Tag Archives: clix

Apple iPod vs Microsoft Zune


Chris | Live Tech Support | Video Help | Add to iTunes

http://live.pirillo.com/ – One of the debates in our live chat room every day is “Zune? or iPod?”. I happen to have both devices. Each of them has their share of positives and negatives. I think it boils down to whether or not you want a music subscription service.

The iPod from Apple is an excellent portable device. The only drawback I have with it is that you can’t use a music subscription service. You can view your podcasts, and listen to music, but you cannot download on demand. To me, that’s about the only thing Apple needs to do to raise that bar even higher than they previously had. If you don’t care about the subscription service, and are just looking for a great software and hardware experience, then the iPod is the route to go.

Microsoft Zune is much the same as an iPod, with a few differences. The Zune has a radio built in, whereas the iPod does not. Zune also has a bigger screen, and you can transfer files from one Zune to another. You can subscribe to the Zune Pass music subscription service for about $15.00 per month. Unfortunately, I already have a subscription to Urge. I am very happy with this service, and cannot use it with the Zune nor the iPod.

The iriver clix DOES use my Urge subscription, and has a radio. However, you can pretty much only play music on it. It doesn’t actually do anything else.

My money is on the iPhone, actually. I’ll admit it… had I known then what I know now… I’d have stood in line on Day 1 to buy an iPhone. Yes… you heard me correctly. My phone goes everywhere with me. I use it as a phone. I use the calendar feature. It has an iPod built into it! About the only thing my iPhone cannot do that I wish it would or could is to be able to subscribe to a music service. I want to have download on demand… right on my phone.

What music device do you use? Are you happy with it? What makes it so great? Leave me your feedback and comments, and let me know.

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Microsoft's Zune Competes with Microsoft

I don’t get it. Should I be using Napster, URGE, or Zune? Should I be using the Clix or the Zune? Should I be using Windows Media Player 11 or the Zune Marketplace software? There are too many choices, many of which are not interoperable, coming to me from the same company: Microsoft. Instead of simplifying the market, they’ve made it slightly more complicated with Zune (and likely pissed off countless partners in the process).

So, on one hand, I’m being told that URGE in combo with WMP is the way to go. On the other hand, I’m being told that Zune is the way to go (hardware, software, subscription) is the way to go. I certainly appreciate that there’s somewhat of a unified experience with Zune, but… now I have one more subscription to worry about… one more piece of software to worry about… and yet more choices that seem to completely nullify earlier efforts of Microsoft (itself) and its partners.

That I can see, there’s no clear cross-over between the Zune and Windows Media Center, for me to take my recorded shows on the go (since the Zune plays video). There’s no interaction with any other Microsoft product other than Windows. There’s no path to personalized media (podcasting, DVD ripping, etc.). In the interviews I’ve read, all of this is by design.

It’s almost like Microsoft is competing with itself – like it’s taking a mulligan on all earlier efforts in the digital media space.

MP4 Support in WMP11

Don’t count on MP4 playback out of the box in the next version of the Windows Media Player. I filed this “bug” a few months ago, but apparently not supporting MP4 (by default) in WMP11 is a feature: “Spend the money. Pre-install the codec. The PSP relies on it, the iPod relies on it, and Microsoft should have had its hands in one MP4 spec or another. Drop the political bullsh*t and just do it for the sake of your users who don’t know what’s going on.” Their response this morning was simple: “This is currently expected behavior.” Expected behavior? Language barrier. Perhaps Microsoft is hoping that more people install and use iTunes. I’m not sure why? Meanwhile, I’m looking at my iRiver Clix and wondering… why can’t it support the leading video format?