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From OLED to Tegra: Five Myths of the Zune HD

post #1 of 582
Thread Starter 
Just when you thought Microsoft had given up on the Zune as a product and had retreated to referring to it as a nebulous cloud of conceptual features, the company comes out with a new device supporting a mobile-optimized OLED screen, a wildly powerful yet super efficient new multi-core Tegra graphics processor and support for high definition radio. The problem is that none of those things are actually true.

With the Zune HD, Microsoft has dusted off its failed brand and applied it to a new device aimed at the iPod touch. To distinguish it, the company has added several new features. Unfortunately, as was the case with previous models, what Microsoft has added is all sizzle and no steak. Here's why.

Myth 1: OLED is a great display technology for mobile devices

First off, Microsoft gave the Zune HD a new OLED display. OLED is an interesting new technology that uses a layer of electroluminescent organic compounds, rather than the inorganic materials used in traditional LCDs, to produce an image. OLED panels don't require a backlight, so they can render true blacks and provide a higher contrast ratio.

However, today's OLED panels are much dimmer than standard issue LCDs: a typical maximum output of 200cd/m^2 compared to around 4-500 for mid-range LCDs. OLED also performs considerably worse in bright light because OLED is 100% emissive rather than being partially transflective.

A good quality LCD actually uses ambient light to make its image brighter and more vibrant; OLED does not. This means when you take it outside, the OLED's screen is completely washed out by sunlight. Unless you only plan to use your mobile device in your dark basement, you don't want one of today's OLED screens, particularly on a mobile media player that you might expect to use on the go in various environments.

A shot in the dark

Microsoft knows this, which is why it only demonstrates the Zune HD in dark rooms. Engadget filmed a full demonstration, including the device's incapacity to pull up a web page, in a suspiciously dark room without even noting this. There are actually candles visibly flickering in the video behind the device.

Microsoft sets up its demos in the dark because the Zune HD looks terrible outside, where its contrast ratio advantage observed in ideal conditions completely falls apart. Engadget's other pictures of an OLED-using Sony Walkman show that without the candle-lit smoke and mirrors, OLED blacks are not black at all.

There are other problems with OLED. They don't last long, because the electroluminescence layer degrades far more rapidly than regular LCDs. Component colors within OLED also die at different times, with the blue pixels fading first. This results in a rapid shift of the color balance as the device ages. Additionally, the original color reproduction gamut of brand new OLED displays is already worse than standard LCD, resulting in less natural-looking colors from the start that only get worse.



More power to ya

And despite the power savings attributed to OLED's backlight-free design, OLEDs still use more power than LCD displays most of the time because the OLED technology consumes power based on how bright the image it is displaying is. Essentially, OLED is the backlight.

Sony and Microsoft try to compensate by giving their OLED devices a dark, mostly black user interface. Unless you will exclusively be using your Zune HD to watch gothic movies in the dark, the screen will be gobbling up more power than an LCD. This is particularly the case if you want to browse the web, which involves a lot of white space. Showing a white background, OLED consumes as much as 300% of the power of an LCD. Any colors that rely upon those those fragile blue pixels are particularly power inefficient.

And again, because OLED doesn't use any ambient light to brighten its picture, as LCD does, 100% of the image comes from emitted light output, which requires a bigger drain on the battery. For this reason, reviewers of other OLED products have expressed puzzlement about why the supposedly efficient OLED technology didn't translate into better battery life in actual use, as did the Register when looking at a Samsung s8000 Jet:

"Considering it's got an energy-saving OLED screen, we were disappointed with the battery life of the Jet. Perhaps the powerful processor puts some extra drain on the juice, but the promised 180 minutes of talk time and 250 hours' standby translated into a barely a day of moderate use."

If you're wondering why Apple, which sells tens of millions of mobile devices per year and has a component appetite that literally sways RAM markets, didn't beat Microsoft, a company that barely sold a couple million Zunes in two years, to the OLED trough, it's not because Microsoft is on the cutting edge, but because Microsoft is desperately looking for a marketable feature, whether or not that feature makes any sense for consumers.

On page 2 of 3: NVIDIA's Tegra processor inside the Zune HD.

Myth 2: NVIDIA's Tegra processor leapfrogs existing mobile processors

Now that you're no longer in the dark on the oversold OLED, what about the Tegra processor used by the Zune HD: is it really the miracle chip that it is billed to be, both achieving spectacularly unprecedented performance and industry-leading power efficiency? Has Apple's expertise in developing ARM CPUs and in running its own CPU fab plant been outmatched by Microsoft's first foray into mobile devices with a functional web browser?

The Tegra is built by NVIDIA, leaving Zune fans to suggest that it delivers industry leading, desktop-gaming type graphics that far exceed the capabilities of industry-standard mobile graphics. However, Tegra isn't a scaled down version of NVIDIA's PC graphics GPUs. Instead, it's based on technology NVIDIA acquired in its purchase of fabless chip designer PortalPlayer in 2007.

If PortalPlayer sounds familiar, it's because Apple formerly used its system-on-a-chip parts to build MP3 players up through the 5G iPod and the original iPod nano. Apple accounted for 90% of PortalPlayer's business when it dumped the company in 2006, reportedly because the company was arrogantly jerking Apple around. PortalPlayer was devastated and never recovered.

When NVIDIA acquired PortalPlayer for $357 million the next year, Wedbush Morgan Securities analyst Craig Berger observed, "This deal comes as a surprise to us as we believe there are other semiconductor firms that offer more technology for less money," and added that NVIDIA apparently "thinks it has a better chance of penetrating Apple iPod (video) products if it owns and integrates PortalPlayers technology."

Apple, PA Semi, and the PowerVR deal

However, NVIDIA didn't ever get back into the iPod market. Instead, Apple began sourcing SoCs from Samsung, bought its own fabless chip developer by acquiring PA Semi for just $278 million, and secured a secret design license for Imagination Technologies' PowerVR SGX graphics cores.

So, while NVIDIA's Tegra grew from the humble origins of the chip powering the video 5G iPod, the iPhone 3GS and the latest iPod touch models feature a mobile-optimized GPU core descending from the Sega DreamCast. While Imagination's PowerVR GPU never made it into the desktop GPU market to rival the technology from ATI and NVIDIA, it has become the gold standard in mobile GPUs.

But the GPU is only half the story. Tegra uses a conventional ARM11 family CPU core (ARMv6), the same generation CPU core used by the original iPhone, the Zune, Nokia N95, and the HTC Hero. The Tegra's CPU/GPU package also uses DDR1 memory, introducing significant real world RAM bandwidth limits no matter how powerful the embedded GPU core is rated to be in theoretical terms.

In contrast, the modern Cortex-A8 used in the iPhone 3GS, Palm Pre, Nokia N900, and Pandora game console represents the latest generation of ARM CPU cores. It also employs a DDR2 memory interface, erasing a serious performance bottleneck hobbling the Zune HD's Tegra. It's difficult to make fair and direct comparisons between different generations of technology, but NVIDIA's own demonstrations of Tegra's ARM11/integrated graphics show it achieving 35 fps in Quake III. The same software running on Pandora's Coretex-A8 with SGX GPU core achieves 40-60 fps.




Tegra's Core Problem

Tegra is also being hyped as providing "8 processing cores," but this is nonsense as it simply counts logical blocks common to all embedded SoC parts as "cores." The CPU in the Tegra is a single ARM11 core. Even if the Tegra did supply multiple CPU cores, the Windows CE kernel used by the Zune HD doesn't support multi-core SMP so it couldn't make any use of them.

Other mobile devices use multiple ARM processors for efficiency or cost savings, such as the original iPods which idled along using two low power ARM processors, or the Nintendo DS, which uses an ARM9 and ARM7 to handle different functions independently. However, there is nothing in the supposed "multiple cores" of the Tegra that offers anything comparable.

NVIDIA promotes Tegra as being "Ultra Low Power," but its standard ARM11 CPU doesn't deliver anything that isn't available in other ARM designs, nor any special power savings over more powerful and modern processors like the Coretex-A8 in the iPhone 3GS and latest iPod touch.

Again, if you're wondering why Microsoft was able to score the NVIDIA Tegra "before" Apple, it wasn't due to any mobile industry clout or hardware experience on Microsoft's end, but rather simply due to the fact that Apple has its own resources for designing and building advanced, state of the art mobile processors, and didn't need to buy into the desperate hype NVIDIA is using to promote the runner up technology of Apple's former SoC vendor.

On page 3 of 3: The HD isn't for high definition

Myth 3: Zune HD is mobile HD

Microsoft is promoting the Zune HD as supplying HD video and HD Radio, purposely conflating the use of "HD" as a meaningless marketing term. There are two issues here, the first being HD video display and output. The Zune HD's OLED screen isn't high definition in the sense of HDTV, of course. The screen itself is only 480x272, which is significantly less than the iPhone/iPod touch at 480x320. (That's 130k vs 153k pixels; the iPod/iPhone displays 18% more pixels).

What Microsoft is promoting is the Zune HD's capacity to output 720p HD video, at least when using its HDMI dock. The iPod touch is limited to 480p (DVD quality video) but can output this without a dock using Apple's Component AV Cable. This is a software limitation, not a hardware limit somehow broken by the Tegra.

If you're buying a mobile device primarily to act as a fixed movie player docked to your HDTV, the Zune HD offers a curious advantage in that regard. On the other hand, if you expect a mobile media player to deliver a mobile experience, the iPod touch delivers both a significantly better screen resolution and a better display technology, unless of course, you're planning to always stay at home in a candle-lit basement.

However, most people looking at the Zune HD won't be thinking of it as Microsoft's smaller, second attempt at delivering the HD-DVD player. They'll be excited about its HD Radio support, perhaps imagining that HD always means "high definition" relative to HDTV.

Myth 4: Zune HD delivers high definition radio

Unfortunately, HD Radio was given an intentionally misleading name. The HD in HD Radio officially doesn't stand for anything anymore, but it was originally for "hybrid digital," because HD Radio is all about replacing or augmenting analog radio with digital transmissions. It offers both an all-digital option as well as a hybrid digital option that enables radio broadcasters to augment their existing analog radio broadcasts with a digital version, something most opt to do so as not to alienate their existing analog radio listeners.

Like the move to digital TV, digital radio offers both the potential for better quality and the capacity to deliver more content within the same bandwidth. Unlike digital TV, the US government hasn't decided to officially transition the nation to all digital radio broadcasts, as it did with TV in order to reclaim large portions of the old analog TV bandwidth for other more productive purposes (such as allowing more competition in mobile and data services).

Analog radio isn't going away, so you won't need any new converter box to tune your old radio into new digital broadcasts. New digital broadcasts will coexist with the old analog radio feeds, because radio wasn't really wasting any huge amount of bandwidth to start with, as TV broadcasts were.

One competing standard for delivering digital radio is HD Radio, which isn't an FCC open standard but rather a proprietary protocol sold by iBiquity. However, HD Radio remains the only digital radio transmission technology approved by the FCC for use in the US.

HD Radio uses a proprietary audio codec called HDC, which like Microsoft's own WMA, is based on but not compatible with MPEG-4 standards. It should be no wonder why Microsoft is jumping on board to promote this proprietary standard. Major corporate broadcasters, including ClearChannel, support HD Radio because it allows them to deliver more content using subchannels squeezed into the existing radio spectrum.

Loopholes in the existing implementation of digital radio also enable big radio broadcasters to subvert existing regulations in order to avoid the controlling-interest caps established to prevent excessive concentration of media ownership, perpetuating the shift away from local radio broadcasts and toward generic piped-in feeds from media conglomerations like ClearChannel.

International reception weak

In contrast with the relatively recent rollout of digital radio in America, the European Union began implementing all-digital radio broadcasts back in 1999. Its existing DAB (digital audio broadcasting) standard is being improved to make use of the modern MPEG-4 HE-AAC, called DAB+. More recently, another broadcast standard has emerged in Europe with an even more misleading and unfortunate name than HD Radio: DRM (Digital Radio Mondiale). Like HD Radio, it maintains backward compatibility with analog radios using a hybrid digital broadcast.

Like HD Radio, Europe's DRM and DAB+ all have their own flaws helping to hold back widespread adoption of digital radio standards, including a lack of compatibility amongst each other. This is all relevant to the Zune HD because it effectively makes its main feature usable only to Americans. That's also why Microsoft is restricting sales to the US; who outside the US would buy a media player with HD Radio features that aren't even available outside of the US, and which isn't compatible with the digital radio standards that are available locally?

Again, if you're wondering why the iPod touch hasn't jumped on the HD Radio bandwagon, it's because it the proprietary new standard isn't in use globally, isn't in high demand, and barely covers 85% of the US from fewer than 2,000 radio stations. Of course, Apple's iPod has never been oriented toward playing over the air radio feeds, but instead is designed to play your own music. Of course if you want to play Internet radio, there's an app for that.

If you're just looking for a regular radio, you don't need to spend $300 for the Zune HD to get one. Portable FM radios are dirt cheap, and even mobile HD Radios are available starting at $50. Microsoft's feature mix aimed at taking on the iPod touch is looking increasingly odd from every angle.

Myth 5: Zune HD games and software will wow you

From the hardware end, the Zune HD applies a lot of hype to drum up interest in its otherwise non-novel technology. But it's the software side where the new device really fails to shine.

Despite being first and foremost a software platform vendor, Microsoft has a schizophrenic history in delivering a mobile software platform. The Windows CE foundation that the Zune HD is built upon is regarded as a joke throughout the industry, even by Microsoft's own developers. Windows Mobile, which delivers an additional layer of software on top of the Windows CE kernel to support PDAs and smartphones, is also scoffed at. Given its dismal performance in the market over the last decade, that reputation is well earned.

The original Zune models promised to someday deliver handheld gaming potential through a beta "community technical preview" of Microsoft's XNA Game Studio 3.0 tools. Instead, Microsoft simply yanked the plug on the effort, abandoning its support for existing Zune devices so it could focus on the Zune HD. This is Microsoft's standard operating procedure in the mobile business. The same thing was also done with nearly each release of Windows Mobile. The newest release of Windows Mobile 6.5 won't even work on lots expensive hardware sold in the last year.

Curiously, Apple has been painted by some pundits as being "developer-hostile" over a handful of application approval disputes that have occurred over the past year, despite maintaing a solid, profitable mobile platform that works across all iPhone and iPod touch models ever built. Imagine if Apple just kept churning out new models of iPhone, each running firmware incompatible with its existing hardware and developer's third party apps.

Microsoft's own software for Windows Mobile and the Zune HD is similarly bad. Its mobile version of Internet Explorer still doesn't work despite having been on the market since 1996. What's "new" in the release of the Zune HD is a different version of the mobile IE browser, based not upon the creaky IE 4 engine from 1997 (still delivered in today's Windows Mobile devices), but a mobile version of IE 6, which dates back to 2001. That leaves the Zune HD's browser nearly a decade behind the modern WebKit browsers used in the iPhone, Palm Pre, Android, and modern BlackBerry phones.

If Microsoft is doing that poorly in games and web browsers, what can one expect from the Zune software store, from media integration, and from the third party developers Microsoft has abandoned along with its past Zune initiatives? Are they going to come flooding back to welcome the few enthusiasts who keep returning to buy obsolete-at-arrival Zune hardware?

Despite the hype, the Zune HD appears to have failed before even hitting the market.
post #2 of 582
Thanks for the thorough post ! great read, enlightening.
post #3 of 582
The lady doth protest too much, methinks.
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post #4 of 582
so either it is a lot of baloney on the part of msft or apple fanboys are crying sour grapes!
Lets see how zune evolves.

[Disclaimer: The current iPod Touch revision (if any) has upset many, including me!]
Zune zucks...Flop show...then it may be too zoon to say that
I don't know how to zunecast!
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Zune zucks...Flop show...then it may be too zoon to say that
I don't know how to zunecast!
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post #5 of 582
I don't get the big deal about specs. If the platform delivers a compelling user experience then that is the selling point, not how many goo goo flops and mega wits it has. Apple's been getting away with hardware inferiority for years using the same technique. Yet today. for some reason, that does not apply to Zune?

To that end, the OLED news is disappointing - I had an OLED screen on a Moto flip phone a long time ago and it seemed bright enough. I wonder what gives today?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Article

Microsoft sets up its demos in the dark because the Zune HD looks terrible outside, where its contrast ratio advantage observed in ideal conditions completely falls apart. Engadget's other pictures of an OLED-using Sony Walkman show that without the candle-lit smoke and mirrors, OLED blacks are not black at all.

The link off this paragraph points at a gallery of pictures. It also assumes that all OLEDs are the same. We know that Apple for instance can put inferior LCDs on their screens. They hardly point to the quality of LCD overall. How are we supposed to make a judgment on the blackness of blacks using a photo of the display? One: your looking at the image on your Computer Monitor, which probably doesn't do true black. Two: You have no idea how the photo has been enhanced or calibrated for publishing. Three: You have no idea under what circumstances the photo has been taken.

Additionally, the fact that OLEDs degrade faster than LCDs is a moot point given the half life of one particular OLED panel is about 17,0000 hours.. The device would have been replaced some time before then. Don't also forget that the interpretation of brightness is a not a linear one.

I think the assertion made about OLED is making a bit of a stretch. Perhaps it should be four myths.

I think its pretty clear that this missive has not been based on any real world use or observation on the part of the reviewer.
post #6 of 582
Simple proof. anybody who buys a zuneHD, take it out in daylight (not direct sunlight) and see how the screen looks, and post the results. If it stinks, game over, regardless of the processor speed and rez.
post #7 of 582
"Despite the hype, the Zune HD appears to have failed before even hitting the market"
is that why zune 32 is outselling itouch 32 on amazon?

"LCDs: a typical maximum output of 200cd/m^2 compared to around 4-500 for mid-range"
does itouch output that high? NO

"Tegra is also being hyped as providing "8 processing cores,""
is that why itouch still uses technology that came out almost 7 years ago?

and for your INFO, iphone color is much more brilliant than itouch

"NVIDIA promotes Tegra as being "Ultra Low Power," but its standard ARM11 CPU doesn't deliver anything that isn't available in other ARM designs, nor any special power savings over more powerful and modern processors like the Coretex-A8 in the iPhone 3GS and latest iPod touch. "

is that why zune had 50% more battery life than itouch when it comes to video playback?

cry all you want here are real facts
there is NO significant different between itouch 2g and itouch 3g
itouch's graphic is worse than iphone
battery life is much greater than anything that apple can offer
nano's video quality is worse than the lowest flip $100 video recorder (i might add 10 times worse)
and finally, thanks for a great article, it shows the fear in your eyes
if you had no fear, you wouldn't have written this article
post #8 of 582
Quote:
Originally Posted by iPoodOverZune View Post

so either it is a lot of baloney on the part of msft or apple fanboys are crying sour grapes!
Lets see how zune evolves.

[Disclaimer: The current iPod Touch revision (if any) has upset many, including me!]

I'm sorry you didn't get the camera, but the ZuneHD doesn't have on either. This article provided some additional insight for me, but I am also taking it with a grain of salt. Whether or not the HD Radio will be more useful than a regular FM radio is largely irrelevant when the iPod Touch doesn't have a radio at all. On the other hand I don't think OLED or the HD radio will be a big selling point, and I would consider the graphics and processing capabilities to be similar (iPod Touch has the stronger processor, ZuneHD the stronger graphics processor). If 720p output is important, Apple can activate it with a firmware update. Whether or not this thing flops will come down probably come down to software. We will have to wait and see.
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post #9 of 582
Quote:
Originally Posted by jiggawho90 View Post

is that why zune 32 is outselling itouch 32 on amazon?



You realize, you kinda kill the rest of your argument when anyone who can browse Amazon can prove you wrong on the first one.


http://i298.photobucket.com/albums/m...4at75137PM.png
post #10 of 582
Wow. I am shaking my head, going, "even if half of this is true the Zune is cooked."

That said, let's see how the launch and user experience in the wild goes.
post #11 of 582
Quote:
Originally Posted by jiggawho90 View Post


is that why zune had 50% more battery life than itouch when it comes to video playback?

cry all you want here are real facts
there is NO significant different between itouch 2g and itouch 3g
itouch's graphic is worse than iphone
battery life is much greater than anything that apple can offer
nano's video quality is worse than the lowest flip $100 video recorder (i might add 10 times worse)
and finally, thanks for a great article, it shows the fear in your eyes
if you had no fear, you wouldn't have written this article

What's an "itouch"?
post #12 of 582
What the article fails to mention is the good points of the Zune HD like Xbox360 integration, Zune Pass where you get millions of tracks to download for $15 per month and keep 10 songs of your choice, wireless syncing, Channels - where you can get dynamic, weekly-updated playlists from leading radio/music buffs such as Billboard, CMJ radio, The Fader, Funkmaster Flex, and more. Further, the Zune HD will be more customizable than any iPod - making it have the ability to reflect the owner, than just be another player with a fruit on the back.

Seriously folks, you want to point out myths? How about the iPod Touch being a game console... Seriously? One without any physical controls??? Now there's a myth I can't get over...
post #13 of 582
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


Myth 1: OLED is a great display technology for mobile devices

First off, Microsoft gave the Zune HD a new OLED display. OLED is an interesting new technology that uses a layer of electroluminescent organic compounds, rather than the inorganic materials used in traditional LCDs, to produce an image. OLED panels don't require a backlight, so they can render true blacks and provide a higher contrast ratio.

However, today's OLED panels are much dimmer than standard issue LCDs: a typical maximum output of 200cd/m^2 compared to around 4-500 for mid-range LCDs. OLED also performs considerably worse in bright light because OLED is 100% emissive rather than being partially transflective.

A good quality LCD actually uses ambient light to make its image brighter and more vibrant; OLED does not. This means when you take it outside, the OLED's screen is completely washed out by sunlight. Unless you only plan to use your mobile device in your dark basement, you don't want one of today's OLED screens, particularly on a mobile media player that you might expect to use on the go in various environments.

Be honest: if the iPod touch revision had included an OLED screen, you'd be hyping that like it's the best thing ever. Same with Tegra and hi-def video out.

I'd buy a touch just to get the App Store, but who cares what people buy? Trashing an unreleased product while preaching to the choir is bad form, methinks.
post #14 of 582
Quote:
Originally Posted by skottichan View Post

You realize, you kinda kill the rest of your argument when anyone who can browse Amazon can prove you wrong on the first one.


http://i298.photobucket.com/albums/m...4at75137PM.png

that happened AFTER another $20 price drop

this is before, until today's price drop
http://img40.imageshack.us/img40/192/zunehdnumbuh1.png
post #15 of 582
Quote:
Originally Posted by dominiej View Post

What the article fails to mention is the good points of the Zune HD like Xbox360 integration, Zune Pass where you get millions of tracks to download for $15 per month and keep 10 songs of your choice, wireless syncing, Channels - where you can get dynamic, weekly-updated playlists from leading radio/music buffs such as Billboard, CMJ radio, The Fader, Funkmaster Flex, and more. Further, the Zune HD will be more customizable than any iPod - making it have the ability to reflect the owner, than just be another player with a fruit on the back.

Seriously folks, you want to point out myths? How about the iPod Touch being a game console... Seriously? One without any physical controls??? Now there's a myth I can't get over...

The 'softies seem to be out in droves today.......Welcome to AI!
post #16 of 582
Quote:
Originally Posted by jiggawho90 View Post

"Despite the hype, the Zune HD appears to have failed before even hitting the market"
is that why zune 32 is outselling itouch 32 on amazon?

"LCDs: a typical maximum output of 200cd/m^2 compared to around 4-500 for mid-range"
does itouch output that high? NO

"Tegra is also being hyped as providing "8 processing cores,""
is that why itouch still uses technology that came out almost 7 years ago?

and for your INFO, iphone color is much more brilliant than itouch

"NVIDIA promotes Tegra as being "Ultra Low Power," but its standard ARM11 CPU doesn't deliver anything that isn't available in other ARM designs, nor any special power savings over more powerful and modern processors like the Coretex-A8 in the iPhone 3GS and latest iPod touch. "

is that why zune had 50% more battery life than itouch when it comes to video playback?

cry all you want here are real facts
there is NO significant different between itouch 2g and itouch 3g
itouch's graphic is worse than iphone
battery life is much greater than anything that apple can offer
nano's video quality is worse than the lowest flip $100 video recorder (i might add 10 times worse)
and finally, thanks for a great article, it shows the fear in your eyes
if you had no fear, you wouldn't have written this article

Those aren't real facts at all. The iPod Touch now has the same internals as the iPhone, which means that the 3rd gen is significantly faster than the second gen. Advertised battery life is just that, advertised. Wait for some real world tests before declaring a winner. You are providing no basis for you nano vs flip argument. Everything I have read indicates that the video camera does surprisingly well. Gizmodo has some direct comparisons between the flip mino and the nano and I wouldn't say the nano is 10x worse or ever perceptively worse (except at night, tiny lens = no light coming in). http://gizmodo.com/5356015/ipod-nano...yline=true&s=x

Lastly, I just checked amazon and the ZuneHD came in as the 5th most desired mp3 player behind the 4 iPods including the new Touch 32GB which has been listed for a much shorter time period than the ZuneHD (shorter listing time, less time for people to say they want it, yet more people already want it).

In conclusion, you are full of it.

Edit: I don't use amazon, so I didn't see the best sellers list immediately, but it appears that the new 32GB touch is doing just fine despite other versions of the touch cannibalizing its own sales, whereas the the ZuneHD doesn't have previous generations at discounted prices to compete against. Everyone who is hopping on the ZuneHD bandwagon is hoping on now, whereas many people have already adopted the touch platform over the last couple years.
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post #17 of 582
Quote:
Originally Posted by FuturePastNow View Post

Trashing an unreleased product while preaching to the choir is bad form, methinks.

If that were the standard, Christianity would not have evolved much, would it?

PS: Yes, religion is an apt analogy.....
post #18 of 582
Quote:
Originally Posted by jiggawho90 View Post

that happened AFTER another $20 price drop

this is before, until today's price drop
http://img40.imageshack.us/img40/192/zunehdnumbuh1.png

Then you should have said it "was" not "is".
post #19 of 582
post #20 of 582
Quote:
Originally Posted by cmf2 View Post

Those aren't real facts at all. The iPod Touch now has the same internals as the iPhone, which means that the 3rd gen is significantly faster than the second gen. Advertised battery life is just that, advertised. Wait for some real world tests before declaring a winner. You are providing no basis for you nano vs flip argument. Everything I have read indicates that the video camera does surprisingly well. Gizmodo has some direct comparisons between the flip mino and the nano and I wouldn't say the nano is 10x worse or ever perceptively worse (except at night, tiny lens = no light coming in). http://gizmodo.com/5356015/ipod-nano...yline=true&s=x

Lastly, I just checked amazon and the ZuneHD came in as the 5th most desired mp3 player behind the 4 iPods including the new Touch 32GB which has been listed for a much shorter time period than the ZuneHD (shorter listing time, less time for people to say they want it, yet more people already want it).

In conclusion, you are full of it.

i'm full of it? i'll prove you wrong with videos let's see who's full of it
first, look at my previous post, zune 32 was selling much higher until today when amazon had a price drop

2nd, itouch and iphone are not internally similar, they have a different graphic processor
3rd, 3rd generation of itouch has less battery life than 2nd, if you don't believe me, check the offical apple site

3rd there is a side by side video
http://dvice.com/archives/2009/09/side-by-side-vi.php

PWNED but thanks for trying
next time, try harder
post #21 of 582
Quote:
Originally Posted by jiggawho90 View Post

"Despite the hype, the Zune HD appears to have failed before even hitting the market"
is that why zune 32 is outselling itouch 32 on amazon?

There is no scientific comparison involved with consulting one day of Amazon sales rankings, particularly since Amazon doesn't sell a fixed percentage of everyone's hardware. The original Zune also ranked well on Amazon, despite barely ever reaching 1M/year in sales.


Quote:
"LCDs: a typical maximum output of 200cd/m^2 compared to around 4-500 for mid-range"
does itouch output that high? NO

Try again troll. The iPod touch is ranked at 462 cd/m^2.

[URL="http://www.mediaplayerinfo.com/content/iRiver-E100-MP3-Player-Review-691/Hardware.htm"[/URL]


Quote:
"Tegra is also being hyped as providing "8 processing cores,""
is that why itouch still uses technology that came out almost 7 years ago?

and for your INFO, iphone color is much more brilliant than itouch

What? Time for your meds.

Quote:
"NVIDIA promotes Tegra as being "Ultra Low Power," but its standard ARM11 CPU doesn't deliver anything that isn't available in other ARM designs, nor any special power savings over more powerful and modern processors like the Coretex-A8 in the iPhone 3GS and latest iPod touch. "

is that why zune had 50% more battery life than itouch when it comes to video playback?

Microsoft rates the Zune HD for up to 8.5 hours of video playback.
Apple rates the iPod touch for up to 6 hours of video playback.

The difference is that Apple conducts its test with the iPod associated with a WiFi network (and on, obviously) and that Apple uses higher bit rate video for testing. So be cautious about suggesting that you are comparing equal figures.


Quote:
cry all you want here are real facts
there is NO significant different between itouch 2g and itouch 3g

That's not true at all. There are two iPod touch models, the low end 8GB model that carries forward the 2G hardware, and the new 16/32GB models that are based on the same platform as the iPhone 3GS.

Quote:
itouch's graphic is worse than iphone
battery life is much greater than anything that apple can offer
nano's video quality is worse than the lowest flip $100 video recorder (i might add 10 times worse)
and finally, thanks for a great article, it shows the fear in your eyes
if you had no fear, you wouldn't have written this article

Yes, I'm sure AI is "afraid" of the Zune HD.
post #22 of 582
Quote:
Originally Posted by dominiej View Post

Zune Pass [/B]where you get millions of tracks to download for $15 per month and keep 10 songs of your choice,

Hmm...that works out to be more expensive per song that you actually keep.
post #23 of 582
Quote:
Originally Posted by jiggawho90 View Post

that happened AFTER another $20 price drop

this is before, until today's price drop
http://img40.imageshack.us/img40/192/zunehdnumbuh1.png

How does Amazon count best sellers? Do they only count sales in the last hour, or is it some sort of cumulative total, updated hourly? If it is cumulative, the newest touch would be at a significant disadvantage as the ZuneHD has been available for quite some time.
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post #24 of 582
Quote:
Originally Posted by satchmo View Post

Hmm...that works out to be more expensive per song that you actually keep.

Did you miss the part about getting to listen to millions of tracks of your choice? Can you do that on iTunes?
post #25 of 582
Quote:
Originally Posted by iPoodOverZune View Post

Lets see how zune evolves.

This is a brand which has been on the market since 2006? It's evolving terribly. I don't doubt the ZuneHD has some good points, it does. But this is surely the final role of the dice on the hardware stakes. This is a tremendously competitive market Microsoft is entering and they've yet to make a dent. The PC and player software is fairly decent and should be used to form the basis of the media features of Win Mobile 7.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jiggawho90 View Post

"Despite the hype, the Zune HD appears to have failed before even hitting the market"
is that why zune 32 is outselling itouch 32 on amazon?

It is?



Quote:
Originally Posted by dominiej

chart snipped

[1] Touchscreen - No clear win for OLED, as explained in the article.
[2] Amazon are selling the 32GB for less.
[3] Why are IEm6 and Safari tied? Has anyone seen IEm6 in action on this device? The HTML 5, CSS 3 and Javascript Nitro engine will surely give the iPod the advantage.
[4] Battery life is only useful in the real world. I wouldn't trust either manufacturers quoted statistics, so let's see real life, independent tests before this is decided.
[5] The App Support shouldn't be a tie. Apple has thousands of apps and games available today. The Zune will be starting with zero apps available. Clear iPod win.

That chart neatly ignores other features of the iPod touch, such as Nike + support, voice control, movie rentals, rich email, voice memos, multiple language support etc.
post #26 of 582
Disclaimer

I own an iPhone and I owned two Zunes (30 and 80). I sold the Zune's to purchase the HD.

Okay, now that that is out of the way, I'd like to address two quick points:

The Darkroom Conspiracy

"Microsoft knows this, which is why it only demonstrates the Zune HD in dark rooms. Engadget filmed a full demonstration, including the device's incapacity to pull up a web page, in a suspiciously dark room without even noting this...."

Nonsense. A couple of weeks ago, the Zune HD went the rounds to a large number of Best Buy stores and were demonstarted. Say what you will, Best Buy (mine is exceptionally bright) is not a secluded darkroom. People saw the demos, recorded video of the device in action (check YouTube). There were no complaints. As I said, I bought one. I should get it tomorrow. I'll post a photo for you.

MS and Games

"If Microsoft is doing that poorly in games and web browsers, what can one expect from the Zune software store, from media integration, and from the third party developers Microsoft has abandoned along with its past Zune initiatives?"

What we have here is a blanket statement about MS and games that fails to note the success of Xbox. To say MS is doing poorly in game is silly. To say they even pulled the plug on developers is a bit rash nd probably not accurate. The XNA developers club is still in action for Xbox and, it would stand to reason for the new Zune. Will the code need tweaking? Perhaps. I do not know and neither does the author. Most likely, it will be no big deal. Disclaimer: I've created the graphics for a game that was developed for the Zune under XNA and ported (with relative ease) to the Xbox.

Question: Do you think that the game company that created the Xbox, the same company that is merging the Zune experience with its gaming platform...the same company that has given developers the tools to create games for both platforms is going to sit by and watch Apple take market share? No way. By the way, did you catch the video clip of the device running what some claim was a port of Forza 3? If not, take a look:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ok612YNA_Sc

My guess with the games: Full "3D" games with Xbox Live intergration. Wait for it. It's coming.

agion1
post #27 of 582
Quote:
Originally Posted by columbus

That chart neatly ignores other features of the iPod touch, such as blah, blah, blah...

O, you mean like how the article does the same thing? My response was in kind...
post #28 of 582
Quote:
Originally Posted by dominiej View Post

O, you mean like how the article does the same thing? My response was in kind...

The article was pointing out that certain features of the Zune were possibly not as exciting as they first appear.

Your chart was meant to be presented as a buying guide (which are normally impartial) and it was nothing of the sort.
post #29 of 582
I think this article just made up my mind....
post #30 of 582
Regarding the OLED display, here's a shot clearly done in a bright room (note the reflection of the window in the background), and too my eyes it looks like the Zune still has a plenty bright screen:

http://reviews.cnet.com/8301-12519_7-10303243-49.html

In his CNET preview Donald Bell doesn't complain about the OLED screen's viewability, and he's actually seen it in a bright room.

That still doesn't answer how it'll look in direct sunlight, but from the original AI post, you'd think the Zune has to be watched in near darkness for it to look good. As long as it looks good in a brightly lit room then I'll be fine.
post #31 of 582
Quote:
Originally Posted by jiggawho90 View Post

i'm full of it? i'll prove you wrong with videos let's see who's full of it
first, look at my previous post, zune 32 was selling much higher until today when amazon had a price drop

2nd, itouch and iphone are not internally similar, they have a different graphic processor
3rd, 3rd generation of itouch has less battery life than 2nd, if you don't believe me, check the offical apple site

3rd there is a side by side video
http://dvice.com/archives/2009/09/side-by-side-vi.php

PWNED but thanks for trying
next time, try harder

umm self proclaimed PWNED mean nothing. That side by side does clearly favour the flip, but I wouldn't say 10x better (of course that is subjective). That is only one example and there are other direct comparisons where nano performs a lot closer to the flip.

How does you saying that the iPhone and IPod touch have different graphics processors, without providing a link represent any form of a rebuttal? I just double checked the ifixit teardowns and they didn't provide any additional insight except that the arm chip in touch appears to be slightly newer than that in the 3gs. Apple does report lower battery life on the third gen compared to the second gen for audio only. Did you ever consider that perhaps the bitrate of song they were considering as average audio file may have gone up??? I seem to remember itunes songs jumping from 128 kbps to 256 kbps in January, which coincidentally was after the 2nd gen launch, but before the 3rd gen launch. Regardless, this has nothing to do with the Zune, I said we should wait for the Zune to come out before determining a winner in the battery life wars. Advertised claims are not the same as real results.

Enjoy your self declared PWNing and your Zunes 15 minutes of fame at the top of the Amazon charts. PS. I have nothing against the ZuneHD, I just found your rabid (and largely baseless) rant annoying.
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post #32 of 582
Quote:
Originally Posted by cthom1985 View Post

I think this article just made up my mind....

if apple uses oled and HD video output, he/she is going to write an article to how great it is....and sing a different tune

i remember when they said, "FM radio? who listens to FM radio these days? why would you want FM in your mp3?"

and what happened next? oh, that's right
post #33 of 582
Quote:
Originally Posted by dominiej View Post

Did you miss the part about getting to listen to millions of tracks of your choice? Can you do that on iTunes?

And you obviously missed the part about the fact that you're not actually keeping them.
Lots of apps available to stream the 'millions of tracks' you speak of.
post #34 of 582
Quote:
Originally Posted by jiggawho90 View Post

there is NO significant different between itouch 2g and itouch 3g

OpenGL ES 2.0's pretty big. Doubling the system RAM is also nice, especially for games (where the increased texture memory should be handy). Granted the processor speed only increased from 533 to 600mhz

Quote:
itouch's graphic is worse than iphone

Erm same screen, same graphics card, same sharing of system RAM for VRAM. (Without the phone stuff running, the touch has more free memory for apps, which means more can be used for VRAM, so it might even have better graphics than iphone.)

Quote:
and finally, thanks for a great article, it shows the fear in your eyes
if you had no fear, you wouldn't have written this article

Well, I didn't write the article, so I guess I can't respond to this one. Let's just point at the app store. 85,000 apps. I'll say that again, 85,000 apps. Seems like a good metric for success to me

Let me know when Microsoft have that many apps on a mobile device. I look forward to it. (Competition is always a win for consumers.)

Amorya
post #35 of 582
Quote:
Originally Posted by jiggawho90 View Post

if apple uses oled and HD video output, he/she is going to write an article to how great it is....and sing a different tune

i remember when they said, "FM radio? who listens to FM radio these days? why would you want FM in your mp3?"

and what happened next? oh, that's right

I will agree to that. AI's reports are slanted towards Apple products. However, many of the early hurdles for OLED will likely be cleared by the time Apple switches to it. OLED a year from now will be better than OLED now, and it will likely mark a larger improvement than traditional LCD will experience over that same time period. We will really need to see these devices side by side to make true comparisons. Although, as I said earlier, it is the software that will really make or break the Zune.
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post #36 of 582
Gee Prince, what a big meanie! Your just a big, big, mean, mean man, you are!
Poor, poor widdle Micwosoft. (You big meanie!!)
post #37 of 582
Quote:
Originally Posted by satchmo View Post

And you obviously missed the part about the fact that you're not actually keeping them.
Lots of apps available to stream the 'millions of tracks' you speak of.

Actually you get to keep 10 DRM-free MP3s a month as part of your $15 subscription cost. Most of the songs on my iPhone at this point are from my Zune subscription!

So, as long as you were going to be buying at least 10 songs per month anyways, then that means you're only paying an extra $5 bucks for access to those millions of songs.

Oh, and most of those other services you talk about do NOT let you exactly specify playlist order, listen to entire CDs at once, etc.. Oh, and most of them don't let you store that music for offline listening. Slacker does, but you can't specify exactly what you want to hear and in what order. Rhapsody for the iPhone now does, but you have to be streaming, and are SOL if out of any WiFi/3G signal range.
post #38 of 582
Why is it when AppleInsider posted this article 8/13/2009 regarding the Tablet and the "rumored" OLED the forum was oooozing with enthusiasm?

Now OLED is crap because Microsoft beat Apple to the Punch?

I'd be careful on your slamming as there are 5 pages of postings praising Apple for their "rumored" Tablet and their genius for being on the cutting edge.
I see many of the usual suspects in the postings praising it as the best Screen res and Brilliant Colors that you can only get with OLED...

Apple Insider article for your reference.

http://forums.appleinsider.com/showthread.php?t=101645

A bit hypocritical today arent we?

Now comes the 10,000 reason why because it's on a 10 inch tablet it makes all the difference in the world.
post #39 of 582
Quote:
Originally Posted by satchmo View Post

And you obviously missed the part about the fact that you're not actually keeping them.
Lots of apps available to stream the 'millions of tracks' you speak of.

So the apps you speake of give you the ability to choose, sort, stop, skip, and repeat songs as you wish, and add the songs to playlists natively from your device, and play them while you email or surf the web on that device?

Sorry, I'd pay the $15 per month to have control of music I actually like and keep $10 songs. Keep your uncontrolable music apps that make you "feel" like your in control...
post #40 of 582
Quote:
Originally Posted by dominiej View Post

LULZ

A few corrections:

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