Five Reasons To Reconsider The Microsoft ZuneOct 3rd, 2007 | By James Lewin | Category: Digital Music, iPods & Portable Media Players
Here are five reasons to take a second look at the Zune:
- The Zune’s WiFi features are starting to get useful. Zune devices can now automatically sync over your home wireless network. In a nutshell – Microsoft is delivering the wireless capabilities that portable media owners want, including the ability to sync up podcasts wirelessly. The Zune syncs wirelessly with your local computer, so that you can use it as part of a home music system, without hooking it to your computer, and still have current content to take with you. You can also share songs, pictures and podcasts wirelessly. The Zunes will be able to do some things that Apple’s $400 iPhones and iPod touches can’t do.
- The Zune has podcast support. One of the big downsides to the Zune platform has been its lack of podcast support. That’s changing with the second generation of the Zune platform. While the Zune’s directory of podcasts is limited to about 1,000 podcasts, about 1/100th of the number in Apple’s iTunes podcast directory, it’s an important start and opens up the Zune to a world of free content.
- The Zune lets you take TV with you. The Zune software can now automatically import broadcast content recorded on Microsoft Windows Media Center for Windows Vista Home Premium or Ultimate, so you can sync TV shows onto your Zune media player and watch them when you‚Äôre out and about.
- New Zunes are compatible with old accessories. Apple is continually breaking compatibility with old accessories, to the point that some have speculated that it’s using this as a way of generating more income from Made for iPod accessories. The new Zunes are compatible with old accessories, and new Zune accessories will work with first-generation Zunes. While this approach may be a necessity for Microsoft, since there aren’t many accessories yet in the Zune ecosystem, it’s an approach that owners will appreciate.
- Old Zunes get new features. Microsoft is also rolling out the new features to first generation Zune owners. Apple typically only delivers new features to its latest iPods. Yep – the Zune guy will finally get his reward for supporting the weak first generation Zune platform.
There are still a lot of reasons to stick with iPods, including a more mature platform, more advanced hardware, better podcast support, a larger library of music and more accessories, but Microsoft’s updates make the Zune worthy of reconsideration.