Microsoft is keeping mum over the European release date of its Zune portable media player, despite reports that the software giant has pushed back the release to 2009. The US is already on its second-generation Zune, which was released over there in November last year. However, French newspaper Les Echos this week reported that …
Welcome to the Social
You're welcome to it. We don't want it over here.
So what are we missing?
I'm not an Apple fanboy (even though I own 2 iPods and 3 Macs... I also own three Windows machines and a Windows CE PDA) but... what exactly are we missing out on?
Nothing at all, that's what.
Microsoft are able to innovate (to an extent) but don't have the marketing and packaging knowhow and slickness that Apple have, which is why the iPod is king and when you mention Zune people either snigger - because they know what you are talking about - or say "what's that?" because they don't.
I couldn't care less when the Zune launches in Europe because one thing is for sure, it still won't be as good as whatever the current Apple line-up is...
Paris because obviously she doesn't know what a zune is either...
I want one!
In fact, I've wanted one for a while now.
The best thing they do is hook up to an all-you-can-eat subscription music service, with browsing/downloading done on the unit itself via wifi.
I understand most people don't like subscriptions like Napster, but I appreciate them, and that coupled with the entire library accessible on the player itself is a real neat feature.
pity , we need more competition.
I have had two ipods and after moving to a cheap supermarket brand after both broke will not move back.
However the uninformed will keep buying ipods and then discover the lock in.
Zune? What's that?
I worked in a big box retail store in Canada. I never saw this product on the shelf. No one ever knew about it. I, in the years I worked there since release, saw exactly 1 of these things and it was carried by our friendly microsoft rep (who hated it - while assuring us we'd get it at some point). I'd like to give MS a chance, but I've never actually seen this thing in action. I didn't go get the ipod Touch till I had played with it.
Lauren Cooper can put it better than me...
"Am I bovvered? Whateva!"
We need more competition, yes. But we need the competition to not be MS. For a million different reasons.
Only 6 or 7 years behind Apple in this market and they can't even be bothered to try and flog us their dull and restricted product.
By the time they get off their behind and sell it here everyone else will be doing iPhone type devices.
Funny to see the anti-MS fanboi's ranting in here. Dont get me wrong im certainly not a fan of M$ but i imported a 1st Gen Zune a while back and have been very impressed with the performance and reliability of the unit. With the icing on the cake being M$ adding wireless sync in a firmware upgrade for 1st gen (30gb) owners.
Sure it doesnt have a clock, nor games (lol games) but has several excellent features such as a radio (high tech!!!) and does a good job at playing back movies. It has also had no issues with loading up media aquired by questionable means. Although as an XPx64 user i will admit that the Zune not "officially" supporting the OS is pretty retarded.
I don't feel locked in. Yes I use iTunes for my iPod but I also use Windows Media Player for all but my small collection of iTunes purchases. And have some audio on my CE PDA. My library is MP3 and on the whole very portable. Unlike both MP4 and WMA. Both camps try to lock you in, but you don't have to lie back and take it.
Actually the iPod has inferior sound quality to Sony's players... Apple have get their marketing (and packaging) right. Regardless of whether I'd want to give more money to M$ or not, they simply haven't got it right and will always be running to catch up with the market leader. In much the same way that Vista still hasn't caught up with OSX.
@ paul and Duncan, re: Competition
I personally just use the mp3 capabilities of my phone, which is with me everywhere anyway and has sufficient storage for, but a friend of mine was very impressed with the offering from Creative she obtained a couple of years ago. In terms of style, usability and functionality. People only think Apple lack competition because they aren't aware of their main competitors.
I have one.
Bought a Zune 80 on import and wouldn't trade for an iPod for any money. Music store doesn't work in the UK but apart from that it's by far the coolest music player going.
Paris, 'cos she'd enjoy a good toy.
I got noe and its a good bit of kit.
I got one of the original 30Gb units new for £75 and its great. I wanted the Mk1 version because I like its tough no nonsense looks and it does hold up well to abuse. The audio output is the best I've heard from a range of MP3 players and the new Zune software works really well. Battery life is good and the screen is clear and bright.
Oh and it has a radio too!
MS got about 85% there with the Mk1, 95% there with the Mk2 so the Mk3 will be something to look forward to. Competition is a good thing!
They are worth checking out and you dont have to change it every year cos its scratched to death.
my iriver clix+ lols at your inferior ipods and zunes.
Will there be a Zune 3???
Zune's biggest problem is that it has never been ahead of the iPod in terms of what the user wanted. Zune 1 had wifi waaay before iPod, but all you could really do with it was 'squirt' - and no one squirted (perhaps we should be grateful for that). There was also the whole brown issue.
Zune 2 looks a bit like the lovechild between the a Zen and an iPod, but compare it to Apple's current offerings it looks cheap and like something from the dark ages.
The people at Zune are good, but they seem to be unable to realise a vision of what the next generation media player should all be about. Lack of vision is a real problem across Microsoft (with the honourable exceptions of XBox and Microsoft Research) - the corporation just doesn't seem to be able to make giant leaps in thinking. So Zune's physical interface looked like an iPod (even though it didn't behave like one), Zune 2 had to have a small flash based player (like the Nano) and there's talk of a Zune Phone - like the iPhone; where are the really radical ideas that will have the folks at Apple going 'what the f---?'?
Whereas you just know Steve Jobs has a whole building of people dreaming stuff up without having to worry how it'll work - that's for another bunch of people to worry about.
Zune 3 *IF* Microsoft lets the designers loose, could be something special. But I suspect it'll be a ZunePhone or be rebranded XBox Music.
Who cares? Currys is full of competitors and the mobile/mp3 player convergence will have gathered a lot of pace in 12 months time.
welcome to the social...
Does that sentence seem a bit 'odd' ? .It feels like a word is missing.
What the heck is a 'social' ?
anyway. i got an original Zune. works great. got my fav playlist on it. I modded a dock with a RF transmitter , put this in a spare cupholder in the car. when i go for a weekend trip: plug the zune in the car hit the play button and off i go. Got it cheap when compusa went out of business. ( half price ).
Yeah i know it's labels says 'Microsoft' but its designed by Toshiba. Can't beat that ! And i didn't give money to the great iCon of these days..
Zune is rubbish
Lets see - the Zune is a poor mans iPod - lack of content from the store and just poorly though out iPod rip offs in terms of styling and software. In fact the software was so poorly thought out that even simple menu items do not always fit on the screen.
Add in wireles sync (that takes an age if you need to sync a lot) and the fact it needs to be plugged in to work it seems like a farce.
And tot he poster above, you cannot surf the Zune store over wi-fi - it is just for syncing much slower than plugging it into a USB - pointless.
If you want to buy music wirelessly you need an iPod Touch or iPhone to acces the iTunes Wifi store.
Wifi, syncing, online capabilities....
..I just want to have my music laid out in a sensible format, with straightforward, pushbutton controls [so I can change tracks and volume with the device in my pocket] and decent sound quality with a good equaliser so I can toy with the levels and hear a difference through my Shure SE110s [if you are interested in sound quality, they are a bit pricier but worth it].
As such, I have an old iRiver H320 with Rockbox on it.
Does everything I want, if I get really bored, I can play Doom II on it.
This market is 90% style and 10% technology
People get their ears pierced. From a rational perspective that is a very stupid thing to do. It must hurt like a bitch and you expose yourself to infection etc etc. Not something a reasonable person does.... but it looks cool!
Teenage girls could wear granny knickers which are technically superior to gstrings or whatever the latest are these days. Granny knickers must be warmer and more comfortable [some assumptions here as I don't cross dress much]. But no they'd rather wear something made out of dental floss and a miniskirt because that's cool [and probably cold too!].
Music players live in fashion space rather than tech space. Typical teenager would no more buy a Zune than they'd let mum hold their hand crossing the street. Showing off a Zune would be social suicide. Trying to make Zune cool with "welcome to the social" etc just is not enough.
Features are not very important. The ipod is successful mainly because there are a lot of things that were technically feasible but were left out to keep it simple to use.
Sound quality is also not that important either. So long as it is good enough. No kid does a spec sheet crawl looking at distortion figures. They'd rather just know if it is cool.
So perhaps Zune appeals to a few lonely geeks, but that's not enough to sustain a business.
Good use for a zune!
Alternatively if you're scared of having your iPod stolen by either of the people in the UK who don't yet have one...
Vista and Zune: a winning combination
When the rest of you catch up and start using Vista (or next gen Windows) you'll quickly learn to love Vista [or Vienna!] Media Center.
THEN, you'll want a zune.
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