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Review roundup: Zune HD plays catchup to iPod touch - Page 4

post #121 of 232
Quote:
Originally Posted by teckstud View Post

And all those things came to fruition- except the battery. So like what is your point? I spoke and Apple listened.

The Zune is the Zune and should not be compared to the Touch anyway.
And isn;t the Classic a siongle prpose device music in the manner of the Zune- it concentrates on the music. Isn't that Steve Job's mantra- "It's all about the music!"

So . . . the Zune HD shouldn't be compared to the iPod Touch, even though MS (and everyone) clearly positioned it as a competitor to it?

Then what exactly is the Zune HD competing against? Or is it going to create its very own, unique segment of the handheld market?

So we now realize how behind MS is in the game, and three years too late, so let's just downgrade epxectations and shift gears, and re-categorize the Zune HD so it looks better. Hey no problem, sounds like an MS plan to me! Hey, if we put the Zune HD up against the obsolescent iPod Classic, then we've got a winner for sure!
post #122 of 232

Hey, thanks Quadra... interesting reads, and it was encouraging to see that the sunlight problem should hopefully be greatly diminished as the technology evolves to be brighter and to better compensate overall (which I believe AI did in fact suggest as well, if memory serves). But I'm still left wondering why I haven't seen any mention of this in ZuneHD reviews. If the problem with the Zune's screen was as drastic and dramatic as AI depicted it to be, surely at least ONE of the reviews would have brought up the topic. Does anyone know of any reviewer who did?

If not, I come back to my original problem with that AI "review" a couple days ago, which is that if the ZuneHD performs just fine outdoors or in bright lighting, then AI was extremely misleading, and was misinforming it's readers. And in my opinion, that's the kind of thing that should be acknowledged and corrected.
post #123 of 232
Quote:
Originally Posted by ThisIsMike View Post

Hey, thanks Quadra... interesting reads, and it was encouraging to see that the sunlight problem should hopefully be greatly diminished as the technology evolves to be brighter and to better compensate overall (which I believe AI did in fact suggest as well, if memory serves). But I'm still left wondering why I haven't seen any mention of this in ZuneHD reviews. If the problem with the Zune's screen was as drastic and dramatic as AI depicted it to be, surely at least ONE of the reviews would have brought up the topic. Does anyone know of any reviewer who did?

If not, I come back to my original problem with that AI "review" a couple days ago, which is that if the ZuneHD performs just fine outdoors or in bright lighting, then AI was extremely misleading, and was misinforming it's readers. And in my opinion, that's the kind of thing that should be acknowledged and corrected.

http://www.wmexperts.com/hands-zune-hd-part-1

Also of concern with OLED screens is visibility outdoors, particularly in sunlight. I conducted a couple of brief, unscientific tests. I went outside and stood in the sunlight. (And surprisingly didn't burst into flame.) At the medium setting, the Zune HD's screen was all but washed out; I could still slightly make out the iPod Touch's screen. Cranked the Zune HD's display to the "high" setting and they were about equal in the sunlight.

http://gigaom.com/2009/09/15/zunehd-...he-right-ones/

Twitter user peinao: So far so good. Can’t use it in direct sunlight though.

http://gizmodo.com/5360126/zune-hd-r...he-pmp-evolved

However, it's not a perfect win for OLED: The Zune HD's screen is extremely reflective, making it difficult to read in sunlight, while the iPod Touch's LCD was quite easy to read in the same conditions.

Part of this difference is due to technology and part of this is due to UI. The iPod touch uses black text on white for music and video browsing, while the Zune HD is reversed. The Zune HD's black background acts as a mirror, making it difficult to see anything but your own annoyed face.


http://forum.teamxbox.com/showthread.php?p=12613132

Originally Posted by engadget review
There is one minor gripe though... and you probably can see this one coming. OLED screens aren't known for their performance in direct sunlight, and the Zune HD doesn't hugely improve on that point -- the image below says it all. Just pretend it's Dracula or something.
apple insider was right. not surprising.


Image:

http://www.blogcdn.com/www.engadget....ne_outside.jpg

http://www.randomprocess.ca/2009/09/...n-integration/

The OLED screen is superb, with one caveat: it suffers under direct sunlight. Launch day turned out to be a scorcher, with unhindered sunlight. I started off in the launch tent, but I asked permission to take the player outside to test it in the sun. The demo lady obliged and followed me out, where the screen washed out under the sun. With no transflective property, it’s going to be pretty hard to use the device in those conditions. You can still see the screen if you try real hard, or more realistically, shield it with one hand.

Could be an issue.
post #124 of 232
Quote:
Originally Posted by Quadra 610 View Post

So . . . the Zune HD shouldn't be compared to the iPod Touch, even though MS (and everyone) clearly positioned it as a competitor to it?

Then what exactly is the Zune HD competing against? Or is it going to create its very own, unique segment of the handheld market?

So we now realize how behind MS is in the game, and three years too late, so let's just downgrade epxectations and shift gears, and re-categorize the Zune HD so it looks better. Hey no problem, sounds like an MS plan to me! Hey, if we put the Zune HD up against the obsolescent iPod Classic, then we've got a winner for sure!

It is competing against things like the Samsung P3. For lack of a better word, I will call them feature PMPs (to contrast with feature phones). They focus on playing music and videos, but can do other things as well, but they are not a mobile computing platform. If the Zune were a phone, it would be in a neck and neck battle with the Samsung Instinct. If that sounds ridiculous, just remember that the Samsung InstinctHD has HD video out.
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post #125 of 232
Quote:
Originally Posted by ThisIsMike View Post

Hey, thanks Quadra... interesting reads, and it was encouraging to see that the sunlight problem should hopefully be greatly diminished as the technology evolves to be brighter and to better compensate overall (which I believe AI did in fact suggest as well, if memory serves). But I'm still left wondering why I haven't seen any mention of this in ZuneHD reviews. If the problem with the Zune's screen was as drastic and dramatic as AI depicted it to be, surely at least ONE of the reviews would have brought up the topic. Does anyone know of any reviewer who did?

If not, I come back to my original problem with that AI "review" a couple days ago, which is that if the ZuneHD performs just fine outdoors or in bright lighting, then AI was extremely misleading, and was misinforming it's readers. And in my opinion, that's the kind of thing that should be acknowledged and corrected.

I have a pic from engadgets review in post 120.
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post #126 of 232
Okay since many of you said the first post snippets weren't smearing the Zune HD and also since Appleinsider likes to talk about other non-Apple products from time to time, I offer another review(without the editing) to the fair discussion:
www.engadget.com/2009/09/17/zune-hd-review

Your welcome.
post #127 of 232
Quote:
Originally Posted by cmf2 View Post

It is competing against things like the Samsung P3. For lack of a better word, I will call them feature PMPs (to contrast with feature phones). They focus on playing music and videos, but can do other things as well, but they are not a mobile computing platform. If the Zune were a phone, it would be in a neck and neck battle with the Samsung Instinct. If that sounds ridiculous, just remember that the Samsung InstinctHD has HD video out.

The PMP market is dying. There is really no reason to get a Zune HD when for around the same price you get that much more with an iPod Touch. We already have great music and video players, which, sadly, are losing ground steadily to multifunction devices.

Judging by what youre telling me, it seems MS doesn't know how to position this device at all. If it's all of a sudden not even on par with the iPod Touch, what exactly does MS hope to accomplish with this thing? Compete with the new Nano? It can't do that either.

So you meant this thing?

http://www.anythingbutipod.com/archi...-in-berlin.php
post #128 of 232
Quote:
Originally Posted by teckstud View Post

Glowing reviews.
Oh well, so much for AppleInsider's article bashing of it the day before it was released.

Exactly. The article was lame.
Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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post #129 of 232
Quote:
Originally Posted by rmm21 View Post

Okay since many of you said the first post snippets weren't smearing the Zune HD and also since Appleinsider likes to talk about other non-Apple products from time to time, I offer another review(without the editing) to the fair discussion:
www.engadget.com/2009/09/17/zune-hd-review

Your welcome.

Thanks and I can't wait until iLounge reviews it. To me they give the best, most thorough reviews like the one this week of the new Nano.
post #130 of 232
Quote:
Originally Posted by Quadra 610 View Post

The PMP market is dying. There is really no reason to get a Zune HD when for around the same price you get that much more with an iPod Touch. We already have great music and video players, which, sadly, are losing ground steadily to multifunction devices.

Judging by what youre telling me, it seems MS doesn't know how to position this device at all. If it's all of a sudden not even on par with the iPod Touch, what exactly does MS hope to accomplish with this thing? Compete with the new Nano? It can't do that either.

So you meant this thing?

http://www.anythingbutipod.com/archi...-in-berlin.php

Give it up Ghidrah - you can't spin negativity out of good reviews. I know you can't stand it but you really need to let it go.
post #131 of 232
Quote:
Originally Posted by Quadra 610 View Post

The PMP market is dying. There is really no reason to get a Zune HD when for around the same price you get that much more with an iPod Touch. We already have great music and video players, which, sadly, are losing ground steadily to multifunction devices.

Judging by what youre telling me, it seems MS doesn't know how to position this device at all. If it's all of a sudden not even on par with the iPod Touch, what exactly does MS hope to accomplish with this thing? Compete with the new Nano? It can't do that either.

So you meant this thing?

http://www.anythingbutipod.com/archi...-in-berlin.php

I hadn't seen that before, but I guess would be talking about devices like that.

I agree that the PMP market is dying, but as far as I can tell Microsoft didn't have any real aspirations to take on the touch. I wasn't disagreeing with your last post. I was just giving my best guess at where the Zune HD is really positioned. Given the small numbers of Zunes Microsoft sells, they might be able to sit in that category without losing sales for a while (making significant gains is another story).
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post #132 of 232
Quote:
Originally Posted by teckstud View Post

Give it up Ghidrah - you can't spin negativity out of good reviews. I know you can't stand it but you really need to let it go.

Well you seem to be more confused than I am about what this thing is supposed to be.

It's getting good reviews, sure. Good for perhaps the small segment that wants a pure PMP with a few perks. Otherwise it's all iPod and iPhone. So MS backed itself into a corner with this, yet claims there's room for growth. Where? into what? Who are buying dedicated PMPs these days when you can get an iPod Touch for a little more? What is the point of the Zune HD?

It's a fine device . . . for what it is. The market, however, has moved past these devices. This is 2009. It's as if MS were to introduce the world's best pager. Or world's best wired carphone.

So MS worked all this time, spent all this R&D to compete with the likes of the Samnsung P3? Seriously??

And really, why not make a bold, fresh attempt to actualy compete directly with the iPod Touch, then? MS has had over two years to respond.
post #133 of 232
Quote:
Originally Posted by cmf2 View Post

I have a pic from engadgets review in post 120.

Thanks Quadra and cmf2... I just wrote a lengthy response and then lost it when I hit send only to find out I was no longer logged in. UGH. I just don't have it in me to retype that now.

The short of it is that I'm glad to see some of this has something to it, but still feel that AI exaggerated things, making it sound like the screen was just going to be utter crap, which clearly it's not.

I just don't love the increased bias I guess... I know we all love Apple, but I feel like sometimes AI goes out of it's way to show how Apple is superior to everything else on planet earth. and even though that's true lol... I guess I don't like it being hammered home over and over.. it feels defensive to me after a while. It's sort of like those mac vs pc commercials... at first, they were awesome, but after a while, it gets a little tired. There's only one other mac rumor site I check regularly, and I never get that vibe there, so I don't think it's "me." On the other hand, this is the site I'm at the most, so maybe it is. lol who knows.

lol, my original response was more thoughtful...

Oh well.. anyway, thanks again, and I'm out.
post #134 of 232
Quote:
Originally Posted by ThisIsMike View Post

Thanks Quadra and cmf2... I just wrote a lengthy response and then lost it when I hit send only to find out I was no longer logged in. UGH. I just don't have it in me to retype that now.

The short of it is that I'm glad to see some of this has something to it, but still feel that AI exaggerated things, making it sound like the screen was just going to be utter crap, which clearly it's not.

I just don't love the increased bias I guess... I know we all love Apple, but I feel like sometimes AI goes out of it's way to show how Apple is superior to everything else on planet earth. and even though that's true lol... I guess I don't like it being hammered home over and over.. it feels defensive to me after a while. It's sort of like those mac vs pc commercials... at first, they were awesome, but after a while, it gets a little tired. There's only one other mac rumor site I check regularly, and I never get that vibe there, so I don't think it's "me." On the other hand, this is the site I'm at the most, so maybe it is. lol who knows.

lol, my original response was more thoughtful...

Oh well.. anyway, thanks again, and I'm out.

There has been way too much bias for my liking in these articles too, although I feel I did learn a few things about OLED in particular. At least with the obvious bias, you know to take everything with a grain of salt.
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post #135 of 232
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Originally Posted by Quadra 610 View Post

It's a fine device . . . for what it is. The market, however, has moved past these devices. This is 2009. It's as if MS were to introduce the world's best pager. Or world's best wired carphone.

Oh right - and I forgot that Apple in 2009 invented MMS, video recording, and cut, copy, and paste. How stupid of me. When does flash get invented?
post #136 of 232
Quote:
Originally Posted by Quadra 610 View Post

Well you seem to be more confused than I am about what this thing is supposed to be.

It's getting good reviews, sure. Good for perhaps the small segment that wants a pure PMP with a few perks. Otherwise it's all iPod and iPhone. So MS backed itself into a corner with this, yet claims there's room for growth. Where? into what? Who are buying dedicated PMPs these days when you can get an iPod Touch for a little more? What is the point of the Zune HD?

It's a fine device . . . for what it is. The market, however, has moved past these devices. This is 2009. It's as if MS were to introduce the world's best pager. Or world's best wired carphone.

So MS worked all this time, spent all this R&D to compete with the likes of the Samnsung P3? Seriously??

And really, why not make a bold, fresh attempt to actualy compete directly with the iPod Touch, then? MS has had over two years to respond.

I wonder if antitrust issues are holding the Zune back. Why can't the thing have Outlook integration (or even its own mail app), or use Windows Media Player instead of its own software (or have Zune Software replace WMP)? Apple can easily tie all its products into the iPhone OS platform, but Microsoft can't seem to do the same, and since they can't, the Zune wont compete directly with the touch.

I see three possibilities:
1) Anti-trust issues prevent the tight integration that the iPhone platform benefits from
2) Microsoft divisions suck at working together
3) Microsoft doesn't want the Zune to be anything more than a PMP (mind boggling)
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post #137 of 232
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Originally Posted by cmf2 View Post

I wonder if antitrust issues are holding the Zune back. Why can't the thing have Outlook integration (or even its own mail app), or use Windows Media Player instead of its own software (or have Zune Software replace WMP)? Apple can easily tie all its products into the iPhone OS platform, but Microsoft can't seem to do the same, and since they can't, the Zune wont compete directly with the touch.

I see three possibilities:
1) Anti-trust issues prevent the tight integration that the iPhone platform benefits from
2) Microsoft divisions suck at working together
3) Microsoft doesn't want the Zune to be anything more than a PMP (mind boggling)

Well this is kind of what I'm getting at, unless MS wants to take the Zune HD much further and this is only a taste of things to come. Except that it will attempt to grow into areas that are already filled quite well. And if we are to understand MS' usual attitude to "growth" in the handheld sector, that usually means stagnation to the point of outright neglect, like Windows Mobile, or the original Zune. Certainly, the Zune HD might develop into something greater, but when? Windows Mobile users have been waiting forever for something compelling, and it still isn't here.

I'm afraid I have a hard time believing the argument that the Zune HD is not meant to compete with the iPod Touch, but let's just run with it:

The Zune HD won't compete with the iPhone. That's a given.

Apparently, the Zune HD won't compete with the iPod Touch, either. Ok, fair enough.

So what's left? MS is alright with fighting it out for the scraps along with Samsung? And what happens in a year or two when the iPhone has even greater penetration and even more of us are trading in our iPods for iPhones and similar multifunction devices? There's no stopping the iPhone train, that's a given, unless Cupertino blows up and everyone along with it. And what happens when Apple's tablet is the success people think it will be and pushes single-use devices even further into the periphery? PMPs will cease to exist sooner than we think. Will MS then merge the Zune HD and WinMo platforms somehow? If so, just how much later do they plan on doing that, since we already have that *right now* in the iPhone? Seems in this sense, MS will perpetualy be several steps behind.
post #138 of 232
Quote:
Originally Posted by Quadra 610 View Post

Well this is kind of what I'm getting at, unless MS wants to take the Zune HD much further and this is only a taste of things to come. Except that it will attempt to grow into areas that are already filled quite well. And if we are to understand MS' usual attitude to "growth" in the handheld sector, that usually means stagnation to the point of outright neglect, like Windows Mobile, or the original Zune. Certainly, the Zune HD might develop into something greater, but when? Windows Mobile users have been waiting forever for something compelling, and it still isn't here.

I'm afraid I have a hard time believing the argument that the Zune HD is not meant to compete with the iPod Touch, but let's just run with it:

The Zune HD won't compete with the iPhone. That's a given.

Apparently, the Zune HD won't compete with the iPod Touch, either. Ok, fair enough.

So what's left? MS is alright with fighting it out for the scraps along with Samsung? And what happens in a year or two when the iPhone has even greater penetration and even more of us are trading in our iPods for iPhones and similar multifunction devices? There's no stopping the iPhone train, that's a given, unless Cupertino blows up and everyone along with it. And what happens when Apple's tablet is the success people think it will be and pushes single-use devices even further into the periphery? PMPs will cease to exist sooner than we think. Will MS then merge the Zune HD and WinMo platforms somehow? If so, just how much later do they plan on doing that, since we already have that *right now* in the iPhone? Seems in this sense, MS will perpetualy be several steps behind.

You talk like Microsoft is some hardware giant ,which it's not. It's a software company that dominates the world with 85-90% of all users. For all you know they could have produced this Zune for their fanboy base that will buy anything but an iPod- maybe that's their market. This notion that somehow it's even making an attempt to compete no less take over the iPod line is ridiculous bordering on paranoia. It's obiously not geared toward being a mobile machine like a Touch but a music device for its XBox fans. You reasonings are all out of wack here yet you keep spewing it over and over.
post #139 of 232
Quote:
Originally Posted by teckstud View Post

You talk like Microsoft is some hardware giant ,which it's not. It's a software company that dominates the world with 85-90% of all users. For all you know they could have produced this Zune for their fanboy base that will buy anything but an iPod- maybe that's their market. This notion that somehow it's even making an attempt to compete no less take over the iPod line is ridiculous bordering on paranoia. It's obiously not geared toward being a mobile machine like a Touch but a music device for its XBox fans. You reasonings are all out of wack here yet you keep spewing it over and over.

What? LOL, I can't believe you posted that.

Now we're narrowing it even further.

So it's a music device for MS' Xbox fans and whatever other minor market, because MS doesn't really need to function in this space anyway?

So their ubiquitous licensing of Windows is basically a money pool from which MS can use resources to dabble here and there, irrespective of results, and we really shouldn't expect anything grand. So MS produced something which at best, is a curious novelty, and at worst, is a failure like the first Zune.

You've described the general situation at MS for the past decade perfectly. I have to agree.
post #140 of 232
Quote:
Originally Posted by teckstud View Post

It's obiously not geared toward being a mobile machine like a Touch but a music device for its XBox fans.

I really do wonder why they didn't just make an XBox portable with the Zune HD hardware. The XBox platform and brand does pretty well in the market, at least much better relative its own market than Zune does in the portable media player market. The internal hardware is supposedly super great and it seems wasted on a portable media player that is quite limited in what you can run on it.
post #141 of 232
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cousin Dirk View Post

The problem with Microsoft these days (as it seems to me at least) is that they as a company are a control freak. They want to be the best at everything and don't like it when Apple, Google, Sony or even Netscape do something better than them. Having Steve Ballmer in charge doesn't help that much.

As a result, Microsoft has grown too big to be managed properly, with a singular goal and vision. They also seem singularly devoted to chasing their competitors at what their competitors do best, and in doing so have lost focus on what it is Microsoft do best.

Take a look at their operating system. Windows XP came out the same year as the first iteration of OS X. Since then, Windows Vista and Windows 6.1 have been a game of catch up with OS X's ease-of-use and good looks, instead of concentrating on its own business-space strengths where it could excel.

Then Google. Microsoft comes across as insanely jealous of Google's popularity in the internet search field, as well as their space in cloud computing.

And in competing with Nintendo and Sony in the console space, Microsoft has lost billions of dollars in selling machines at below build cost, not to mention the Red Ring of Death issues that plagued many of the early consoles.

Microsoft continue to be obsessed too with getting their own - proprietary - file formats to be common usage. Silverlight came out way to late to compete with Flash. WMV is a hopelessly inefficient format. Their DRMs (which they are really too keen on) are far too restrictive and hated by everyone but the record companies.

And then we come to the Zune. They hate the fact that Apple have made a player that has become so ubiquitous in its field that "iPod" has become the default name for any MP3 player, like Hoover did before it in vacuum cleaners. That want a piece of that because they hate the fact that anyone is better than them at anything.

Microsoft comes across as a company who just want to be loved, but try to do so by doing what everyone else who is loved do already, but not as well.

If Microsoft spent more time playing to their own strengths instead of everyone else's, they'd be better off.

It is really refreshing thinking of one of the world's most dominant corporations as insecure child craving for love

And it is likely completely wrong.

It is all about money. Microsoft has loads of it and wants to make even more. So Microsoft goes for markets that are known for being able to generate money.

Like game consoles and gaming industry. Like mobile devices.

If I recall well, Sony was loosing money on every original Playstation, and PS2 (likely PS3 as well). Yet game console market is one of the most profitable markets for Sony in the last 15 years or so. One can afford to loose some money on every console as long as one will get much more by selling games and accessories for that console.

Microsoft is not selecting new markets just because someone is more popular than them in that segment. Believing that is a bit childish. Microsoft is selecting markets because they are proven to be profitable, and because the have common ground with MS existing markets. Making games and peripherals for game console is not much different than making them for a PC. And same, in a way, applies to mobile devices - it is not like MS hasn't got their share of history with PDAs and mobile phones.

Otherwise - if you were correct - we'd have Microsoft Small Appliances - hey, Bosh and Rowenta are doing well with all those blenders and food processors. Or Microsoft vacuum cleaners? How about MS whiteware? Dishwashers and washing machines with Windows CE? Have a quickie Tetris while your underwear is being cleaned - now that would bring them a lot of love!
post #142 of 232
Quote:
Originally Posted by Quadra 610 View Post

This.

It's like I'm seeing me talking!

You've gotten to the heart of the matter. There's a reason for Apple fanboyism.

There is reason for every extremism in the world. Usually wrong one, though.
post #143 of 232
Quote:
Originally Posted by Quadra 610 View Post

Will MS then merge the Zune HD and WinMo platforms somehow? If so, just how much later do they plan on doing that, since we already have that *right now* in the iPhone? Seems in this sense, MS will perpetualy be several steps behind.

I don't know if the PMP will completely cease to exist, some people want the "better" audio quality that the Zune and other devices have to offer (I doubt I would be able to tell the difference). So there will be a small market, but you are right there are a lot of players there and it make no sense for Microsoft to limit itself to such a market.

I think Microsoft really shoots themselves in the foot with parallel development, it's like they are throwing things at the wall and hoping something sticks. They have three mobile platforms that they are working on: Zune, WinMo 6.5, and WinMo 7.0, two media players on the computer (three if you consider Windows Media Center seperate from Windows Media Player), plus another one on the 360, they had two office platforms (Works and Office), etc. If all the departments played nice with each other and they didn't waste time replicating each others work (or worse working on two similar projects in the same department), they could have some really good products.
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post #144 of 232
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Originally Posted by delreyjones View Post

I think the answer is, when we look at the established leader (iPod) we tend to focus on what's missing, whereas when we look at the challenger (Zune) we focus more on what's there. I think this difference implies that if we did an objective feature comparison of both, Zune has a long ways to go to be a contender.

Just my 2 cents.

That definitely stands for people here in AI, but out there MS has loads of users, and some of them are (gasp! ) even happy with their Windows computers. For many of them, Zune HD does not have to be better than iPod Touch - it just has to be good enough, for start.

Or you have thought only Apple can command vast and dedicated army of fanboys and extremists..?
post #145 of 232
Quote:
Originally Posted by cmf2 View Post

AI said a lot about the OLED screen, so I don't know what part you considered to be a lie, but if it was the daylight visibility part, I'll give you this from Engadgets review. As far as I can tell AI never lied, but instead placed a spotlight on the flaws while downplaying or ignoring the benefits (which really isn't much better).


Point taken. But like I say, I don't like how the iPhone performs in direct sunlight either, so I choose to avoid it. I.E. this issue for iPhone owners (especially me) is a non-issue. By the way, AI didn't say anything "The Prince" did
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post #146 of 232
Quote:
Originally Posted by nikon133 View Post

For many of them, Zune HD does not have to be better than iPod Touch - it just has to be good enough, for start.

That kind of attitude is MS' problem. MS' users seem to be enablers of its mediocrity.

It's just "good enough." Don't expect too much. Don't demand too much, etc.
post #147 of 232
Quote:
Originally Posted by Quadra 610 View Post

That kind of attitude is MS' problem. MS' users seem to be enablers of its mediocrity.

It's just "good enough." Don't expect too much. Don't demand too much, etc.

Expecting that a new product can beat a whole, pre-existing and utterly dominant ecosystem is expecting too much.

A new product has to be good enough in order to sell (well enough) and build critical mass of users. Once that is achieved, product will become attractive for 3rd party developers - or at least more in-house investments - and can evolve from product to a proper platform.

And yes, it has to be good enough. Like iPhone was good enough to stand its ground against WinMo and PalmOS mobtels and spur a process that brought it where it is now.

Seems people tend to forget iPhone lacked applications and even some features available on pre-existing platforms when introduced, but obviously was good enough to overcome that.

Likewise, in the golden days of PDA, Windows Mobile PDAs have hit the market much later than PalmOS and had to fight vast library of Palm apps and games... and, much as I remember, still managed to dethrone Palm PDAs at some point.

I'm not saying Zune HD will be able to repeat anything like that - only time will tell - but I do think that is the natural way of things.
post #148 of 232
Quote:
Originally Posted by nikon133 View Post

Expecting that a new product can beat a whole, pre-existing and utterly dominant ecosystem is expecting too much.

A new product has to be good enough in order to sell (well enough) and build critical mass of users. Once that is achieved, product will become attractive for 3rd party developers - or at least more in-house investments - and can evolve from product to a proper platform.

And yes, it has to be good enough. Like iPhone was good enough to stand its ground against WinMo and PalmOS mobtels and spur a process that brought it where it is now.

Seems people tend to forget iPhone lacked applications and even some features available on pre-existing platforms when introduced, but obviously was good enough to overcome that.

Likewise, in the golden days of PDA, Windows Mobile PDAs have hit the market much later than PalmOS and had to fight vast library of Palm apps and games... and, much as I remember, still managed to dethrone Palm PDAs at some point.

I'm not saying Zune HD will be able to repeat anything like that - only time will tell - but I do think that is the natural way of things.

That's a reasonable view.

I certainly hope MS plans to integrate this into their Xbox ecosystem somehow. The Xbox has a great deal of potential, much of it yet to be tapped. That's one of their few prodcuts (very, very few) that i have respect for.
post #149 of 232
Quote:
Originally Posted by nikon133 View Post

That definitely stands for people here in AI, but out there MS has loads of users, and some of them are (gasp! ) even happy with their Windows computers. For many of them, Zune HD does not have to be better than iPod Touch - it just has to be good enough, for start.

Or you have thought only Apple can command vast and dedicated army of fanboys and extremists..?

Two things: the Windows world actually doesn't command the level of identification and loyalty to their hardware that Apple does. You really don't meet too many people that "love" their PC, or who are of much of a mind to extol its virtues. It's the thing they gave you at work, or what you're used to. It gets the job done. The closest thing the Windows world comes to "fanboys" are rabid Apple haters, which is not the same thing.

Secondly, any fair analysis of what the Touch actually is, and what the Zune actually is, suggests that the Zune actually isn't "good enough."

If all you want is a nice PMP, sure, but that's not what the Touch is. If the idea is to peel of Touch owners, or keep potential Touch owners in the family, than the Zune HD doesn't provide remotely the functionality that the Touch does, which you have to assume most Touch owners or potential Touch owners actually care about.

I mean, how many potential buyers are thinking "I guess I could get that thing with the email and a ton of games and the location aware apps and really good browser and voice recording and virtual musical instruments and peer to peer gaming and system wide search and cut and paste and all those little sophisticated niceties like automatic wifi log-on, but, damnit, I don't want those things. I want OLED and subscription music and a shitload of animation in the UI."

Some, I guess, but that's not really competing on a "good enough" basis, that's shooting for a different market and a different buyer. Windows didn't become dominant by being "good enough" in that sense-- by having lots less functionality than their competitor's computers, while still charging as much and throwing in a bit of eye candy to sweeten the deal.
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post #150 of 232
I fully expect the iPhone and iPod touch to have OLED displays within two years.
post #151 of 232
Quote:
Originally Posted by MadIvan View Post

Let's see, that would be one HDMI cable and a power cord. WIth the Zune it would be what? HDMI cable, dock, and presumably a power adapter for the dock. Either way I don't see much difference.

I think DVD and Blue Ray win that one, assuming of course that the friend in question has a player so you don't have to bring that.

My original "wish" was for the iPhone/touch to have the capability to output 720p iTS HD video. In that case, all I need is my touch and a dock-to-HDMI cable. Nothing has to be disconnected from my home TV (why would I need to play content from my touch on my home TV when it's already on my computer, a HTPC mini, or AppleTV?).

If folks can't see how that is so much easier than disconnecting an AppleTV from my home system, lugging it back-and-forth, and then hooking it all back up again, then there's not much I can do more to explain it.
post #152 of 232
This..... doesn't seem good.

Unless the Zune is broken, it's taking what appears to be 10x longer to load a web page than the Touch, and even then doesn't get it all.

And here's the Zune taking a solid 10 seconds to launch the calculator app, which, WTF?

I agree with what someone else posted, possibly in another thread-- the tech press is invested in the horse race, and the Zune does enough right to give them a credible contender. But I've been sort of shocked as the blithe way many mainstream reviews sort of blow off what seem to me to be deal breakers, stuff like the clumsy way transport controls are accessed, or the terrible browser performance, or the lack of bluetooth, or a wired remote.

If I were writing a review, I'd spend less time being "blown away" by the "sexy" hardware and "hypnotic" interface and start wondering why apps take forever to launch or its a pain in the ass to change the volume. I mean, aren't these sort of fundamental issues?
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post #153 of 232
I'm not sure why people believe there is no market for what the Zune offers. As a precursor to my post, I'd like to point out that I am neither an MS or Apple fanboy. I use both a Mac and a PC at work, and I have owned several Apple products including an iPod Touch and an iPod classic. I don't identify personally with any particular brand, to me they are all just more tools in the toolbox, and I have no hatred for either side developing new and better products.

While, like quite a lot of people, I did have terrible experiences with the iPods, mostly reliability issues, I must say that I am glad I gave Apple another chance and bought an iTouch back when they first came out. As a gadget man, I was in the market to upgrade my outdated first gen iTouch. I probably would have purchased an iPhone if my work did not already provide me with a Blackberry. So why didn't I get another iPod touch?

In two years Apple hadn't really done much to the iTouch. The Zune on the other hand had something different to offer.

I am a sound quality freak, and when I replaced the crappy earbuds that came with Zune, I could immediately tell the difference in sound quality. IMHO, the Zune blows the iTouch out of the water in this department. This has always been a peeve of mine with Apple's music players, but they have so many other advantages as a portable device that I have always been willing to gloss over the quality.

I also found the screen on the ZuneHD to be far superior to the iTouch. I have read some things in here about the quality of organic LEDs in direct sunlight. Personally, I rarely ever used my iTouch in the direct sunlight so I don't have a good enough recollection to make a comparison. I will say that the ZuneHD is quite dim when I look at it in the sun, but this doesn't bother me. I usually used my iTouch for videos when I am stuck on a plane, and I expect that will be the same for my ZuneHD. The only time it's really in the sun is in my car, when I am not looking at it anyway.

I don't know about the browser, I always use my blackberry for the web. On the rare occasion when I am at a WiFi spot without my laptop I found the iTouch browser to be sufficient (I never had these crashing problems that people talk about, but maybe I didn't use it enough). I haven't played much with the Zune browser, although it seems to work just fine too. The internet conncetion was kind of a wash for me, mobile browsing is generally a shitty experience regardless of the medium.

I also found the Zune GUI to be a lot easier, faster and more responsive than the iTouch. It was especially noticable when turning the device sideways and using the multi-touch. But, again this didn't really matter much to me. The iTouch worked fine in this regard, I never felt as though it was too slow. But I will admit that the UI was a nice bonus, I am really enjoying it.

What sold me on the Zune was the audio quality, the screen quality, and the integrated HD radio. I also liked the idea of the ZunePass, but I'm not sure if I will be paying the $10 fee yet, it seems like the marketplace for music is quite small compared to Apple's. I usually download most of my music anyway.

I must admit that I am somewhat dissapointed at the dearth of applications. I understand that the product was just launched, but still, as I understand it MS is using the XNA framework for applications, and I would have expected a few more application ports from the other WinMO devices. Give that it's using the XNA platform I am fairly certain that in the future there will be more applications developed, but it would have been nice if they put in the effort to have more than 10 at launch.

I think that the Zune has potential and that is why I bought it. When I looked at the newer iTouch it just looked like the same old, same old, with little added. The Samsung P3 was certainly also a tempting buy, but it didn't hold the same potental as the Zune. It was soley media-centric, without any real ability for the same kind of expansion as the Zune. I don't think that MS is going to attempt the same massive marketplace for applications as the iPod touch, but I do believe that there will be useful applciations developed for it.

As it stands now, it's hard to say if the ZuneHD will end up being a competitor to the iPod Touch, but it's certainly possible. Just because there aren't 200,000 slickly running applications the week after it's launch does not mean that there won't be any in the future. The hardware capability is there, and the platform for development is vast. Whether MS and other third party devs will be able to deliver on the software side will have to be seen. Microsoft may have found a nice happy medium between the expandability of the iTouch and the allure that more media-centric devices offer.
post #154 of 232
Quote:
Originally Posted by addabox View Post

This..... doesn't seem good.

Unless the Zune is broken, it's taking what appears to be 10x longer to load a web page than the Touch, and even then doesn't get it all.

And here's the Zune taking a solid 10 seconds to launch the calculator app, which, WTF?

I agree with what someone else posted, possibly in another thread-- the tech press is invested in the horse race, and the Zune does enough right to give them a credible contender. But I've been sort of shocked as the blithe way many mainstream reviews sort of blow off what seem to me to be deal breakers, stuff like the clumsy way transport controls are accessed, or the terrible browser performance, or the lack of bluetooth, or a wired remote.

If I were writing a review, I'd spend less time being "blown away" by the "sexy" hardware and "hypnotic" interface and start wondering why apps take forever to launch or its a pain in the ass to change the volume. I mean, aren't these sort of fundamental issues?

Unless the Zune becomes an iPod touch clone, feature for feature (but with a few distinguishing features thrown in), it won't go very far, and remain something of a novelty/curiosity in what has become a shinking market for PMPs. MS has to have a solid, simple, and very aggressive growth strategy behind it - robust App Store, Cloud services integration, e-mail, and other features of the "pocket computer" paradigm which has taken the handheld segment by storm, and which is even re-imagining the entire portable computing sector.

It's bad enough that it has no phone functionality. Over the next two years we'll see a consumer-oriented shift in the accessibility of smartphones. Carriers, due to increased competition (up here in Canada, at least) will relax some of the more salient barriers to entry that the average consumer might experience. In short, smartphones that are capapble of a wide variety of functions and roles will replace standalone devices.

The nice thing about the iPod Touch is that is provdes an easy upgrade path to the iPhone. The devices are alike in many ways. But the communication functionality - phone, e-mail, SMS, MMS (depending on your carrier) really sets the iPhone apart. Its lead is becoming unassailable. Over two years and still nothing comparable.

The Zune HD should have been released in 2006 (but MS doesn't do that sort of thing.) Had that happened, and had MS back then had the additional foresight to see the growth potential in such a device, we wouldn't be asking endless quesions about what the hell MS is thinking today. They have the Xbox platform. Hopefully MS has the foresight to understand its full potential. Do they? If they do, how long can they afford to wait until they get around to some sort of serious Xbox-Zune integratoion? But MS really has no foresight in these areas, because, as we're learning, they simply don't need to innvovate anything. Apparently, if you have enough revenue and deep enough pockets, failed products are called "experiments." Apparently, irrespective of how long your customer base has to wait for you to release something that the competition has had (successfully) for years, it's ok. Because you can somehow afford to wait forever if need be. If you have money, it's alright to underperform constantly. A dangerous assumption. Small wonder MS has serious image issues. These are not just excuses for MS' failures, lateness, and overall ineptness, but also ominous portents of what awaits the Zune HD if MS doesn't give itself a sorely-needed attitude adjustment.
post #155 of 232
Quote:
Originally Posted by rmm21 View Post

Another disappointing smear article of the Zune HD. Microsoft must of hit a nerve for them to hit this kind of low here.

I believe I smell fear from Camp Apple Insider.

The fact is the Zune HD has real geek buzz around it and has been getting rave reviews. Such things do not sit well with blinkered Apple fanboys.
post #156 of 232
Quote:
Originally Posted by cmf2 View Post

AI said a lot about the OLED screen, so I don't know what part you considered to be a lie, but if it was the daylight visibility part, I'll give you this from Engadgets review. As far as I can tell AI never lied, but instead placed a spotlight on the flaws while downplaying or ignoring the benefits (which really isn't much better).


That's exactly how my iPhone looks in direct sunlight. Or my PSP. Or any other device with a shiny screen.
post #157 of 232
Quote:
Originally Posted by kotatsu View Post

I believe I smell fear from Camp Apple Insider.

The fact is the Zune HD has real geek buzz around it and has been getting rave reviews. Such things do not sit well with blinkered Apple fanboys.

No more fear than when the original Zune was released, which was also recognized as an ill-conceived idea. at the time.

And there's apparently no reason for any fear, because we're being told (astonishingly) that the Zune HD won't compete againt the iPod Touch anyway.

As a standalone PMP, it's great. I don't doubt the reviews at all. But unless MS has serious plans to grow this thing in terms of apps, multifunctionality, etc., it's in a shrinking market that will all but disappear completely as carriers play nicer with smartphone manufacturers. If the Zune HD isn't positioned as a growth platform (and judging by their crippled apps paradigm, it isn't really), it'll be an excellent PMP that no one will end up buying. The problem isn't how great the device is at what it's meant to do, the problem is that it arrived to the party when everyone's starting to get up and leave. We've moved beyond the PMP. Even if it has HD Radio and a nice screen. These two or three distinguishing hardware features just aren't enough.

The reason MS fans are falling all over themselves is because MS has never given them anything like this before. Apple users are accustomed to getting great devices ona regular basus. It usually takes MS ages to get up to speed. But unfortunately, again, it seems like MS' lateness and positioning of this device will just result in more Zune-inspired tears down the road.
post #158 of 232
Quote:
Originally Posted by Quadra 610 View Post

The reason MS fans are falling all over themselves is because MS has never given them anything like this before. Apple users are accustomed to getting great devices ona regular basus. It usually takes MS ages to get up to speed. But unfortunately, again, it seems like MS' lateness and positioning of this device will just result in more Zune-inspired tears down the road.

Ghidrah, give it up please. Your desperation to bash the ZUne HD is pathetic. Again Microsoft is not a hardware electronics company like Apple partly is and it took them 3 years to get it right- who really cares? Competition is good anyway. Maybe you'll get an HD iPod next year.
post #159 of 232
Quote:
Originally Posted by kotatsu View Post

That's exactly how my iPhone looks in direct sunlight. Or my PSP. Or any other device with a shiny screen.

Exactly! This 'sunlight' argument is a weak, weak one. The OLED screen is superior, why won't these fools just admit it. Every review makes this point.
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post #160 of 232
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ireland View Post

Exactly! This 'sunlight' argument is a weak, weak one. The OLED screen is superior, why won't these fools just admit it. Every review makes this point.

Engadget specifically cites daylight visibility as a weakness of OLED, but they did love the screen otherwise. All I was pointing out was the AI didn't outright lie. The article was clearly biased and exagerated weak points while ignoring or downplaying strong points. iPhone visibility in daylight is also poor, although mine has never seemed as bad as that picture.
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