MP3 Mailbox Monday has had quite the hiatus, so I've selected a healthy mishmash of questions that should satisfy the span of curiosity about recent (and not-so-recent) goings on in the digital audio domain. For example, do you have to replace your headphones to get integrated iPod controls? Plus, what's the deal with the iPod and subscription music? And of course, what is sure to be an age-old question: which is better, the Zune or the iPod? Oh, and yes...one other thing, too. Read on.
Q: I was wondering if you could recommend any second-gen iPod Touch headphone remote adapters that I can use with my current earbuds (Shure SE210s). Ideally, it would have the same functionality as Apple's headphones (play/pause, skip forward/backward, volume control, and a built in mic). I love the Shures and would prefer not to get a new pair of 'buds just to get remote-control functionality.--Tyson, via e-mail
A: No, it cannot. The iPod is not compatible with the music rental model. Similarly, the Zune Pass is only directly compatible with the Zune. Other subscription services, such as Napster To Go and Rhapsody To Go, can be used with a variety of non-iPod and non-Zune devices, such as the Sony Walkman line and the Creative Zen line.
Q: Which is the better player, the iPod Touch or the Zune HD?--Anonymous, via e-mail
A: My opinion is that it really depends on what you're using it for. If you want an app powerhouse with plenty of gaming capability and a larger screen for video viewing, go with the Touch. If you want a top notch MP3 player with excellent sound quality and some compelling extras, go with the Zune HD.
Q: I am looking for a player to replace my Ibiza Rhapsody. The only thing I don't like about it is the battery life, but I still need a player that can sync and download podcast over any Wi-Fi hotspot.--Benton, via e-mail