Thursday, November 29, 2007

iPod Vs. Zune: Music and Video Download Sites

There are many folks that hate both Apple and Microsoft portable media products. Apple makes iPod and Microsoft makes Zune. Fortunately for the consumer, there are other good portable media players out there now but do not have the same visibility as Apple and Microsoft products. Discussion about these other portable media players like SanDisk’s Sansa series and Creative’s Zen series devices are beyond the scope of this article. This article is about basic iPod and Zune similarities and differences. In addition, sources for purchasing music online for iPod and Zune will be briefly discussed.

The iPod is a portable media players designed and marketed by Apple and released to the public in 2001. Currently, as a digital audio player, the iPod is the best-selling music player in history. Zune is Microsoft's digital audio player, released in 2006, directly competing with Apple’s iPod. Each of these portable media players deliver what it was intended to do which is to play music or audio, display images, and play video. Each has their pros and cons.

There are many Zune and IPod similarities and I will list major ones. They each have the same starting price of around $249, disk storage, picture capacity, screen resolution, and aspect ratio. They play audio, pictures, and video. They have USB connection (to another device, typically a computer), battery, and similar battery life.

Both devices support MP3, MP4, M4A, M4B (for audio), and MOV (for video) file formats. The Zune favors Windows Media Audio (WMA) while iPod has its protected AAC format. When it comes to exchanging files, you will need software tools to convert your iTunes files to MP3 or convert Zune WMA files to MP3. Both systems support JPGs (for still images) and MPGs (for video).

There are advantages that Zune has over iPod. Approximately 60 hours more video can be stored in the 30GB version. Zune has a larger screen size and is capable of portrait mode display. Zune has wallpaper, FM radio, wireless connectivity, and faster battery charge. Zune Plays WMA audio formats and WMV video formats. It has one more standard case color: brown!

There are advantages that iPod has over Zune. iPod plays games, is compatible with the Audible, Apple Lossless, AIFF, and WAV audio formats. It plays H.264, M4V, MP4, MOV, MPEG-4 video formats. It is slightly smaller and lighter than Zune. The iPod software works on PC and Mac. Zune only works with PCs.

The primary websites for music downloads are iTunes Store for iPod and Zune Marketplace for Zune. Both sites offer music downloads of 0.99 cents per song. With Zune Marketplace, you can buy a monthly subscription for $14.99 a month for unlimited downloads as long as you have a subscription.

But there are other online music stores out there so you are not limited to Apple and Microsoft. Do an online search for “online music stores” and determine what works for you.

The stores that I recommend are offered here and have one time fees:

For iPod music and video downloads, click on

For Zune music and video downloads, click on
by Argee Gallamoza

Have fun with what ever portable media player you choose!

Buy from Amazon - Ipod Touch 8GB

Buy from Amazon - Zune 30GB Black

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