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Microsoft Zune: the Good and Bad of the MP3 Player

Updated on July 8, 2011

In the music world, the iPod has been the greatest launching of the last decade. Millions of people now have this mp3 player that has revolutionized the music habits of people all over the world. However, clearly other companies would be interested in taking away at least part of this market. That is the main reason why Microsoft launched the Zune player earlier this year.

Microsoft is betting that the Zune player will be able to break the domination of Apple in the music player segment. They want to have a share of this market and be able to sell music as well as hardware as Apple as doing. They are also worried about the growth of Apple in the computer segment.

Advantages for mp3 users

The fact that Microsoft want to have part of the mp3 player market is great for consumers. Now we have competition, and from two big players in industry. The prices of mp3 players will probably much cheaper than they normally are now.

Moreover, Microsoft is determined to take a part of this segment even if they don't have much profit. They are more interested in keeping their computer market growing, and avoid the advance of Apple. This means that they will be willing to sell products far cheaper than it would be the normal price.

What are the iPod advantages?

So, what is the best of the iPod? Although I don’t think this question can be completely settled in rational terms (think of all the programming languages wars, or editor wars, or the operating system wars…) we can try to give a few reasons why the iPod will still be leading the pack during the next few years.

  • Better integration with external devices: with millions of devices following the iPod standard, from cars to clothing, you will have a much better chance of playing your music from an iPod than from anything else in the market.
  • Well tested: the iPod has been around for more than five years, it has been stressed to the maximum by millions of people. The Zune might be pretty good, but few people really know if it works well.
  • Integration with iTunes: one of the main reasons why the iPod is such a satisfying product is the great software running on the desktops. The iTunes is without question one of the best music players and organizers that has ever been written. Microsoft, on the other hand, has the tradition of designing clumsy, unreliable software. If you are looking for something really easy to use, you will probably keep with the iPod-iTunes combination.

Of course, things can change over time. It is completely possible that Microsoft will bridge the gap over the next years. However, even then some people will still prefer the simple quality of the products delivered by Apple. In other words, as with the Mac, the iPod will probably always getter a large number of followers.

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    • profile image


      10 years ago

      in my experience my zune crashes and i have to send it in everytime i add videos. so now I dont put video on it and it works fine. cheers!

    • profile image


      12 years ago

      Yeah I'm sure this debate has been going on for a long time now and I'd just like to say as an owner of an Ipod, and more recently a Zune, I prefer the zune mainly for the size of its screen and better deals.

      Though since I got my Zune nearly a week ago, I have been having trouble getting movies/videos onto it because its not a simple "drag-and-click" process as it is with itunes. Any suggestions?

    • profile image


      12 years ago

      Thank you so much for putting this hub together!

      Everyone should read this before making a decision to purchase! I am very glad I read it before ordering my zune and now that I got the zune in 3 days ago I'm glad I took your advice its a great gadget! Great hub and if you want more information on other mp3 players check out if you get a chance.

    • profile image


      13 years ago

      I think the Zune is amazing. It's different but it's amazing.

      I'm tired of this whole iPod hype.... Microsoft is way better anyways, if i don't have a Mac what use is it to me to have an iPod?


    • profile image


      13 years ago

      Ah, the mp3 debate.  Aside from all of the discussions about market-sharing, the fact of the matter is, for those of us who are not IT professionals, the I-pod is easy to use and understand.  In fact, the new generation of I-pod, along with I-Tunes 7, has made the whole concept of usability so easy, that it's almost too simple.This holiday season, I discovered the new Zune player in a major retail location and picked it up to "give it a spin".  I thought the packaging was ugly and the limitations on it's "sharability" laughable.  In fact, after playing with it for about ten minutes, i put it back down flippantly because i couldn't figure out how to make it work.  Simple as that.Technology should be fun and inviting.  As a person who has always found technology to be intimidating and complicated, the fact that the I-Pod "just works" is exactly why I aquired a new one this year.  I was eager to get my hands on the new i-Pod Shuffle because i found the new "clip" design to be what I consider "staggering genius". How simple! How functional.I completely understand product/name/company loyalty, and so I understand how hardcore PC fans might see the new Zune player as a welcome addition to their gadget collection.  However, the thing that Apple Macintosh has done with the I-Pod that Microsoft and the Zune player has not, is welcome those of us who have absolutely no idea how an mp3 player works, only that it does.  And for that, i salute both of my I-Pods and the user interface that made that possible.

    • livelonger profile image

      Jason Menayan 

      13 years ago from San Francisco

      Great hub. The Zune has a larger screen, and supposed wireless "sharability" with others. It's amazing how much of what a product has, and how it shapes the competitive marketplace, is due to timing. One year might have made the larger screen relatively affordable for Zune, while a year ago it might have been prohibitively expensive (given what consumers are willing to pay for the end product).


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