Zune Starts Selling 64GB HD Models

I didn’t report on this a few weeks ago when the news initially broke, simply because it broke late on March 31 and I honestly wasn’t sure whether it was an early April Fool’s joke or not. Now, though, the Zune Web site has been updated and the news has been officially released by Zune. New 64GB ZuneHD models are being sold via the ZuneOriginals Web site.

In addition to the new ZuneHD model, the original ZuneHD devices dropped.

I’d still like to see a slightly larger version of the device, but I definitely consider the 64 gig ZuneHD device to be my top candidate if my Zune 80 dies before a larger capacity model is released.

Two Things the ZuneHD Should Have

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the new ZuneHD that Microsoft is planning to release. Overall, I am impressed by the announced improvements to my favorite little portable media player. However, there are two features I think are absolutely necessary in order for the Zune to have a chance of taking a bigger bite out of the iPod market.

Zune Slashes Prices on Accessories

Throughout the month of July, the Zune Originals store, an offshoot of Zune.net, is offering many of its Zune accessories at 50% off, and quite a few more at smaller discounts. If you own a Zune, there is no better time to pick up those accessories you’ve been wanting.

Even if you don’t own a Zune, you may want to take this opportunity to pick up a set of the Zune headphones, which are absolutely worth every penny of the $19.99 they’re currently selling for on the Web site. Of course, the price of the 120 gig Zune has been dropped (permanently, I believe) to $249, which is what I paid for my 80 gig Zune a year and a half ago, so you may want to pick one of those up, too.

When looking for these accessories, you will probably want to visit the Zune Originals store, not the main Zune Web site, as the main Zune Web site still has all of the accessories listed at full price. However, even if you do visit the main Zune Web site, clicking the “Buy Now” button will open the Zune Store in a new window/tab with the item in your cart at the correct price.

Otterbox – Protect Your iPod or iPhone

I have had an iPhone for about two months, now. When I first got it, I was told that I should pick up the Otterbox Defender case to protect it. I ordered one and was immediately impressed. In fact, I was so impressed, that when we got iPod Touches for our kids’ birthday, the first (and only) accessory we ordered for them were Otterbox Defender cases. We also bought one for the 3rd generation iPod Nano that was handed down to my wife after the iPod Touches were received.

The iPhone Vs. The Zune

Having recently acquired an iPhone, I thought this might be a good opportunity to attempt to compare the iPhone with the Microsoft Zune and see how the two stack up against each other. Obviously, the iPhone is going to have some capabilities that simply cannot be matched by the Zune, but I think you might be surprised to see how they stack up when evaluated strictly as portable media players (PMP).

I do love my Zune, which will show through in this article a good bit. As I’ve mentioned in the past, I am not a Microsoft fanboy, nor am I an Apple fanboy. I do have a certain bias against the iPod (mainly because of the iTunes software), but I have tried to write this article as objectively as humanly possible. I am definitely open to comments about any mistakes, incorrect assumptions, etc. I make in the article. I am not, however, looking for fanboy comments from either side spouting subjective opinions about whether Apple is better than MS or the other way around.

In my personal life, I am almost exclusively a Linux user, which makes it difficult to truly enjoy either device. Keep that in mind as you read my opinions on the matter at hand.

Weak Article From Wired

I was checking out my Yahoo! homepage this evening when I came across a “news” story with a title that interested me. I clicked on it, and came to an article on Wired called “Five Gadgets That Were Killed by the Cellphone.” I was very interested to see what gadgets would be on the list.

Unfortunately, however, the author took a lot of liberty with the term “killed.” Three of the gadgets on his list are far from dead. One of them never really had much of a market share to begin with, and the last was more integrated with cellphones than killed by them.

The comments to the article do my feelings quite a bit of justice, but I thought I’d break things down from my perspective, anyway.