Zune or IPod?

Old Feb 11, 08, 5:08 am
  #1  
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Zune or IPod?

Surprised that this hasn't been asked on this forum before.

Lost my MP3 player recently (on a plane, go figure) and now looking at buying a new one. I have been using both MusicMatch and I-Tunes on my computer, but I'm not married to either format. That being the case, I am not necessarily married to the Apple solution - making me open to consider a Zune - Any thoughts?

I've read the countless reviews out there, but none have swayed me in any particular direction. I do like the interesting file-sharing capabilities and connectivity for the Zune, but I imagine that IPod will eventually have these as well. I already have a pretty extensive music library already, so the fact that MS has less media isn't much of a concern, either. It does seem that right now, I would get more for my money with a Zune, but I-Pod is still the ubiquitous solution (Whether it stays that way is another question, I suppose).

Anybody else out there weighed out these options recently?
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Old Feb 11, 08, 5:34 am
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Get a Zune and let us know how happy you are with it.

There have been questions here before but due to the fact that virtually nobody has a Zune (or admits to it ) you may not get more than a couple of people to reply with experiences.

Do you mind the DRM restrictions MS may put on its music and would you mind it MS decides to close its store at some time in the future if Zunes so not end up as the industry standard?

Did you find a sale of closeout stock? That option has been mentioned previously.

I bought Mrs B an iPod Nano 3G 10%+ below RRP with a free iTunes card and a travel charger thrown in; before you Zune, check out options like this, which should still be supported a couple of years from now, unlike previous MS music products.
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Old Feb 11, 08, 7:20 am
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My friend has a Zune and he feels that it is a great alternative to the ipod. However, it is still not quite a second answer to the ipod he says. I've taken a look at one and I think it's pretty neat, certainly some things that caught my eye include a better looking interface.

I owned a Dell DJ 20 for the longest time (first generation) and it was not even close to comparing with an ipod. However, it played MP3s and had very decent quality and battery retention. I switched to a black ipod Classic 80 gb at the beginning of the year and I find that this suits all my needs. I'm quite taken with the video playback option now. I keep asking myself why I didn't get involved with an ipod sooner, because this quite certainly suits all my media needs at the moment.
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Old Feb 11, 08, 7:25 am
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Zen's better than either. No proprietary crap of any kind, and great sound quality....
Though IMHO MP3 players are soon becoming a thing of the past. My PDA/phone/camera/media player can hold micro SDHCs. I've got a 8GB one and I've heard that 16GB ones aren't far behind...So maybe this avenue is also worth exploring.
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Old Feb 11, 08, 8:25 am
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Well, my default would have been to just buy the I-Pod, but some things about the Zune are really appealing:

--Bigger screen
--Reviews say it's more ruggedly built (good for travel) and sound quality is better
--FM tuner
--Wireless connectivity/syncing
--For the same capacity, Zune units run cheaper

BUT - IPod is a proven, ubiquitous product, and soon will be integrated with several airlines' IFE - many hotels already offer sound systems that accept your IPod.

In the end, I probably won't have buyers remorse with either one, so maybe a dart throw would be just as an effective method of making this decision.
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Old Feb 11, 08, 8:54 am
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Sansa e280

I did the same thing (lost my old mp3 - left it on a plane).
I got a Sansa e280 (not the e280R) and really like it.

It has:
8G flash (expandable to 10 with a 2G microSD card)
does pics and video (1.75" diag color screen)
FM radio
voice recorder

I prefer a smaller flash-based unit to a larger micro-drive based unit.

edited to add...
There is also a newer Sansa View that has up to 32G of all flash storage, a larger screen (2.4") - and can do all of the above.
(did I say "yum"?)

Last edited by javajunkie; Feb 11, 08 at 9:07 am
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Old Feb 11, 08, 10:16 am
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I picked up a "recertified" Zune 30GB through Woot a couple of months ago, and it's been updated to the latest firmware and desktop software. Overall, it's a simple to use device with all of the basic functionality, but there are a few things lacking that bug me:
  • Limited EQ (presets only, rock/pop/jazz/classical etc)
  • No gapless playback
  • No line-level out
  • No recording capability
  • Can't be used as an external hard drive
  • Non-standard USB interface means carrying yet another cable
  • Can't install RockBox

My 4 year old iRiver H120 is not limited by any of the above (except for charging; can't do it via USB), and isn't significantly different in its dimensions. The H120 doesn't play video, though, and is is 20GB rather than the Zune's 30GB.
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Old Feb 12, 08, 9:58 am
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Originally Posted by PorkRind View Post
[*]Can't be used as an external hard drive.
this is probably the one thing that bugs me about the Zune the most. Maybe a firmware update will fix that problem at some point. (Which is actually another attractive feature of the Zune - availability of firmware updates)

anyway, I got to see a friend's Zune (2nd generation) and I am sold. V2.0 is a very attractive device. looks like it'll be a Zune for me.
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Old Feb 12, 08, 11:41 am
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Originally Posted by graraps View Post
Though IMHO MP3 players are soon becoming a thing of the past. My PDA/phone/camera/media player can hold micro SDHCs. I've got a 8GB one and I've heard that 16GB ones aren't far behind...So maybe this avenue is also worth exploring.
I have been playing MP3s (and watching videos) on my PDA/cell phone for so long (since 2003) that I have never been in the market for a standalone MP3 player device. The 8GB SD card in my Treo holds all my recent CD acquisitions as well as several hours of video.

For those of you who don't play MP3's on your cell phone, why not? Is it really worth it to purchase and carry yet another device w/charge cables just to play MP3s and videos? Just want to make sure I'm not missing something....
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Old Feb 12, 08, 2:01 pm
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For me its a battery issue. The battery life on my phone or PDA was never long enough to play music and do other things I needed to do on a cross country flight.

I have a Palm Treo now and have a hard enough time keeping it charged for making phone calls. Maybe an extended battery would help that, but I really like how small the zune is and the cord isn't that big.
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Old Feb 12, 08, 2:14 pm
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Originally Posted by jenn_1K View Post
For me its a battery issue. The battery life on my phone or PDA was never long enough to play music and do other things I needed to do on a cross country flight.

I have a Palm Treo now and have a hard enough time keeping it charged for making phone calls. Maybe an extended battery would help that, but I really like how small the zune is and the cord isn't that big.
How do you make calls while in flight?
Apart from when flying and travelling on some trains, it's hard to imagine a situation in which I have no access to a way of charging my HTC. Even in a cab, the cabbie will usually let you charge it from the cigar lighter outlet if you ask nicely...
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Old Feb 12, 08, 2:19 pm
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Got a Zune also...

[QUOTE=PorkRind;9231003]I picked up a "recertified" Zune 30GB through Woot a couple of months ago, and it's been updated to the latest firmware and desktop software. Overall, it's a simple to use device with all of the basic functionality, but there are a few things lacking that bug me:
  • Limited EQ (presets only, rock/pop/jazz/classical etc)
  • No gapless playback
  • No line-level out
  • No recording capability
  • Can't be used as an external hard drive
  • Non-standard USB interface means carrying yet another cable
  • Can't install RockBox

Let me add another little gripe - short battery life. Belkin has an add-on battery pack that lets me get about 3 weeks of workouts in on one battery recharge. Got this through Woot, also.

Swimmin' M
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Old Feb 13, 08, 5:36 am
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Originally Posted by mikew99 View Post

For those of you who don't play MP3's on your cell phone, why not? Is it really worth it to purchase and carry yet another device w/charge cables just to play MP3s and videos? Just want to make sure I'm not missing something....
There are people who buy Leatherman tools, then there are people who like to buy pliers, a corkscrew, and a buck knife seperately.
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Old Feb 13, 08, 6:38 am
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I've had a Zune since the original model came out and I've seen some solid improvements in the battery life and other functionality that I initially complained about. As they upgrade the firmware, it's gotten much, much better. Not always an easy upgrade though. The latest rev has a cleaner interface and is at the point where I no longer complain.

I actually like it now, wheras before I got it for 1 feature, the subscription model that allows me to download all I want for one fixed monthly fee. I dont have time to rip CDs, so I really liked the idea of just being able to grab a few CDs I was thinking about and see if I like them. I'm not sure if Apple has this, and some folks might have philosophical differences with DRM and not "owning" the music, but I have happily paid the subscription fee for 13 months now and think it's a great value. I listen to this junk from high school that I either would never buy or have on cassette somewhere in my parents attic (ouch that was painful to admit).

I got a third party software product that allows ripping of video and that's not bad, but my friends with Ipods have a much richer supply of content at their disposal via downloads.
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Old Feb 13, 08, 12:35 pm
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ipod touch?

Does anyone have the ipod touch? If so, how do you like it? I have been eyeing the 8GB version that retails for $299. I am attracted to the larger screen and wi-fi capabilities.
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