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QOTD: Which is Your Next PMP: iPod, Zune, Other?

By , Jane McEntegart, Tuan Nguyen - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 12 comments

Today Microsoft finally took the wraps off of its next generation Zune hardware. The Zune HD is bigger, better and more impressive in every way than any Zune before it. In fact, some might say that it’s the most attractive music/media player yet with its HD radio and HD video output.

With an accelerometer and web browser via Wi-Fi, it’s providing serious competition for anyone in the market for an iPod Touch. Music players are now becoming so much more than just things that serve your MP3s, providing yet more deciding factors on which one will get your dollars.

The Question of the Day is: Which portable media player is most likely to be your next purchase?

It doesn’t have to be limited to a Zune or iPod, as clearly spending hundreds of dollars on a music player may not be music to everyone’s ears. Hah.

Marcus: I’ve never owned an iPod or a Zune. For my portable music needs, I’ve been using a very modest and trusty Sony NW-E99 (with only 1 GB!) for years as it does what I need it to do – play music. But if I had take a leap into the modern era of PMPs, the Zune HD intrigues me the most. It’s not the music aspect of it (though the ZunePass does sound like a very sensible option) but rather the HD video out and possible integration with the Xbox.

Jane: I've said it twice before (and I'll probably keep saying it), if Microsoft added a phone to the mix, I'd be all over the Zune HD like a wet towel. At the moment I use an iPod Nano because it pairs with Nike+, which I'd be completely lost without. Unfortunately that means I have to stick with either the iPod Nano or the iTouch for my PMP needs. Unless of course, someone wants to buy me another PMP, in which case I'd go for the Zune HD, just for the sake of it. I'm always interested in trying out new gadgets.

Tuan: I don't have an iPod or Zune either. I have an iPhone but I don't even use it for music listening. I never find myself listening to music while walking around somewhere. And when I'm in my car I have the car stereo playing. At home, I have the home audio system playing. I remember owning the Diamond Rio, which was basically the first mainstream portable MP3 player. It was pretty crappy in terms of quality, but it was cutting edge for its day. I didn't buy anymore portable media players after that one!

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  • 0 Hide
    the Innocent , 28 May 2009 11:26
    I have 3 year old 5th Gen iPod. I love it but its time to up grade i am waiting on the 32GB Touch to come down a bit in price before i jump in. That Zune HD doesn't work with iTunes which i have been using long before i got my iPod on my PC.
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    tinnerdxp , 28 May 2009 14:58
    SanDisk Sansa® Fuze™ 8GB - Good battery life, good screen, great sound, easy navigation, OGG support, Video support, easily expandable with SDHC cards... Oh... and most importantly - not made by apple - so I can just drag and drop files on it, use it as a harddrive without any drivers on any OS, it doesn't "loose" music as it sometimes happens on ipod nanos, and I can connect ANY headphones to it... And I don't need to use software that does slow down the whole computer or requires few copies of your music on your hardware or requires you to "sync" your music - and all that for £64 :)  Ohhh and best of all - when you add a mem card it - it just "adds up" to the total capacity - no need of switching anything in the software/hardware... Check it out:
  • 0 Hide
    the Innocent , 28 May 2009 15:43
    Drag and Drop is nice in theory but when you managing 5000 songs not the best idea
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  • 0 Hide
    waxdart , 28 May 2009 17:05
    My last player was made by Cowon. It's lasted for years. My next one will be a Cowon too if they have a good product when I'm looking.
    The most important thing for me is long battery life.
  • 0 Hide
    kayzee , 28 May 2009 17:39
    Never owned an MP3 player as such, and never will. But this is because I've only ever had Walkman phones... due an upgrade next month and I'm looking at the W995. 8Gb will do me just fine :) 
  • 0 Hide
    tinnerdxp , 28 May 2009 17:43
    DnD is a bless if you prefer organizing your music on the hdd (and then play it from a normal player that is quick and efficient - and not a beast like itunes. I store all my music on the server connected 24/7 to the internet so I can stream the music from work or anywhere else (and share it with my mates) if I cannot use Fuze for any reason. The key thing is whenever I or my mates get new music, we just put it in one place, drag and drop to our players - job done. No need to wait for itunes to sync it, no worries if someone has deleted a track on their's players, it is a shared library across multiple users, and streaming... And I tend to delete the music from the player if I don't like it but that does not delete it from the server so if I want to get back to it - I still can. Main reason why I hate the way ipods store their files is that you cannot do much with them without itunes (or other software)... So it's pretty much useless when you just want to quickly add something... Let's say you are at work, you cannot install itunes (GPO policy or using Linux) and then you connect it to the computer and....... you see a lot of silly files in silly folders that do not resemble anything you see in your playlists - I just see folders and files. Another good thing is that it just plays whatever I throw at it... OGG, MP3, MP4, WMA - no conversion needed. Just upload with the speed of USB2.0 in the folder you want... and listen to it - it will pick up the relevant ID3 tags and sort accordingly. You want an album cover? put a jpg in the folder. Job done - nice and easy. Anyway - choice is yours and I am shutting up - didn't mean to advertise the product... sorry guys.
  • 0 Hide
    Clintonio , 28 May 2009 19:34
    I have a Creative Zen Stone (black) at 2GB. Gonna upgrade to a Creative Zen 4GB soon (not a stone though). I'd possibly buy the Zune if it was out at the time. I won't be buying an iPod.
  • 0 Hide
    b3n , 28 May 2009 21:08
    I'm considering getting a Zune HD - it has an OLED screen!

    And it will be even more awesome if it can play games from Xbox Live Arcade.

    The only concern I have is that the resolution might be too small. Oh and the price of course, heh.
  • 0 Hide
    superhans , 28 May 2009 22:41
    The zune HD does sound pretty sexy, but right now I'm ok with my Sony NWZA818 (or something like that)
  • 0 Hide
    Nick_C , 29 May 2009 02:36
    Ditto the ease of use and benefits of the Sansa Fuze. Also, it plays OGG and more importantly FLAC. 8GB internal storage and a 16GB microSDHC card gime my Fuze 8GB.

    My next player will also allow expansion and will play FLAC.
  • 0 Hide
    Nick_C , 29 May 2009 02:58
    Can't count - it's 24GB, obviously....
  • 0 Hide
    tstebbens , 29 May 2009 22:03
    None. My current MP3 players do everything I need.

    I have a Creative Zen:M Vision 60GB for the car and an O2 XDA Orbit 2 phone with 32GB for when I'm out and about. Once I get the BT enabled head unit for the car I'll get rid of the Zen and just use the phone.

    Used Apple products before and I won't do that again. You pay too much for too few features and they artificially restrict the way you use them. iTunes sucks too.