Zune vs. the Gen 5 Video iPod
November 27, 2006, 3:16 pm
Filed under: Consumer Electronics, ipod, media, Technology and Gadgets, zune

I’ve now had the pleasure of playing with a new iPod for the past 3 days, which gives me a chance to do a little side by side comparison with my new Zune. Though it is a personal taste comparison only…the iPod is a slick device on par with the best consumer electronics on the market for design and simplicity…the Zune is, well, clunky looking. Then you start looking at specific features…

First, the click wheel is a beautiful thing, and it’s only gotten better since the early versions of the iPod in terms of responsiveness/sensitivity. The Zune’s rocker switch is clumsy and granular by comparison.

Second, the lack of videos on the Zune hits you right away when you look at the collection of video content available on iTunes…that bigger Zune screen isn’t going to be worth very much until the Zune service has any breadth of video selection.

Third, the Zune FM tuner is a nice feature, and one real glaring absence for the iPod.
On the other hand, iPod games are a nice touch, though depending on your entertainment choices, not quite as significant as having FM radio might be.

And what about that nifty sharing feature that’s supposed to be a selling point on the Zune? I’m sure it will come in handy someday…when I find anybody to share with. So far no contact whatsoever in the first two weeks.

Finally, the 80GB storage on the new iPod, when you start downloading movies at 1GB+, the 30GB drives in the Zune and the older iPods starts to look really small. Fortunately for MS, the Zune service doesn’t have anything available to stuff the Zune’s smaller 30GB drive, but that will come… or so they tell us. Still given the price matching on the 30GB units, MS can’t be blamed for delivering less value than the iPod, at least not for storage.

Overall, the Zune’s a nice unit, but the new iPod is slicker and has a tremendous asset in iTunes, which leaves little to be desired from a content available standpoint. Microsoft has got to get its act together quickly on the Zune service if they really want to compete….


1 Comment so far
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As of right now the Ipod Video 30 Gig wins, but I believe over time the Zune will take over after they correct some things such as style, bug fixes, and getting a click wheel or something, and larger hard drives.

Comment by Josh

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