I’m on my third iPod now and have been satisfied with them, although I’m on my third iPod because the other two quit working.
I’ve been hearing about this new Zune HD that is coming from Microsoft this fall (rumor is September 5, 2009). So what’s it have that the iPod doesn’t?
- HD Radio – a free over-the-air digital technology that gives crystal clear sound. If you hear a song you want to purchase, you can mark it and do that later.
- High-definition (HD) video output capabilities. from Microsoft..“The HD-compatible output lets Zune HD customers playback supported HD video files from the device through a premium high-definition multimedia interface (HDMI) audiovisual docking station (sold separately) direct to an HD TV in 720p.” Apple products currently don’t have this capability
- Zune Marketplace/Subscription Services – for $14.99/mo, you can download and listen to unlimited music from the Zune store. In addition, download and keep 10 songs a month. Pretty nice deal. Apple doesn’t offer a service like this.
- X-box Live Integration – Stream digital media over your home network from your Zune collection to your Xbox 360. Watch videos on your big screen, display pictures on your TV, or blast music through the speakers on your home entertainment system. Control it all from the Xbox 360 controller, Xbox 360 Media Remote or Zune Remote. I haven’t gotten that advanced in my home theatre setup, but it sounds good.
These are the major differences between the two units. If you’re wondering if using the Apple TV device vs. the X-box for your home theatre experience, here’s a great review from Gizmodo that contrasts them— (they say X-box wins).
Similar to the iTouch, the Zune has a touch screen with a qwerty keyboard, built in wifi and a web browser with tap-to-zoom technology. Screen size is 3.3”.
Here’s a short video review from CNET
No word yet on pricing, but expect it to be competitive with the iTouch.
I haven’t talked myself into it yet, but I’m thinking about it. I did download and install the Zune software on my computer Since I already have a Windows Live ID, I didn’t have to set up yet another account-that’s handy
Setup was pretty painless and seemed a bit easier than navigating iTunes – possibly because iTunes has more options. You can use the software to access the Zune store and listen to podcasts from your computer – no Zune necessary.
I did the custom setup and it asked me if I wanted the software to check my music and video collections and add them to the Zune – I liked that as I really don’t have a player I like that much on my laptop. Had to uninstall iTunes as it didn’t seem to like my PC.
As far as the store goes, the choices are disappointingly small as far as podcasts go. They have a lot of catch-up to do as far as their offerings.
Has anyone out there switched from iPod to Zune and if you did, let me know why you did it. I’ll continue to try out this software and think about the Zune HD!