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David Pogue Takes On the Zune

Zonk posted more than 7 years ago | from the gotta-love-them-made-up-words dept.

99

necro81 writes "The NYTimes' widely read technology columnist, David Pogue, has devoted his weekly product review to Microsoft's Zune. He does an even-handed job of describing what Zune has over the iPod, as well as some product-related letdowns." From the article: "Competition is good and all. But what, exactly, is the point of the Zune? It seems like an awful lot of duplication — in a bigger, heavier form with fewer features — just to indulge Microsoft's 'we want some o' that' envy. Wireless sharing is the one big new idea — and if the public seems to respond, Apple could always add that to the iPod."

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99 comments

Ya but (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16788387)

Zune Zune!

Offensive (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16788393)

'Zune' is an Argentinean deragatory term for a native.

Translation: (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16788395)

I don't like it when other companies compete with my favourite company.

How technical is David? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16788405)

This it the guy who admitted when he started blogging that he would write his entry in Microsoft Word, Email that to his tech folks who would then upload it for him.

Not only is it not a better product.... (4, Insightful)

Chode2235 (866375) | more than 7 years ago | (#16788407)

...but it is made by Microsoft, who is not nearly as cool as Apple or even Sony etc when it comes to consumer electronics. I mean you can say a lot of other things about Microsoft being evil etc, but that aspect aside they just dont have the 'cool' image. So it seems to me that in order for the zune to have any meaninful impact it would have to be head and shoulders better than the ipod.

Re:Not only is it not a better product.... (1)

Lisandro (799651) | more than 7 years ago | (#16792914)

Actually, i hold Microsofts' hardware in high regard, even when i hate most of their software products. I know a lot of people do aswell. The problem here is tha the Zune is a product released solely to be no-less-than-Apple... and it shows.

A bit of bias in the story (3, Insightful)

jmorris42 (1458) | more than 7 years ago | (#16788409)

Unless one really knows what is what one would read this /. post and think a tech savy but otherwise neutral party is doing a review. But of course this ain't so. Of course had Zonk wrote it up as David Pogue, author of "Switching to the Mac: The Missing Manual, Tiger Edition" and numerous other Mac books, it just wouldn't have been much of a story now would it? It would have been seen as yet another of the "Mac zealot bashes Microsoft, prefers Apple; film at 11." story that seems to be becoming a regular staple around here.

Re:A bit of bias in the story (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16793246)

thank you.

apple makes fine hardware and software, but frankly, i dont find them that compelling. shiek white plastic and hipster-allies aside, what is with all the zelous apple love here?

a nice sony laptop w/ ubuntu 6.10 + beryl looks as good, performs as good and is cheaper than most comparable macs.

jeeze, put down the cool-aid.

Re:A bit of bias in the story (1)

TMarvelous (928161) | more than 7 years ago | (#16793442)

I've been waiting for threading to return so I could respond to this. Parent should be modded down.

David Pogue is currently working on a Vista book. He posted about it in his blog only a month ago:
http://pogue.blogs.nytimes.com/2006/10/20/blogging -from-microsoft/ [nytimes.com]

Oh, and he's written plenty of Windows books too: http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_ss_gw/102-3339995-6 640159?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=david +pogue [amazon.com]

There appears to be a bit of bias in your post.
When you leave out half of the truth you're being a little biased yourself - hopefully you're just ignorant.

He's a technology writer and he writes about what's current. Leave the bias accusations behind.

Yeah? (0)

Nom du Keyboard (633989) | more than 7 years ago | (#16788417)

Wireless sharing is the one big new idea -- and if the public seems to respond, Apple could always add that to the iPod.

Yeah? How quickly? At what increase in price (or decrease in profits)?

And oh, by the way, your shiny new iPod is now obsolete. Wanna buy a new one?

I'll bet this has Apple salivating already. Might even cause them to overlook the deal MS cut with UMG to pay royalty rights regardless of how the Zune is used for "stolen" music that might be loaded by some users.

Microsoft can't help it... (5, Funny)

creimer (824291) | more than 7 years ago | (#16788419)

Until you experienced a blue screen of death while playing "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds" [wikipedia.org] , your life is utterly meaningless.

What's the damn point anyway? (4, Interesting)

VitrosChemistryAnaly (616952) | more than 7 years ago | (#16788425)

Why doesn't MS just stick to what it does well: making a decent Office Suite and a less-than-decent Operating System?

I mean, aren't all the other money losing projects (hello Zune and Xbox) just financed by Office and OS anyway?

Seems like a waste of time and resources to me.

Re:What's the damn point anyway? (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 7 years ago | (#16794280)

If someone buys an Xbox and enjoys it and Microsoft loses money, the end result is that Microsoft paid money to make that guy happier. Sucks for shareholders, but it doesn't seem like a 'waste' to me.

Re:What's the damn point anyway? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16798722)

MS has every right to offer a much-desired alternative to the iPod, just as Creative Labs has been doing. As for distribution of funds, how do you think Apple keeps going -- from their 4% share of the computer market? No, it's the iPod keeping all those gaudy, inefficient Apple stores lit.

re: Not only is it not a better product.... (4, Insightful)

Nom du Keyboard (633989) | more than 7 years ago | (#16788433)

So it seems to me that in order for the zune to have any meaninful impact it would have to be head and shoulders better than the ipod.

Or Dollars and Cents cheaper!

Let me know... (1)

Nemetroid (883968) | more than 7 years ago | (#16788435)

...when i can flash it with unofficial firmware.

Re: Not Only is it not a better product... (4, Interesting)

geoffspear (692508) | more than 7 years ago | (#16788441)

but it is made by Microsoft, who is not nearly as cool as Apple or even Sony etc when it comes to consumer electronics.

This is probably why the multi-page Zune ad in the most recent issue of Rolling Stone makes absolutely no mention whatsoever of Microsoft.

How sad is it when you have to run away from your own established brand to try to sell something?

Re:Offensive (1)

njko (586450) | more than 7 years ago | (#16788451)

i live in Argentina and i'd never heard before.

growth (4, Funny)

j00r0m4nc3r (959816) | more than 7 years ago | (#16788467)

Why doesn't MS just stick to what it does well: making a decent Office Suite and a less-than-decent Operating System?

Because of greedy shareholders. It's not enough for them to receive a nice dividend, they demand growth. Oh, and also it's contrary to Borg prinicples.

coolness factor (3, Insightful)

jmyers (208878) | more than 7 years ago | (#16788469)

for this product to succeed it has to reach a coolness factor better than an ipod with 15yr olds. I don't see how a larger and uglier device is going to do it. I don't think MS has ever done that well with coolness (I'm not a gamer so I don't know how the xbox rates). MS is good at corporate marketing and deal making and the company name means something to those people. The MS brand is nerdy compared to Apple with is good at the marketing for this demographic. The last thing a 15yr wants to be is nerdy, except the ones reading /. of course, but coolness is a lost hope for those.

I won't switch (4, Interesting)

MBCook (132727) | more than 7 years ago | (#16788483)

I had no intention of switching, but the review solidified things. I wouldn't have recommended the product to anyone (I'd say just get an iPod) and this only makes things worse.

Let's see what they've got to entice me away? I've got a large collection of music, but basically no DRMed AAC files so I would make an easy switch.

  • There is a photo viewer... where you have to turn the thing on it's side to look at the photo
  • There is wireless sharing... that automatically deletes it's self, limits playback to only three times, needs another Zune... Why not let me listen to ANYTHING AS MANY TIMES AS I WANT as long as I'm in range of that other person (say two people sitting on a bus)?
  • It's bigger and heavier
  • It can't be used as a hard drive (iPods have had that from day 1, so does EVERY OTHER PLAYER ON THE MARKET
  • It doesn't work with WMP (a plus) but requires a second (and very similar program, a minus)
  • Doesn't work with a Mac that I can see (that would kill it for me or any of the people I know switching to Macs for various reasons)
  • It doesn't have a scroll-wheel.... the genius of the iPod. It LOOKS like it, but it's really just a D-pad hidden under some round plastic. That's just pure genius for you
  • Some of the things (like putting a custom photo for a background) are neat but... no TV shows (don't have any, but I might), no movies (don't have any, but I might), no games (something I think was a great idea, even the bad solitare game)

Let's face it, it's pathetic if they think they are going ANYWHERE with this. As for the "We're selling it in 3x as many stores"... who cares? Everyone who matters sells iPods. Target, Wal*Mart, CompUSA, Apple, Microcenter, Frys, Best Buy, Circuit City, Sears, Borders Books, and more. There are some I can't check (because I don't live near them) but I bet Meijers sells iPods. I've seen them in some odd places. They are everywhere. I think even those scam-on-poor-people places like Rent-A-Center probably sell 'em. They'll be more places for the Zune though? Let's see... who else would be a good partner for selling the Zune...

JoAnne Fabrics? PetsMart? I know I'm looking for an MP3 player that's not an iPod when I go into my local paint-ball gun store, but maybe that's just me.

No, wait, I don't go to paint-ball gun stores for consumer electronics.

About the only place I can think of is Radio Shack. I don't know if they sell iPods now but they are going down the tubes fast any way.

What stores will carry Zunes... (1)

atomic_toaster (840941) | more than 7 years ago | (#16793698)

...that doesn't already carry iPods?

About the only place I can think of is Radio Shack. I don't know if they sell iPods now but they are going down the tubes fast any way. (#16788483 [slashdot.org] )

Radio Shack was bought out by Circuit City here in Canada a while back, and all the old stores are now "The Source by Circuit City." I believe that Radio Shack is now trying to get back into the Canadian market, but I haven't actually seen one of the stores yet.

And yes, Radio Shack does sell iPods [radioshack.com] . So does The Source [thesourcecc.com] .

At any rate, so far as I can tell any place that sells electronics, including a large number that don't generally carry that kind of thing, all sell iPods. So I don't see where Zune could be sold that doesn't already sell iPods (and most likely a whole host of other MP3 players as well). The only thing I can think of is small, single-location non-franchised computer stores; there are a number of those in my area. However, these tend to be run directly by geeks and the general consensus seems to be that most geeks dislike the Zune. I don't know how MS could persuade these stores to cut their already-slim profit margin even slimmer by buying into a product that they don't think will sell.

Re:I won't switch (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16795850)

Steve is that you?

Let's see what they've got to entice me away? I've got a large collection of music, but basically no DRMed AAC files so I would make an easy switch.

Union set of codecs, a wash really, equally capable;

Zune 30Gb / iPod 30Gb
MP3 (audio) Yes Yes
iTunes No Yes
Zune Martketplace Yes No
Play for sure Not yet! No
AAC (audio) Yes Yes
WMA (audio) Yes No
AIFF (audio) No Yes .aa (audio) No Yes
Podcast (audio) Yes Yes

WMV (video) Yes No
MPEG-4 (video) Yes Yes
H.264 (video) Yes Yes

There is a photo viewer... where you have to turn the thing on it's side to look at the photo

Advantage Zune. Ipod's screen is smaller, turning it any direction doenst help w/ viewing photos.

There is wireless sharing... that automatically deletes it's self, limits playback to only three times, needs another Zune... Why not let me listen to ANYTHING AS MANY TIMES AS I WANT as long as I'm in range of that other person (say two people sitting on a bus)?

Advantage Zune. Ipod has no Wireless, of any type

It's bigger and heavier

Advantage* Ipod:
Size: Zune: 4.4 x 2.4 x 0.58 inches Ipod 4.1 x 2.4 x 0.55 inches
Volume: Zune: 6.12 cubic inches Ipod 5.41 cubic inches.
Difference: Zune 17% larger.

Zune Weight: 5.6 ounces
ipod video: 5.5 ounces

Dont forget, the zune, being superior hardware, does have to deal with the reality of Radio hardware, larger screen and WiFi. While we arent really talking apples vs. apples here, we are talking 'full featured DAP', their are many many small MP3 players... none would be a zune or ipod competitor.

It can't be used as a hard drive (iPods have had that from day 1, so does EVERY OTHER PLAYER ON THE MARKET

Advantage Ipod. But, this is Version 1.0 Zune, expect this to be changed.

It doesn't work with WMP (a plus) but requires a second (and very similar program, a minus)

Advantage Zune. Zune plays WMP. Ipod does not. This "requires a second program" talk is silly, how many users have Itunes installed at PC purchase? Zero.

Doesn't work with a Mac that I can see (that would kill it for me or any of the people I know switching to Macs for various reasons)

Wash. Macs are a tiny portion of the PC market. I guess they are welcome to continue w/ Ipods -- until MS releases some software. No biggy frankly.

It doesn't have a scroll-wheel.... the genius of the iPod. It LOOKS like it, but it's really just a D-pad hidden under some round plastic. That's just pure genius for you

Nonsense. scroll-wheel is extra motion. Does your user interface require you to 'point' in 360 degrees? no, it doesnt. moving your finger from left-to-right is all your doing -- and the scrolling (moving finger in a circle) is wasted motion, you could accomplish this by pointing in 'volume up' or 'volume down' direction (hence, d-pad is easier).

Some of the things (like putting a custom photo for a background) are neat but...

Advantage Zune. Zune UI has the Ipod beat hands down in the 'wow' factor -- goto youtube and check out the videos. ...no TV shows (don't have any, but I might), no movies (don't have any, but I might), no games (something I think was a great

Stay tuned Zune has superior video - expect TV & Movies shortly. XBox 360 Live has TV / Movie downloads now... wont be long before Zune does too.

Let's face it, it's pathetic if they think they are going ANYWHERE with this. As for the "We're selling it in 3x as many stores"... who cares? Everyone who matters sells iPods. Target, Wal*Mart, CompUSA, Apple, Microcenter, Frys, Best Buy, Circuit City, Sears, Borders Books, and more. There are some I can't check (because I don't live near them) but I bet Meijers sells iPods. I've seen them in some odd places. They are everywhere. I think even those scam-on-poor-people places like Rent-A-Center probably sell 'em. They'll be more places for the Zune though? Let's see... who else would be a good partner for selling the Zune. JoAnne Fabrics? PetsMart? I know I'm looking for an MP3 player that's not an iPod when I go into my local paint-ball gun store, but maybe that's just me. No, wait, I don't go to paint-ball gun stores for consumer electronics. About the only place I can think of is Radio Shack. I don't know if they sell iPods now but they are going down the tubes fast any way.

Nonesense. All those retailers will be selling Zune. It would be suicide not to.

---

Oh, btw, you forgot Cost:
Advantage Zune. Whatever the cost of ipod, expect zune to be less.

Also, expect the XBox 360 to be a compelling wedge here, XBox 360 to Zune connectivity will enable cool stuff in the 'entertainment hub' space (XBox 360 Live Arcade become Zune games?)... Apple hasnt a prayer here (apple and nintendo hookup looks smart...but what 'bout the next Gameboy?)

XBox 360 Live Anywhere on Zune?

Oh, before someone says "oh, youve gotta have an Xbox 360 for this stuff", Im talking about functionality that doesnt exist in Ipod -- and never will.... unless, the Imac cube gets *really* cheap as a setop box (the Itv) MS has sold 6 Million XBox 360 Consoles, they forcast they will sell 10 Million by the end of 2006.

Apple sold 4.5 million Macs in 2005... how many in 2006? or for the same period? Not exactly sure, but its easy to say that Microsoft sells 1.5 XBox 360's for every Mac sold.

While there may be some small advantages to Ipod on the SOFTWARE side, I expect that to be ironed out in 2-4 months by Microsoft. I Expect apple to make a form-factor/functionality change to stay ahead of Microsoft. So, expect your IPod 6th or 7th gen to be a IPod Phone or somesuch. Also, I expect the world to look VERY different in 8-14 months w/r/t Zune vs. Ipod.

I expect Apple zeaolots will stay w/ their IPod, but the public, the XBox 360 owning, Vista running every-day tech user to pick up Zunes like crazy.

Remember, you heard it here first. Frankly, I'd be shorting Apple 'bout now.

Microsoft has no advantages here (4, Insightful)

rolfwind (528248) | more than 7 years ago | (#16788489)

When Microsoft traditionally goes into a market, it brings out a less than stellar first version and incrementally improves it. It throws money at the problem until it is good enough for most people. Then they migrate toward it. In software, this strategy depends on branding, OS leverage, and most importantly a much weaker opponent several magnitudes. It worked with IE and MS Office.

But they are going to have problems with the Zune like they had with the Xbox. In the videogame market, they face a very rich opponent (Sony) and haven't been able to dominate because of that. They have their fair market share, but they bled enough money for that.

Now in the mp3 player market, they face a strong entrenched opponent Apple, who is rich enough and has the incentive to throw money/R&D at iPods as well. Apple also enjoys a very dominant position on top, similiar to MS in the OS market. It's not as stable because the lock-in isn't as bad, but it also means any features MS incorporates that are very good, short of killer, Apple can incorporate the same the next generation.

And I don't see any killer features on the Zune. Maybe next time, though I doubt it. Currently, MS is going to be in the 2ndary mp3 market I think, meaning it will have to split marketshare with players other than ipod. I mean, if I wanted an mp3 player other than iPod, I'd look to iRiver first. They incorporate the features I want (ogg, etcetera) at a lower price.

DRM (1)

From A Far Away Land (930780) | more than 7 years ago | (#16788491)

We all know Microsoft isn't going to deliver a product that doesn't push DRM onto us, so who can we turn to as a device maker, that will give consumers MP3 devices that do what we expect and want (ie. DRM free)?

Can't be used as an external hard drive ... ?! (5, Insightful)

the bluebrain (443451) | more than 7 years ago | (#16788507)

My iPod breakdown:
- 12 gigs music.
- 12 gigs movies and vPodCasts.
- 10 gigs data, for just three files.
iPod ... for when a thumb drive just ain't big enough.

Not being able to use the zune as a drive is the ultimate breakdown for me.
Figure: if they couldn't even get that one itsy bitsy featurette right ... how do you figure they fared with the basic, main features?

Zune points scam (5, Informative)

goombah99 (560566) | more than 7 years ago | (#16788515)

79 zune points costs 99 cents. and you have to buy them in increments of $5. jeezus! this is so diaboilical on many levels. First, MS gets to hold your float for $4.01 after you buy the first song. That's a lot of interest to MS over time. And then after you buy 5 songs then what? MS gets to keep the extra nickel you can't spend. So really songs cost $1.00 not $0.99 cents. MS pockets 1% extra. Finally, the detachment of points from dollars measn two things. First it measn your brain hurts when you are spending funny money with strange conversion rates that make it hard to figure on the fly. And second it means they can charge different groups different prices or raise prices. For example, everyone who buys zune points now may be paying $1.00 per song but if you buy the points next week it's say $1.50 a song. Or maybe you get a zune points discount if you buy a new computer with MS OS.

it all seems so deliberately complicated and multi-tiered like all of MS products. That can be a good bussiness strategy but it's not a user-freindly strategy. I predict people will prefer their music priced in way they can figure and don't have to work the angles to get the best prices.

See GSM or ADLS provider prices (1)

remmelt (837671) | more than 7 years ago | (#16793588)

Here's to hoping that the price schemes for music will never get as convoluted, untransparant and hard to figure as GSM or ADSL prices. There aren't any GSM people that just say: "If you call this many minutes, you pay this amount." It's always "In the weekends it's cheaper! Also at night! Also to friendly providers!" I don't know how my minutes are divided! I don't care and don't want to care about the provider of the person I'm calling! Usually when it says: this is cheaper, it means the other is more expensive (sic)!
I just hope we're never going there with music. Then again, we probably will.

Re:Zune points scam (1)

chrish (4714) | more than 7 years ago | (#16793974)

Are the magical Zune Points the same as XBox Live! Points? If they're different, can you transfer between the two "accounts" or are you boned?

Re:Zune points scam (1)

denbesten (63853) | more than 7 years ago | (#16797468)

In all fairness, Apple iTunes gift cards have many of these same problems. Values are multiples of $1 (as opposed to $.99), Apple keeps the interest, they can offer different prices to different groups, etc.

The big advantages, however, are that the customer is not required to use gift cards with iTMS and that a gift card is a simple, familiar approach with few gotchas and no conversion rate issues for those of use with US$.

Of course, that has always been the iPod way.... simple and familiar ... even if it is the first time you have seen one.

RE:What's the damn point anyway? (1)

SNR monkey (1021747) | more than 7 years ago | (#16788517)

Reply to this comment [slashdot.org]

I think it is because Microsoft is trying to make money. The portable music business is worth millions upon millions. Same goes for the video game industry. Furthermore, the big companies in those industries can increase their market share in different industries because of the brand association that they get from their product (iPod, PS2, etc). Look at how many people argue that iPods have caused a surge in Mac sales. If Microsoft can take significant marketshare from Apple's iPod, they will be hurting their competition in the OS industry as well. Microsoft has the deep pockets that enable them to take risks like this to hurt their competitors. If they can destroy Apple's music industry, and Sony's media industry, it won't really be a waste of resources, will it?

rolfwind wrote a good post about some of these things here [slashdot.org] Stupid non-threading makes it very difficult to keep from being redundant.

I May Be Too Old To Understand, But... (2, Insightful)

Dawang (611122) | more than 7 years ago | (#16788527)

Does the target "youth" market really keep their (mostly iPod) earphones in and playing when they're hanging out with friends and socializing? I'm only mid-30's, but I (and my 26-year-old programmer) still think that's pretty rude. Seems like Zune is going to have to really sell a LOT of players before this sharing thing takes root as a truly sellable feature.

TACO: GET THOSE COCKS OUT OF YOUR MOUTH AND ASS (0, Flamebait)

CmdrTaco (troll) (578383) | more than 7 years ago | (#16788535)

And fix slashdot you incompetent fucking faggot.

Me thinks thou dost protest too much... (3, Insightful)

cutecub (136606) | more than 7 years ago | (#16788553)

Pogue doesn't compare Windows to the Mac... he compares the Zune to the IPod and the ITunes music store. He's comparing "Apples" to "Apple's". In fact, he doesn't mention the Mac anywhere in the article. I think you're projecting some bias of your own.

His disdain for Microsoft's digital music business model is obvious and, arguably, well deserved.

Every journalist has bias, just as every person has bias. But it seems to me Pogue was expressing real and serious flaws in the Zune and Microsoft's DRM model rather than simply going on a partisan Mac vs. Windows rant.

-S

What's the damn point anyway? (1)

cpct0 (558171) | more than 7 years ago | (#16788555)

Reply to http://hardware.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=20578 1&cid=16788517 [slashdot.org]

Well, not only making money, but they are a public entity, and as such, they have the OBLIGATION for their shareholders to make money and grow. They have the opportunity, they will knock at all doors to make money. Even if they lose some in the process, the shareholders prefer a company that tries many things than one that will simply fade into oblivion because they couldn't diversify.

Examples, Sco, that got good share prices long after the trial started... and Word Perfect, that never diversified, and acted like the bully Microsoft now is, only reading its own file format, only working for their own sytstem, without ability to share anything with anyone else. When they woke up, it was too late.

M$ is trying not to have that happening. Even if Windows were to anihilate and Vista sell 5 copies worldwide, they could still focus on other things to do.

wondering (1)

pdwestermann (687379) | more than 7 years ago | (#16788557)

Has microsoft ever been successful in the non-computer consumer market with anything other than XBox? I don't like using anecdotal evidence normally....but, being a younger person I can safely say I've never ran into anyone who seemed to feel that microsoft made anything "cool". My feelings are that people seperate Xbox and microsoft. Most people dont think of xbox and think microsoft. oh yeah...Zune sounds silly to me. iPod did as well at first...so I might change my mind. But all I can think of that crappy show "Dune". If the Zune only had a few of the shortcomings Pogue pointed out it might sell a few. But honestly....how much marketing power will it take to take an inferior product with a ton of restrictions and force people to think it's cool all of a sudden? I don't think even microsoft has that kind of power

Read Walter Mossberg's review (5, Informative)

SillySilly (843107) | more than 7 years ago | (#16788569)

Walter Mossberg has a better review of the Zune: http://online.wsj.com/public/article/SB11630284839 3917854-wNNFl42I1SSNBP6dH5xF08kTRlQ_20071108.html [wsj.com]

Better in that he actually tested the Zune, measured its battery life (and found it to be 14% shorter than claimed), tested its WiFi sharing (and found it to not work as well as advertized), and actually used it.

The review is not all negative, and is worth reading.

Re: Microsoft can't help it... (2, Interesting)

dch24 (904899) | more than 7 years ago | (#16788573)

Until you experienced a blue screen of death while playing "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds", your life is utterly meaningless
Actually, I just learned from the article [nytimes.com] that all the Beatles albums on the Zune store are broken links or something, since Microsoft hasn't licensed them yet.

[ Parent [slashdot.org] ]

Re:Yeah? (1)

ChodeMaster (773739) | more than 7 years ago | (#16788577)

I don't think they'll be all that concerned. It sounds like Microsoft have found a way to make wireless sharing almost more useless to the average user.

The bigger problem, though, is the draconian copy protection on beamed music (though not photos). You can play a transmitted song only three times, all within three days. After that, it expires. You're left with only a text tag that shows up on your PC so that -- how convenient! -- you can buy the song from Microsoft's store.

The article goes on to say that this happens even with files of your own creation. I.e. You record a song and want to share it around, and then everyone who gets it can have three whole (or partial) listens before its wiped. That sounds nigh on useless to me, and pretty much removes any incentive I had to get a wireless equipped player.

I can understand that they need to protect the copyrights of the songs they sell, but wiping songs for which the user (presumably) owns the copyright is going annoy many people. And it really does make the wireless aspect of the device close to worthless (at least in my opinion).

To play devil's advocate to myself though, if they did allow unrestricted sharing of mp3s (even ones they didn't sell) then it would only be a matter of time before they got sued to hell and back by the RIAA et al.

does that guy read slashdot? (0, Flamebait)

L7_ (645377) | more than 7 years ago | (#16788599)

I didn't seem to find anything new in the column, its like the author took every witty comment that people have made here in the last few Zune articles and combined them all together into a NYT column. To the person above said about the bias of the article; obviously Pogue represents the /. apple loving crowd (for which I am a pod carrying member) and his attitide is readily apparant.

It would have been better if he made a shit-brown joke instead of closing with the question of if 'brown is the new white'.

Buying a $.99 song costs $5.00 (4, Insightful)

vought (160908) | more than 7 years ago | (#16788635)

Boy, the marketing geniuses at Microsoft are really working overtime. Points can only be bought in $5.00 increments? What the hell? This isn't Costco for music - people are already used to two ideals - all you can eat subscriptions (which Zune offers) or a la carte purchases. If i hear one song I want to buy, I sure as hell am not going to go through a lengthy process and spend $5.00 to do so.

What a dumb move. Each Zune review I've read so far has been down on the player, but more importantly on Microsoft's "treat users like idiots" approach.

David Pogue - http://www.nytimes.com/2006/11/09/technology/09pog ue.html?_r=1&8dpc&oref=slogin [nytimes.com]
David Ewalt - http://blogs.forbes.com/digitaldownload/ [forbes.com]
Walt Mossberg - http://online.wsj.com/public/article/SB11630284839 3917854-wNNFl42I1SSNBP6dH5xF08kTRlQ_20071108.html [wsj.com]

iPod connector in cars? (0, Offtopic)

NineNine (235196) | more than 7 years ago | (#16788639)

Cars don't have "IPod Connectors". Cars are now (finally) coming with the world-wide standard 1/8" stereo jack for input. You can plug in virtually any audio device in the planet into one of these things. iPods have nothing to do with a 1/8" stereo jack.

Re:iPod connector in cars? (1)

Dog-Cow (21281) | more than 7 years ago | (#16795344)

That is not true at all. Many new(er) cars have iPod-specific connectors. There's even been /. articles about it.

Turn on its side (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16788645)

The complaint about turning on its side for photos and videos is the stupidest complaint I've ever heard. Yeah, who could possibly want a huge screen to view their photos and videos on. The ipod way of using a tiny, tiny screen is far better. I've been hoping the next ipod would go the bigger, sideways screen for their next gen. But admittedly I was already looking at other brands, with bigger screens and better video playback for my next portable.

If you really can't mount it as a harddrive then that is right on the money as being dumb. Presumably it's to make it that little bit harder for people to hack it?

Wifi?! Bah! (3, Interesting)

Greyfox (87712) | more than 7 years ago | (#16788657)

Wifi brings a lot of baggage with me. Maybe Bonjour solves some of that, I dunno, but I think if they really wanted to do it right they'd add Bluetooth instead. That'd give them easy integration with their laptops and allow you to send a MP3 for use as a ringtone between the ipod and a cellphone with nothing else needed to make the two devices talk to each other. There's no effort involved at all.

Well maybe some effort... I'm not sure how your itunes-DRMed AAC file will play on your cellphone. Fortunately I don't have any of those to worry about.

"Review"? (1)

HeXetic (627740) | more than 7 years ago | (#16788667)

How can one do a "review" of a product that isn't out yet? This is, at best, an _editorial_ on the Zune, not a review.

Re: I won't switch (2, Interesting)

Hijacked Public (999535) | more than 7 years ago | (#16788677)

I bet Meijers sells iPods. I've seen them in some odd places.


The Meijers near my house sells them. I once bought one out of a vending machine at an airport in Atlanta, because I was about to fly out to the boonies and was getting nervous about whether I would have enough storage space for photos.

Which brings me to the main reason I won't switch: I always carry a couple of iPods when I'm shooting long assignments so I can use them to store photos. Clamp on a readily available CF card reader and they make excellent portable hard drives that just happen to play music. If a Zune won't work as a generic HD or keep up with iPod's HD size I can't use it.

The coolness factor is also useful in my position, iPods are recognized by the most unlikely people in the most unlikely places and can get you out of difficult situations. Like when the KLA though I was on the wrong side and wanted to detain me. Lets see a Zune do that.

I'd rather buy.... (1)

dastardly_villain (777858) | more than 7 years ago | (#16788699)

I was impartial as I don't currently own an iPod but this article (which I found to be completely unbiased) confirmed one thing for me: This Zune thing is a lumpy brown piece of crap.

Honestly, I'd rather buy a RocBox [playerblog.com] which was probably the most illconceived product ever -- and blatant atempt to "cash in" on the iPods success just like the Zune.

Microsoft didn't bother trying to put sprinkles on a turd, they just released the turd directly to the public!

Rejected Microsoft marketing slogan (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16788703)

Zune, squirts better than the IPod!

Re: Pod connector in cars? (4, Informative)

Hijacked Public (999535) | more than 7 years ago | (#16788719)

Cars don't come with 'IPod connectors'


Sure they do.

My car (truck actually) has a connector and I can control my iPod from my steering wheel, something that can't be via with an audio input jack. There are also several aftermarket solutions that work over CAN-BUS and the like, that allow control of the player via factory radio, as an AUX device.

Re:iPod connector in cars? (1)

slashdotwriter (972437) | more than 7 years ago | (#16788733)

Although I don't have detailed information and haven't seen one of these, I believe that an "iPod connector" in cars means an interface integration, i.e. a dock for the iPod and a way to display and operate the iPod's interface via the audio system's interface. Simply plugging in the 1/8" stereo jack, wouldn't allow you to control the iPod from the host device. http://www.apple.com/pr/library/2004/jun/21bmw.htm l [apple.com]

Re: iPod Connectors in Cars (4, Informative)

vought (160908) | more than 7 years ago | (#16788739)

Replying to:http://hardware.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=20 5781&cid=16788639

Are you kidding? Most cars that advertise "iPod" connectivity do, in fact have a dock connector and integrated head unit that can used to control the iPod, display track names, and recharge the unit while it is sequestered in a cooled glovebox (preserving the battery's long-term life) or armrest.

It's not like this is a new thing...http://www.apple.com/ipod/carintegration.h tml

Never a Nano Zune? (1)

mickroberts (1025237) | more than 7 years ago | (#16788755)

I imagine that MS will never be able to cram the wireless into a form factor the size of a Nano/Sansa/etc. So will they someday come out with a crippled "Zune Lite" or will it always be a one (large) size fits all? Feels like they are kinda stuck with just being able to change colors and make it slightly smaller over time.

You have entered an uncatalogued filing cabnet (3, Funny)

crabpeople (720852) | more than 7 years ago | (#16788789)

"How sad is it when you have to run away from your own established brand to try to sell something"

This is why clothes you buy from walmart do not say "walmart brand" on them. They come up with cute little brands.

Re:What's the damn point anyway? (1)

*SECADM (223955) | more than 7 years ago | (#16788791)

Office and OS do not stock price increase make

Re: I won't switch (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16788911)

About the only place I can think of is Radio Shack. I don't know if they sell iPods now but they are going down the tubes fast any way.

RadioShack.ca [radioshack.ca] : Look at the bottom right corner for iPod nano.
RadioShack.com [radioshack.com] : A whole bunch of iPod models (in store only).

no hard drive? (1)

suzerain (245705) | more than 7 years ago | (#16788947)

I'll be the first to admit that I wouldn't ever buy this thing unless it was like ridiculously great (I really don't like giving Microsoft my money). So, my own bias aside, is anyone else kind of dumbfounded that you can't use the thing as an external hard drive like every other large capacity MP3 player in existence? (Unless, of course, that David Pogue was wrong when he wrote that.)

Re:A bit of bias in the story (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16789005)

So you have nothing to say about the merits of Pogue's actual arguments?

Re:A bit of bias in the story (1, Troll)

coyotl (415332) | more than 7 years ago | (#16789075)

Being a Mac user doesn't make David Pogue biased, just as having written a book on using Windows wouldn't make him biased. Likewise it doesn't keep him from being an objective reporter for the Paper of Record. Your extrapolation from "Author of book about Macs" to "Mac zealot" is tellling in your leanings, but not those of Mr. Pogue.

What's so hard to "get" about a KNOB? (4, Interesting)

dpbsmith (263124) | more than 7 years ago | (#16789175)

"What looks like an iPod scroll wheel, though, is a fakeout. It doesn't turn, and it's not touch-sensitive. Instead, it's just four buttons hidden under the compass points of a plastic ring. Scrolling accelerates as you press the top or bottom button, but the iPod's wheel is much more efficient."

What is it that's so hard to "get" about a frickin' _knob?_

There are just some situations where a button doesn't hack it. No matter how many cents it saves in manufacturing costs.

The original-equipment radio on my last car had a rotating knob as a volume control. I didn't think anything of it until I replaced it with an aftermarket radio that didn't. Like the Zune, it, too, had an oh-so-clever sounds-good-on-paper kludge: if you pressed the + button it would increment in steps of 4 units, and if you then pressed the - button within a short time interval it would decrement in steps of 1 unit. On paper, I would never have believed what a misery this substitute for a volume control knob would be. I don't think I ever realized just how often I reach to make a microadjustment in volume (different levels of traffic noise, different stations, different tracks in a classical album). Not only was the system clumsy, but of course one button feels just like another button... unless you spend some money on making them feel different.

In the 1960s I remember a little paper tape program in the bin above the PDP-1 at MIT labelled "Minsky Knob." It looked promising, because Marvin Minsky was the author of a nice little display hack called Minskytron, which... well, never mind. "Minsky Knob" was his attempt to get knob-like control using only keyboard keys. I believe striking one key caused a spot of light on the CRT to accelerate uniformly to the right, and a second press would stop it dead, while alternative presses of another key would accelerate it to uniformly to the left and stop it dead.

When the right tool for the job is knob, nobody's ever found a way to do it with a button. Minsky Knob was all but unusable in the 1960s. He couldn't figure it out then, and nobody else has been able to figure it out since.

Easy to fix (1)

saikou (211301) | more than 7 years ago | (#16789199)

All they have to do is release some sort of SDK that allows programming for Zune. There will be a ton of gadgets in a matter of weeks, "fixing" shortcomings.

Fair assessment (1)

UnknowingFool (672806) | more than 7 years ago | (#16789203)

I think the article was quite fair. The Zune is a decent player. It has some features that an iPod doesn't have. But overall, it isn't spectacularly better than an iPod. So really it will come down to taste and lock-in. MS is betting on that they can lock in consumers with their DRM. I don't know if they've been paying attention but a recent study shows that most iPod users' music collections are mostly MP3s not FairPlay. Also this DRM lock-in probably didn't make their former partners too happy. I wonder how long before one of them sues MS for anticompetitive and monopoly violations.

Re:Not only is it not a better product.... (3, Interesting)

frozenray (308282) | more than 7 years ago | (#16789205)

One of the things that I wonder about most in today's tech market is the utter inability of _any_ competitor to design a line of mp3 players that come even close to the Apple iPods in terms of design, price, usability, haptics, brand recognition, packaging, availability and "ecosystem". They may come close in one aspect or the other, or even trump Apple in certain areas such as price, but I couldn't name a single player I'd choose over any one in the iPod line if I wanted to buy one. Every so-called "iPod killer" I've looked at was either ugly, had an user interface designed for martians by martians, lousy battery life, a bad case of "all-your-music-are-belong-to-us" DRM, or cost about the same as an equivalent iPod. The Zune, by the way, is no exception to this - I wouldn't buy this ugly-looking contraption at any price.

This summer, I bought a friend whom I charitably describe as "not a computer genius" a white 1 GB Nano for her birthday, and she was soon ripping CDs with iTunes and downloading songs from the Apple store without my help. She's really proud of it and showed it to all her friends - probably the first piece of computer related tech she owned that didn't make her feel stupid and out-of-it.

By the way, I'm not one of those Apple fanboys and don't even own a separate mp3 player, a 2 GB SD card in my cellphone does it for me. No need to lug around yet another gadget, nursing its battery and keeping it from getting broken or stolen.

Re:Not only is it not a better product.... (1)

bangwhistle (971272) | more than 7 years ago | (#16789253)

Maybe MS is aiming for the untapped corporate market. You issue your executives and sales force notebooks, PDAs and wireless phones, why not mp3 players? They can hold inspirational speeches, clips of those dopey motivational posters, corporate training videos, the audiobook of "Who Moved My Cheese," why the list is endless! And you don't have to worry about them being used to download sensitive company data.

Irony defined in OneRunOnWord (1)

cant_get_a_good_nick (172131) | more than 7 years ago | (#16789319)

PlaysForSure

You gotta wonder (0, Troll)

steveo777 (183629) | more than 7 years ago | (#16789459)

How much did MS pay for a site like this [ebgames.com] ?

Every time I walk into EB Games or Gamestop I'm assulted by a pimply-faced teenager pushing the damned Zune on me. I've been insluted to my face because I have an iPod.

One of these kids claimed his boss "was just talking to Peter Moore the other day and he said Peter said that they were making the wi-fi work for downloads." After staring at him and realizing he had convinced himself that this was true, I had to laugh in his face. (I did confirm with his boss later that no, he wasn't talking to Peter Moore by a long shot). At a seperate store a girl mentioned that they had been asked to push/hype the product.

Who wrote the Zune Web site text?? (3, Interesting)

Jon_S (15368) | more than 7 years ago | (#16789577)

Did anyone take a look at the web site for the Zune Store? Someone seemed to be trying just a little too hard to sound hip, and it comes off sounding hilarious. For example, from http://www.zune.net/en-us/meetzune/zunetozuneshari ng.htm [zune.net]

"Mama always said to share. Now you have an opportunity to do it with music and photos. With wireless Zune to Zune sharing you can send your favorite tracks and photos to friends.[1]

Picture this: You're walking down the street. Or you're in a room with a bunch of friends. Or at a concert. Or at the airport. Or on the bus (you get the picture) and then you whip out your Zune and see all these other Zune devices around that you can choose from. Zap! You're connected to your best friend and send the new song your band recorded in the garage last weekend. Another friend gets the hilarious podcast your kid brother made at school, plus that song you just downloaded from the Zune Marketplace and can't get out of your head. And hey, lookee here, your friend wants to send you something that you might like and buy, too."

you gotta love the cool talk complete with a foot note to remind you about the DRM on the sharing

Apple's afraid. (0, Flamebait)

Asrynachs (1000570) | more than 7 years ago | (#16789585)

People who think Apple is some wonderful entity that can't be touched in any way shape or form aren't going to buy a Zune player. The bloody Zune isn't even targeted towards Mac users to begin with. The Zune itself isn't compatable with Mac OS. So it's completely reasonable to expect mac users to shun it, even scorn it (hence the article) The very idea that somebody else let alone the fundimentally evil Micro$oft should want to break into a market that Apple's had a monopoly on is unthinkable.

Apple's clearly afraid of the Zune player. They damn well should be.
 

Paintball and Zune (1)

dgatwood (11270) | more than 7 years ago | (#16789643)

I know I'm looking for an MP3 player that's not an iPod when I go into my local paint-ball gun store, but maybe that's just me.

Target practice? :-D

Welcome to the social [disease] (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16789657)

What I want to know is how long until there's a 0day exploit for the Zune wireless?
Is the DRM that restricts sharing unto another that which was shared unto you likely to help prevent the spread of virii?

Bluetooth (1)

eclectic4 (665330) | more than 7 years ago | (#16789665)

asdf

In Mother Russia (1)

jaypeg (711764) | more than 7 years ago | (#16789829)

We love Zune because it so big an powerful. It will crush girly iPod!

TFA is a fine little troll. (0, Flamebait)

gsn (989808) | more than 7 years ago | (#16789841)

So I did RTFA and its a bloody troll. It starts of insulting M$, dismisses it as an unbashed copy of the iPod (despite the fact that the headline is iPod is not), dismisses PlaysForSure which bombed yet says there is an issue for all those poor people who bought music from PFS and whines about how the poor user will have to learn yet another complicated piece of software just to put music on the Zune. Then he gets to the review.

Its an excellent player he says - oh except for the colors (black and white just like the iPod but lets please complain about brown and it being rubberized so you wont leave your oily prints over it like the ipod). Oh and its not cool. Because every Tom, Dick and fucking Harry with their white headphones are. And damn those ipod ads are sexy... Matches the ipod on battery life, price point, capacity, got a bigger screen (lets make nothing of this and whine that it is larger and awww poor baby its a whole ounce heavier - too much for you delicate darlings ofcourse)

Oh and it doesn't have a scroll wheel... and people complain about Windows users being used to the interface and not being able to deal with a switch. Or dearie me its got a larger screen and so you have to turn it a whole ninety degrees to watch a video - yes ladies and gentleman a whole Pi/2 radians. The horror. Its got in built FM Radio (but you have to plug in the headphones - wait every frickin player with an FM radio requires this - duh you don't want to stick an ugly dedicated antenna on it)

Yes the thing has its flaws and the big one is not being able to use it as a harddisk (tops a couple of months before MS or someone writes a little bit of code to enable that) and the stupid wireless limitations (the ipods wirless limitation is simple - it doesnt have it - but our dear wonderful apple could certainly add that to the ipod) and the Zune store presently sucks donkey balls (please tell me that all the music on your ipod is from iTMS... and that they will never add features to a website).

No lets whine about the lack of an alarm, and a world clock, and a stop watch... things that a quick and given that its MS, eventual firmware upgrade, will fix (or rockbox will have a nice zune port) and wait ofcourse MS has already said there are new zune features and accesories in the pipeline. Just RTFA for the language and tone and compare it with anything modded troll or flamebait here. Heck the GNAA could take a leaf out of Pogue's book.

Not one mention about anyones complaints about iPods (and please use google all you witty mac fanboys who will claim there arent none)

The Zune is certainly not the iPod. Neither are perfect. Software is upgradeable. David Pogue is a troll. Plain. Simple.

(disclaimer : I hate MS, I hate apple, I own a cowon and I wont buy a zune)

Bias (1)

Kangburra (911213) | more than 7 years ago | (#16789865)

He does an even-handed job of describing what Zune has over the iPod
...and the ipod does nothing better? Or does this article have it's own bias?

BLUETOOTH! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16789971)

Yes, next-gen iPods should spontaneously create piconets [wikipedia.org] / scatternets [wikipedia.org] for sharing any music a user puts in a special Public playlist, and automatically copied into a Drop Box playlist.

Of course, Apple is all uppity about so-called "intellectual property" [wikipedia.org] , so an electronics designer with delusions of being a content gatekeeper will fuck consumers once again.

However, if Apple were clever, they would dissuade users from adding copyrighted music to their Public playlist by inserting their iPod's serial number in the ID3 comments tag of those tracks. In theory serious infringers could be backtracked via serial number to their purchase order or AppleCare account.

Let's get this straight.. (2, Insightful)

davecrusoe (861547) | more than 7 years ago | (#16790021)

From the ZUNE Site:

"You're connected to your best friend and send the new song your band recorded in the garage last weekend. Another friend gets the hilarious podcast your kid brother made at school, plus that song you just downloaded from the Zune Marketplace and can't get out of your head. And hey, lookee here, your friend wants to send you something that you might like and buy, too.

Best of all, the song you sent isn't just a 30-second preview --it's the whole song! Your friend can sample the song up to three times in three days, flag it on their device and then, if they like it, they can buy it later from Zune Marketplace. It's all connected."

http://www.zune.net/en-us/meetzune/zunetozuneshari ng.htm [zune.net]

So: if I want to listen to the "hillarious podcast that my KID BROTHER made at SCHOOL" a couple times, I have to "BUY" it from MICROSOFT??

Enough said.

Linux? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16790097)

I'd like to see what the linux guys could do with the zune's hardware. Ipod linux was sweet... But for Zune imagine an unbridled piece of equipment for wirelessly sharing songs. The ultimate pirating tool? Take away DRM? Hmmm?

Re:What's the damn point anyway? (1)

raezr (946135) | more than 7 years ago | (#16790119)

They've basically reached the apex of what office and pc software is capable of doing. The only place for them to expand is to reach out into the entertainment business.

Re:What's the damn point anyway? (1)

Aluvus (691449) | more than 7 years ago | (#16790135)

They probably don't do that because it would be monumentally stupid. Large companies survive by diversification. Office and Windows are cash cows right now, but they may not always be. You should just as well ask why Google has anything other than search.

Re:I won't switch (1)

raezr (946135) | more than 7 years ago | (#16790175)

It doesn't have a scroll-wheel.... the genius of the iPod. It LOOKS like it, but it's really just a D-pad hidden under some round plastic. That's just pure genius for you
Despite what everyone says I don't see how the scroll-wheel on the iPod is anything special. I use a Zen Vision:M and can jump to any song I want within seconds with it's vertical touch pad.

And this is more of a personal problem, but I'm unable to to use iPods with my right hand because I have funky joints which don't work with the scroll-wheel at all.

The Zune sucks (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16790471)

Check out http://www.microsoftshitbrick.com/ [microsoftshitbrick.com] It's hilarious!

Apple can't add Wireless sharing... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16790491)

Wireless sharing is the one big new idea -- and if the public seems to respond, Apple could always add that to the iPod.


forget about it -- Microsoft has patented the process of adding features to existing products.

Shared Songs Deleted After 3 Plays (1)

iwsnet (946715) | more than 7 years ago | (#16790647)

What is really funny about the Zune is Microsoft lets you share music wirelessly but allows you to listen to it only 3 times before it is deleted. Now who the hell is going to buy this device with such an annoying feature?

Apples and Oranges (1)

thethibs (882667) | more than 7 years ago | (#16790796)

What few seem to realize is that the Zune is not aimed at the iPod market. The iPod is aimed at the self-absorbed cool kids who either have a Mac or would like to. The Zune is aimed at a more social demo.

The signal event to highlight the difference was Steve Jobs crowning himself King of the Geeks when he dismissed the Zune sharing feature because it wouldn't help you pick up a girl. iPod owners everywhere agreed.

Note that Zune advertising is about Zune sharing. The Zune isn't a media machine with sharing, it's a sharing machine with media.

There are three fundamentally discrete domains of technology that are used differently by different people to do different things: Corporate, Personal, and Network. The iPod is in the Personal domain, the Zune is in the Network domain. It's as useful to compare them as it is to compare a word processor with a wiki.

Re:Apples and Oranges (1)

MyNameIsEarl (917015) | more than 7 years ago | (#16793060)



The Zune is taking aim directly at the iPod, what media player wouldn't be at this point, from it's design to it's music store that "plays for sure" with the Zune and nothing else.

The iPod is marketed towards everyone, not just the "self-absorbed cool kids". Walk down a New York street and you can see a good percentage of poeple of all demographics using their iPods.

Take any subway train and you can see schoolkids and couples sharing one iPod listening with one set of headphones each with 1 earphone. Seems pretty social to me.

Since I was out of mod points and couldn't mod you as the troll you are I responded instead.

Re:Yeah? (1)

yumyum (168683) | more than 7 years ago | (#16790802)

> And oh, by the way, your shiny new iPod is now obsolete. Wanna buy a new one?

Huh? I have one of the original iPods. In what way has it become obsolete with the introduction of others? Hmmm?

Re:Microsoft has no advantages here (1)

shut_up_man (450725) | more than 7 years ago | (#16790964)

You're right - Microsoft is essentially running the same play as they did with the Xbox... instead of the PS2 from Sony, the enormous dominant monolith that they're assaulting is the iPod from Apple. They are doing rather well with the Xbox though (although not in Japan, where they really are struggling) and although they're not owning the market like I'm sure they'd like to eventually do, they're making headway. If the PS3 bombs, they are very nicely positioned.

That said, the Xbox (and the 360) didn't get where it is through just marketing dollars, although I'm sure that plenty of them were spent. It was a bit powerful than the PS2, it had a few exclusive blockbuster games like Halo, and Xbox Live was really quite excellent. They also made sure many great games were multi-platform, so that the Xbox had a reasonable stable of games to play. There were real, significant reasons that they did well with the Xbox. Enough reasons that people could buy both an Xbox and a PS2 and not feel like a complete idiot.

The problem with the Zune is that there don't seem to be those points of differentiation. The wireless stuff sounded interesting at launch, but has been progressively nerfed into insignificance, and although the screen is bigger, it's the same resolution as an iPod anyway, so... I really would've thought Microsoft would've just gone down the iPod feature list and matched everything they could, and then added perhaps three extra features to make it more attractive. Doing everything that the iPod does isn't going to make people switch, and lacking stuff like mass storage is just silly. Still, this is only Zune v1.0, and the battle is long...

Why zune? (1)

HermMunster (972336) | more than 7 years ago | (#16791038)

Gates said that the future of computers was not in content creation but content consumption. That's why DRM is so important now. DRM is to content as the OS is to programs. Once you own the DRM that everyone uses you own all the content.

Clearly, Gates is not necessarily interested in income based on the digital music sold, not any more than he's interested in the XBOX-360. He's interested in market share (rather market control) of the content.

Sit back, close your eyes, and think about it for a few minutes. Do we want Microsoft in control of our content as they are in control of our computer? Look how they tried to shaft everyone with their "one reinstall" of Vista. Look at the price of Vista. Look at the slow upgrade of XP? We really want Microsoft determining how we listen to our own music or how we watch our own video? Do we want the slow drawn out cash-cow oriented approach to their development? With Windows they can do things their way in their own time without anyone showing any sort of competition (due to hidden proprietary software/apis).

Mark my word, they will be doing the same thing with your content (being a little dictator) instead of getting out of our way to let us to do with it as we will as we like.

Lame article by Pogue (1)

real gumby (11516) | more than 7 years ago | (#16791044)

This is a ridiculous review. I have an iPod and don't want a Zune, but regardless, how many people use the world clock (I didn't even know my iPod had one -- nor would I care!)? Those pseudo "missing features" miss the point: it plays music, costs less, and sounds about the same.

Of course it might not cost less for long....

Interesting (1)

ky11x (668132) | more than 7 years ago | (#16791286)

Given that last time slashdot slammed on a music player, that player went on to become a huge success, it would appear that Zune is headed to be a real iPod-killer.

2-way bias, though (1)

pogueNYT (879773) | more than 7 years ago | (#16791290)

Jmorris notes: "as David Pogue, author of "Switching to the Mac: The Missing Manual, Tiger Edition" and numerous other Mac books, it just wouldn't have been much of a story now would it?"

Well, except that David Pogue (that's me) has also written "Windows Me: The Missing Manual," four editions of "Windows XP: The Missing Manual," and "Windows Vista: The Missing Manual."

And I've published, or will be publishing, Missing Manuals on Frontpage, Microsoft Access, Photoshop Elements (for Windows), Digital Photography (for Windows), Office 2007...

Does that mean, then, that in fact, I'm biased *pro* Microsoft? :)

Re:Lame article by Pogue (2, Insightful)

pogueNYT (879773) | more than 7 years ago | (#16791320)

"Costs less?"

Dude, the Zune costs exactly the same as the 30 GB iPod.

And if you call missing Zune features like a graphic equalizer, audio books, TV shows, videos, and podcasts "pseudo missing features"... well, I'd guess you're in the minority, bro.

I WILL BUY ONE (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16791466)

So I can hack it. Piece of cake... it's made by Microsoft isn't it? I'll just mod the Zune to my taste. No stupid MS store. open Wifi connectivity up so I can conenct to my netowrk and wirelessly send any files format back and forth. An excellent piece of hardware if you ask me. Just the software needs to be retooled. Not a surprise from Microsoft.

Re:Lame article by Pogue (1)

real gumby (11516) | more than 7 years ago | (#16791504)

Yeah, perhaps I am in the minority, but a quick poll (10 iPods among us) yields a grand total of two who knew it could do anything but play music/videos/tv: me ('coz I read your article) and one guy who says he knew there was a clock but had not ever used 'em. So in my unscientific poll I am a minority.
 
Basically your article seemed to be: "Wireless. Same space as an iPod. Lame."
 
As for my comment: yeah, I realized (yes yes, just after pressing "submit") that I was totally wrong on the price. But though I have mod points right now I couldn't mod my own comment as '-1 factually wrong'

Um... (1)

nacs (658138) | more than 7 years ago | (#16801150)

He just told you the other things the Zune is missing and you are still fixated on the world clock.

So in my unscientific poll I am a minority.
In my unscientific poll, you are an idiot Gumby.

The Most Amazing Thing About Zune (1)

zo219 (667409) | more than 7 years ago | (#16791594)

... as Pogue reported, is that one of the color choices is ... I really don't know how to say this ... alright, then: BROWN.

(You may recall that PC wore a brown suit in at least one of the Mac-PC ads. Which were full of brilliant little touches.)

What sort of person sets out to buy a BROWN iPod-sort of thing. A rhetorical question, thanks anyway.
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