View Full Version : Microsoft's Zune

11-15-2006, 08:07 PM
Meet Zune (http://www.zune.net/en-US/meetzune/device.htm) Microsoft got into the small MP3 players. I wonder if any what effect this will have on the Ipod? I know Dell makes one also.

Has anyone bought one yet, they were just released a day or so ago? Looks like it has some wireless technology also with file sharing


11-20-2006, 11:29 AM
Zune looks to have a huge amount of potential but . . .

The screen is really not better. They claim it is, but if you use the ZUNE in landscape mode the image is 'stretched' to fit the screen which actually distorts it. The proper aspect ratio is missing to use the screen in landscape mode, so there is no real advantage to that point. In fact it becomes a disadvantage!

The battery also doesn't hold up as well as their claim either.

My biggest complaint with my iPod (30gig) is the size. I wish it was smaller and lighter. Zune is slightly larger and also slightly thicker, larger size is a drawback not a benefit.

The controls on the Zune are easy to use but I prefer the scroll wheel control on the iPod. Either way, whatever someone buys, they will be happy with the controls.

All that said, I just bought 2 more iPods. One iPod Nano (smaller, lighter, easier to tote in a shirt pocket) and another 30gig iPod. The Zune didn't quite do the job for me, despite the promise it holds, it seems lacking. I think it will sell, probably very well. I think iPod needs another update to maintain its marketshare and to compete with the Zune. The Zune's WiFi feature has great promise. The radio feature might be handy, sometime?

In my mind iPod/iTunes needs to make it much easier to burn DVDs to & from the iPod. What is the point of downloading TV shows, movies, music videos, video-podcasts, etc, if you can't archive them to DVD for some future use? WiFi would also be a great benefit to add to the iPod and is something Zune already has.

11-24-2006, 08:45 AM
Interesting thing I just found out about the ZUNE, if you use the WiFi feature to share a song with another person who has a ZUNE they can only play the song 3 times before it self-destructs and deletes itself. :mad:

Not sure if you can use the WiFi to transfer the song to any other recording device but it appears that you can't. :(

Just looks to me like the ZUNE is a nice 'first attempt' but is not quite ready for prime time yet. Maybe when they come out with their second generation version it will be better able to compete in the marketplace?

One other advantage that the iPod has is that there is a wide range of home integration accessories that no other MP3 player can match. There are many choices of alarm clocks, stereo docks, car integration kits, video docks, self contained video players, desktop speakers and sundry other items, from several manufacturers that effectively make the iPod a lot more than a personal music & video player.

12-17-2006, 12:56 PM
The last I heard, ZUNE had only 2% of the market where-as the iPod had over 40% in sales. My daughter is getting an iPod for Christmas as well as myself. :D

12-17-2006, 01:38 PM
Gerard, of the premium music player market, iPod has roughly 95% of the market. When you get down in price point to the flash drive units, the iPod mini and shuffle share the market but do not come close to dominating it. I also am giving my daughter an iPod for Christmas.

One thing that really is nice for iPod owners are all the accessories you can buy for them. I have a stereo/video connector for my iPod in my office, it allows me to play the iPod through my office stereo system, it also connects up to a small LCD TV set in my office and I can play the video on my iPod through the TV. You can also get several different brands of iPod-Alarm clock/Radio adapters that allow you to use your iPod at your bedside. I've asked Santa to bring me an iPod Boom Box so I can use the iPod in my workshop without having headphones/earbuds on while I am using tools.

12-17-2006, 07:58 PM
Bob, you need to get an adapter from P.I.E. (http://www.logjamelectronics.com/ipodvw.html) for your Touareg. Depending on the model, you can control your iPod directly from the factory head unit.

12-18-2006, 09:48 AM
Bob, you need to get an adapter from P.I.E. (http://www.logjamelectronics.com/ipodvw.html) for your Touareg. Depending on the model, you can control your iPod directly from the factory head unit.
Dave all the accessories for iPods are one of the reasons it will remain dominant for a long time.

Besides, what you suggest . . . I already did that!

I have one of the Blitzsafe adapters, but I connected it to a Dension Dice cradle and connected the whole thing into my AUX port on my radio head. I do not have complete control of the iPod that way, but I still maintain the ability to use my 6 CD changer too. In order to get full control of an iPod you have to use the CD changer port on the radio head. For me, I wanted the changer + the iPod. So I have limited iPod control through the radio head, and through the buttons on the steering wheel, but it works well and I didn't lose the changer.

I also just picked up a nifty gift for my daughter for Christmas. Its a portable iPod speaker system with video screen. So she can now watch videos on her iPod but on a much larger screen and hear out of speakers, it will be nice for car rides when she is with friends, etc. It will also serve as a portable set of speakers for her when she doesn't want to wear earbuds/headphones.

12-25-2006, 04:14 PM
One of the reasons that I think iPod will likely stay the market leader over ZUNE for a long time to come is the wide variety of accessories available for the iPod. Many are inexpensive, many are very high end, but they allow for all sorts of versitility in using iPods and they allow for customization/personalization of iPods.

For one of my Christmas gifts this year I received an iPod Boom Box. I found out that using an iPod with either headphones or ear buds, while working with tools is not a good thing. The cord can get in your way and pull the headphones/ear buds off. So I asked for a speaker system for Christmas. There are literally DOZENS of choices from clock radios to high end stereo speakers to various fold up speakers and several boom box choices. My wife gave me an iBoom. It has a radio, runs off D-Cell Batteries or AC power, and is loud enough to hear in a modestly noisy workshop. At about $100 it was not cheap, but is was far less expensive than the high end speakers that would be out of place in a workshop. Plus, this can also go to the beach!

One nice feature is that it recharges the iPod when it is plugged into the AC. The iBoom is shown below (without my iPod)

12-26-2006, 08:35 AM
but is was far less expensive than the high end speakers that would be out of place in a workshop.
Mine don't seem to be "out of place". :confused2:

01-04-2007, 11:31 AM
Meet Zune (http://www.zune.net/en-US/meetzune/device.htm) Microsoft got into the small MP3 players. I wonder if any what effect this will have on the Ipod? I know Dell makes one also.
Zune doesn't shake iPod's market lead


By Troy Wolverton

Mercury News

Microsoft's Zune had a decent debut last month, but Apple Computer's iPods continued to dominate the MP3 market, according to new data from market research firm NPD Group released this week.

Although Microsoft didn't release the Zune until more than halfway through November, the company was the second-leading manufacturer of hard disk drive-based media players, capturing 9 percent of the U.S. retail market, according to NPD. Including both flash memory and hard disk drive players, Microsoft came in fourth, with 1.9 percent of the market.

The company's much-hyped entree into the MP3 player market appeared to have little effect on industry leader Apple. Although Apple's share of the hard drive market fell to 82.7 percent from 86.8 percent a year ago, its share of the overall market came in at 62.2 percent, essentially even with the 63 percent it posted a year ago.

SanDisk was No. 2 with 18.4 percent of the overall market, up from 17.5 percent last year.

Revamped versions of the flash-based iPod nano and iPod shuffle boosted Apple's overall results. Sales of the shuffle doubled year over year in November, while those of the nano grew 37 percent. ``All in all, that's a pretty good performance,'' said Stephen Baker, an analyst with Reston, Va.-based NPD.

Apple has dominated sales of MP3 players almost since it entered the market five years ago. In contrast, there are already questions about how sustainable Microsoft's Zune sales will be. NPD's own weekly data had Microsoft falling from the No. 2 vendor of MP3 players in its first week to No. 5 in its second week.

On Amazon.com, one of the leading vendors of electronics products online, the Zune has become a distant also-ran behind the iPod and other MP3 players. The black Zune -- the top selling model -- was recently ranked No. 47 among the bestselling electronics products on Amazon. At the same time Apple's black 30GB iPod -- the Zune's direct competitor -- was ranked No. 1.
The Zune even trailed Creative's rival 30GB Zen Vision, which was ranked No. 27.
And there are indications that Microsoft may have misread the market. The company is offering a dull brown version of the Zune in part to stand out from the competition and because it got favorable reviews in its pre-market research. But according to NPD, the brown Zune accounts for just 19 percent of all the Zunes sold, about the same amount as the white model. The black model accounts for about 63 percent of all sold. That dynamic plays out on Amazon as well, where the brown model is ranked no. 192 and the white no. 312.

Microsoft expressed little concern about the sales. Jason Reindorp, director of product marketing for Zune, said, ``We are happy with the position Zune currently holds in the market, and are on track to meet our sales projection of 1 million units by end of the fiscal year.''
Contact Troy Wolverton at (408) 920-5021 or twolverton@mercurynews.com.

01-04-2007, 01:50 PM
Looks like Microsoft has a long ways to go to catch the Apple. The Ipod name is like Kleenex I guess.


01-15-2007, 07:53 PM
This is interesting.

Click here (http://events.apple.com.edgesuite.net/j47d52oo/event/)

01-18-2007, 02:09 PM
C|Net has updated their review of the ZUNE with a second review.

Here is their review brief: CNET editors' review


8.0 (http://reviews.cnet.com/Zune_30GB_black/4505-6490_7-32068976-2.html?tag=rate) out of 10 (http://reviews.cnet.com/Zune_30GB_black/4505-6490_7-32068976-2.html?tag=rate)

The good: The Microsoft Zune has very good playback performance of audio, video, and photos; intuitive and colorful interface; good FM radio with RDS; works well with Zune Marketplace software; integrated wireless allows sharing of songs (limited) and photos; many accessories available at launch.
The bad: The Microsoft Zune is not backward compatible with WMA-DRM9; weak native video support (cannot play protected content) and no video offerings from Zune Marketplace; cannot be used as a hard drive (and no UMS support); proprietary USB; cannot use Wi-Fi to sync, stream, or purchase content; minimal bundled accessories; no podcast directory; maximum capacity is 30GB.
The bottom line: The Microsoft Zune with its intuitive interface and solid playback performance will please most users. But lukewarm format support and the cool but limited Wi-Fi capability will have advanced users seeking more. The Zune is a very good start, though.

While 8 out of 10 seems like a high score, of the "premium" players it is the lowest score of any of the brands. Further, there are 262 user reviews with an average score of only 6.6 out of 10 (in fairness, my personal opinion is that "user reviews" are often overly pessimistic or overly optimistic and rarely helpful) For the record, the iPod received an 8.3 Editors Rating and a "Editors Choice" recommendation and it recieved a 6.5 user rating score.

Here is a link: C|Net Video Review (http://reviews.cnet.com/Zune_30GB_black/4505-6490_7-32068976.html?tag=coco&autoplay=true). Intersting it makes very qualified compliments like it is a very good player "inside a vaccuum" and other such comments.

Big Dog
01-18-2007, 05:42 PM
Just couldn't help myself searching CNET for the Creative Zen M, still iPod's closest comparision.............

CNET link to Creative Zen M ... 8.3 (http://reviews.cnet.com/Creative_Zen_Vision_M_30GB_black/4505-6490_7-31632696.html?tag=pop)

Apple iPod 30gig ...... 8.3 (http://reviews.cnet.com/Apple_iPod_fifth_generation_update_30GB_black/4505-6490_7-32069508.html)

01-18-2007, 05:56 PM
Another very good unit that people loved was the RIO. Unfortunately while it was a good unit, it could not compete and was pulled from the market in 2006.

I think a lot of people expected more from Microsoft and the ZUNE simply because it came from Bill Gates. He is the proverbial bull in the china shop when it comes to his ability destroy competition. The ZUNE just doesn't seem to have gained a lot of traction in the marketplace and while it is far from a dead issue, it really needs some improvements. Some of the ZUNE features seem to be nearly worthless (like is WiFi). In the mean time, Apple announced, but will not deliver for several more months, the iPhone which is smaller than the ZUNE, has an even better screen, better connectivity, and a phone too. But while the iPhone looks pretty awesome, it comes at one heck of a high price so I expect it will not be a blockbuster in sales until its price comes down a bit and its storage goes up.

Big Dog
01-18-2007, 06:49 PM
My sons best friend has a Zune and it's a very nice unit but as the reviews state the Zen is much more versatile, The coming applications for the Zen will definitely continue to promote it's appeal and secure it as the option to the iPod.