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."
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Clickers and such
by REM2000 on Thu 14th Sep 2006 22:18 UTC
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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.

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