November 14, 2006 3:34 PM PST

Zune moving at slow tempo

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November 10, 2006
SAN FRANCISCO--Though Microsoft's answer to Apple Computer's iPod juggernaut officially went on sale nationwide Tuesday, the Zune wasn't exactly flying off the shelves in downtown San Francisco.

At two retail outlets, the new media player wasn't even on the shelves. The Virgin Megastore near Union Square had them in stock, but the Zune display wasn't the right fit for the store's shelving. The players would be on sale "sometime this week" when new signage was scheduled to be delivered, said a store representative who declined to give his name.

zune

Zunes were also absent from the digital audio player display at the nearby CompUSA. "We were supposed to get them, but somehow they got delayed," an employee said. But there has been interest, he said. About 15 people had come seeking the Zune just that morning.

Radio Shack was another miss, but a delay or shipping problem was not to blame--the store is not scheduled to sell them yet, said John Nashed, assistant manager of the Market Street Radio Shack. He estimated that four customers Tuesday morning had shown interest in buying one.

But there was a steady flow of interested customers at Best Buy just before lunchtime. A stream of mostly men sauntered up to the brown Zune, wedged between a lineup of satellite radios and other handheld devices.

"We've sold 10 already today," said Best Buy general manager Ben Bagwell, while noting that most of the store's customers don't typically drop by until later in the afternoon. "The Zune's actually been doing pretty well, better than I expected."

Click here to Play

Video: Public's take on Zune
Here is what consumers are saying about the new digital media player.

Though he didn't discern a trend toward interest in a particular color--brown, black or white--gift giving was on most customers' minds. "It appears we've had some business customers come in, interested in possibly giving them away as holiday gifts," Bagwell said.

Ralph Lindsey, the owner of a second-generation iPod who was browsing the Zune display, said he was not planning on making a purchase, but liked the Zune's wider screen. Since he would want to watch videos on the player, however, he was "concerned" about the Zune's available storage space. "I'm not sure 30 gigabytes will be enough," he said.

Ron McIntyre echoed that concern. A self-described audiophile, the Best Buy customer and iPod owner called the Zune "pretty cool" after checking it out.

"I'm not sure if it's something I'd be interested in because of the size of the hard drive, but all the features on it are pretty neat," he said. "The screen's pretty clear, it's got brightness controls, which it doesn't have on my iPod. The wireless technology back and forth sounds cool, but I can't obviously sample that here, so I don't know how well that will work."

special coverage
Microsoft sings a new Zune
The Zune takes Apple Computer's iPod head-on.

One feature getting lots of attention, but little consensus, is the color. Lindsey adamantly said, "Brown is definitely not appealing." Another customer said, "The colors are right on."

"If you look at Europe, that's right where they're at," said Laate Olukotun, a product designer casually inspecting the brown Zune. "The dual color, the green (edge), is really intriguing."

Olukotun also labeled the Microsoft player's design "too chunky." However, he added: "The fact that they went with a wider screen, to me, that is a really smart move."

For what it's worth, the Zune is now ranking No. 6 on Amazon.com's list of top-selling electronics, updated hourly. Versions of the iPod, however, are ranking No. 2, No. 3 and No. 4.

See more CNET content tagged:
Microsoft Zune, wireless technology, Apple iPod, Best Buy Co. Inc., San Francisco

101 comments

Join the conversation!
Add your comment
iPod does have brightness control
"The screen's pretty clear, it's got brightness controls, which it
doesn't have on my iPod."

Yeah, it does, buddy!
Posted by CentrOS (126 comments )
Reply Link Flag
it does?
I thought it only had contrast?
Posted by Mr-P (6 comments )
Link Flag
I got
a black one at Best buy this morning. I was 4th in line in that are of the store that wanted one.

It works great so far.
Posted by Lindy01 (443 comments )
Reply Link Flag
How about a review
Be honest. What do you like, don't like about it? Have you tried the wireless yet? Finding someone else with a zune on the first release day might be hard to do to see how useful it is.
Posted by Seaspray0 (9714 comments )
Link Flag
Not bad ...
I went to Best Buy today and looked at the Zune. It wasn't as bad looking as people had mentioned. And, the interface was very simple as well.

Although I own two iPods, and won't be considering purchasing any additional mp3/multimedia player anytime soon, I think the Zune is a good contender.

Will the Zune dethrone the iPod??? Highly unlikely. I think that the roles here have been reversed. MS has the OS dominance, where Apple has the mp3 dominance. MS wants what Apple has, and Apple wants what MS got.

For anyone considering an mp3 player, should look at both, the Zune and the iPod, and decide which one they want to use. I think either way, you'd be pleased.

Six of one, half a dozen of the other.
Posted by Dead Soulman (245 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Are you Kidding Me?!
Its NOT about how wide the screen is. Why does everyone keep
forgetting that the Zune hardly works with ANYTHING, other
than a Zune format? Plays4Sure, sure doesn't. Wi-fi sharing,
3-3, but ONLY if the correct format AND the content provider
allows it.

These are only the surface of things that make this device a
failure. Useability means not your fingers, but the whole
package. Guess what isn't a whole package?! You got it, the
Zune. The truth of the matter is, the only people hurting
Microsoft of late, is Microsoft themselves. Those deep pockets
aren't going to last forever.

Best Buy needs to tell the customers, who are buying them as
gifts, to make SURE they include the receipt with the gift.
General consumers are going to become angry when they realize
they've been sold a load of bs.

Instead of pouting, let's just point it out:

#1. Wi-fi sharing. You have to physically ask someone to share
somethong. It can only be shared under the most stringent
conditions. You are only sharing with another Zune user.

#2. It's one thing, to not support your competitions format,
maybe you can even get away with not supporting your partners
format. But you blown a brain gasket when you don't even
support your own popular formats.

#3. ENOUGH with the radio bull-crap. Do you realize that MOST
consumers get MP3 players because they are TIRED of most
radio programming?! Damn!

I let someone else continue with the list.
Posted by Thomas, David (1947 comments )
Link Flag
Are you Kidding Me?!
Its NOT about how wide the screen is. Why does everyone keep
forgetting that the Zune hardly works with ANYTHING, other
than a Zune format? Plays4Sure, sure doesn't. Wi-fi sharing,
3-3, but ONLY if the correct format AND the content provider
allows it.

These are only the surface of things that make this device a
failure. Useability means not your fingers, but the whole
package. Guess what isn't a whole package?! You got it, the
Zune. The truth of the matter is, the only people hurting
Microsoft of late, is Microsoft themselves. Those deep pockets
aren't going to last forever.

Best Buy needs to tell the customers, who are buying them as
gifts, to make SURE they include the receipt with the gift.
General consumers are going to become angry when they realize
they've been sold a load of bs.

Instead of pouting, let's just point it out:

#1. Wi-fi sharing. You have to physically ask someone to share
somethong. It can only be shared under the most stringent
conditions. You are only sharing with another Zune user.

#2. It's one thing, to not support your competitions format,
maybe you can even get away with not supporting your partners
format. But you blown a brain gasket when you don't even
support your own popular formats.

#3. ENOUGH with the radio bull-crap. Do you realize that MOST
consumers get MP3 players because they are TIRED of most
radio programming?! Damn!

I let someone else continue with the list.
Posted by Thomas, David (1947 comments )
Link Flag
True True....
I couldn't agree with you more. A couple of my friends have picked them up (a few more are interested in it), so I've gotten to play around with it.

Funny enough, they aren't really "techonophiles", though, and would never even consider reading a computer magazine/website.

It's a fine, easy to use device. However, I won't be buying an iPod replacement soon either.
Posted by toosday (343 comments )
Link Flag
Very zuning boring
The black one isn't that bad looking, but I can't imagine who'll buy
a brown one. Then there's the 30GB limited HD and I can't use it to
back up doc files. By the time I got done checking it out I figured
someone would have to be pretty zuning stupid to buy one. Unless
you hate Apple for some reason there is just no way buying a
totally zuned up MP3 player makes sense.
Posted by Keith X (13 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Zune?
Okay I've been viewing some reviews on this device and I am not
impressed with it. Now I admit Microsoft is a very tenacious
competitor but please what is this thing. I just viewed a segment
on CNN which sums up my view (<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.cnn.com/" target="_newWindow">http://www.cnn.com/</a>) check
out the video coverage of the release the comments have been
on this. They have the deep pockets so maybe they can pull this
off but these guys need to really know what people (music
makers trend setters young hipsters) want. This thing looks like
a device that could have been released 5 years ago. But it falls
far short on the sexy scale and they need to realize that plays a
big part in this market. Yes the wireless interface intrigues me
but of course its done poorly. I only hope they have something
better up there sleeve. Well what do the rest of you think.
Posted by (3 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Just another self-serving Microsoft product.
I use Office and Windows all day long on my computer at work.
At the end of the working day, I'm usually tired and want to
escape anything associated with work and usually for me atleast.
the name Microsoft means work. Unfortunately for them that
stigma will always stick with them (being the no.1 software
company with Windows and office not to mention the world's
richest.)

Now, what makes Microsoft think I want to spend the rest of my
day (which is not at WORK, or atleast whats left of my day after
work) using another Microsoft product?

The fact the "ZUNE' has no mention of the word Microsoft on it
(or the packaging), doesn't fool me. Nice try though Redmond.

On the packaging you find:

"Hello from Seattle" Yes, we do know your from Seattle, theres
no need to be cute. We know how much money you make, stop
trying to act humble, its just absurd. Greed suits you better,
after all it is your true colour.

"WEL-COME TO THE SOCIAL." Sure kind of sounds hip?? Uh?.. yah
sure guys. I'm not gay ya know?? I mean who wrote your copy
RU-Paul? Either way, no amount of (seemingly) cool copy-writing
will ever hide the fact that underneath all of that fancy
packaging its a Microsoft product. It really is extremely
pretentious, equally so with the ZUNE website. I mean what the
heck is that all about?

Lets face it at the end of the day Microsoft doesn't equal cool
and them trying to fool people into buying, by pulling an Apple
is stepping beyond the boundaries of boldness. I mean its more
pretentious and smug even, than that Apple guy in the
commercial.

Maybe Microsoft should change the packaging to "WEL-COME
TO THE LOSER CLUB." Cause thats exactly the kind of crowd that
will be buying this thing. Enuff said.
Posted by ServedUp (413 comments )
Reply Link Flag
pretty stupid for not having bought one...
Dear narcisistic individual: I am extremely disappointed that you would knock a product that you haven't even purchased (this implied by your article) to shame just because of the technical name that devised the innovation. If your unhappy with microsoft, start by switching jobs. I do share one thing in common with you, and that is my preference for checking out a product's performance and capabilities (to other similar products). I have not bought an Ipod because I don't want to be like "everyone else". Rather than making noise about what you don't know, perhaps you could ask the following questions: Does the Zune support a browser so that you can access simple web pages for other than just music d/l? What file types will it support for media and music besides MP3 and MPG? Is there any b.s. proprietary interface such as Sony's ATRAC just to put music on it. What kind of Sync interface is there for the Computer? Is it Mac compatible? Does it have OTA Television or AM/FM interface? Does it support text messaging as well as the file sharing? If I am a loser for buying one of these tomorrow, then you can go down to your local Kmart emporium and buy yourself a pocket am/fm radio just to maintain your dignity!
Posted by billgoatboygates (2 comments )
Link Flag
pretty stupid for not having bought one...
Dear narcisistic individual: I am extremely disappointed that you would knock a product that you haven't even purchased (this implied by your article) to shame just because of the technical name that devised the innovation. If your unhappy with microsoft, start by switching jobs. I do share one thing in common with you, and that is my preference for checking out a product's performance and capabilities (to other similar products). I have not bought an Ipod because I don't want to be like "everyone else". Rather than making noise about what you don't know, perhaps you could ask the following questions: Does the Zune support a browser so that you can access simple web pages for other than just music d/l? What file types will it support for media and music besides MP3 and MPG? Is there any b.s. proprietary interface such as Sony's ATRAC just to put music on it. What kind of Sync interface is there for the Computer? Is it Mac compatible? Does it have OTA Television or AM/FM interface? Does it support text messaging as well as the file sharing? If I am a loser for buying one of these tomorrow, then you can go down to your local Kmart emporium and buy yourself a pocket am/fm radio just to own something simple enough for yourself to operate... that you can call portable! My best regards! ... Touche!
Posted by billgoatboygates (2 comments )
Link Flag
Your review is terrible. Here's how to do a review.
Your opinion of how good a product is, based solely on the fact that you hate microsoft is rather... stupid. You should have told me something that is relevant to the product like "I think it's bulky", "I don't like the colors", "I'm paying for features I'll never use", "I hated the associated software and website", or even "I don't like the DRM it uses". You should express the opinions as yours (notice I didn't make absolute statements above) and give relevant comments about the product and not just claim it's bad because you hate the company that makes it.
Posted by Seaspray0 (9714 comments )
Link Flag
Zune is for the learning disabled and the forgetful
Remember ME? How it took four years for XP to become a slightly reasonable OS? How VISTA is Mac OS X five years later with Digital Rights blocks deeply ingrained?

Zune, with its subscriptions, virtual points, as a reworked and failed mp3 player (the Toshiba Gigabeat) and its hijack of the "Democracy Player" for vibe are all so typical of Redmond's cloak and dagger thieving antics.

Lemmings will be lemmings, I guess. Go, pick the poisoned apple, if you don't have the capacity to think...

<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://*******.com/y223ma" target="_newWindow">http://*******.com/y223ma</a>
Posted by MacDude (5 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Zune doesn't seem to be compatible with Vista
According to Appleinsider.com and the screenshot it's displaying, Zune isn't compatible with Vista "at this time."

Check out the screen shot of the Zune installation page. What the hell are those girls DOING?

<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.appleinsider.com/article.php?id=2237" target="_newWindow">http://www.appleinsider.com/article.php?id=2237</a>

You'd think that MS would try to get compatibility with Vista into Zune just to boost interest in ONE of these dogs.

And why the hell they decided to make Zune incompatible with WMP9 and Playsforsure song libraries is beyond me. Who wants to buy the same songs again just so they'll play on this thing?
Posted by kcar27 (50 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Zune doesn't seem to be compatible with Vista
According to Appleinsider.com and the screenshot it's displaying, Zune isn't compatible with Vista "at this time."

Check out the screen shot of the Zune installation page. What the h@ll are those girls DOING?

<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.appleinsider.com/article.php?id=2237" target="_newWindow">http://www.appleinsider.com/article.php?id=2237</a>

You'd think that MS would try to get compatibility with Vista into Zune just to boost interest in ONE of these dogs.

And why they decided to make Zune incompatible with WMP9 and Playsforsure song libraries is beyond me. Who wants to buy the same songs again just so they'll play on this thing?
Posted by kcar27 (50 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Fantastic! Not biased there, are we?
www.appleinsider.com

Right, that's where I know I'd go for all my non-Apple product information. I'm sure we can all trust that content as the religious truth- or we can treat it like the bullpockey it is.

Yes, it's compatible with Vista. Sheesh. I would have expected Apple fans to at least attempt to be truthful.
Posted by Vegaman_Dan (6683 comments )
Link Flag
Problem: What's a Zune?
No one knows what the heck a Zune is. And if you tell them its an MP3 player they'll wonder why you're not getting an iPod.

People know what iPods are inside and out.

People DON'T know what a Zune is, and frankly, not many care.

iPod has dominated the market from the beginning and nothing will get in Apple's way until they stop updating their ever so popular player every year.

Apple left no one room for competition.
Posted by craigers289 (6 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Plenty of room for competition
"Apple left no one room for competition."

Sure they did. Although they sell the majority of MP3 players, there is still competition. Creative, Sansa, Microsoft, Apple... they are all competing in this market. I don't see an end to this as the copywrite protection for Ipod has been recently broken and being made available to other MP3 players ability to work with itunes.
Posted by Seaspray0 (9714 comments )
Link Flag
If you want SOCIAL you need a Zune!
The dumbest product advertising ever!

Here's a good laugh!

ULTRA STUPID NON-APPEALING TV COMMERCIALS:
<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://macdailynews.com/index.php/weblog/comments/11511" target="_newWindow">http://macdailynews.com/index.php/weblog/comments/11511</a>

Zune really needs 'Think Different' to promote with any success. Here's an idea...copy Apple!
Posted by onlyauser (220 comments )
Reply Link Flag
if you want A SOCIAL DISEASE...
Zuneys are luneys.

Short, sweet, it rhymes and it's so true.

A Zuney: one who keeps forgetting the past and returns for a new round of self fulfilling torture by the hand of the same adversary...
Posted by MacDude (5 comments )
Link Flag
These are so bad
trying to appeal to the american afro community with a brown MP3
player and 'viral' - 'badly filmed' - 'self made' movies? oh man.
Posted by Peter Bonte (316 comments )
Link Flag
Let's see what happens in 6 months
Take a random sampling of the idiots who bought one of these turds after 6 months, and see how many use it or even admit to even owning one.

The fact that it is not compatible with Vista is a classic MS blunder. How anyone can like these hapless idiots is beyond me.
Posted by qwerty75 (1164 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Tryed Zune Yep it's crap
I got to play with this Zune first off all it has a nice screen but it's just not as good as an ipod The hand control buttons are horrible. Very unconfy strains your thumbs not worth buying
Posted by kyle172 (65 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Funny other people seem to like them
Many people seem to like the simplicity of navigating using the wheels and you are complaining that it is hard on your hands!!!!

Are you sure you are not ******** just because u want to *****?

BTW: I don't own a zune yet and I own an IPOD!!!
Posted by Tanjore (322 comments )
Link Flag
Tryed Zune - Ipod Is crap
I own an Ipod and the Zune has a way better screen. I wish it had more storage, but the look and feel of the Zune just beats my Ipod straight down. The Zune is the winner !
Posted by Robert654 (3 comments )
Link Flag
And what did you pay for your Zune
Since you appear to have had such extensive long term experience with your Zune player, I was wondering how long you've had it or how much you paid.

What's that? You didn't? Because it just came out? Ah...

Nothing like making a firm opinion on something they didn't buy.
Posted by Vegaman_Dan (6683 comments )
Link Flag
I don't think I'll get the Zune
But I'm not going to get the iPod either. It's not because I find fault in the hardware or software of either of them, it's because I'm looking for something where I can record shows from TV (preferably in HD and for free with) and effortlessly upload the show to the device.

Now while XP MCE does allow me to record show in HD for free, I can't put the shows on the Zune because the format isn't supported. Likewise, I can get HD show for the iPod but I have to pay for those. So until one allows both HD for free and portable, I'll just have to find some other way to watch the show on the road.
Posted by aka_tripleB (2211 comments )
Reply Link Flag
I don't think I'll get the Zune
But I'm not going to get the iPod either. It's not because I find fault in the hardware or software of either of them, it's because I'm looking for something where I can record shows from TV (preferably in HD and for free with) and effortlessly upload the show to the device.

Now while XP MCE does allow me to record show in HD for free, I can't put the shows on the Zune because the format isn't supported. Likewise, I can get HD show for the iPod but I have to pay for those. So until one allows both HD for free and portable, I'll just have to find some other way to watch the show on the road.
Posted by aka_tripleB (2211 comments )
Reply Link Flag
HD on a 2.5-inch screen?????
A little overkill, isn't it?
Posted by Norseman (1319 comments )
Link Flag
For the record
It is a simple matter to upload recorded content to the iPod
Posted by DeusExMachina (516 comments )
Link Flag
Ouch! Zune on CNN
Microsoft's PR people must have been pulling their hair out...

<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=buKaqRG2SFA" target="_newWindow">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=buKaqRG2SFA</a>
Posted by edgedesign (290 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Re: Ouch!
Yeah, I saw that. It's hilarious.
Posted by mofo111 (107 comments )
Link Flag
Origami II
'Nuf said.
Posted by Norseman (1319 comments )
Reply Link Flag
BINGO
First truly great comment i have read, especially when aimed at the
people espousing the "MS has large amounts of money, so there is
no way they will not dominate" position.
Posted by DeusExMachina (516 comments )
Link Flag
I don't know why anyone would buy it
The Zune is an example of how not to design a portable player. They bent over backward to cripple it with DRM etc and not include any useful features.
You can't even transfer content in public domain without Zune hijacking it with DRM. For some reason they've choosen to not let people play music from Napster etc on it, instead you have to pay $5.00 for Zune points and use Microsoft's store.

What a peace of crap.
Posted by unknown unknown (1951 comments )
Reply Link Flag
How fast did original iPods fly off the shelf?
To be fair, and I truly don't know, how quickly did iPods sell on
their initial release?
Posted by ppgreat (1128 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Re: How Fast....
Actually, I think that the original 1st-generation iPods flew off the
shelf pretty quickly. It was the first of its kind and I remember that
there was a lot of excitement and enthusiasm surrounding Apple's
announcement of the iPod. I got one.

Of course now that iPod-like portable music players are nothing
new, it's difficult for any company to make as big of a splash with a
new player.
Posted by mofo111 (107 comments )
Link Flag
actually, not that well...
...i mean, they sold, but the fact that they were a mac-only product
at first kind of stymied huge sales when they were first released,
however, once a buzz was created over them, apple made them
both mac and windows compatible, and THAT'S when you really
saw them take off.
Posted by thejackamo (4 comments )
Link Flag
As fast as Zune is selling, or even worse.
They really only started selling well when they made them Windows compatile. Interesting, huh...?
Posted by Ryo Hazuki (378 comments )
Link Flag
I am in shock with this poor effort
I did see the Zune. It looks pretty unrefined in person. The
screen is a nice size should have been more resolution. It takes
heat for the brown color but brown is a high fashion color now,
they were right to make it. What is the most troublesome is its
software and how it works and intergrates with Windows. The
ITunes system is just that a system that works and syncs with
other Apple products. You can take a quicktime movie and
download so you can make your own movies and show them on
IPod. Podcasts are seemless and work through the ITunes
system as well. If you are OS X user Ipod/ITunes uses you date
calendar to sync as well as using Garageband,IMovie ETC. Why
this device did not use MS mobile OS and intergrate with MCE is
beyond me. It almost requires a XBox to unlock more features. A
shame when your MS Computer is not really supported by it's
video and file formats. Better intergration with the computer OS
that you make would seem to be a no brainer. I did not expect
MS to bring out a player that is as elegant or cool as IPod. What I
did expect was a better software system that worked with the
whole OS better and at least had most of the Ipod/ITunes
features. To be frank ITunes does quite a better job using
existing Windows features than the Zune software.
Posted by grdaven (12 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Umm
you have no idea what you are talking about. I have a zune on my desk right now.

Zune uses a modified version of windows CE....you can see this when you scroll through a large list of music on it and a big letter comes up on the screen during the scroll to let you know where you are at alphabet....just like my WM5 phone and its contact sheet.

Using the Zune software....which is WMP 11 with Zune twist on it, you can sync WMV video files all day or until the hard drive fills up. So a video I take with my camera, download and modify with my Windows Movie Maker...and be put on my Zune.

The 360 connection already exsisted on Windows XP, through media connect (free downlad) or MCE...and it was further updated with WMP 11 to allow the streaming of video from regular XP something you had to have MCE for prior to WMP 11.....all of which has zero to do with the Zune. The Zune just offers the same thing.

Lets see any more BS to deflate.....nope.

The Zune will get pod cast ability with in the first 6 months. I downloaded MP3 files from a favorite radion station and synced it....soon enough for a pod cast.
Posted by Lindy01 (443 comments )
Link Flag
I bought that 1st gen iPod the moment they hit the shelf!
I was an early adopter of the iPod. ( 2001) I'm on My 7th unit now,
a 30gb black 5g video. I'm hoping for a bigger screen on the next
generation of this incredible device.
Posted by gwats1957 (117 comments )
Reply Link Flag
1st gen ipod bought
I find it funny that you're on your 7th ipod in 5 years. Shows you their durability, I'm guessing. You're looking for a bigger screen next time, Zune has it now! I find it funny that people have been saying the Zune has the same pixel count as the ipod video. Sure, but you'd only notice the difference when viewing a 32in TV and a 60in TV with the same pixel counts, please. The difference between the Zune and ipod is moot, (as far as pixels are considered). The difference, however, in picture clarity is easily won by the Zune. It's much more crisp. I'll keep my custom backgrounds, while any ipod consumer will enjoy black, white, and teal (maybe a 3 other colors for highlighted files). Also, NO MORE CLICK WHEEL! Intuitive, customizeable, easy to navigate, that's what the Zune offers.
Posted by dyuhrea (2 comments )
Link Flag
Zune vs iPod vs Zen Vision vs Archos vs PMC vs Cell Phone...
I have a lot of those portable video players because my company make video conversion software. I have a 4G iPod, a Creative Zen PMC, Zen Vision/M, Archos AV500. I have a Zune on order and plan to get a Sansa soon.

This is my take.

Zune is a glorified PMC. It is manufactured by Toshiba, who makes a pretty good PMC, the Gigabit. Actually, Zune's design is very close to Gigabit (do a Google and you will see). The difference is the price. Zune is $249 to compete against iPod. Gigabit is over $500.

After testing all those video players, I only see two usage model for them.

1. Long travel, especially long flight. In this case, the portability is the number one consideration.
2. Watching video on TV. Keep in mind, iPod, Archos have this option, and so does Zune (extra cost).

iPod has the advantage of having video content in iTunes store. It is strange that Microsoft doesn't have this lined up. Without the content, it is just a tech toy - how often do you hook up your DV camcorder to TV and watch a tape? That's how often you will watch something from your portable video player.

For watching video on TV, Archos is my favorite player because it can record TV shows, and it is a pretty potent and very slick player.

For the long travel, my pick will surprise both Apple and Microsoft fans - I use my cell phone, a TMobile SDA. Its screen (2.2 inch) is almost as big as an iPod, and I can fit 8 hours of video on a 2GB memory card. Its battery can easily last that long....probably can last 12 hours watching video. It means I have one less item to bring.

To summarize:
1. iPod has the advantage of video content in iTunes store.
2. Archos has the advantage of able to record TV shows.
3. Cell phone has the advantage of being the real portable device with LONG battery life and you will bring it with you anyway.
4. I don't see the point of Zune (although I am getting one anyway).
Posted by johnqh (236 comments )
Reply Link Flag
You must be blind, then.
Maybe the point of Zune is something called Wi-Fi and a watchable screen?
Posted by Ryo Hazuki (378 comments )
Link Flag
Wider screen?
Is it really a wider screen?

If the resolution is 320x240 then the aspect ratio should be 4:3.

It does kinda look like a 16:9 widescreen in the photos, but this
would in fact stretch the video, giving people on the screen
broad shoulders, etc.

I know a lot of people don't seem to know the difference (a lot of
clueless widescreen TV owners fill a 16:9 screen with a 4:3
signal) but I wouldn't have thought even Microsoft would be this
tasteless.

Maybe it's an optical illusion, or maybe the people are saying
"wider" when they really mean bigger.
Posted by dotmike (154 comments )
Reply Link Flag
4:3
It's 4:3, I have one in front of me.

One nice thing about the display vs. the iPod is that in most modes you use it in portrait orientation. So you can get reasonable number of lines of text per page, while also keeping the font reasonably large. It only flips to landscape when looking at pictures or watching videos.
Posted by starmonkey1 (5 comments )
Link Flag
Yes, wider screen.
Wider screen doesn't mean wide-screen or 16:9, genious. It means it's wider. And the fact is that the Zune screen is bigger/wider than the one in the iPod.
Posted by Ryo Hazuki (378 comments )
Link Flag
Interesting title for this story
Title: Zune moving at slow tempo...
Text: ...because some stores didn't get it yet.

Nice one, Cnet, another great prove of professionalism regarding Microsoft-related stories.

It's interesting too that people, specially ignorant Apple fanboys, highlight the fact that Zune is supposedly not selling very well, when the iPod only really started selling well when Steve Jobs made it Windows compatible. Just like the Macs only started selling something when they released Boot Camp and led people install and use Windows XP on a Mac. Start to see a trend here...? Interesting how such a supposedly great company depends so much on another supposedly terrible company to have success and sell its products.
Anyway, I still think the iPod Video 30 GB is better than the Zune, mostly because of all the content in the iTunes store and for its simplicity.

P.S.: I own a 4 GB silver iPod Nano.
Posted by Ryo Hazuki (378 comments )
Reply Link Flag
One dynamic you missed...
...according to the logic you presented, Zune should be flying off the shelves. If Apple needed Windows to sell iPods, then Zune (which already has Windows) should be selling like hotcakes, yes?

Zune is going to have an uphill battle for other reasons than compatibility w/ Windows, IMHO:

* WMP9 and FairPlay (I believe?) files won't play on it - so much for all those iTMS/Napster/etc songs you purchased.

* iPod dominates the space... MSFT won't have so easy a time as it did in other arenas... even when it launched the x-box (which it is still losing money on to this day, and had the advantage of a Nintendo-Sony dogfight to help its entry).


PS: You missed something - iPods sold very well even before "PC Compatibility" was added by way of an iTunes port to Win32, and as a second aspect, I can (and do) use Linux to load up an iPod (vi gtkpod on Fedora), so that doesn't exactly fly, eh?

/P
Posted by Penguinisto (5042 comments )
Link Flag
It Sold well Before Windows iTunes
It just took off like a banshee from hell when iTunes was made
available for windows.


Get it straight. Next thing you know, schills like you will try to
convince us that the lines in front of the Apple stores, across the
globe, were a mocked up and people were paid to show up.
Posted by Thomas, David (1947 comments )
Link Flag
Wrong on any number of levels
Interesting that you keep saying this. I seriously doubt you have
any data to back up this ludicrous claim. Check out the sales
figures. You do have access to google before you start making
stuff up out of thin air, right? As already pointed out, the IPod
was selling well prior to the "official" Windows version, and was
already the number 1 DMP far before the Windows release.
The same can be said of the mac. Your research is a bit lacking.
Mac sales were already on the rise well before the
announcement of the processor switch (which was a mistake,
BTW, since the Power family of chips is inherently superior to the
x86 line) and certainly were well on their way prior to Boot
Camp.
You really have no idea what you are talking about.
Posted by DeusExMachina (516 comments )
Link Flag
Zune is uglier in person than in the photos
The interface is actually top-notch. Is it based on the original
Toshiba interface or the Zune group's internal work?

The case, however, is thicker, more boxy, and more cheap-
looking than the photos suggest. And the brown is horrid. But
then, who has ever thought MS has any taste?

And the screen is dimmer and no-higher res han the iPod. It's
quite literally (and somewhat pathetically) a stretched iPod
screen. How difficult would it have been too simply add more
pixels?

Sorry. I had my hopes up.
Posted by mgreere (332 comments )
Reply Link Flag
 

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