Zune vs. iPod: the battle begins: Fortune reviews the Zune against the iPod and the winner is…the iPod. But it’s not as much of a runaway victory as you’d expect.
The Zune did quite well in a couple areas, and, as Fortune notes, it’s the first model out the door. It’s only going to get better. Competition is good — my hope is that this will drive the iPod forward as well. Two behemoths fighting for market share will benefit everyone.
If I didn’t already have an iPod — and had not already invested lots of money in songs and videos downloaded from the iTunes media store — the Zune might be tempting. It’s an impressive digital audio player, and the bigger screen is alluring.
But like so many Microsoft products, version 1.0 is not as polished as it should be.
The Zune really got burned by their goofy DRM issues. The Zune store is as cool as iTunes either.
But, if you feel like criticizing the Zune, there’s ample fodder at the Wikipedia page:
Though the Zune is a Microsoft product, it is not capable of playing music encrypted in Microsoft’s own PlaysForSure Format.
While the Zune has built-in Wi-Fi capabilities, it can connect only to another Zune. It can’t sync to a personal computer, and it can’t wirelessly download new music from a Wi-Fi hotspot.
Songs wirelessly transferred from one Zune to another can only be played three times. After three days, the song expires — regardless of whether or not it has been played. Just playing half the song (or one minute, whichever comes first) counts as one “play.” You can never resend a song to the same friend, nor can a song received from someone else be passed on to a third person. These limitations apply to all files, including copyright-free self-recorded songs and similar.
The software that supports the Zune seems to be very unstable on some Microsoft Windows configurations
Unlike many similar players, the Zune cannot be used as an external hard drive.