A place where love is kept in the dream.
Now available at retail stores
Published on November 15, 2006 By Corky_O In WinCustomize News

For those who do not want to be locked into Apple's proprietary hardware, 'Zune' devices have now been released to retail stores.

These look like very nice devices for music, pictures, and video. They are also reported to play nice with both Microsoft and Apple files.

I feel like I may regret purchasing an iPod, now that my freedom has been shown to be limited - but that is a personal issue.

You can read more by clicking the link below.

"Let music fill the air" - Grateful Dead.


Comments (Page 1)
on Nov 15, 2006


This I might look into - never got around to iPod - I own 8 CDs - No satellite radio -I'm one of the people keeping regular FM alive




You got no Winky on the test pages.
on Nov 15, 2006
FM Radio in the car.
Pandora on the PC.

Happy ZubaZ
on Nov 15, 2006
Apparently Zune is not incompatible with the billions of songs sold through Apple's iTunes Store, the Zune is also incompatible with the songs sold by all of Microsoft's PlaysForSure (go figure, create the "PlayForSure" initiative and then release a device incompatible with it?) partners, including MTV URGE, Napster, and Yahoo! Music. It's also incompatible with RealNetworks' Rhapsody service.

The only thing it has that the other mp3 devices don't have is Wi-Fi capability which would allow one zune user to share music, videos, pics with another zune user - the catch is that you would have to find another zune user for this functionality to work. I think the colors it was released in are white, black & brown. iPod killer - me thinks not!

I don't think Zune is going to make a big impact this year but if Microsoft holds on to it for another year, I'm sure by next christmas the zune will be something worth talking about. Much like it's operating systems & software, Microsoft likes it's consumers to pay for the privilege of beta testing, the next release after all the bugs & problems are found by the 1st round of customers may be a true competitor with the iPod.

IMHO - wait for Zune SP2 next year
on Nov 15, 2006
You can own an iPod and not be locked into the hardware, you know. I'm not, as everything I have is DRM free and either ripped from my own CDs or downloaded from emusic.com (no DRM). I can easily switch from my iPod to a different player, should a better one be offered. But from the reviews I've read, the Zune isn't it.
on Nov 15, 2006

Microsoft likes it's consumers to pay for the privilege of beta testing

I am not following you on this one. I am running Vista RC2 (5744) and Office 2007 - legally for free. Have you paid for these for some reason (other than shipping or the bandwidth fee)?

You can own an iPod and not be locked into the hardware, you know.

Sorry, I should have been more specific and said proprietary technology requirements.

iPods need iTunes to load files, which requires PC owners to install yet another media player. I have 2300 + songs (all ripped from the original CD in WMA lossless format) which have to be in either .mp3 or .aac (.m4p) format to run in iPod. This took just over 24 hours for iTunes to convert to make them compatible with the iPod. The 'Zune' can read all three formats (.mp3, .aac, and .wma) making it more compatible with multiple media formats, and thus with more 'stock' computers.

on Nov 15, 2006

I have never regretted buying my iPod.  The Zune is ok, but it's not going to replace anything I have.

on Nov 15, 2006
I'd be wary of buying any first gen hardware like this. I'm waiting for the 2nd gen (maybe 3rd) of the Creative players, and maybe the 2nd gen Zune.
on Nov 15, 2006
Creative's Vision:M 30GB and 60GB model. The unsung hero of the current MP3 player generation. Brighter screen, better audio quality, and will work with either WMP OR Creative's own music organizer. plus no badly enforced DRM standards. Give it a gander.
on Nov 15, 2006
I have a Samsung MP3 player, and I'm perfectly happy with it. Easy to use, and smaller than either the ipod or the zune...
on Nov 15, 2006
I am not following you on this one. I am running Vista RC2 (5744) and Office 2007 - legally for free. Have you paid for these for some reason (other than shipping or the bandwidth fee)?


I suspect that unclerob's talking about the oft-mentioned (and arguably meritorious) notion that Microsoft tends to "clean up" completed projects after their release with service packs.

No Zune for me. I listen to the radio on the road; I listen to my MP3s at home; my CDs sit in some box in my closet somewhere where they won't collect dust. I haven't seen them since, like, the middle of the Pleistocene Epoch.
on Nov 15, 2006
Corky_O, going by the page you linked to... the Zune is a much less desirable, more limited unit. It plays MP3, AAC and WMA files up to 320Kbps ONLY (therefore your lossless WMA files wouldn't work anyway) and doesn't work with ANY lossless formats at all. It doesn't support the billions of songs sold through the iTunes music store and it doesn't even play WMA files protected with MS's own Plays For Sure DRM. How lame is that? ...and the only video it supports is, apparently WMV, locking it out of all those H.264/MPEG4 videos that are floating all over the web. To top it off, the only image format it claims to recognize is jpg. Works with Windows only.

Otoh, the iPod supports MP3, AAC, AAC/m4p( Protected AAC like the iTunes store), AAC Lossless, WAV, AIFF Audible. Your lossless WMA files can be converted to Apple Lossless and still work on the iPod without any degradation in quality. The iPod, also, plays H.264, MP4 and Quicktime movies. it supports bmp, gif, jpg, png and tiff image formats. On top of all that the iPod functions as an external drive. Works with Windows and Mac and Linux (after downloading 3rd party software).

You can use other apps with the iPod and an Open Source firmware even allows it to play Ogg Vorbis, FLAC and other audio formats if the user needs it to do so.

Furthermore, though the Zune's display seems larger, it actually only displays the same number of pixels as the iPod.




John
on Nov 15, 2006
I'll stick with my Creative Zen Vision M, it STILL has better video playback then the NEW ipod. As for the Zune it looks ugly and I don't think it will lure "Joe music" who just goes and buy an ipod because that's what everyone else has!
on Nov 15, 2006
Corky - It also appears that Vista does not support the Zune because WMP11 is not yet compatible... go figure!

http://blogs.zdnet.com/microsoft/?p=104
on Nov 15, 2006

Corky_O, going by the page you linked to... the Zune is a much less desirable, more limited unit. It plays MP3, AAC and WMA files up to 320Kbps ONLY (therefore your lossless WMA files wouldn't work anyway) and doesn't work with ANY lossless formats at all.
 

Here is the audio file information page: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/928191/en-us?sd=zune

Here is the video file information page: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/928192/en-us?sd=zune

My point, which is clearly not well said, is that the 'Zune' is an alternative choice for a portable media device which includes software that can read files from both Apple and Microsoft default audio player file formats (as well as the .mp3) and then sync with the device. Therefore, one could simply copy ripped or downloaded library files of said file types onto the computer and the software will add them to the library, allowing for addition to the device.

You can use other apps with the iPod and an Open Source firmware even allows it to play Ogg Vorbis, FLAC and other audio formats if the user needs it to do so.

As a Dead Head I am fully aware of the lossless file formats (no attitude here, just a fact). Are you saying that the iTunes program reads these? Or do I need to write the firmware to my iPod? I currently have about 140 concerts (GD) that I attended in 'shorten' file format which would be great to load onto my iPod. Any information on that would be welcome.

Thanks for pointing out how much better the iPod is.

on Nov 15, 2006
Corky_O, those 2nd two links refer to the Zune SOFTWARE, not the physical device. So it would seem the software will accept a wider range of formats but then will still convert it to the limited options as mentioned in the original link before placing it on the Zune HARDWARE. This is no different than iTunes converting WMA to AAC before loading on the iPod, except that iTunes only does the conversion once. (Do you want to sit there and wait while the Zune software converts it each time you want to add the file to the Zune player? I know I wouldn't)

By default iTunes reads AAC/ALAC (Apple Lossless) and the iPod will play those files natively. iTunes can generally read any file format supported by Quicktime. There are plenty of codecs available for Quicktime so just find one for whatever audio format you need and load it up. Googling turns up numerous hits.

However, if you want the iPod to read those other formats you'll need to resort to the open source firmware. Personally, when I have something in FLAC or whatever, I use a 3rd party tool to convert to ALAC.

EDIT : BTW, you commented previously about how iPods required you to load 'yet another media player'. This 'complaint' apparently holds true for the Zune, as well, since it needs it's own software for conversion, etc...
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