. As an Apple user, shareholder and iPod user, it was all I could do to keep from doing a dance. I can understand the customer's desire to do something different since everybody has an iPod, but it seems as if the ease of iTunes trumped that.
I remember when sales people in computer stores everywhere would tell customers who came in asking for a mac, "don't you want a PC instead? You know macs don't even work with Windows."

The grass really is greener on ther other side.
     
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Mar 30, 2007, 07:30 PM
 
There was an ad in the local paper for Office Depot yesterday where they were selling Zunes for $199 after a rebate. Seems like Microsoft is giving up already.
     
analogika
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Apr 7, 2007, 07:47 AM
 
Originally Posted by gulmatan View Post
To be blunt, [...] communistic Wintel propaganda [...] COMMUNISM
Highlights of a post beyond stupid.
     
Heymbit
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Join Date: Mar 2007
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Apr 7, 2007, 09:53 PM
 
I live near Boston and I've only seen 2 zunes, both owners were males.
Also, I found this: Walmart's Zunes, now with more porn? - Engadget
Hmm... Maybe there is a good use for the zune...
An Apple A Day Keeps The Spyware Away
     
tiger
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Jun 23, 2007, 03:14 PM
 
The first Generation iPod is a bit smaller than the zune but almost the same size so I guess after 5 Gen when we have iPod Invisible(microscopic, perhaps an implant into one's brain), Micro$uck will have a lesser-bulk.
     
davesimondotcom
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Jun 29, 2007, 06:37 PM
 
Does anyone care anymore? It's June 29 and the Zune looks like horse and buggy...
[ sig removed - image host changed it to a big ad picture ]
     
zac4mac
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Jul 7, 2007, 07:50 PM
 
Wanted to make this my sig, but it's too big - found it on Roughly Drafted

     
PEPPERRULES
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Jul 11, 2007, 12:53 PM
 
Originally Posted by davesimondotcom View Post
Does anyone care anymore? It's June 29 and the Zune looks like horse and buggy...
I thought they took it off the market, but I'm in Canada and it turns out the Zune was never actually released here.
     
 
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