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Not buying a Zune tomorrow, are you?

by Brandon on November 13th, 2006

So tomorrow the Zune launches.  It’s a good device with a slick UI.  But I’m not buying one for some of the same reasons I don’t own an iPod.  And apparently I’m not the only one.  But I might get one eventually – to understand why, let me explain why I currently don’t feel like I need one:

  1. I don’t need one in my car.  My car has a built-in MP3 player that reads from two 4GB SD cards (which I can easily swap in and out) with a great UI that I can control from my steering wheel.
  2. I don’t need one on the plane.  I have a laptop for watching videos / movies, or I could watch them on my phone which has the same size screen as the Zune.
  3. I have a 4GB SanDisk “Nano” clone.  I fill it up with music from Urge, and I basically use it at the gym and pretty much no where else.  I picked it up for that exact purpose and it works great since I can keep it in my shorts pocket and not even feel that it’s there (And not have to wear one of those goofy armbands).

So why would I buy a Zune?  If some genius decides to make it accessible as a storage device for my Xbox 360, where I can download videos from the upcoming Xbox Live Video Marketplace.

Why would this be such a brilliant coup?  Because right now you can download TV shows and movies to an iPod from iTunes.  I bet Zune has or will have the same thing on a PC.  That’s great, but I don’t really want to watch TV shows on a 3-inch screen most of the time.  But if I could have my Xbox 360 download my favorite TV shows in high-def straight to the Zune – and then let me play them back on the Zune or on my Samsung DLP using the 360… Now you’ve offered me something quite valuable.

There is an alternative, though.  If I can buy the same TV shows from the Zune Marketplace without actually owning a Zune, and then stream them to my 360 off of my PC’s harddrive – that would work almost as nicely.  But the Zune-as-big-hard-drive approach could really do wonders for the storage-starved Xbox 360, offering an answer to the upgradeable, larger PS3 hard drive(s) while still putting money directly in the Xbox/Zune division’s pocket.

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