Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Zune vs. iPod Touch

Before Christmas, I decided to replace my trusty old iRiver H10 with something that wasn't as fussy about USB and had Vista drivers -- and had video capabilities. Since I've never had much luck getting into the Apple flow -- (anyone want a low, VERY low mileage G5 iMac?) I decided to look past the various iPod incarnations and examine the options.

The second generation Zune sparked my interest -- especially the flash Zune 16GB. Really small form factor, great linkage to Windows, Microsoft branded, and it had Zune Marketplace which overs a Rhapsody-like subscription service that lets me load anything on my Zune any time for less than the price of a CD per month. FM radio, too!

I got the Zune and promptly managed to crack the screen - I'm not sure when, or even if it wasn't broken when I took it out and put it on the charger. But it was broken the first day I took it out at work. So I logged onto the Zune website, found the warranty repair place, typed in my problem, and Microsoft sent me a free mail-in box and label so I could send it in for warranty repair.

While waiting 3 weeks(!) for the device to be returned, I started to read horror stories that Microsoft does not consider a cracked screen to EVER be a warranty repair. Oh well, I thought -- I guess I'll have to pay to get it fixed. Sorry! Microsoft won't even FIX a broken screen. They sent it back broken. Duh?!?

I found a place that DOES fix broken screens, and shortly I had my Zune back and running. great work, too!

Then something terrible happened -- the boss gave all of his direct reports a 16GB 2G iPod touch as a Christmas gift. My wife -- always the adult in this relationship -- said, "Sell it on eBay." But I, ever the kid, could hardly do that without at least taking it out of the package.

Well, here it is, more than 6 weeks since I got the iPod and it never leaves my side. I listen to podcasts at work all day, listen to podcasts and music in the car on the way home, use the iPod to remotely access customer's PCs with LogMeIn Ignition, play sudoku on it. I'm addicted ALREADY.

The Zune? I haven't even plugged it into the charger in 4 weeks. I still use my Zune Marketplace subscription pretty regularly (you can see my Zune Tag profile at the bottom of this blog) -- iTunes doesn't offer a comparable subscription -- but the Zune PMP is almost an orphan.

...more thoughts on the iPod Touch in my next post...