The iPod (from Apple Inc.) and the Zune (from Microsoft) are both sleek, portable digital music players.

While Microsoft had originally introduced a 30GB Zune, they announced a new slate of Zunes on Oct 2, 2007 including $150 4GB and $200 8GB flash-based players, and a $250 80GB model that's slimmer than the original Zune.

Microsoft also announced the launch of a social networking website - Zune Social - to encourage the sharing of samples of songs online, even for fans who do not own a Zune player. Members of the network will also be able to use a small application on their computers to display which songs they have been listening to, and that information can be posted on certain Web sites outside the network or sent by e-mail to friends.

Comparison chart

Zune versus iPod comparison chart
Edit this comparison chartZuneiPod
  • current rating is 3.35/5
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(99 ratings)
  • current rating is 3.44/5
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ZuneiPod
Price $150 (4GB), $200 (8GB), $250 (80GB), $249 (30GB when introduced). Shuffle-$49, Nano-$129-$149, iPod classic $249, iPod Touch - $199-$399
OS Compatibility PC MAC, PC
Colors White, Black, Brown (discontinued), Baby Pink Shuffle & Nano-Grey, Pink, Green, Blue, Orange, Red (Nano only), iPod and U2- White, Black
Other products None Shuffle, Nano, iPod, U2 iPod
Audio Format mp3, mp4, aac, wma mp4, wav, mp3, aac, m4a (iTunes protected), Apple Lossless
Photo Format jpeg jpeg, bmp
Video Format wmv, mpeg-4 , h.264 , divx(with hack) mpeg-4, h.264, m4v (iTunes protected)
Vendor Microsoft Apple
Battery Life 14hrs Shuffle-12hrs , Nano-24hrs , U2&iPod- 14hrs
FM Radio Yes No
Unit sold (H1 2007) 1.2 million 20.35 million

Manufacturer

Zune is manufactured by Microsoft. iPod is manufactured by Apple Inc.

Music Sharing

One of the big pluses of the Zune is that it is WiFi enabled and allows users to share songs with other Zune-owners. In the original Zune, and the Zune Marketplace (similar to the iTunes store), the songs were copy-protected with DRM. Microsoft is now offering the DRM-free songs that can be shared by Zune owners unlimited number of times. However, a song downloaded to the Zune through this feature can be played only 3 times.

Price

Current prices for different models of Zune and iPod can be found on Amazon.com.

PCMag video explaining the difference

References

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