Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 14th Sep 2006 19:49 UTC
Microsoft Usually, we do not report on .mp3 players. However, sometimes we cannot go around them. Today is one of those times: Microsoft has launched its supposed iPod killer, the Zune. "Not a lot of surprises in the specs department, but they've confirmed the basics we've known for a while, like WiFi, 30GB of HDD, built-in FM, a 3-inch screen and the basic music, pictures and video playback. They also finally let slip the screen res - an unsurprising QVGA - and some better news on the codec front: the Zune supports h.264, MP3, AAC and WMA."
Order by: Score:
Brown color?
by helgegrimm on Thu 14th Sep 2006 20:05 UTC
helgegrimm
Member since:
2006-02-05

The black and white models look quite appealing, but I really don't understand why they offer a BROWN model...

Reply Score: 1

RE: Brown color?
by ThanhLy on Thu 14th Sep 2006 20:28 UTC in reply to "Brown color?"
ThanhLy Member since:
2006-03-14

It goes with that "Hi I'm a PC" guy (from the Apple tv ad) and his brown business suite.

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: Brown color?
by StephenBeDoper on Fri 15th Sep 2006 11:50 UTC in reply to "RE: Brown color?"
StephenBeDoper Member since:
2005-07-06

If only that were true. A John Hodgeman-themed MP3 player would be infinitely cooler than a U2-themed one.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Brown color?
by sbenitezb on Thu 14th Sep 2006 20:38 UTC in reply to "Brown color?"
sbenitezb Member since:
2005-07-22

"but I really don't understand why they offer a BROWN model..."

It's the Ubuntu version ;)

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: Brown color?
by Sphinx on Thu 14th Sep 2006 23:58 UTC in reply to "RE: Brown color?"
Sphinx Member since:
2005-07-09

For Ubuntu users of course.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Brown color?
by kaiwai on Fri 15th Sep 2006 06:59 UTC in reply to "Brown color?"
kaiwai Member since:
2005-07-06

True, true; I mean, if they're going to offer a brown, it should be a dark chocolate brown, not the one they chose.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Brown color?
by KugelKurt on Fri 15th Sep 2006 08:42 UTC in reply to "Brown color?"
KugelKurt Member since:
2005-07-06

What's wrong with giving people the choice? Offering it only in brown would be stupid, but brown is just one of the available colors.

Reply Score: 1

$$
by dmitry on Thu 14th Sep 2006 20:14 UTC
dmitry
Member since:
2006-01-16

WiFi, built-in FM and a big screen is a BIG plus, no doubt... 30Gb is nothing special though, but the main question is - how much ;)

Reply Score: 1

RE: $$
by Derek on Fri 15th Sep 2006 00:27 UTC in reply to "$$"
Derek Member since:
2005-07-06

They use the same screen thats in the iPod. Its just turned sideways, and a half inch bigger.

Not that big of a deal.
30GB wont last long with video and music.

Reply Score: 1

:P
by viator on Thu 14th Sep 2006 20:15 UTC
viator
Member since:
2005-10-11

what no ogg? ;)

Reply Score: 5

RE: :P
by sc3252 on Thu 14th Sep 2006 20:55 UTC in reply to ":P"
sc3252 Member since:
2005-09-06

I hate that none of the players have ogg support. The only player that I know of that has ogg support is my iHP-120 from iriver. They dont sell there new players with it anymore and even if they did I hear they suck and only work with windows(ihp-120 is recognized as a removable hard drive, just drag your music to it).

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: :P
by John Nilsson on Thu 14th Sep 2006 21:22 UTC in reply to "RE: :P"
John Nilsson Member since:
2005-07-06

There's lots of players with OGG support. I got an iAudio U3 for exactly that reason (a good buy I might add).

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: :P
by Clinton on Fri 15th Sep 2006 06:10 UTC in reply to "RE: :P"
Clinton Member since:
2005-07-05

There are a few players that support Ogg. I have an old Rio Karma that supports it and the Neuros player supports it as well.

Simply put, of all the lossy codecs I have tried, Ogg sounds the best and has the smallest file sizes. All of my collection is in Ogg so I won't buy a player that doesn't support it.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: :P
by postmodern on Fri 15th Sep 2006 06:39 UTC in reply to "RE: :P"
postmodern Member since:
2006-01-27

i-River...

Reply Score: 1

RE: :P
by flanque on Thu 14th Sep 2006 21:56 UTC in reply to ":P"
flanque Member since:
2005-12-15

Don't worry, I'm sure there'll be a software hack and a patch to add this.

Cannot wait for zDoom!

Reply Score: 2

eats battery
by Mellin on Thu 14th Sep 2006 20:18 UTC
Mellin
Member since:
2005-07-06

like a fat person eats candy

Reply Score: 1

RE: eats battery - myth
by hal2k1 on Fri 15th Sep 2006 06:24 UTC in reply to "eats battery"
hal2k1 Member since:
2005-11-11

Only does this if .mp3 has a hardware chip and .ogg does not.

It is not the format that "eats battery" ... it is the lack of hardware support.

The "battery eating" happens with any format that has to be decoded in software on a portable player.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: eats battery - myth
by hobgoblin on Sat 16th Sep 2006 15:09 UTC in reply to "RE: eats battery - myth"
hobgoblin Member since:
2005-07-06

i would worry more about the wifis ability to eat battery. that is unless the device shuts wifi down, when not in use, automaticaly.

Reply Score: 1

video
by Eugenia on Thu 14th Sep 2006 20:23 UTC
Eugenia
Member since:
2005-06-28

it seems to be really nice, video of the interface here:
http://mobilitytoday.com/news/zune_video_upclose.html

Reply Score: 1

RE: video
by Big Al on Thu 14th Sep 2006 21:28 UTC in reply to "video"
Big Al Member since:
2005-06-29

It was nice to see it in video but it looks like the wheel is nothing but a four-way clicker. Is this just another case of someone trying to ape the ipod hardware but having the wheel as nothing but a four-way joystick? It just screams of me-too-ism and seems pretty stupid to me. If you're going to design an MP3 player, make it unique on it's own instead of just copying someone else.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: video
by Eugenia on Thu 14th Sep 2006 21:36 UTC in reply to "RE: video"
Eugenia Member since:
2005-06-28

Why not copy someone else as long as you don't infringe on a patent? This is like saying that each person must walk with a different style, just so it is unique. Maybe "unique" is not the right idea for such a product either. The market has certain expectations and "unique" is usually what geeks like best, not normal consumers.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: video
by Big Al on Thu 14th Sep 2006 22:29 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: video"
Big Al Member since:
2005-06-29

Maybe I didn't explain properly what bothers me. People walk the same way because it's the most efficient method of using your legs to go from one place to another. To me, having a lookalike scroll wheel instead of four buttons (two up, two down) seems like a less efficient way to present the interface.

It's not just the Zune that uses the faux scroll wheel. It's become somewhat cliche and doesn't really benefit the user.

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: video
by Eugenia on Thu 14th Sep 2006 22:33 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: video"
Eugenia Member since:
2005-06-28

Zune's "wheel" is mostly joystick button, so I don't understand your problem. I find the current way efficient as it works with single-hand.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: video
by Thom_Holwerda on Thu 14th Sep 2006 22:49 UTC in reply to "RE: video"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

What's with all this hubbub about the iPod's scrollwheel? I find the thing completely unusable; it is more of a gimmick than something that's really usefull. for various reasons, but two of them stand out:

1) the wheel, as the name implies, is round. However, the iPod's interface is not; a round wheel is moving a vertical interface. You have to make a round movement with your finger, in order to make a straight vertical movement. A round peg in a square hole. When you use your trackpad on your laptop, and you want to go from the top to the bottom of your screen... Do you make one line with your finger, or do you make circles?

2) My biggest gripe: NO TACTILE FEEDBACK. When I move up or down an item, I want to FEEL it. Not just hear or see it, no: I want to FEEL it.

Apple's scrollwheel has become usable through habit (you need to use it in roder to be cool these days). Not because it is the superior design.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: video
by Steve Jabs on Thu 14th Sep 2006 23:36 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: video"
Steve Jabs Member since:
2006-09-14

I totally agree with Thom on the whole IPod user interface thing. I mean, I don't use fishing poles for exactly that same reason - pole is straight and reel is round. I find it completely outrageous that I have to wind up a fish when clearly I should just have to pull that boy in hand over hand. And yeah, totally, no tactile feedback - all you get is that, "i'm reeling something in" sound and visual cues from all the knots in your line when clearly you should get a little physical click with every rotation and not just when you need to do something like yank a hook into a mouth or go back a menu. Good points Thom. Ipods are completely unusable

It's also amazing that I have to hit the play button to turn the darn thing off.

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: video
by D3M0N on Fri 15th Sep 2006 02:21 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: video"
D3M0N Member since:
2005-07-09

I have to completely disagree with you. I find the scroll whell one of the best ways to navigate. It is so simple and fast and required no time to get used to. You never have took lift up your finger either, so you just pretty much go in a circle, and click what button you need. Simple and elegant.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: video
by Shane on Fri 15th Sep 2006 05:02 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: video"
Shane Member since:
2005-07-06

1) A round motion means you don't have to lift your thumb. There is no running out of space and having to go back up to scroll down again. You can scoll through huge lists much faster this way.

2) I suppose it's a tradeoff. No moving parts means the control lasts longer.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: video
by Rayz on Fri 15th Sep 2006 05:17 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: video"
Rayz Member since:
2006-06-24

I was a fan of the scroll wheel, until my music collection got rather large. Now I find it a real pain in the thumb. I would prefer something that would carry on scrolling as long as I hold the button down.

I dunno about this Zune though; will I be able to use other services? Might look at the GigaBeat though ...

Reply Score: 1

em ..
by gnemmi on Thu 14th Sep 2006 20:23 UTC
gnemmi
Member since:
2006-08-17

Usually, we do not report on .mp3 players. However, sometimes we cannot go around them

Why not?

I couldn't find the answer in that advertisement ... oops, sorry .. I meant article ..

Reply Score: 5

RE: em ..
by Beta on Thu 14th Sep 2006 22:19 UTC in reply to "em .. "
Beta Member since:
2005-07-06

I couldn't find the answer in that advertisement ... oops, sorry .. I meant article ..

Same thinking here. As if they need more press for their ever-expanding monopoly into everything.

and some better news on the codec front: the Zune supports h.264, MP3, AAC and WMA."

I'm sorry, but where is the better news there? If it didn't support MP3 and their own format WMA I would've been shocked. But wow, they add the other two popular formats used by the current rival players.. Big deal.

I'm hoping they sell it for a loss (and that would be the only reason I would buy one), and I can install some quality software on it to use the codecs of my choice.

Reply Score: 5

virii
by GCrain on Thu 14th Sep 2006 20:24 UTC
GCrain
Member since:
2005-07-11

I wonder how long before they get a virus :-)

Reply Score: 2

Name collision
by KenJackson on Thu 14th Sep 2006 20:45 UTC
KenJackson
Member since:
2005-07-18

From the earlier article: http://www.osnews.com/story.php?news_id=15819&page=1
The graphical user interface (GUI) behind AROS is developed in Zune.

Of course MS is so big, and AROS is so small that I'm sure MS doesn't care.

Reply Score: 3

Looks okay but why switch?
by TheAmazingJambi on Thu 14th Sep 2006 20:46 UTC
TheAmazingJambi
Member since:
2006-08-20

It looks good enough (not the brown model), but why would I want to get this if I need another music player and not an iPod? The DRM is kind of a turnoff (the iPod has it too but it's more easily dealt with than in WMP), so I think I'd need to get my hands on one before making any decisions. Also, what's the cost?

Reply Score: 2

RE: Looks okay but why switch?
by KenJackson on Thu 14th Sep 2006 20:57 UTC in reply to "Looks okay but why switch?"
KenJackson Member since:
2005-07-18

you can share a full-length track with a friend, and they've got three times to listen to it over a three day period, after which they can flag the song for purchase on the Zune Marketplace

I noticed the Digital Restrictions Management too. Since DRM is defective by design, I joined the campaign: http://www.defectivebydesign.org/en/about.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Looks okay but why switch?
by gnemmi on Thu 14th Sep 2006 21:14 UTC in reply to "RE: Looks okay but why switch?"
gnemmi Member since:
2006-08-17

flag the song for purchase on the Zune Marketplace

interesting ...

I wonder if is it possible to buy it from some place else .. the advertisement doesn't say a word about it ...

Shall it noy be possible .. I wonder how that doesn't fit into the very definition of monopoly ...

oh yeah .. and the fact that "who the hell is MS or any other such to control whether a given individual violates or not somebody else's rights" .. afaik, only a given state has the monopoly on that .. If you can not come up with your own prive police, I wonder what better right than you they have in order to do so ...

questions .. questions .. so many of them ..

Reply Score: 2

Me too
by thavith_osn on Thu 14th Sep 2006 21:05 UTC
thavith_osn
Member since:
2005-07-11

MS is just doing it's patented "me too" thing again.

Apparently the Zune is US$50 more than the 30G iPod, so is US$50 less than the 80G iPod. I think I'd get the 80G iPod over one of these, I can't see any advantages (for me anyway), but a lot of disadvantages...

Reply Score: 3

RE: Me too
by sbenitezb on Thu 14th Sep 2006 21:12 UTC in reply to "Me too"
sbenitezb Member since:
2005-07-22

" I think I'd get the 80G iPod over one of these"

Do people ever buy books (novels, philosophy)? I note everyone nowadays are talking about the greatest and latest iPod and stuff. No one enjoys a good book today?

Reply Score: 5

v RE[2]: Me too
by jjmckay on Thu 14th Sep 2006 21:18 UTC in reply to "RE: Me too"
RE[2]: Me too
by smashIt on Thu 14th Sep 2006 23:15 UTC in reply to "RE: Me too"
smashIt Member since:
2005-07-06

Do people ever buy books (novels, philosophy)?...
...No one enjoys a good book today?

i read a lot, but i somehow can't understand how "novels, philosophy" and "good book" fit together.
if you read such crap you must have a lot of time to waste, or do you lack fantasy/creativity of your own?

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Me too
by sbenitezb on Fri 15th Sep 2006 10:11 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Me too"
sbenitezb Member since:
2005-07-22

"if you read such crap you must have a lot of time to waste, or do you lack fantasy/creativity of your own?"

You are the typical techno-man. Probably you only enjoy your quantum physics books and advanced C for the sleepless nerd.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Me too
by AdamW on Fri 15th Sep 2006 05:09 UTC in reply to "RE: Me too"
AdamW Member since:
2005-07-06

I'm sorry, I didn't realise this was www.booknews.com.

Reply Score: 0

RE[2]: Me too
by Tyr. on Fri 15th Sep 2006 14:47 UTC in reply to "RE: Me too"
Tyr. Member since:
2005-07-06

Do people ever buy books (novels, philosophy)? I note everyone nowadays are talking about the greatest and latest iPod and stuff. No one enjoys a good book today?

Like the modded down guy I happen to enjoy audiobooks too. It's a joy to sit in the train with your eyes closed while someone reads "Brave new world" to you. I also happen to have pretty bad eyes so for me this is more pratical than a paper book. Plus a well read audiobook can really make a text come alive.

The iPod is particalarly well suited to this because of the ability to add bookmarks inside *.aac files. Companies like Audible also allow you to use iTunes to download their content.

Edited 2006-09-15 14:53

Reply Score: 1

...
by Mitarai on Thu 14th Sep 2006 21:08 UTC
Mitarai
Member since:
2005-07-28

I think I like it but I'll waith for the "nano" version.

Reply Score: 1

Awkward looking
by MonkeyPie on Thu 14th Sep 2006 21:42 UTC
MonkeyPie
Member since:
2005-07-06

Is it just me or does it seem like this is sort of awkward to hold and yet control comfortably?

I mean with the size of the screen and the controls so close to the bottom it looks difficult to keep from touching the screen and hold it with comfort. And how much weight is in the top part and is it going to cause strain from the unsupported weight in the top pressing down and away from the bottom? Here is a still taken from the video showing what I am talking about. See how their fingers are kind of splayed out to help support it and yet control it:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/97218083@N00/243397147/

With my iPod I can simply "palm" it and grip it with my closed fingers and yet have easy access to the scroll wheel with my thumb and not have to worry about my fingers covering the screen.

Just the first thing that popped up in my head when I watched the videos. I won't actually judge the thing until I have actually used it but it does look awkward to me.

JRM7

Reply Score: 2

RE: Awkward looking
by tomcat on Fri 15th Sep 2006 23:07 UTC in reply to "Awkward looking"
tomcat Member since:
2006-01-06

Is it just me or does it seem like this is sort of awkward to hold and yet control comfortably?

It's just you.

Reply Score: 1

ifattie
by sp29 on Thu 14th Sep 2006 21:59 UTC
sp29
Member since:
2006-01-04

I wonder if MS copied the orginal iPod they bought on ebay and added a bigger screen.

Reply Score: 0

RE: ifattie
by Eugenia on Thu 14th Sep 2006 22:05 UTC in reply to "ifattie"
Eugenia Member since:
2005-06-28

I don't think that the Zune is not even remotely a clone of the iPod. Its user interface is completely new for example.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: ifattie
by Thom_Holwerda on Thu 14th Sep 2006 22:13 UTC in reply to "RE: ifattie"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

I don't think that the Zune is not even remotely a clone of the iPod. Its user interface is completely new for example.

I'm guessing Microsoft gave the UI job for this player to the same team that designed the Media Center interface.

A good move, if you ask me, since MCE is such a well-thought out, well designed, good looking user interface it is almost scary. No wonder it is taking Apple so long to produce something similar.

Reply Score: 1

v Throw the IPODS away
by Southern.Pride on Thu 14th Sep 2006 22:17 UTC
RE: Throw the IPODS away
by kaiwai on Fri 15th Sep 2006 07:08 UTC in reply to "Throw the IPODS away"
kaiwai Member since:
2005-07-06

I doubt it; the mp3 player market is already fragmented world wide; Apple may have the US of A by the short 'n curlies, but down under and in Asia; its alot more complicated tha 'ipod everywhere' couple that with the 'screw you' attitude Apple has to rolling out music stores in other parts of the world and supplying their products to customers at a price which isn't price gouging - look at the price descripancies between the US and New Zealand.

For me, I'm happy with my Creative Zen M Vision and Toshiba Laptop; Steve can dance around on stage till the cows come home, but until they start embracing MTP, and coming down on its fan base like a tonne of bricks everytime a 'rumour' is started about an upcoming product, I'm not going to use their products ever again.

As for WMA support, personally, all my music is in that format; the quality is wonderful, the speed of encoding is great; its good stuff all around.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Throw the IPODS away
by tryphcycle on Fri 15th Sep 2006 21:33 UTC in reply to "Throw the IPODS away"
tryphcycle Member since:
2006-02-16

why does ANY one company need to over take this market? or any market for that matter? do people really NOT want choice? it sure seems that way some times... especial with Windows Nuggetheads.

maybe this will give apple a run for its money! at any rate... it will make the iPod better! thats because the MP3 player is actually competitive! (on more than price alone!!!!) thats more than i can say for the so called competitive PC market!

far as i am concerned... MS is out matched on this one! MS can throw billions at trying to get iPod owners to toss there iPods in the trash and buy one of these instead.... but it aint going to happen...

i am sure there are a few Apple and iPod haters out there that will jump on this one... and brag about how much better the zune is with its slightly larger screen and "desk top pictures" and FM tuner.....bla bla bla....

the thing is, the iPod is leading the way... not Zune! Zune will only be a copy cat... and only sell to those who hate apple... MS should just focus on XBox... and go away!

Reply Score: 1

Clickers and such
by REM2000 on Thu 14th Sep 2006 22:18 UTC
REM2000
Member since:
2006-07-25

A lot of people seem to be picking up on the four way clicker and the UI of the Zune, being a near copy of the iPod UI.

I don't think this is due to basic "let's make this look like an iPod" thing, more that the evolution of MP3 players over the year has produced that the clicker / four way etc.. is the most efficient method of accessing a portable MP3 player.

Same with a lot of things, different designs and concepts are produced by different company's but the most efficient and easy to use is found and adopted by the masses.

I know it's a pretty old/cheesy example but look at telephones, they used to use a circular method to dial numbers (pushed the wheel around), however the more efficient numeric pad was produced and adopted.

As for the Zune itself, from one stand point im glad that Microsoft are having another crack at the market. I wouldn't want iPod to have no competition. It's nice to see some new approaches (Wifi is very interesting), everyone will play with the new features, and if they are any good then the other MP3 manufacturers will adopt it. It seems a good size and looks quite strong, the UI is well designed with a lot more graphics being shown in menu's (such as album art when selecting tracks etc).

However i will keep my iPod (4G) as it fits and does what i need to do at the moment.

Reply Score: 2

...
by diegoviola on Thu 14th Sep 2006 22:21 UTC
diegoviola
Member since:
2006-08-15

Another example that MS is not innovative.

Reply Score: 2

RE: ...
by BluenoseJake on Fri 15th Sep 2006 12:10 UTC in reply to "..."
BluenoseJake Member since:
2005-08-11

It's pretty hard to be truly innovative in the music/video player market, there is only so much you can do with the controls/functionality, as they are pretty simple devices

Reply Score: 1

RE: ...
by tomcat on Fri 15th Sep 2006 23:09 UTC in reply to "..."
tomcat Member since:
2006-01-06

Another example that MS is not innovative.

Did you know that Apple recently settled a lawsuit with Creative because Apple "appropriated" some of Creative's technology? Be careful where you look for innovation. Chances are, it was ripped off, to begin with.

Reply Score: 1

IPODs are doomed
by Southern.Pride on Thu 14th Sep 2006 22:57 UTC
Southern.Pride
Member since:
2006-09-14

I read where IPODs are not selling now, Zune will replace them.

Reply Score: 1

RE: IPODs are doomed
by Sphinx on Fri 15th Sep 2006 00:00 UTC in reply to "IPODs are doomed"
Sphinx Member since:
2005-07-09

Market saturation, same reason the Zune is doomed.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: IPODs are doomed
by Rayz on Fri 15th Sep 2006 05:26 UTC in reply to "RE: IPODs are doomed"
Rayz Member since:
2006-06-24

Dunno.

Problem with the iPod is that it's sold as a fashion icon; now that everyone has one, it isn't fashionable anymore.

I think the Zune will be successful in the short term at least, simply because it isn't an ipod.

MS is trying to avoid the fashion thing, because stuff like that never goes the distance.

But in the end, the music phones will get better and none of this will matter.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: IPODs are doomed
by kaiwai on Fri 15th Sep 2006 07:19 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: IPODs are doomed"
kaiwai Member since:
2005-07-06

Music phones? Please, thats what the mobile industry have been saying for the last 2 years, and they've yet to have made a dent in the over all mp3 player market.

I'll tell you something, people want a phone to be just that, a phone, and they want their media player to be just that, a media player - yes, ther is the gimicky thing of 'ooh, I've got a mobile that plays toones!" but by enlarge, this generation are quite happy lugging around their mp3 player and mobile phone; atleast if their mp3 player batter dies, their mobile phone still operates.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: IPODs are doomed
by Rayz on Fri 15th Sep 2006 09:08 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: IPODs are doomed"
Rayz Member since:
2006-06-24

Music phones? Please, thats what the mobile industry have been saying for the last 2 years, and they've yet to have made a dent in the over all mp3 player market.

S'funny but that's exactly what they said about SmartPhones replacing PDAs.

I've been reading a number of reports over the past four months that indicate that your information may be a tad out of date.

Latest from the Guardian:

"Tomi Ahonen, a technology brand expert and author, said: 'For the first time the iPod has had two consecutive falls after 17 quarters of growth. If I were the manager, I would be wanting my people to explain what is going on. The iPod is wilting away before our eyes.'

He cited new mobile phones with improved MP3 players as the cause of the iPod's dwindling appeal. 'In 2005 all the big phone manufacturers released phones that play music. Phones are outselling dedicated MP3 players by six to one. Apple had the market for MP3, but they lost it.'"


A bit over dramatic perhaps, but music phones outselling MP3 players six to one, makes for a fairly large 'dent'.

Reply Score: 1

RE[5]: IPODs are doomed
by kaiwai on Fri 15th Sep 2006 12:14 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: IPODs are doomed"
kaiwai Member since:
2005-07-06

Hmm, and thats compared to Apple, not the whole industry; new products are coming out all the time, hardly an indication of a dying industry/market.

As for mp3 phones, having used them, their quality is crap; poor sound quality, proprietary ear phone connectors; sorry, no sale here.

Reply Score: 2

RE[6]: IPODs are doomed
by Thom_Holwerda on Fri 15th Sep 2006 12:30 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: IPODs are doomed"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

poor sound quality

Even worse than a normal mp3 player?

Dear lord.

Reply Score: 1

RE[6]: IPODs are doomed
by stare on Fri 15th Sep 2006 13:10 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: IPODs are doomed"
stare Member since:
2005-07-06

As for mp3 phones, having used them, their quality is crap; poor sound quality, proprietary ear phone connectors; sorry, no sale here.

Try SE Walkman phones, Nokia N91, Motorola E2. They have no issues you mentioned. Even my SE M600i sound quality is on par with standalone mp3 players. And listening music on the phone you will never miss a call.

Reply Score: 1

RE[5]: IPODs are doomed
by NicolasRoard on Fri 15th Sep 2006 16:21 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: IPODs are doomed"
NicolasRoard Member since:
2005-07-16

"Tomi Ahonen, a technology brand expert and author, said: 'For the first time the iPod has had two consecutive falls after 17 quarters of growth. If I were the manager, I would be wanting my people to explain what is going on. The iPod is wilting away before our eyes.'

Wah, it certainly has nothing to do with the fact that market is slowly saturating, and the fact that there's this little thing called seasonality, isn't it ?


He cited new mobile phones with improved MP3 players as the cause of the iPod's dwindling appeal. 'In 2005 all the big phone manufacturers released phones that play music. Phones are outselling dedicated MP3 players by six to one. Apple had the market for MP3, but they lost it.'"


"they lost it" -- yeah right, they have 70% of the market, no ? hardly losing it. Ah yeah, that guardian article was about "saving" Apple. Like if Apple needs to be saved. Nobody looks at their current profits ?..

A bit over dramatic perhaps, but music phones outselling MP3 players six to one, makes for a fairly large 'dent'.

The problem is that I don't know many people using their mobile to play MP3. I just got a new shiny phone.. and guess what : I have one MP3 on it. The ringtone. Phone UI are absolute crap (it's almost unbelievable -- I mean, why can't they do a good UI ?) ... They only focus on adding more and more features, without stopping one moment to think about the UI. It's telling when people seem to wait an Apple phone like the second coming.

Anyway that particular guardian article was crap, really. Like comparing the amount of payed "music" -- but not separating the ringtones !! I hardly call ringtones "music", and it's definitely not the same market. So really... yes, both market are converging; yes it will make sense at one point to have a combined device. But the more functions you add to a product, the better the UI needs to be. For the moment, no "mp3 enabled" phone is really good from that point of view.

Personally I'm more hoping for a wifi voip phone + ipod + newton :-D

The rumor about an all-lcd ipod with a virtual UI + touchscreen would be the perfect all in one device, specifically because you could model any kind of UI on it, for any kind of use, without sacrifying usability. There's a couple of prototype of asians company showing not too different devices, it's certainly technically doable. And Apple, with all its faults, know how to make good devices and good UI.

Reply Score: 1

Me too....
by Southern.Pride on Thu 14th Sep 2006 23:29 UTC
Southern.Pride
Member since:
2006-09-14

I heard Zune will be outselling Ipods like 3 to 1
in the stores, some even opened the doors early!

Reply Score: 1

RE: Me too....
by Sphinx on Thu 14th Sep 2006 23:57 UTC in reply to "Me too...."
Sphinx Member since:
2005-07-09

heard... will be...

Nothing like reporting the facts.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Me too....
by Get a Life on Fri 15th Sep 2006 00:07 UTC in reply to "Me too...."
Get a Life Member since:
2006-01-01

Don't spam your trolls. One is more than plenty.

Reply Score: 1

firmware
by viator on Fri 15th Sep 2006 01:01 UTC
viator
Member since:
2005-10-11

If they are selling them at a loss ill get one as long as rockbox comes out with a firmware replacement for it.

http://www.rockbox.org/

Reply Score: 2

RE: firmware
by fejack on Fri 15th Sep 2006 13:43 UTC in reply to "firmware"
fejack Member since:
2006-06-12

The paradox is that software giants like MS and Apple are betting big time on hardware (event though we could argue that Apple has ALWAYS been a hardware company).

Microsoft is really playing the "me-too" card here. True, Apple wasn't the first company to sell portable MP3 players, but it was the first one capable of convincing the Majors of the sustainability of selling music through Internet; and the first one to offer a global product (iPod + computer + iTunes).

It just makes me laugh when companies that are well-known for not being innovative come up with the next "iPod killer". Well if they really want to innovate, they should be willing to take some risk first hand, like Apple did, instead of following the crowd.

Microsoft did actually copy a lot of things (word processing, spreadsheets, Web browser and so on) but its opportunistic and agressive tactics allowed it to get to the top. Afterall in the case of Internet, it picked up late but eventually beat Netscape, the darling of the WWW, so I'll wait to see how Microsoft does with its portable player. We never know what the future holds...

I'm sure that as soon as the Zune gets on the shelves, some guys from Rockbox are going to hack it and port the firmware. I think Rockbox is one of the greatest initiatives: you pick the hardware, and you use it to listen to music on your own terms.

Reply Score: 1

RE:
by Yomama on Fri 15th Sep 2006 01:31 UTC
Yomama
Member since:
2005-07-21

Like with every successful business there are copycats trying to get a piece of the pie. I'm Mac user and even though I can see similarities between the Zune and Ipod I think the user interface is very nice thought out.

Sure, Microsoft will get slammend over the next several months but in the end it is great for us user to have a choice. Personally I don't think the Zune will be near as succesful as the Ipod even though it might have 100 more useful features because the name "Ipod" is set in stone.

Apple did an excllent job in marketing department and the timing was just right filling the demand for MP3 Players. From what I can see it is a nice competitor. However, this should give Apple in indication that their competition is not sleeping and even though they have a nice head start they can't just stop inovating and think a couple different colours makes their product superior.

Edited 2006-09-15 01:32

Reply Score: 3

I like it
by Varg Vikernes on Fri 15th Sep 2006 02:30 UTC
Varg Vikernes
Member since:
2005-07-06

I can't say I don't like it. It seems they pretty much nailed it - except for the click wheel (thanks to our friendly Apple who didn't want to license the patent). I've already got an iPod so I won't be buying this but if it breaks I'd consider it.

I don't know what problem people have with DRM. As if the iPod isn't DRM infested. And it's not like anyone actually buys music. I also like the wifi very much.

The only problem I see with it is that it's way too late to the party. It might steal away from the newer iPods but there's a shitload of Ipods gen 2-4 already around.

Reply Score: 1

One Word: Cowon
by transami on Fri 15th Sep 2006 03:22 UTC
transami
Member since:
2006-02-28
RE: One Word: Cowon
by WorknMan on Fri 15th Sep 2006 03:44 UTC in reply to "One Word: Cowon"
WorknMan Member since:
2005-11-13

Agree. I have two of them ;) Thing I've found in the iAudio players is something that I haven't seen in any other player .. the ability to disable track skipping. Anybody who's an audiobook whore like me knows why this feature is useful.

I say screw the video and fancy skins. Just give me something with the feature listed above, UMS, bookmarks, a monochrome screen, and long battery life. That's basically the iAudio G3 in a nutshell ;)

Edited 2006-09-15 03:45

Reply Score: 1

PlayForSure support
by bansal98 on Fri 15th Sep 2006 05:23 UTC
bansal98
Member since:
2006-09-06

Did you notice that it does NOt have PlayForSure support?

Reply Score: 1

Underwhelmed
by bsharitt on Fri 15th Sep 2006 05:37 UTC
bsharitt
Member since:
2005-07-07

It just doesn't seem to stand out from the crowd of other Windows Media devices.

Reply Score: 1

No Ogg, no FLAC, but does have DRM
by hal2k1 on Fri 15th Sep 2006 06:28 UTC
hal2k1
Member since:
2005-11-11

Why would anyone want one?

Reply Score: 4

Mellin Member since:
2005-07-06

it's a player for the I love Microsoft people

Reply Score: 1

It's about time
by stare on Fri 15th Sep 2006 11:10 UTC
stare
Member since:
2005-07-06

I'm tired to see how Apple releases 6th-gen iPods with downloadable games and new colours instead of features useful for LISTENING MUSIC.

Maybe we'll finally see some progress in the mp3 player market, such as stereo Bluetooth support and SD/MMC card storage.

Reply Score: 1

RE: It's about time
by Adurbe on Fri 15th Sep 2006 12:02 UTC in reply to "It's about time"
Adurbe Member since:
2005-07-06

you mean like gapless playback?
new headphones?
longer battery life?
more storage ie more music?

I grant you they are not headline grabbing, but they certainly help with the listening to music

although I do grant you its still not enough for me to ditch my gen 1 ipod, still gets 8 hours playback and holds over 1000 songs, plenty for even the longest train ride

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: It's about time
by stare on Fri 15th Sep 2006 13:15 UTC in reply to "RE: It's about time"
stare Member since:
2005-07-06

Gapless playback is the only new feauture. Others are just better characteristics of the device (not that I'm against it, just nothing innovative)

Reply Score: 1

Pro and con and on and on
by atsureki on Fri 15th Sep 2006 13:09 UTC
atsureki
Member since:
2006-03-12

The best thing I've heard in favor of its success is that if everyone has one, you can share digitally instead of splitting headphones or passing the 'pod. That would be nice.

The most important points I've heard against it are no Mac support and that MS is just way too late to the table and their market already has tons of iTMS music. Oh, and evil monopoly that can't leave any market untapped and so on and so forth.

I predict their entry into the portables market will have similar results to that of their entry into the video games market. They'll offer technically superior hardware at a higher cost that the consumer finds less appealing than the one with the highest penetration and support (PS2/iPod) and end up simply edging out an already struggling player (Sega). Then maybe they'll release the Zune 360 waaay too early with a high hardware failure rate and an astronomical price tag to languish on the shelves until a competitor comes along and snaps up all the people who waited. Just a guess, though. Could go either way.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Pro and con and on and on
by tomcat on Fri 15th Sep 2006 23:11 UTC in reply to "Pro and con and on and on"
tomcat Member since:
2006-01-06

I think it depends largely on the pricetag and how well MS does the integration with PCs.

Reply Score: 1

v Zune = Turd
by Network23 on Fri 15th Sep 2006 15:10 UTC
Stereo
by Lousewort on Fri 15th Sep 2006 20:10 UTC
Lousewort
Member since:
2006-09-12

How do they do stereo over one big speaker? Oh, yes, and I did like the little mickey mouse logo on the top-left corner.

BTW I think "Zune" is french for "iPod" or something- I wonder if they'le sue?

Reply Score: 1

Doomed are both
by siki_miki on Sat 16th Sep 2006 11:33 UTC
siki_miki
Member since:
2006-01-17

It will sell but it will not dominate the market. Microsoft just wants some stake in in "expensive and shiny" music player area.

In other corners of the world, non-overpriced models like Creative, and other less known Asian brands are selling like crazy. Prices are going down fast and MS nor Apple won't be selling their overpriced stuff for long.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Doomed are both
by spook on Sat 16th Sep 2006 12:06 UTC in reply to "Doomed are both"
spook Member since:
2006-01-09

Well, I think if you compare creative & apple I think you find the costs are comparable

Reply Score: 1

DRM city.
by hal2k1 on Sun 17th Sep 2006 00:45 UTC
hal2k1
Member since:
2005-11-11

http://abcnews.go.com/Technology/ZDM/story?id=2439644

I can't see this nonsense catching on.

"You can listen here but not there, you can listen to this but not that" ... when everyone knows all of the restrictions are artificial and easily avoided by simply getting a player from another vendor.

Edited 2006-09-17 00:45

Reply Score: 1