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

iPod versus Zune comparison chart
Edit this comparison chartiPodZune
  • current rating is 3.47/5
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(342 ratings)
  • current rating is 3.31/5
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(103 ratings)
Price Shuffle-$49, Nano-$129-$149, iPod classic $249, iPod Touch - $199-$399 $150 (4GB), $200 (8GB), $250 (80GB), $249 (30GB when introduced).
OS Compatibility MAC, PC PC
Colors Shuffle & Nano-Grey, Pink, Green, Blue, Orange, Red (Nano only), iPod and U2- White, Black White, Black, Brown (discontinued), Baby Pink
Other products Shuffle, Nano, iPod, U2 iPod None
Audio Format mp4, wav, mp3, aac, m4a (iTunes protected), Apple Lossless mp3, mp4, aac, wma
Photo Format jpeg, bmp jpeg
Video Format mpeg-4, h.264, m4v (iTunes protected) wmv, mpeg-4 , h.264 , divx(with hack)
Vendor Apple Microsoft
Battery Life Shuffle-12hrs , Nano-24hrs , U2&iPod- 14hrs 14hrs
FM Radio No Yes
Unit sold (H1 2007) 20.35 million 1.2 million

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.


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