Daniel Eran Dilger
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  • Fire

    It’s ironic that Dan lambasted the flash Zune in his “review” for having confusing controls when playing videos in landscape mode. It’s even more befuddling on the iPod Nano which has controls *printed* on the click-wheel.

  • http://www.roughlydrafted.com danieleran

    @Fire: did you even read the review? I complained that when you tilted it sideways, the squircle control changes its orientation but the separate play and pause controls do not, making the interface inconsistent and clumsy.

    I haven’t yet reviewed the 4G Nano, but it has neither the separate buttons nor does it flip the behavior of the click wheel when held sideways. The click wheel is also clearly labeled. So there’s no overlap.

    Apple 1: Microsoft 0

  • beanie

    Wow, Microsoft has foresight. Apple copied last years Flash Zune form-factor. Apple also reduced hard drive from 160GB to 120GB. Apple could have increased to 320GB, but they went backwards. It just happens that Microsoft increased to 120GB. So both Apple and Microsoft have similar form-factors and storage and probably prices as well.

    I give a point to Microsoft for their soon to be released Zune firmware update next week. For 2008, Microsoft concentrated on compealing new services.

    Zune will allow tagging an FM radio song a user is listening to so she can download it using Wi-Fi or PC.

    Zune now has Wi-Fi over-the-air access to Zune Marketplace. With a subscription, you can listen to all you want.

    Zune to Cloud seems interesting.

  • Brau

    I gotta admit I’m surprised at the form factor. It is too much like the Zune.

    I really thought it’d be something like the Touch, only smaller and using the GUI based click wheel Apple patented a while back. I thought they’d leverage at least something new in the way of wireless networking/syncing, perhaps like the “Simplify” app on the iPhone meaning your HD space would open up by negating the need to have all your music on it. Apple could also have made this a “killer” device by adding in 3G or WiFi VOIP (ah, dream on!)

    Shaking it to shuffle a song – a gimmick that soon will wear thin.

    The Genius feature? Well, I want that as much as having a salesman around harassing me to buy this song or that one. It’s little more than marketing software trying to find a plausible reason to exist. I find tagging radio broadcasts a much more useful feature.

    The addition of games are a big drawing card and we’ll have to wait to see if that’s enough to make it sell well. I can’t understand why a gamer would not opt for a Touch though; hard to play what you can barely see.

    All-in-all, I think this will be the last of the classic iPod w/clickwheel format. Soon there will be a plethora of Touch/iPhone styled devices in all price ranges.

  • http://johnsessays.blogspot.com John Muir

    @Brau
    Indeed. “Classic” = on life support. When they stop selling enough of them to justify the production space, they’re getting dropped.

    Of course, there is one complication: the iPod Classic’s drive is also the default drive in the MacBook Air. Either the Air will be bumped to 120 GB soon too (I assume it shares drives with the “thin” Classic) or goes Sata like every other Mac. Sata, incidentally, is where all the SSD’s are besides the Air’s.

    @beanie

    Thanks for the laugh. I’m sure Apple just threw the whole iPod legacy away into the Zune’s willing maw with yesterday’s shocking announcements. ;)

  • Tardis

    I didn’t get to the Apple Store in Ginza today, but nearby Bic Camera already had the full new iPod line-up on display for immediate sale. I had to fight through several layers of buyers, mostly girls, to see the G4 iPod Nano. Pictures don’t do it justice, the elliptical shape makes it look and feel much smaller than the similar-sized G2 Nano. The added functionality, such as music video or games when you rotate it, makes it so much more amazing when you hold it in your hand.

    If I was a real Apple Fanboi, I would probably buy all seven, one to match each of my suits, but I’m not. The built-in Nike Plus module, however, might make me buy one just for running.

  • http://johnsessays.blogspot.com John Muir

    @Tardis

    The built in Nike+ feature is in the new iPod touch, not the new iPod nano, far as I’ve heard.

    Yoink!

  • Tardis

    John Muir:

    Sorry, I have an old-style iPod and an old RAZR phone. I could get a new iPhone, and possibly also get a new iPod Touch, but do you think my wife would ever want me to get both? If it was an iPhone and an iPod Nano, I just might get away with it.

    Meanwhile, I would just have to borrow her Nike+

  • http://johnsessays.blogspot.com John Muir

    If you’re considering an iPhone, the iPod touch becomes unreasonable pretty quick. They’re really, really tasty for those of us who can’t get iPhones (for whatever reasons mostly beyond Apple’s control) but side by side: the iPod touch and iPhone are almost identical.

    Borrowing the wife’s Nike+ until she gets frustrated and swipes either a new iPod touch or nano and Nike+ for herself seems the best strategy. ;)

  • http://homepage.mac.com/lunaticsx/ LunaticSX

    @beanie

    “Apple copied last years Flash Zune form-factor.”

    And it could be easily argued that last year’s Flash Zune copied the previous Nano form factors. The new Nano bears a lot more in common with the 2nd gen Nano. The only thing it really has in common with the Flash Zune is the portrait orientation of the screen.

    “Zune will allow tagging an FM radio song a user is listening to so she can download it using Wi-Fi or PC.”

    FM radio is so dead. They just don’t know it yet. See: Pandora, Last.fm, and AOL Radio, which are available as apps on the iPhone (or iPod Touch while in range of WiFi). There’s also the Shazam app for the iPhone (not sure if it’ll work with a microphone plugged into the 2nd gen iPod Touch), which isn’t limited to just the 450 radio stations that the Zune tagging can work with. So it’s great if you hear a song you like in a bar, club, TV, etc. All of these work wherever you are in the world, too.

    Of course, the Zune is still only available in the U.S. and Canada anyway…

    Now, if you MUST have your FM, the new iPod Nanos and 120 GB iPod Classic still work with the iPod Radio Remote. (I checked. Though I had to dig to find it on the Apple Store website. Doesn’t appear to be one of the best sellers there. Quelle surprise.)

    “Zune now has Wi-Fi over-the-air access to Zune Marketplace. With a subscription, you can listen to all you want.”

    Probably three quarters of the public Wi-Fi I encounter on my iPhone is locked down. About half of the remaining “open” ones force you to load a web page and enter a code or even just click a button to agree to the terms of using their WiFi. The iPhone and iPod Touch can handle all of these, since they have full browsers built in. The Zune can’t.

    Can you even have a secure Wi-Fi network at home and still access it with a Zune? Or do you have to make it open to anyone? (It wouldn’t be too surprising if Microsoft’s answer to being able to access your home Wi-Fi on a Zune is to turn off its security…) A quick check of the Zone articles on Wikipedia gives no mention of the Zune being able to access secure Wi-Fi.

    And: When are people going to give up on touting subscriptions? Subscription music has universally failed. The iTunes Store clearly shows that the vast majority of people want per-song purchasing.

    It’s like how some people claim that what Apple needs to do now is enter the low-end commodity PC market. As if Apple isn’t fully successful with their current strategy, exceeding the growth of all other PC makers.

    Yeah, like the iTunes Store isn’t successful enough selling music with its current strategy, so it needs a subscription model to combat all those OTHER highly successful subscription-based online music stores that are nipping at its heels. I’m sure Apple is quaking in fear. :)

  • nat

    @LunaticSX,

    You’re right on pretty much everything about the Zune. On the Zune’s WiFi functionality, however, while you are correct about random secured hotspots being inaccessible due to the Zune’s lack of a web browser, you can use the Zune on a secured home WiFi network using software that comes with the device. Not defending it, nor do I have personal experience with it, just saying. ;)

  • http://homepage.mac.com/lunaticsx/ LunaticSX

    So presumably to get a Zune to access secure Wi-Fi you have to load up the software on a PC, choose the network you want to access, enter the password, and then update the Zune from the PC in order to get the password into it?

    So if you go over to a friend’s house or a cafe and their Wi-Fi is secure, even if they tell you the password you won’t be able to use it? I suppose you could write it down and go home, enter it into your Zune PC software, and update your Zune. Except the Zune software on your PC won’t be in range of that Wi-Fi network, so it probably won’t let you (how else is it going to know what Wi-Fi network you’re giving it a password for?).

    I suppose you could bring your laptop and plug your Zune into it, but if you’re lugging your laptop around just to allow your Zune to access secure Wi-Fi it kinda defeats the purpose of accessing that Wi-Fi on the Zune, doesn’t it?

    Silly. Even an Apple TV can access secure Wi-Fi, and its remote control has about the same number of buttons on it as a Zune. You’re not expected to have to go through an additional web page authentication step on an Apple TV, though, as you often have to do at public Wi-Fi hotspots. So even if the Zune got an Apple TV-style method of entering passwords for secure Wi-Fi, it’d still be stymied by about half the “open” public Wi-Fi out in the world.

    And some people might wonder why Apple hasn’t added Wi-Fi to the iPod Classic and Nano, when it’s clearly such a pain in the ass to access properly without a full web browser like Mobile Safari on the iPhone and iPod Touch.

  • nat

    @LunaticSX,

    A lot of good points. I mean it’s just comical that this new buy over WiFi functionality for the Zune is even considered a feature. :D It would be like Apple requiring iTunes to be installed on the computer connected to the secured WiFi access point and then expecting iPod nano and iPod classic users to sync with that computer, which would force all the coffee shops and such to install iTunes and manage such a labyrinthian process. :D

    How many more non-features can MS get out of the Zune’s built-in WiFi functionality?