With the entire web buzzing about the leaked feature of the Zune HD naturally curiosity has led to those inevitable questions whenever a new consumer device with clout is leaked. What colors will it come in? What material will it be made of? While we always feel compelled to ask those questions, we want to know what the pretty shiny object will do and, while that’s not possible yet, we can still imagine what we want.
You touch it Stupid!
When Zune made its debut back in November 2006 it’s only source of user input was a directional pad, and while it was replaced a year later with the Zune Pad, the simple fact is the market has moved on. While the Zune Pad does make it easy for owners to change songs or quickly adjust the volume, by getting rid of rudimentary navigation you open up the device to possibilities that were never there before. Imagine connecting to the device marketplace without the nightmare of the scrolling keyboard!
Is That a Speaker In Your Pocket
Consumer music devices without built in speakers are one of those things that has always bothered me. For one many people’s first reaction when picking up a personal media player for the first time is, “why can’t I hear it.” The iPod until very recently has never had a speaker, and that’s fine for them -they’re obsessed with device footprints. With the Zune that’s never really been a concern. So what if it makes the device a little thicker? A little speaker would go a long way.
Do More with Less.
Zuners overall believe that the Zune has been a wiser choice over the iPod Classic for at least a year now and to be fairly honest while it may be a debatable topic that fact is that they have a reasonable argument. The fact that someone may even entertain the thought of choosing a Zune over an iPod is a win. However there are problems with this argument and one of the biggest is the iPod Touch.
For the last two years we’ve heard arguments that the iPod Touch and the Zune 120 aren’t in the same league, that it’s like comparing apples to oranges, however this argument fails to realize that any MP3 player that competes for space in a user’s pocket is by definition a competitor to every other mp3 player. With that point in mind the Zune lineup may hold its own against the classic but utterly fails to sway those who may be considering an iPod Touch. We need a Zune device that does more than just plays music. We need applications that do different things, wireless internet that does more than zap music, pictures, and videos. I shouldn’t need 3 devices in my pocket, only a Zune loaded with my favorite music, which can browse the internet and handle if not all, nearly all of my communication needs.
I’ll be updating this list over time but I think it’s clear I’m not asking for a miracle here and I think nothing that’s mentioned here is completely farfetched. We need a new kind of Zune to compete with new kind of technology and yesterdays players aren’t going to cut it.