My name is Saul! I'm an award winning Word of Mouth Marketer, Professional Speaker on the subjects of Social Media, Customer Service and best of all... Word of Mouth. I collect Air Force One sneakers and think you should hire me... (as a consultant) to teach you how to get your company doing interesting things!
the smartest man in the world.

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Wednesday, Jun 06, 2008

I am a Zune…and I am an iPod.

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Being a superstar blogger (and the Smartest Man in the World) has its perks…like every now and then I get sent free stuff to try/review. If you are a regular reader you may be asking yourself

“Self, why don’t I remember these reviews?”

Well the answer is because I don’t feel the need to bash things on this here blog and because I am all about the positivity I only write about the stuff I really enjoy.

That brings me to the most recent goodie I have received….a brand new (just released in Canada) Microsoft Zune mp3 player.

This is by far the coolest thing I have ever received because of my blog so I waited a week to make this post so I could properly experience the player.

I am now going to go into a very long analysis of the player…it is largely positive but I do get a little critical…if you are not interested in reading it all I will let you now that there are cool things that the iPod doesn’t have but it is missing something important to me…but that shouldn’t stop you from buying it….for more info you can keep reading!

Right out of the box I could see that the Zune was a pretty cool player and I was very jazzed to get started. I cant remember how long it took to set up my iPod because it has been so long but to download/install the Zune player and then transfer 8gb of music took me several hours. This wasn’t the quick set up I was expecting and prevented me from using the player the first day because I started so late.

Once the Music was loaded: There are a lot of things that I really like about the Zune and tooling around to find the music you want is one of them. I enjoyed the track pad and the screen is pretty cool as well. One thing that is a miss for me is that it seems like you always have to confirm everything (there is a Vista joke in here somewhere) like once you find the specific song you want you click on it only to be taken to a thing that asks if you want to play the song….Well ya, I just selected it! This isn’t a huge deal but it is kinda annoying.

Reasons is is better than an iPod: Being second to market can be a good thing because you can make innovations based on the original innovation (first to market). One of the coolest features of the Zune is that if there is another Zune user in your general area you can swap music with them by wifi directly from unit to unit. I love the idea of this but haven’t tried it since I don’t know anyone else who has a Zune . Another cool thing is the Zune “marketplace” (their iTunes store) because if I search to buy music from a specific artist it will not only tell me whatthey have for sale but will also remind me what music I already own in my collection via a split screen. This is helpful and a small thing that goes a long way.

Reasons it isn’t better then an iPod: This is a very personal opinion but since it is my blog I am comfortable giving it to you. For me, the best thing about the iPod are podcasts. My iPod currently has 109 podcasts on it and no music. Zune does play podcasts but you need to download them yourself and unless you set up a pod catcher of some kind you will not get all the casts automatically like you can with the iTunes player.

Final Thoughts: I think the Zune is great!

Final Thoughts elaborated: I have to wonder if the Zune will catch on because of the fact that iPods are so in trenched in people’s mind as “the” mp3 player to have an hold. The iPod is a transformative device and while the Zune has some cool features that make it cool but like video phones, it wont matter if the player can trade music with one another if all your friends don’t make the switch and I just don’t think it is transformative enough. Are these features special enough to make people pick up a Zune instead of an iPod? I am not sure but I can tell you that I am now carrying both units. The Zune for Music and my iPod for Podcasts.

Final Final Thoughts: I hope people take a look at the Zune because it is very good but I got to say I am surprised that it has been available in Canada for about a week and I haven’t seen any press or really any mention at all about it. Maybe this blog post will start a wave of positive Zune comments.

  1. The Zune needs to up the ante. Right now, at least in my opinion, they are competing against the ipod. They need to do something different to separate themselves from Apple. Apple is a lifestyle brand. Microsoft being in too many markets hurts them. They need to have a focus.

    Hope you’re enjoying the Zune and you don’t drop it 🙂

  2. saul, i like my zune too…

    the only thing that bugs me is they haven’t listed my podcast at the zune marketplace, and the selection process seems very arbitrary.

  3. @John – The podcast thing is almost a deal breaker for me…and I noticed your’s wasn’t listed 🙁

    @Chris – It does need something more to change peoples minds. I think a 3d holographic something or other would do it!

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