Welcome to my first post on the newly relaunched MP3 Insider blog. I'll be updating this blog regularly with MP3 player-related rants and predictions. If you're a fan of the MP3 Insider podcast I co-host with Jasmine France, you'll probably enjoy this blog as well. I wanted to start with something classy, but instead, let's get the ball rolling with a juicy product smackdown.
When it comes to interface and killer features, the challenger that Microsoft should really keep an eye on is the yet-to-be-released Samsung YP-P2 I reported on back in August. Although Samsung hasn't released pricing information yet, things could really heat up if the YP-P2 can get close to the the $149 and $199 price points of the iPod Nano and Flash-based Zunes. Not only does the YP-P2 offer a 3-inch touch screen and built in Bluetooth, but it also has the advantage of not being Microsoft. Honestly, after Apple's successful "I'm a Mac" smear campaign, it's tough to convince people that Microsoft makes cool gear (unless you've got Halo 3 as bait).
We've been able to dig up two videos on YouTube that demonstrate the interface for both the Zune and Samsung YP-P2. To be fair, the Zune video shows a demonstration by a product rep, while the YP-P2 is handled by someone who seems barely familiar with the product. In my opinion, both interfaces look equally stunning. Still, here's the four questions that I can't shake:
1. Is there a way to pronounce the YP-P2 without saying "pee-pee"?
2. Which is more useful, the YP-P2's stereo Bluetooth transmission, or the Zune's wireless syncing capabilities?
3. Are touch screens really a superior interface, or has the iPhone hype simply created that impression?
4. Just how well does the new Zune handle podcasts?
I guess I'll just have to wait and see. Until then, I'll be studying these videos. Sound off in the Talkback section if you've already declared a winner.
Microsoft Zune 80GB