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back to article Teens reject Microsoft's Zune

Not a single teen plans to buy a Zune, Microsoft's ill-conceived challenger to Apple's iPod. And that's probably just as well, given it looks like Microsoft is sending its player heavenward following what's looking like the Zune's final physical manifestation. In a result that has more in common with North Korean election, a …

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Well, that's lovely and all...

... but when will Apple stop breaking their iPods for other media players besides iTunes? Somehow I can't buy that allowing support for other programs at this point would hurt their market any.

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jai
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new zune?

rumours are that there'll be a new Zune coming soon, aimed at competing against the iPod Touch - big hd screen and.... that's about it

maybe they'll make it so you can run windows mobile apps on it as a way of compensating for the AppStore.

somehow, i can't really see it doing much to dent the Touch's marketshare either. but i'm sure M$ have a cunning plan, they'll probably roll out their ingenious Apple Tax theories (http://www.theregister.co.uk/2009/04/11/microsoft_flames_macs/) to convince people to get a Zune

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N
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They have a use!

You can hollow them out & use as an ipod shell

That way your ipod will never get nicked

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Paris Hilton

Is the Zune even out-

-in the UK?

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Creative MUVO

I chose the MUVO because it was a nice, simple player. It's a pig to load (so slooooow!) but it runs off 1 AAA battery (rechargeables are a must) and sounds great when paired with decent headphones. Not enough oomph to drive a set of cans tho.

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Zune ? Is that some kinda iPod ?

Microsoft has never managed to sell hardware very successfully, with one exception.

Of course the MS mouse has been supplied by default with many new computers (which seems to be Microsoft's sole marketing strategy) . And it's better than rival mice.

In the UK, the Zune is non-existent -- I've seen one, at a car boot sale. I'm amazed that it can have outold Sony's MP3 range which are presently cheaper and better than Apple's and are widely distributed.

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S
Unhappy

Aw

I should really hurry up and get a Zune. It seems that there are so few manufacturers offering a straightforward MP3 player with a large hard drive anymore. I've got 50 odd GB of music and I'd like to listen to any of it when I'm on holiday. Don't ever plan on buying an iPod and joining the masses.

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Why isn't "100%?" an adequate title?

I wonder how many of the surveyees (is that a real word?) thought that Ipod is a generic name for an MP3 player?

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Tom
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Zune Gone

On my ride to work each day on the subway I see 10-20 iPods, 2-3 music phones of assorted types. Sony and Sandisk maybe 2-3 a week. Zune? I've only ever seen one (outside of a store display case) since they were released.

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Flame

I'm firmly in the 'other' category

I'm one of the few who value things like:

- simple drag and drop file transfer

- no intrusive DRM

- not having to use itunes, which on the PC is a festering turd (albeit not as bad as it once was)

- support for FLAC, OGG and other esoteric formats, without having to hack firmware

- inbuilt FM radio

- ability to record radio

The only thing that truly surprises me is how few of us there seems to be. I simply don't get why people put up with the oodles of limitations of the ipod.

I'm a deliriously happy Cowon D2 owner, who finds it difficult to not sneer at ipod users

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Anonymous Coward

Zune is crap , can't even play AVI files

without converting , my wife bought it for our son , been sitting in a drawer , he is waithing for a creative or archos player that plays ALL formats , not just DRM crap . Take a hint micodudes

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It is not just teens!

My 84 year old grandmother had also rejected Microsoft's Zune and has flat out refused to buy one.

Now that says something!

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J
IT Angle

Interesting...

Interesting, but there are plenty of MS fanboys around here. But even them seem not to have the guts to defend the Zune... I don't even know if the thing is good or not; have never met anyone who has one so I could take a look. But the lack of fanboy enthusiasm does not bode well, that is for very sure.

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woops

And their shuffle come to that

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apple on the way down..

There's no where for them but down now, and their new nano looks like the first step backward for them... It's shit..

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Zune Marketplace?

How long until Microsoft pulls the plug on this music store, I wonder?

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8ollock

What I want from an MP3 player is not available in any one unit I've seen:

Great sound quality

Drag n Drop Mass Storage Mode

Mass storage (30GBs plus)

Navigation by folder OR ID3 tag as the mood takes me

Huge audio codec support - I want to listen to what I want

Line In recording at hi-fi quality

On-the-fy playlists

Browser mode for reading and writing to removable storage such as USB sticks or SD cards

Ease and Speed of use (doesn't have to mean scroll-wheel, but it's a good solution)

Dedicated 'Music to make girls dance' shortcut button*. (* or a user-definable button for any other purpose)

Most of this was available many years ago on the iRiver H140 and 340 players, but not any more... Apple, Microsoft and Sony players ALL have their hardware crippled in some way (Sony and Apple both publish music, Miicrosoft are just cu_Microsoft.) C'mon Korea, you can sort me out! Or maybe Microsoft can uncripple the the upcoming final Zune and leave the game on a high?

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Give it up, Microsoft.

Once again Microsoft has proven that it is utterly incapable of producing products people want. The only reason they still exist is because of the perceived lock-in of Windows and Office (which also suck, but too many people still labor under the mistaken assumption that they "need" these products).

Every single one of Microsoft's products is a complete piece of crap. When people know they have a choice, they go with something else. Imagine what will happen as more and more people realize they're not actually locked into Windows or Office either.

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Paris Hilton

100% *of those who are buying a player*

It's not that 100% of teenagers are planning to buy an Ipod -- but 100% of those who plan to buy an MP3 player (19% of those interviewed said they were getting some mp3 player in the next year.)

I find it pecuilar to say the least that 100% said this though.. what, not 98 or 99% at least? I wonder if "ipod" isn't just becoming a generic term like "Kleenex" or "Xerox machine", so people that are just planning to buy some generic mp3 player will just say they are getting an "ipod"?

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Zune

What about the name Zune?

It's a word I find unattractive.

Is it just me?

Would any of you name a product Zune?

Or is this something that is hip & I'm just out of touch?

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Go

Teens Don't Buy iPods .....

.... parents do and will continue to do so if it shuts up the spoiled little brats they, themselves, have created.

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Unhappy

A glum Creative Zen owner

As I would rather put my hand in the mouth of a lion than by a Zune, yet don't want to be bound in the duct tape that is iTunes, I opted for Creative Zen, which is a nice little player, but I await the day when someone comes up with software that doesn't require me to jump through 20 hoops in the shape of a pretzel to group my classical music in logical units, eg the three movements of a violin concerto in the right order, one after the other, and to choose to hear the Milstein version rather than the Tetzlaff version, even though both concertos are by Brahms. This seems to baffle all music library software. It's also hard to find a player that doesn't automatically favour a stronger base line, much as I love the cellos.... So, frankly, a curse on all their houses.

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Zune Owner....

As a straught music player, it's a good one. Easy to use, drag'n'drop (no need for iTwaddle to disable my computer while it's copying), decent quality sound. It's a good player, just the apple brainwashing machine was too firmly entrenched.

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Paris Hilton

M$ greed pays off

What goes around.

M$ had a decent enough following of their previous DRM products. But they got all greedy, brought out the Zune, a new DRM schema and decided to allow everyone to re-purchase their music for the new toy. And guess what? No one fell for it! For my money, M$ got all they deserved.

While it was inevitable that the anti-Apple-anything sentiment would arrive in the comments it has to be acknowledged that the iPod has pretty much made it through nothing more than being what the people want. It may not suit some. Who would even bother trying to please all of the people all of the time? Commercially Apple saw the market and addressed it. The rest is a fact of history.

Conversely M$ saw the market, decided that it would try to own it and fuck it up royally. It will not have been the first time that M$ haven't "got it", and no doubt it will not be the last, particularly with that arrogant prat Ballmer in charge.

A little humility and recognition of what a customer actually is would do M$ a power of good. Hell, it may even get them to the place where they are producting exactly what people want. That is as opposed to producing exactly what M$ say the people want.

Karma M$, karma. You'll reap exactly what you sow.

History may record this as M$'s Paris moment. She got caught with her knickers down also.

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@Jeff

I have to agree with your wishlist - thats why iPod has never been on my shopping list.

I got a 120Gb Classic as part of a training course filled with training vids and I frigging HATE the thing.

Add to all the missing things you list a horrible, horrible menu system and a screen hat is actually the same size as my N73s....why do people buy this crap?

And while Im on a roll WHY when I locked the bloody thing does it switch on when I plug it into a PC to charge it, and not switch off when I disconnect? I have to unlock, switch off and lock it again! WTF?

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Unhappy

@ J

I will step up to the plate on this one as a former 1st Gen Zune owner.

At the time I bought it they had the right ideas:

Built-in FM radio

WIFI Capability

Video Playback

Music Sharing Capacity

Oh and it was under under £80.00

You know what killed it for me? Getting it back to the UK and finding they prevented importers from accessing the store offerings. Add to that that they didn't attempt to capitalise on the best of it's features - like integration with XBOX 360's and it gave in to an iPhone not too long ago.

No point in having decent hardware and losing your way once into the market. This could and should have been the one to put the wind up Apple. Instead Apple took the initiative and pretty much copied the Zune with the Touch.

I for one am sad to see it go but it's a bit like Newcastle United. Playing in the Premiership but can't score enough to stay away from relegation.

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One good thing about Zune

The look, feel and usability of the online store is light years ahead of the iTunes store and Zune's interface is much more attractive and usable than the iPod's onboard software. And I say that as an iPhone user.

It's a shame the Zune itself has always seemed 18 months behind the times.

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Boffin

Stick to what you do best

Those who do everything do nothing well. Microsoft needs to stop trying to be like Apple ... and Adobe and Google and well, everybody. The core of what you do is really good. Most of the new stuff you tried for the general market isn't worth what I just flushed down the toilet. The only new thing you did that is really good is VC-1. And that is just for movies. XBox 360 is good but really good.

Speaking of the toilet, I decided Zune was not worth my money when Microsoft came out with a brown Zune and decided the newest catchphrase would be "squirting". Imagine "squirting" with your brown Zune. Was some guy in a tie taking care of business in the Microsoft executive bathroom when he said "Hey! Brown is a good color and squirting is a good idea. It doesn't remind me at all what I just did."

Windows is good, don't let the fanboys tell you otherwise. Office is good, don't let the fanboys tell you otherwise. The XBox 360 is good enough. Leave Flash type stuff alone. Leave open document formats alone. Leave internet browsers alone. Live search couldn't find the ocean if it was standing knee deep in water, and that is an improvement when it couldn't find the ocean if it was up to the neck in water. Stop trying to be everything and just be focused.

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@Hollerith

Try organising any opera in library software, where you're just as likely to find the singer as Artist

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Anonymous Coward

All surprises will be gotchas

.. because I assumed like every other Microsoft product, that is would require me to update this and that on my PC and accept the media player license (something I have never done) and god know what else.

I know that with Microsoft, all surprises will be gotchas, never a pleasant surprise. Usually it will means some license I have to accept that I've already rejected, or some tar-ball service pack needs installed, and then a whole bunch of crud each with its own EULA to accept. Yuck.

I don't want that, so I don't want Zune and I don't want any other Microsoft product other than the OS I *have* to take from them.

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Go

UK zune owner

I actually really like my zune 2, fair enough.. I can't use the store or whatever, not really fussed about that.

But it's a hell of a lot better than the ipod that's for sure.

Long live the zune!

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Zune owner - Zune sucks

I've gotten fed up with the Zune player. I have an 80 gb Zune that was given to me as the previous owner was tired of it rebooting while playing music at the gym. The thing is useless without their Zune software, and requires you to use Windows. Ok fine I run a VM with windows for it. I got fed up because I got addicted to listening to podcasts with it and the dumb software keeps screwing up and marking all podcasts as unreadable and redownloading them repeatily, just wasting bandwidth. I'm now using some podcast downloader in linux and just drag and drop the files for my cellphone or work computer.

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Anonymous Coward

Brown is okay if.... oh, and MS DRM is a mess!

Brown in itself isn't a bad colour in itself if you have a bit of design flair and a nice-looking product to start off with- on the contrary, it would be an interesting change to the usual colour choices. The brown Aspire One looks quite nice (I would have bought it if the white model hadn't been significantly cheaper).

The problem is that the Zune's design looked like a third-rate cheap iPod copy. In this case brown simply makes it look even cheaper, duller and less fashionable.

I've heard that the brown Zunes look better in the flesh, but given that most publicity shots manage to make the product look their shiny best, I'm sceptical.

The Zune's other problem is MS's ludicrous and confusing approach to DRM in general. They had the "Plays for Sure" scheme, then dumped that in favour of a new Zune DRM; old devices don't like the new DRM and Zunes don't like the old one. But stupidly, both have been rebranded as "Certified for Windows Vista" despite being incompatible.

At least, I think that was how it went(!) Way to confuse the public- say what you like about Apple, at least they wouldn't come up with a half-baked and pointlessly-confusing mess like that.

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Zune as good as dead

Zune or short for "Zero usage now established"

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unbeleivable

MS is basing this decision on a bunch of dumbass teens?

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Happy

It's a pity MS was so late in the game on this one....

I had originally bought a 1st gen Zune for my wife two years ago because she wanted an MP3 player that could handle music and video, her only stipulation was that it not be an iPod (since everyone has one and she wanted to "Think Different"). We liked it so much that I got me a 120GB model for Christmas. Never had a problem with DRM, but then again I just rip all my CDs (yes I still buy CDs, I like having a physical product and not just a bunch of bits). I've got a 7 month old and I've got all my pictures and video of him on it as well. The FM came in handy when we lost power during an ice storm and didn't have any D-cells in the house for the radio.

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@Dave (8ollock)

The closest I've seen to what you wish for is Sandisk's Sansa line. Yes, there are shortcomings. As everyone knows, there are shortcomings to each and every brand/model player. However, I've found the fewest problems/complaints with the Sandisk line. I have a 16GB View. I bought my first Sandisk unit (e260) because it had the three capabilities an iPod nano did not: 1) expandable memory, 2) FM radio, and 3) user replaceable battery. The View is a bit larger, but thinner than the "e200" series, so weight is about the same. The only true drawback for me is overall capacity. Even though it's expandable, I'm limited to about 48GB total storage. Seldom a problem as I don't typically carry my entire library at once.

The biggest drawback for others seems to be online store compatibility (which doesn't bother ME as I don't use them - I just ripped my own massive CD collection into MP3s and was satisfied with that). I don't know the details of why this is (or isn't) problematic, but have read some online posts to that effect. All in all, the Sandisk is as close to perfect (for me) as I can reasonably expect.

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Happy

ZuneHD

Well the 'leaked' ZuneHD details and pics have been getting rave reviews. I dont think its over by a long way yet.

The Zune is good solid kit with great sound quality, good software and user interface.

It has no more DRM (in fact probably less) than any other mainstream player on the market.

I think the issue here is, as other have stated, the term 'iPod' has become a generic term for MP3 players. It will skew such marketing results far and wise.

I dont see whats so cool or fun about being just the same as everyone else. I see a iPod user I see a 'drone'.

Think different...buy a Zune.

Oh and by the way they added 360 integration some time ago as well as loads of other regular FREE updates.

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Reading Comprehension

Back to remedial reading for you.

The survey did not say "100 per cent [of teens] will buy one of Apple's music players in the next year." It said that 19 percent planned to buy on in the next year. But 100% of those planned to buy an iPod.

You should also know that "planning to buy" and "wishing they had the money to buy" are much the same thing for teens. Last fall, 22% of teens said they planned to buy an iPhone within six months. Six months later, the percentage of teens who actually have Phones has not changed.

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Joke

Zune to be...

..obsolete.

Sorry I could not resist.

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Gates Halo

Zune marketplace from the UK

@Paul, "You know what killed it for me? Getting it back to the UK and finding they prevented importers from accessing the store offerings"

Well if you the region settings of your PC to the US you get the store tab back and my friends buy me Zune points cards and have no problem using the store from the UK. Its just like being in the US. I'm a 1st Gen Zune user.

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@M$ greed

"While it was inevitable that the anti-Apple-anything sentiment would arrive in the comments it has to be acknowledged that the iPod has pretty much made it through nothing more than being what the people want. It may not suit some."

Just so. I should comment, I'm not seeing strong anti-Apple sentiment in this thread; most "anti-Apple sentiment" appears regarding Macs rather than Apple in general... I think due to the Mac users making claims such as Macs not costing more and such, which then leads to some epic WIndows-versus-Mac flame war (*not* PC-versus-Mac, really... the Linux PC users seem to stay out of it largely.)

Ipod? They did come out with a better player before everyone else, it's true. Only reason it doesn't suit me is Apple's attitude regarding trying to lock it down to be ITunes only (going as far as legal threats.) Otherwise I'd probably have one now.

Not going to quote it, but the rest of the post was spot-on too... people just don't trust Microsoft to pull off something like Zune, rather they really could have done it or not.

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Unlock?

Will M$ unlock Zune after it's dead?

The only feature on it that was desirable was the wifi.

Too bad they did not go more in the direction of entertainment PDA versus aping Apple.

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Zune was the best player I've had

After two years of fighting with the horrid iTunes software I finally bought an 80 GB Zune last year. Best thing I ever did. I found the Zune software and hardware so much more logical to use. The only problem I have ever had with my Zune is that all the cool accessories are made for the iPod. =(

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Anonymous Coward

Zero Per Cent

I have zero percent plans to buy an ipod --- ever.

But then, I am zero percent teenage!

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Re - Interesting

<<Interesting, but there are plenty of MS fanboys around here. But even them seem not to have the guts to defend the Zune... I don't even know if the thing is good or not; have never met anyone who has one so I could take a look. But the lack of fanboy enthusiasm does not bode well, that is for very sure.>>

Which just about sums up the average Mac user's attitude. You find it hard to understand why non-MAC users would not defend a product to the death when it is not very good - whilst you will die before admitting that there could possibly be any flaws in a Jobs product. I guess we could call that jobjectivity.

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zune is the absolute best !

its the only player i could rip apart , hardwire its fm transmitter and other things , hide it inside the car. and control it from the steering wheel. ( using the ir remote for its dock. try that with an ifruit)

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IT Angle

We need a survey ro find this out?

Teens are attracted to a "cool" label just like all their peers, regardless of the product's value or attributes! Gosh! Shock!

Really, is this news?

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Linux

MS produce an MP3 player ?

Wow never saw it. Did it have the good old BSOD to make windows users feel at home ? Without a monopoly it just goes to show how useless MS are.

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Re: Zune is crap , can't even play AVI files

"Zune is crap , can't even play AVI files

By Anonymous Coward Posted Saturday 11th April 2009 17:09 GMT

without converting , my wife bought it for our son , been sitting in a drawer , he is waithing for a creative or archos player that plays ALL formats , not just DRM crap . Take a hint micodudes"

No offence, but is your son a total 'tard (as well as ungrateful!)? You drag something onto it and it automatically converts the media into WMV3 format - What you really should say is "I don't know how to even play AVI files on it" ;o)

You move MP3’s or AVI’s onto your Zune no DRM is setup on those converted files either. If you really are having problems here, let me give you some advice:

<ANY SOURCE> => Video LAN (VLC) Transcode => Zune

... Although if you really don’t want it because your IT skills aren’t up to this, why don’t you give it to someone who might!

The Zune is class, especially v2 - Unfortunately it suffers from the "Vista effect". All their new products seemed to be getting panned by people who've never used them these days. Having 'Microsoft' stamped on it is the kiss of death, no matter how good it is.

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