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Review: Zune 4 and 8 nearly the iPod's true rivals

updated 03:20 pm EST, Tue November 20, 2007

Zune 4 Review Article

Outside of those most eager to sign on to Microsoft's 1.0 vision of its own digital music player, most agree that the original Zune -- still on sale as the Zune 30 after a firmware update -- is something of a flop. The hard disk drive-based player is bulky, quick to run out of battery power, and its much-ballyhooed Wi-Fi sharing turned out to be largely useless. This adds an extra burden to the first flash-based Zunes: they not only have to compete against the iPod nano and other fierce competitors but also represent a genuine improvement to the Zune line as a whole. As it turns out, both the Zune 4 and Zune 8 come close enough to the iPod's design that Apple may feel pressure for the first time -- though not quite enough to cause sleepless nights in Cupertino. Click ahead for the full Zune 4/8 review.

by MacNN Staff




  1. Unity Boy

    Joined: Dec 1969


    They got me

    When I saw the site I broke down and bought the Zune 8 in black.

    I must say I do like it better than my iPod.

  1. hayesk

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Re: they got me

    Looks like the controls are in an odd place. What's better about it?

    I guess it's a moot point for me as I don't use Windows, but I'm curious as to why you like it better.

  1. Mr. Strat

    Joined: Dec 1969


    I saw some

    in the same place I've seen other a locked case at Wally World. I've yet to see one in the wild (although I wouldn't want to show one off either and let everyone know how retarded I was for wasting my money on it).

  1. JackWebb

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Nice review

    Lots of helpful information in this review. Thanks for reminding me of the payoff to Universal because that does make this device less desirable to me. At least I've learned that I'm not missing anything when the local Microsoft fanboy starts spouting-off about it. This thing is definitely not aimed well at any Mac users.

  1. robttwo

    Joined: Dec 1969



    So what a****** buys something that is "nearly" as good as something else? And what bigger a****** spends money on an iPod AND a Zune? One that is lying, that's who.


  1. magicbumone

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Apple may feel pressure

    "both the Zune 4 and Zune 8 come close enough to the iPod's design that Apple may feel pressure for the first time" Why would anyone buy something that kinda looks like a ipod for the same price as an actual ipod. This wont effect Apple one bit. Nice try though M$!

  1. dscottbuch

    Joined: Dec 1969


    loses on every point

    So, in the review the Zune basically loses to the iPod on every point. Even the features it has that the iPod doesn't, FM radio, wifi, are reviewed negatively in the review. How does this add up in any way to 'nearly an iPod'??????????

    Just the usual Macnn click grabbing.

  1. Terrin

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Zune Stinks

    I hate to tell people, but there are plenty of other players where the hardware is better then the iPod. The iPod's strengths are 1) Apple's marketing, 2) Apple's tight integration of hardware and software, 3) third party peripherals, 4) integration with third party products (e.g. my car), and 5) Apple's essentially creating the market.

    Microsoft's Zune is offering nothing original, and is not even the best non Apple alternative. Creative makes a kick a** Shuffle replacement that was recently reviewed in Mac Format magazine. Moreover, Creative doesn't just copy Apple. Furthermore, Archos makes nice alternatives to the iPod. None of these products, however, have the same depth of hardware and software integration or third party support.

    Finally, go read the Microsoft Zune Blog. All the first generation people are pissed.

  1. smashedbanana

    Joined: Dec 1969



    When they lowered the prices on the iPods it was a nail in the Zune coffin. Who wants a Zune when you can get an iPod for the same price, or even not much more?

    The new Zunes are nice, but better than the ipod -no. Cheaper - also no.

    And the rant - seriously fm radio? Come on. What is this 1984. Couldn't they make a deal with Sirius or XM? Now that would be a feature...

  1. appleusr

    Joined: Dec 1969


    iPod VS Whatever

    I am sick of hearing this is as good, iPod killer so long iPod.

    Simple... by what you like, As a apple Mac user I truly have one choice if I choose to download music, because none of the other online stores work with out a lot of work. So all you windows users please don't complain you have many choices.

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