Monday, November 20, 2006

Zune vs iPod - Which media player will you buy? by Shirley

Apple's ipod has been long dominating the digital media player market. And why not; ipod has been far superior in performance and features when compared to its rivals. But Microsoft is set to change this by coming out with their own media player named zune, which will debut to the world on November 14, 2006. The product will be available for exactly the same price $249 as the 30GB ipod.
Here I'll list a few key differences between zune and ipod. Below are the list of features supported by zune and not Ipod.
1. Preloaded Audio and video 2. Built in FM tuner 3. Zune to Zune sharing by Wi-Fi wireless (social networking) 4. Custom background 5. Landscape video With all the exciting and promising features, Microsoft will definitely take a big chunk of media player market form apple, but how much only time will tell.
But the real question is which device is right for YOU? Let's look at the specs of the system, the features and services we know about. We're going to be comparing the 30GB iPod to the 30GB Zune, since they are closest in price, storage, and battery life.
OS Support - Winner: iPod Zune only supports Windows. iPod, on the other hand, supports both Windows and Mac.
WiFi Connectivity - Winner: Zune The current iPod features no Wi-fi connectivity whatsoever, Zune, however, is 802.11g Wifi enabled, and features a slew of sharing and broadcasting features.
Content - Winner: N/A Right now the iPod, through iTunes, has thousands of songs, hundreds of TV shows, dozens of movies, and a handful of games to download for the device. As of this writing we still don't know what all the Zune Marketplace will hold for Zune owners. But as we know, iPod has some preloaded music and videos.
Storage - Winner: iPod iPod has 30GB, 60GB, 80GB, while at present Zune has only 30GB product.
Screen - Winner: Zune iPod features a 2.5 inch diagonal screen, while the Zune has a slightly larger 3.0 inch diagonal screen.
FM Radio Capability - Winner: Zune Zune comes with a built-in FM tuner. If you want to listen to radio on your iPod, you have to buy an accessory.
Music purchasing - Winner: Zune With iTunes, if you want to buy music, it will cost you .99 cents per song, or you can purchase by the album. But with Zune Marketplace, You could subscribe to the marketplace for $14.99 a month with unlimited downloads for that month. You can also go for individual downloads. Purchase up to 50 songs (4000 Microsoft Points) with $50. Once you purchase Points, you can browse and purchase songs or albums through the Zune Marketplace for 79 Microsoft Points per track (roughly 99 cents). Microsoft Points, the coin for the Zune Marketplace realm, is a universal system that works across borders, including Xbox Live Marketplace and other Microsoft properties.
Does that mean the Zune is your best buy this holiday season?
That depends. If the Zune wireless music sharing is appealing to you, and you're a Windows user, then Zune is probably your best choice. If you're not interested in the Wifi and FM tuner, you will definetly want to look at the iPod.

About the Author
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