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Jobs: Zune is no threat to iPod

Written by Ben Reid @ 16 Oct 2006 12:36 User comments (25)

Jobs: Zune is no threat to iPod As the ever-popular iPod's fifth anniversary draws nearer, Apple CEO Steve Jobs has played down Microsoft's upcoming challenger - the Zune music player - stating that the music sharing abilities of the device were too complicated and slow.
In an online interview with Newsweek, Jobs was asked if he was concerned by rival Microsoft's forthcoming Zune digital music player: "In a word, no," he said. "I've seen the demonstrations on the Internet about how you can find another person using a Zune and give them a song they can play three times. It takes forever. By the time you've gone through all that, the girl's got up and left!

"You're much better off to take one of your earbuds out and put it in her ear. Then you're connected with about two feet of headphone cable."

Jobs also played down the iPod's "cool factor", stating, "We believe that customers are smart, and want objects which are well thought through.

"We don't strive to appear cool. We just try to make the best products we can. And if they are cool, well, that's great."

On the topic of interoperability, he was asked by the interviewer, "Do you think that it's fair to the customer that the songs they buy from Apple will only work on iTunes and the iPod?"

"Well, they knew that all along," he replied.

When quoted as previously stating, "When our customers demand it, that's when we'll consider interoperability," he responded, "Nobody's ever demanded it. People know up front that when they buy music from the iTunes music store it plays on iPods, and so we're not trying to hide anything there."

The full interview can be read here

- Betanews
- Newsweek

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25 user comments

116.10.2006 13:14

its "music sharing abilities"??!! i even need to get started? I beleive apple is the greedy one who is unwilling to license its stupid itunes format to other hardware codec manufacturers...and jobs has the balls to bitch about the job microsoft is doing with theirs? At least you CAN share files with it. god damn mac people are so stupid and tunnel-minded its ridiculous.

216.10.2006 13:31

It is very rare that I take Apples side, but when it comes to iPOD, i would say that it's probably the easiest MP3 player. I prefer it high above anyone else's brand. The only common complaint of the device is DRM. Other than that, it is excellent.

316.10.2006 14:10

okay i too am on apples side... as stated.. 83% of iPod users simply never buy digital music... meaning DRM isn't really a factor... you can pop in a CD and create a backup of your music and put it on the itunes... but that is true... u know how many girls on the bus i gave my other earbud too... easy way to meet girls... or guys.. either or.. i don't think zune will make it.. as we said before.. save the "ipod killer" label for another mp3 player... % source

416.10.2006 16:16

By the time you've gone through all that, the girl's got up and left!
ROFL at that! It's true that sharing music these days on a DRM-packed device is a chore. So, I'll stick to buyin' CDs. Thanks, but no thanks.

516.10.2006 16:21

Im w/ you dj, Jobs claims that customers never complain about the DRM, well, there are plenty of people that might BE customers (many from this site I'm sure) were Apple not megalomaniacal a$$holes. If anything, at least Zune may force apple to improve the whole i-monopoly, even if zune isn't that great.

616.10.2006 17:04

it seems like so many people buy ipods because they think there aren't any other its the end-all of all mp3 players. my creative mp3 players sound much better and have greater and flatter frequency response than the ipod, and features like fm tuner, voice recorder, and whatnot. ipods are just a status symbol. god forbid someone tries something different than everybody else...while i'm not the biggest m$ fan, it should be a good competitor, even if it only takes a small junk out of ipod sales.

716.10.2006 17:47

There is no doubt that Mac users will choose iPod. To windows PC user, if they like zune-to-zune sharing music by Wi-fi (although we don't know whether the function will work well) or 3.0-inch big screen, they will choose Zune.
We can transfer the music purchased from iTunes to Zune?

Zune is iPod killer?

816.10.2006 18:12

"We can transfer the music purchased from iTunes to Zune?"

if you have music in itunes that you ripped yourself, then you should be able to, but if it is music purchased from itunes store online, you can only play it on ipods...isn't that nice of apple?

"I have no particular talent. I am merely inquisitive" - Albert Einstein

For the best quality mp3s use EAC (exact audio copy) to rip your audio CDs and LAME to encode them. Follow this guide:

917.10.2006 5:12

Regardless of how MS sales with the Zune do, in the longrun, this will only create a more competitive market which for the consumers will mean: Lower Prices, More Memory, Longer Battery Life, More Options..the list could go on. This is only MS's first attempt and they're taking a big chance with it. They'll learn from their mistakes and so will Apple. My hope is that during the thick of all this some unknown player will step out and take the market by storm.....Here's to competition, hoping it spawns good technology.

1017.10.2006 11:27

Here's another factor that will keep Zune from getting a foothold. People are using iTunes, and iTunes likely won't ever recognize and sync to a Zune Windows Media Player isn't anywhere near as cool and functional and simple as iTunes, even though MS has tried to copy the layout. I've invested a lot of time into my iTunes library, and any small benefits a Zune might offer is not worth switching to Windows Media Player

1118.10.2006 17:27

just because you use itunes doesn't mean you have to switch to WMP if you have a non-ipod device. most portable players that connect to PCs can have files transferred over through windows exporer by dragging and dropping.

1218.10.2006 21:03

this is slighlty off topic, but didnt jobs also say that microsoft & MS Windows were not a threat to macintosh?

1321.10.2006 21:16

Do people really own other music players??? Everyone I know has an people! No complaints here...or there.

1421.10.2006 22:09

@pamsipod i dont think people (most of the population anyway) are unaware to any alternatives to iPods. people (technically unsavy people) just asume that if you want to listen to MP3 you need an iPod

1522.10.2006 7:06

@gozilla I didn't even know what an iPod was a year ago...and didn't care. I saw iPod everywhere, and it meant nothing to me. I absolutely looked at the other crap out there before settling on three iPods, 2 - 2g nanos for my kids, and a 60g video for me. I have never had any problems with our iPods, but others I know who insist on buying something other than iPod simply because of the name (pc drones) have all switched to iPod because their crappy alternatives have broken. If it makes you happy to think I am technically unsavy, then so be it, but you are wrong.

1622.10.2006 17:29

@pamsipod I wasn’t trying to imply that your technically unsavy. and i not implying that all iPod users are technically unsavy people either. I was just trying to say that when most people think of buying an MP3 player they don’t think of it as buying a MP3 player they think of it as buying an iPod. the name iPod has become a genericized trademark for Mp3 player. and i too have plenty of friends who own iPods. i personally dont own one (not interested in portable music, never was), i find there good devices, easy to use, store a crap load of music and quite stylish. i don't know how well they fair against the competition, because i have yet to meet someone with an alternative mp3 player.

1723.10.2006 2:55

@Gozilla So basically, technically unsavvy people automatically think ipod=MP3 i know what you mean, no offense in that at all, plus i blame marketing!

1823.10.2006 3:29

thats pretty much what im getting at.

1923.10.2006 3:40

although, even people who are technology savvy are making that assumption. iPod has become a somewhat generalised trademark for poratble MP3 players. for instance, look at how incar cd players are marketed. instead of saying they are poratble MP3 player compatible, they simply state thats iPod comptable

2024.10.2006 6:46

@godzilla thats because when you hold what 70% of the market like the crap-pod does and you market your car to be ipod compatible you are hitting well over 1/2 the market that would be interested in that feature. Plus the other 30% or so likely know that theres too will work. As i've always said, there are a lot more stupid people in the world than smart ones /heres me being happy to be in the minority //heres me wanting a simple one hand opperable, large cappacity MP3 player zen vision m was nice, but the interface and button layout simply stunk. i guess i have to keep right on wanting :(

2124.10.2006 13:17

@kevin 1024 It's only natural companies market to the majority. The ones that don't are screwing themselves. The money is in the majority.

2210.11.2006 7:43

Most of my music is in WMA or WMAlossless and anything that I downloaded is in WMA protected . I see that the latest sony MP3 players will now play wma . I cant see why any body outthere with a large collection of downloaded music would be interested in Ipod as they would have to redownload there music . I think in the end wma will win out. as far as the players go most people are more worried about the memory size than the quality of the player. Me myself I would rather buy a player that give me a choice of the formats I can play . Thats where Itunes will loose out

2311.11.2006 19:14

don't know where you download your music from, but wma has got to be one of the most unpopular formats out there. most i find are still in mp3 format, which is fine by my because now a days most people are smart and encode at high quality using LAME and VBR settings. I hardly come across anything thats wma. wma is not going to "win" and be the most used format. no format is. there is just simply to many. what will happen is eventually all lossy format will get phased out by formats like OGG, FLAC, and MP4

2412.11.2006 17:07

@ lxfactor: LOL just a word to the wise... Sharing earbuds (or ANYTHING that goes into yours or another person's ears) isn't a very good decision, unless of course you wipe off the earbuds with alcohol or something before giving them and after getting them back. Not because of any 'gunk' but because ears are full of germs (it's true!) I've never used iPod ear buds so do not know how they sit in the ear but if they go anywhere inside the ear then they are at risk of acquiring something. Is it a HUGE deal? Probably not to most people... just an FYI :-) lol

2513.11.2006 16:17

of the MP3 players Id have to say the zen line is my favorite. sadly, all three of them have some sort of retarded thing to do with piracy. with apple its all the protection and crap in Itunes. with microsoft, its the fact that you can only listen to a song that was shared from another zune 3 times (this is nothing but an annoyance, just share it with a computer), and with Vision: M its that update that disables FM recording. for zune I dont think it has a chance. Ipod is already to mainstream, most people that use an Ipod probably never even heard of zune, plus, zune is pretty ugly, IMO

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