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.
|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)|
|Battery Life||14hrs||Shuffle-12hrs , Nano-24hrs , U2&iPod- 14hrs|
|Unit sold (H1 2007)||1.2 million||20.35 million|
Zune is manufactured by Microsoft. iPod is manufactured by Apple Inc.
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.
Current prices for different models of Zune and iPod can be found on Amazon.com.
PCMag video explaining the difference