Feeds
75%
Microsoft Zune music player

Microsoft Zune wireless music player

Microsoft attempts to win over the iPod-infatuated

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Intelligent flash storage arrays

One feature the Zune offers above other players is wireless music sharing via built-in Wi-Fi. Find someone else with a Zune and you can swap tracks with them without the need to hook either player up to a PC. It's extremely fast too - transferring an album of 12 tracks took less than one minute 30 seconds.

Microsoft Zune Marketplace

However, music sharing this way is not without its (deliberate) limitations, the main one being that transferred tracks can only be played three times for up to three days, after which the tracks are rendered useless. You can even share some subscription tracks, although it's up to the record label whether it allows this or not and you won't know whether you can share a track until you try and send it to another Zune.

Microsoft Zune Marketplace

Size-wise the Zune is a little bulky, especially when compared to an iPod, which is much thinner. It's only currently available with a 30GB storage capacity and battery life is only around 13 hours - again, the iPod does better on both counts. I also experienced issues with the build quality of the unit - the Hold switch at the top was easy to detach, although this could be a specific problem with my unit.

Verdict

The Zune is a very good debut with great features, such as the large screen for video and the wireless music-sharing capability. It's also reasonably priced compared to its fruit-branded rival. It still has some way to go, though, if it wants to take a significant amount of market share away from the iPod: the restrictions on shared music need to be relaxed and build quality could be improved.

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

75%
Microsoft Zune music player

Microsoft Zune wireless music player

A good portable music player with a couple of novel features, but it's not an iPod killer yet...
Price: $250 (£130/€192) RRP

More from The Register

next story
Official: European members prefer to fondle Apple iPads
Only 7 of 50 parliamentarians plump for Samsung Galaxy S
Fujitsu CTO: We'll be 3D-printing tech execs in 15 years
Fleshy techie disses network neutrality, helmet-less motorcyclists
Space Commanders rebel as Elite:Dangerous kills offline mode
Frontier cops an epic kicking in its own forums ahead of December revival
Intel's LAME DUCK mobile chips gobbled by CASH COW
Chipzilla won't have money-losing mobe unit to kick about anymore
prev story

Whitepapers

Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
5 critical considerations for enterprise cloud backup
Key considerations when evaluating cloud backup solutions to ensure adequate protection security and availability of enterprise data.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
How to simplify SSL certificate management
Simple steps to take control of SSL certificates across the enterprise, and recommendations centralizing certificate management throughout their lifecycle.