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The Zune 80 is part of Microsoft's second generation of media players that compete with Apple's iPods.

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Wireless media syncing with your computer

20 agree

Better media format compatibility

19 agree

High quality audio output

16 agree

Comes with good set of earphones

15 agree

Best integration between service and player outside of the iPods

15 agree

Fewer WiFi media sharing restrictions

14 agree

Doesn't require iTunes

13 agree

Easy to navigate interface

4 agree

Great podcast managing

3 agree

Zune Pass, unlimited song for 15 dollars a month and more

2 agree
  • Only 3 words are allowed.

STILL the 3-play limit restriction

22 agree

There's WiFi, but no web browser

21 agree

No EQ system

16 agree

Worse batter life compared to iPod Classic (about half)

12 agree

No touchscreen

9 agree

Windows only sync

9 agree

Restrictive DRM

8 agree

WiFi use is very limited

8 agree

Self-destructs at random

7 agree

Requires Windows Media Player to use

7 agree

Stops working on leap days.

6 agree

Incompatible with iTunes

6 agree

No support for Ogg Vorbis and other open formats.

4 agree

Subscription-based Zune Pass - you do not own the tracks you purchase.

2 agree
  • Only 3 words are allowed.


The Zune 80 is part of Microsoft's second generation of media players that compete with Apple's iPods; the Zune 80 competing directly with the iPod Classic. With the second generation of products Microsoft is refining the Zune experience expanding the WiFi sharing capabilities, and file format support. The hardware is also updated with a larger screen and a touch sensitive pad that can be used for quickly scrolling through menus. Microsoft's previous generation, renamed the Zune 30, will not be discontinued and is instead being updated with the latest features through a new firmware.

  • 3.2 inch screen with a 320x240 resolution
  • 80GB hard drive
  • WiFi capabilities for sharing music and photos with other zunes
  • WiFi syncing with host computer
  • Integrates with Zune marketplace
  • FM Radio with RDS support
  • Image formats: JPEG
  • Audio formats: unprotected AAC, MP3, WMA
  • Video formats: h.264, MPEG4, WMV

The screen can be used in portrait mode when navigating menus, and flipped on its side to landscape mode for viewing widescreen videos. Directly underneath the screen lies the touch pad which has been improved over the Zune 30's by providing touch sensitive operations reminiscent of the iPod. Playback of the new video formats is supported natively so the Zune software no longer has to convert videos into the WMV format. Microsoft also claims that the Zune Marketplace will begin to offer video and podcast content, though currently the only videos are music videos and not television/movies. The Zune also supports television out, and can accommodate videos with DVD resolution for better quality on a big screen.

Microsoft raised some eyebrows when it launched the first Zune Marketplace abandoning its own PlayForSure initiative. The Zune continues this trend seeing the marketplace improved by expanding its audio content, and offering unprotected music. A subscription option to the Marketplace remains. With the next-generation Zunes, Microsoft introduces what they are calling the Zune Social, which is a social network to connect Zune owners. The network shares what music your friends are listening to, tracks the top music, and allows friends to listen to 30 second previews of music on your playlist.

The Zune's WiFi capabilities have also been expanded. Previously, music shared with other Zunes had two major restrictions: the music was only available for three days after the fact, and the second Zune could only play the song three times. Microsoft is lifting the restriction on the number of days, but the three-time playback restriction remains. Similar to before, there are no restrictions on sharing photos. Limits on video sharing remain to be seen. The WiFi sync allows you transfer music from your computer without a physical connection. When the Zune gets into wireless range of the computer the sync will happen automatically.

Post Review
11/25/2007 10:37

I think reviewers should keep things in perspective. Both players are essentially the same. I think the Ipod has more doo dads and accessories though. You can argue the point that the Zune has a radio, but other will say reception is not always good so whats the point. Some will say that the Ipod is more useful because you can use it as a HDD. Others will say that is not what an MP3 player is for though. You say tomayto and I say, well, tomahto. The real difference is battery life though. No one can argue the point on that though. I ran a continous loop of the family guy for 12.5 HOURS STRAIGHT on the 160GB classic. No joke. Seriously. I might have gotten 13 had I not been tired of waiting. I had screen brightness an 10% and the volume at 40%. I have never supported apple and I dont think I will ever buy anything from them again. But I couldnt pass up the battery life. I had bought a Zen vision:M just 3 months ago because it could play video for 6 hours (which is 2 hours more than the 5.5 gen Ipod). It was a waste but I sold it. I can honestly say the Ipod is better because you never really have to worry about the battery giving out on you. 3.2" screen is great but if you only get to use it for 3 or 4 hours its kind of a rip. I never want to have to choose between music of video because my battery may give out on me.

10/25/2007 08:06

From what I understand from other sources, the 3 day limit is now gone. It will now be a 3 time limit instead with no actual time limit. Also the TV out resolution is increased to 720x576, more than double the on screen zune reso. The screen is now 3.2 inches and of course the videos are played in a landscape view. There is an on board FM tuner for those who want to hear the game or NPR (most other radio is trash nowadays). The controller is way updated, with a single click up and down or swipe scrolling many at a time. This will be handy compared to the sometimes too fast circle touch of Ipod. The glass is new and stronger than Ipod or older Zunes. Overall the Zune is lighter than the Ipod 80, 4.5 oz to 4.9oz. The new Zune comes with real earphones in the form of premium in ear buds. The above info is accurate as to format playback with the addition of BMP for image files. More than Ipod which only plays MP4 vids. I have the Classic Ipod 80..... Its a good unit, but as you have probably heard, the software is clunky. It hesitates badly at times for up to 5 seconds. It just seems frozen, then jumps all over, never where you wanted. I'll save my Ipod info for an Ipod review. That is, in my opinion alot of standout features for the new unit. The touch screen in just not needed, unless you like fingerprints and low HD space. I'm good with that.
My final word on the Zune 80 is buy. I will be putting my pod on craigslist and paying retail for the new Zune 80 black.

10/03/2007 03:03

With its large screen, 80 GB capacity, WiFi syncing, and fairly low price tag it definitely should be on your list if you want a large capacity player. I can't help but feel bored by this offering though. There really isn't any standout features. I want my mp3 player very small (shuffle), have a touch screen (touch), or have ridiculous playback abilities (Archos 605).

10/03/2007 12:19

You know, looking at the Zune 80 vs the 80GB iPod Classic, I'd say the Zune comes out ahead. On paper/spec-wise anyway. And looking at the interface I'd say it's a step up from the previous Zune, which people seemed to be happy with. So overall, it looks like Microsoft has a pretty darn good offering here.

However, everything looks pretty archaic compared to the iPod Touch. Still, if you were considering the Classic 80GB I would actually recommend taking a look at the Zune. Never thought I'd say that!

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