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Summary:

Tomorrow is the official launch day for Microsoft’s ZuneHD, but it’s already on sale in a roundabout way says Engadget. Deal site LogicBuy notes that you can order the new device from Dell and use a 15% off coupon code for either the 16 or 32GB […]

zunehd

Tomorrow is the official launch day for Microsoft’s ZuneHD, but it’s already on sale in a roundabout way says Engadget. Deal site LogicBuy notes that you can order the new device from Dell and use a 15% off coupon code for either the 16 or 32GB unit. That knocks the prices down to $186.99 and $246.49, respectively if you’re willing to order online and wait for delivery.

When I owned the original Zune, I felt at the time that it had a competitive advantage over Apple’s iPod line. Admittedly, renting music through a subscription service isn’t for everyone, but the experience was worth it to me. In fact, I owned a Zune before I ever owned an iPod — how many people can say that? ;) With another 15% off the price of a ZuneHD, I’m tempted to pick one up, but probably won’t. Had there been no music subscription service that worked in the Apple ecosystem, I would have already ordered a discounted ZuneHD. But Real’s Rhapsody for iPhone app was approved, just as I thought it would be.  For the same $15 a month, I can stream millions of tracks to my current handset without buying a new device.

However, there is at least one benefit that the Zune Pass offers over a Rhapsody-To-Go subscription. Microsoft allows you to download and keep 10 MP3 files each month, so it’s like a music subscription with a free monthly album. Microsoft also wins out for now in two other areas: local storage and sound quality. With the Rhapsody app for iPhone, you can only stream music — meaning that it requires connectivity. With a ZuneHD, you can pull down tracks to store locally and listen while offline. The ZuneHD also supports a higher bitrate than Rhapsody for iPhone — 320kbps for the ZuneHD which easily wins over the lowly 64kbps of Rhapsody’s streaming. While the ZuneHD also includes an HD Radio tuner, these factors still aren’t enough for me to justify a hardware purchase at this point.

That’s just me and my preferences though. And there are various pros and cons to either approach. Is the 15% discount on a ZuneHD enough to get one headed your way? I know that some folks simply can’t pass up a good deal when they see it. ;)

  1. Your reasoning here is pretty terrible. This article isn’t giving people advice on what to do, or which is a better deal, it’s saying “I already have this thing, so even though this other thing is a whole lot better, I don’t feel like buying it cause I needz mo’ moneyz.” Helpful.

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    1. Hmm… there’s two bits to your comment, so I’ll address them separately.

      1. “Your reasoning here is pretty terrible.” That may be true in your opinion, but how so? What’s wrong with the reasons I provided for my choice?

      2. The article isn’t written to give people advice on what to do, but on what to consider before taking action. I can’t write an article that tells you what you (or anyone else) should buy. Each of our preferences, needs and budgets are different. And if a ZuneHD is the right one for you, I’d think the link to a 15% discount actually *is* helpful.

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  2. I resubscribed to Rhapsody because of the iPhone and it’s doing the job.

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  3. I don’t know what’s going on in this article. Subscription services have nothing to do with hardware. (Unless they are tied in and forms of anti-competitive behavior).

    Zune/Ipod/everything else are playback devices. Purchasing of content is separate. Yes, manufacturers will try to confuse these things, but technically speaking they are separate issues.

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  4. If you would normally purchase at least ten songs per month anyways (which is true in my case), then you are saving $10 per month with the Zune plan over Rhapsody because of the free songs.

    That means that in two years you’ll have almost completely paid for the Zune player. So, if you anticipate keeping the player for two years, then it’s essentially free by comparison.

    When you throw in the better song quality and the ability to store music offline and the HD radio, the choice for me is very clear.

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  5. Good distinction Eddie – I can’t in a million years imagine limiting my ability to a streamed service. Maybe this works for some people, but the subscription service has been a boon for me. I kind of became a music explorer with it and now look forward to having the HD radio to hopefully make more seamless “want it” to “have it”. My Zune HD shows up on the 16th – can’t wait.
    It’s an uphill battle for MS to convert die-hard Apple users, but the uneducated masses out there that go into Best Buy looking for an “ipod” because they don’t know the difference between devices is the growth market here.

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  6. I own the Zune 8GB and love it. I will have the ZuneHD tomorrow and I will keep both. One for the beach and bike, the other for everywhere else.
    I appreciate what Apple did with the touch, but I appreciate the alternative that Microsoft is offering. At the end of the day, these things are just mp3 players. They are like sweaters, some people wear them, some don’t. Its all preference.

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