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I have used Apple iPod 5th generation for a long time, I am leaning on wishing I would have gotten a Zune instead.
The functionality of the buttons is on par with the Apple, with the center wheel doing the majority of the scrolling and pushing. though the Zune has two additional buttons just above the wheel for play and pause on the right side, and the back feature to go back to the previous menu on the left side.
Sound output is good, haven't had any issues with quality of sound.
The menus look much cleaner and more attractive than the Apple iPod too. It goes with a classy font with a black background, just a more sleek look here which I liked. The extra features between the two are about the same, such as radio, and setting features. The Zune has wifi availability meaning you can purchase songs anywhere as long as you have an internet connection to connect to. I can't do that with my 5th gen Apple, maybe that's possible in further gens, but I'm cheap and haven't gotten there yet.
Adding music you currently have on a computer is fairly simple though you still have to deal with an interface downloaded from the internet. The interface for Zune is ok, it adds content quickly once you set it up, but can be confusing on the first go around on it.
Battery life is about the same with both the Zune and the Ipod 5th gen I possess.
The Apple has the advantage as far as computer compatibility though. Apple will work with ITunes on nearly any computer, windows or mac based, however the Zune is Microsoft so it won't operate with your mac. Though I understand there are some people who have made it work, but it doesn't sound easy. Here is a link for help http://www.ehow.com/how_4853477_use-zune-mac.html
Overall, I'm impressed with the Zune product. Not a bad choice and dare I say it, if the Zune music interface holds up better than Apple's iTunes over time, I definitely throw away my Apple iPod. Time will tell, I'll try and update later.
I purchased the pink Zune as a gift for my 14 yr daughter, she was dreaming with it. Vendor shipped it very timely, but the product showed problems from the beginning - almost didn't get it to work, I almost thought it was a DOA. Finally it showed some signs of life and eventually after more than 8 hr of battery loading it worked (I think that my new PC is OK, as it works with other USB devices well). But after that battery life was miserable, the Zune spent more time connected recharging than in use - I decided to return IT and got a RMA from the vendor with no problem.
Good new is that the vendor dispatched a new replacement unit immediately. It arrived rapidly. The new Zune worked flawlessly and my daughter is happy with it. Music & graphics are good. The integrated FM tuner is also a great addition. The Zune software is nice but we needed some time to understand how to put what she wanted on the Zune - the just getting used to the way it works makes it easier.
I love my new Zune! It's perfect for when I go to the gym and I love that I can keep my picutres on it so that I don't have to lug around my camera/memory card everywhere to show off my unprinted photos! I have not tried all of the features yet, but I'm looking forward to learning about podcasts and can't wait to try out the wireless sync option. It was slightly hard to figure out in the begining, as the manual doesn't give as much info as I would like. But I just played around with it for a while and figured it out on my own. Bottom line, I would suggest it to anyone looking for a new MP3 player!
Product recieved within 4 days w/regular shipping. Bought product for my wife, she is pleased with the operation and sound quality. Definetly a step up from run of the mill players.Touch senitive pad was found to be distracting and inexact. I changed to manual change mode. Will probably buy one for myself in the near future.