Randomville

Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
GigaBook.com
Advanced search  

News:

Pages: 1 [2]   Go Down

Author Topic: Microsoft goes after iPod  (Read 4978 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

bluebastard

  • City Elder
  • Posts: 441
  • No more Wilco
    • portfolio
Microsoft goes after iPod
« Reply #15 on: November 13, 2006, 02:35:17 PM »

I'm waiting for my review copy of the Zune but I'm happy just to get a mp3 player for free. I've been fighting the temptation to break down and buy an iPod but now Microsoft is sending me a Zune just for a review. I haven't heard great things, but honestly all I need is a device that plays music to make me happy. I'm sure I'll be a lot harder on it in my reviews, but to me the most important thing is that the battery life is good (and it's much better than iPod according to most reports), the clarity is solid, and the interface isn't confusing. I think for most people looking for something to play music, it'll pass easily. For those looking for the differences and improvements upon Apple's mainstay will probably be disappointed.
Logged

rva

  • Guest
Microsoft goes after iPod
« Reply #16 on: November 13, 2006, 02:46:42 PM »

I heard the battery life was actually worse?  I also heard the initial Zune's are just Toshiba Gigabeats, which are supposed to be pretty decent.
Logged

rva

  • Guest
Microsoft goes after iPod
« Reply #17 on: November 13, 2006, 03:09:16 PM »

Quote from: "Marlowe"
first, why the hell would microsoft create an entirely new player system to use with zune instead of interfacing with WMP? microsoft finally has a good product with the latest mp, and they go and create a new thing for zune? makes no sense.


I'm not sure, but the whole DRM integration must be a huge pain in the ass to try to incorporate into an existing (arguably already bloated) player.  I'm actually kind of in favor of them not integrating it with WMP.  There's a lot of WMP users who have no intention of getting Zune, so why bloat up their experience running a bunch of processes and connections?  It really bugs me that iTunes runs that stupid iPodhelper thing on startup.

Overall, I agree with your initial impression.  The Zune isn't as good as iPod, but it has some neat features that could put it over the top in later versions.  The wifi thing, for example, is almost completely useless as it stands but the technology is there in case the labels ever decide to take the shackles off.

The big mistake MS made is that music blocks thing sucks and also not figuring out a way to be compatible with PlaysForSure-- essentially screwing over their most loyal customers.  I imagine they'll figure out a conversion for that.
Logged

Doug

  • Guest
Microsoft goes after iPod
« Reply #18 on: November 13, 2006, 04:01:14 PM »

bleh.
Logged

Marlowe

  • foppish twit
  • City Elder
  • Posts: 1,007
Microsoft goes after iPod
« Reply #19 on: November 13, 2006, 07:30:22 PM »

Quote from: "rva"
Quote from: "Marlowe"
?  It really bugs me that iTunes runs that stupid iPodhelper thing on startup.

yeah that's a valid point. i've been limping along with my 4.5-year old PC  waiting to replace it with vista/dual-core, so literally every stupid-arsed program that's running in the background causes my system to slow down, and i get super-annoyed at that one in particular.

anyway, i'm hopeful (and actually pretty confident) that zune 2.0 will up the ante and we'll get some good competition in the near future.
Logged

Docta

  • Tourist
  • Posts: 136
    • http://www.thestockmans.net
Microsoft goes after iPod
« Reply #20 on: November 13, 2006, 07:40:38 PM »

microsoft's standard playbook, take an existing extablished technology, add some features and refine it, then use their market power to get tons of consumers to buy it.  

apple will again go on make the next major innovation, something with a design people will melt over and everyone will just "need" to have.
Logged

rva

  • Guest
Microsoft goes after iPod
« Reply #21 on: November 13, 2006, 09:42:29 PM »

I dunno.  I'd say that Apple's strength isn't so much technical innovation but melding hi-tech with good design and making it useful to the average consumer.

It's not that Apple products aren't powerful, but aside from maybe video/graphics/audio types, the average Apple user is not that techy.  They're people that  enjoy learning new things but not computer types.  Their strength is in designing products that are aesthetically pleasing,  intuitive and customizable.

Their most successful products have taken geek-core and brought it to the masses.  OSX is a good example.  It's someone else's operating system wrapped in a very nice GUI that makes it easy for non-techies to use.  iPod wasn't the first .mp3 player.  Airport Express is just a wireless router with some audio hardware built in.  That's not to belittle Apple's achievements.  At their best their geniuses at that niche, and it's an important one.

To me, MS (at least over the last 10 years or so) has been the company that looks to innovation.  That whole Active Desktop thing (which sucked) is really the forerunner to todays RSS/XML feed and dashboard/widget.  MS tends to either tryin to roll out something too early to make a big splash-- usually with poor execution and ruining it-- or if they are beaten to the punch they dig their heels in and say it's no good.

I think the Zune could be another example of it.  The wifi capability of the Zune is pretty cool, and there's some other neat stuff but overall it doesn't appear to be that well thought-out.  The Apple of old would sit back and learn from Zune's failures and in six months roll out something much better.

I'm just not sure Apple's still into that.  They seem to be promoting the iTunes music store and trying to acquire content instead of improving the iPod, which to me has somewhat stagnated.  And it seems to have taken them an awful long time to add features that consumers really want (AAC plus, gapless playback) that really aren't new technology anymore.  That used to be their forte.  iTunes 7 angered a lot of loyal Apple people.

IMHO, Apple faces a real challenge with the iPod.  The barriers they face in improving the iPod aren't so much in the design area which is their forte, but in the legal arena.  Most of the stuff that would make the iPod a lot cooler can't be done without labels worrying about copyright violation.

If I were Apple, I'd focus on the non-.mp3 portions of iPod.  Add wifi and put a little mini-browser in there so people can DL directly from iTunes to iPod and that would also let them catch up on scores and news and get screen savers and play little games like you can on cell phones.  What if you could download ESPN video "podcasts" and watch them from your iPod?  Also improve the PDA functions of it so that it becomes not just an .mp3 player but useful electronic tool in and of itself.
Logged

bluebastard

  • City Elder
  • Posts: 441
  • No more Wilco
    • portfolio
Microsoft goes after iPod
« Reply #22 on: November 14, 2006, 06:23:28 PM »

Quote from: "rva"
I heard the battery life was actually worse?  I also heard the initial Zune's are just Toshiba Gigabeats, which are supposed to be pretty decent.


Nah, just rumors.

I don't think the Zune will succeed in the ways Microsoft will want it to, but they still could turn their music store into something to compete with Apple's music store. They have a lot more musical ins than Apple and have burnt a lot less bridges. And if Microsoft goes after say, the Beatles canon, they've just created a lot more customers.

Plus, the Zune is being measured up to the iPod of now, not the first generation of iPods, and while the Zune shouldn't be that low or primal, Microsoft doesn't have the wealth of experience as well as trial and error of Apple. Not to mention Apple still makes dumb moves. You can buy a 30 GB iPod for the same cost as an 8 GB Nano--who made that pricing structure?
Logged
Pages: 1 [2]   Go Up