December 4th, 2007

There is an incredibly thorough point-by-point comparison between the iPod and Zune 8GB flash players just published at RoughlyDrafted. While the author is recognizably Apple-biased, the review is nevertheless devastating against the Zune (even if you discount for bias), pointing out its flaws and shortcomings in rather gory detail.

One point that I had not been aware of: the depth of the Zune’s WiFi shortcomings. Zune’s WiFi has two features: user-to-user sharing, and wireless syncing. User-to-user sharing has always been an obvious flop; there are too few users, too few real-life opportunities to share even when in the presence of other users, and DRM limitations which make it far less likely that people will share.

Wireless syncing, however, sounded at least partly useful, though I have never been too hot about it. After all, you have to plug in your player almost every day anyway just to charge it up. Wireless syncing would only be useful in limited situations, such as when you get new music on your computer and don’t want to wait for the next charge-up to sync it.

Details in the review, however, completely blew away my illusion that this feature might be even partially useful. Apparently, while it is possible to sync wirelessly, most “wireless” syncing situations demand that a cable of some sort be attached–either a USB cable or a power cable–else the battery gets drained too fast. In which case you need to re-charge anyway. And if you’re going to plug in, then what the hell is the use of WiFi, especially when it is much slower than a direct link?

In short, just that one piece of information shattered one of the few potential advantages of the Zune. Not that this surprises me at all, but the whole article clarifies rather potently the chasm of quality between the two players.

Categories: Gadgets & Toys, Mac News Tags: by
Comments are closed.