Zune Update

As promised two posts ago, I ordered a Zune 80 from Zune Originals late last week. It has officially shipped from China and will arrive on or before this coming Tuesday, December 11. My older brother, who is currently serving our country in Qatar, had me order one for him also, so there are now at least two “May the Funk be with You,” Colletivo designed Zune 80s in circulation.

In other news, this week C|Net published a Microsoft Zune 80 vs. Apple iPod classic prizefight, pitting the devices head-to-head in 5 categories: Navigation, Sexiness, Compatibility, Sound and Science and Wallet Factor. The new Zune won every category except compatibility.

It is not clear how a device can win 4 out of 5 categories and the bout still end in a tie. C|Net surely isn’t using the Queensberry rules in this contest. In fact, it is reminiscent of Florida balloting in the 2000 presidential election. Hmm…

Regardless, this head-to-head comparison by 3 somewhat-independent judges validates my assertion that Microsoft has outpaced Apple in this category of digital media players in just under a year. To go from laughing stock to serious contender in only v2 is a significant accomplishment. Will Microsoft once again achieve significant market share in v3? Only time will tell.

Apple iPhone/iPod 6G Compared to Microsoft Zune

To commemorate today’s release of the Microsoft Zune 2 digital media players, services and software, I present a feature matrix comparing all the Apple iPod 6th generation devices—including iPhone, iPod touch, iPod classic and iPod nano—with the 1st and 2nd generation Zunes—Zune 80, Zune 30, Zune 8 and Zune 4.

The following table covers what I think are the most important features of a portable media device including screen size, storage capacity, screen resolution, height, width, depth, weight, battery life, connectivity options, interface, supported audio formats, supported video formats, available colors, and, of course, price.

There are several comparisons missing to keep the chart manageable (e.g., podcast support, size of music & video stores, Cover Flow, desktop software, etc.) However, I have included things many shoppers want to evaluate when choosing a device to playback music, video and pictures from various sources while on-the-go.

Zune 2 vs. iPod 6G Comparison classic touch iphone 160 80 8 4

Earlier, I stated “…Zune 80 sets a new standard for hard-drive based media players vs. iPod Classic.” This table shows why. Note the new Zune 8 & Zune 4 devices compare favorably to the latest iPod nanos as well.