Posts filed under “Technology”

iPod, Sansa, Zune

SansaOf all the portable media players I have used (and thats lots), none compares very favorably to the iPod. 

But as of late, the gap between them is closing:

Today, long time Apple buff David Pogue gave a pretty nice review to the Zune. And I’ve spoken to many Sansa users who are very happy with that as their musical gadget of choice.

Its funny to me that Apple spent so many years as the oddball, anti-establishment PC. Now, Steve Jobs has become THE MAN, and other mainstream companies like Sandisk and Microsoft  have become the plucky contrarian device makers.

Its somewhat amusing.

Today’s NYT had two articles about burgeoning iPod comptitors:  The new SanDisk Sansa View, and the revised Microsoft 2nd Generation Zune.

The Times noted the new SanDisk Sansa View compares favorably to the iPod Nano from Apple, at least on paper:

The View comes in 8-gigabyte ($150) and 16-gigabyte ($200) versions, while the Nano has 4 gigabytes ($150) or 8 gigabytes ($200). The View has a 2.4-inch screen as opposed to a 2-inch screen on the Nano. SanDisk claims 35 hours of audio and 7 hours of video playback on a single charge; the Nano claims 24 and 5. The View has a built-in FM radio; the Nano requires a $25 accessory for radio play.

And there’s more. The Nano’s storage capacity can’t be expanded, while the View can add as many as 8 gigabytes using a MicroSD card. The View is bigger than the Nano, about the size of an open slider phone, weighing in at 2.9 ounces compared with the Nano’s 1.74 ounces. In this case, bigger may actually be better"

Zune And then Pogue’s review of the Zune was not too bad either:

"You can navigate the Zune’s bright, clear, animated software by
clicking the dial at any of its four compass points; select something
by clicking the center; and — here’s the twist — scroll through lists
by rubbing the pad’s face. Music-player companies have struggled for
years to come up with a controller as good as the iPod’s click wheel;
Microsoft, in Zune 2.0, has finally done it.  The sound quality is very good, especially if you use the 80-gig
Zune’s included earbuds. They’re not hard disks like the iPod’s and
those of the smaller Zunes; they’re soft rubber bulbs that snuggle
securely into your ear canals, sealing out the outside world. . . The 80-gig Zune is still thicker and chunkier
than its iPod rival, too."

Ipod_classic Me? I’m still an iPod guy:

Here are some of the iPod features that the Zune lacks: Games, alarm
clock, stopwatch, world clock, password-protected volume limiter,
graphic equalizer, notepad, auto-synched copy of your computer’s
calendar and address book, and Disk Mode, which lets an iPod serve as
an external drive for carrying around computer files. Above all, you may miss that thriving virtual bazaar of iPod
accessories: more than 3,000 stereo docks, cases, car adapters, and so
on, compared with only a handful for the Zune. Here are some of the iTunes software features missing in the Zune’s
software: Smart Playlists, which assemble groups of songs based on
criteria that you specify (“80’s up-tempo songs I haven’t heard in
three months”), choice of visualizers (screen-saver effects that dance
to the music), closed captioning for videos and TV, Cover Flow view,
and a graphic equalizer. The Zune store is missing a lot of iPod features, too: TV shows,
movies, audio books, monthly allowances and comprehensible pricing."

Sources:
A Portable Multimedia Player Takes on the Apple Nano
STEPHEN C. MILLER
NYT, November 29, 2007
http://www.nytimes.com/2007/11/29/technology/personaltech/29view.html

Microsoft Challenges the iPod (Again)   
DAVID POGUE
NYT, November 29, 2007
http://www.nytimes.com/2007/11/29/technology/personaltech/29pogue.html

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