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trying to decide if 50$ + is worthet? zune or creative zen

by no.brains.at.all / February 23, 2007 11:43 AM PST

my ipod was recently stolen and i cant make it any longer without some type of mp3 player. i have over 15 gb in music and a few videos. i am struggling wether to go with the older creative zen vision: M or the newer microsoft zune player. i cant lie i would have to say i like the zunes interface more, looks really nice. but i dont know how it is in dependibility, like everyday use. considering its not that old and their hasnt been much said about the zune i am scared to go spend the money on something im not completly sure of. some one help me decide which one and if the zune is worth 50$ more.

o and what exactly is meant by the zune cant play protected content?

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protected content
by ktreb / February 23, 2007 3:44 PM PST

Protected content are purchased song downloads (and now video) that incorporate DRM (digital rights management). They can only be played on your computer and on certain mp3 players.

Songs purchased on iTunes can only be played on iPods (without doing any sort of conversion or burning to cd then ripping back onto computer process). iTunes DRM scheme is called Fairplay. Microsoft developed Plays For Sure (actually called Windows Media Audio DRM 9). Players certified as "Plays for Sure" devices can play protected content from a variety of stores. There are many such devices from different manufacturers such as Creative, SanDisk, Archos, Cowan, etc. Microsoft even had a music store - MSN Music Store that sold songs with this DRM. This was before Microsoft officially entered the mp3 player market.

With the new Zune player, Microsoft pretty much abandonded Plays For Sure. If you bought tracks off of MSN Music Store you cannot play them on the Zune. The MSN music store doesn't exist anymore - users are directed toward Rhapsody. Instead, if you want to purchase downloaded content to put on the Zune you must go through Microsoft's Zune Marketplace. eMusic, Audio Lunchbox and other such sites that sell songs in mp3 format are exceptions that can be played on any player including iPods. Video content hasn't been rolled out on the Zune Marketplace yet.

As for your original question, is the $50 worth it? Well, I don't own one, but was interested until I found out about the lack of Plays For Sure content support. You also must use their Zune software, kind of like iPod + iTunes. You can't even use Microsoft's own Windows Media Player. The software doesn't have podcast support - you can't subscribe to podcasts through it. That's not to say you can't put podcasts on it. It's just that you got to do a little more work to get them in your Zune library and perhaps create a playlist so that you can easily find them. And the final nail: you can't use it as an external drive without hacking it. All of this Microsoft could rectify with a software update. Whether or not they do remains to be seen. If I want to be locked into software and music store, I will stick with iPod.

Yeah, I'm a multiple iPod owner. But I'm a gadget lover as well who is always looking for my next gadget. I do like the Zune, especially the black one, but I was disappointed in the rollout and will stay away for now. I do like the Creative Zen Vision M. It has a better screen than the video iPod (I own a 5.5 gen) and I think comparable battery life.

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Buy a Zune
by Osa007 / February 24, 2007 3:17 AM PST

Buy a Zune because it is not as bad as people say it is and is very dependable. You do not really need to protect the Zune much, in fact the only thing that needs to be protect on the Zune is the screen. Many people have dropped Zunes and they are still working. The Zune is only going to get better. Also the Zune has the most features for the price on the market and it is currently on sale on websites like www.amazon.com The best thing to do is do your homework and read reviews.

The Zune also has a better support group than Ipod. There are many Zune websites out there that can help you with any issues you have with the Zune so you don't feel alone. For example www.zunerama.com, www.zunescene.com, www.zuneinsider.com, www.zunemax.com, and many more.

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I'm not sure but
by bkchurch / February 24, 2007 3:25 AM PST

CNET really seemed to like the Toshiba Gigabeat, that's the player I'm looking into if I ditch my iPod the problem is giving up iTunes, I really love iTunes.

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anything make one stand out from the other?
by no.brains.at.all / February 26, 2007 7:25 AM PST
In reply to: I'm not sure but

well im just really trying to get out of the song protective crap, yeh i cant blame them for trying to put there name on it. but then again, its a no cause i cant stand putting up with the protected songs, and also the one way transfer crap.

so im thinking of going with the vision m
and now i come back a day later and look at the gigabeat again and like it now, so now im thinking of one of those
vision m
or gigabeat

they seem to be about same in price and quality

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As long as you're ripping music from cds
by ktreb / February 26, 2007 1:16 PM PST

or buying unDRM'ed mp3s, you won't have a problem with protected songs regardless of which player you end up purchasing.

I haven't seen the gigabeat up close, but I have seen the Vision M - I have a couple of coworkers who have them- they seem to really like it. Just for your information, Toshiba manufactures the Zune for Microsoft - I've read somewhere that the Zune is just a rejiggered Gigabeat. I'm not sure of what to make of that information, but I just thought I'd throw that in.

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