Forgot to mention that with the great idea good ol' George (W. Bush) concocted to stimulate the economy, I was able to finally purchase myself a PMD (portable media device). It took me a while to figure out which one I wanted the most. I started looking at what was out there and I know that I wanted a large hard drive to store all my music rather then loading just a small portion of it. I have about 30 gigs of music as it is so I wanted at least a 40 gig drive, but I would prefer 60 to 80. Of all the features, the hard drive is all I really cared about. I would be happy with a small black and white screen and a huge hard drive. But since they don't make anything like that I was stuck trying to figure out the best player for the money. It came down to the IPod and the Zune. I really liked the Creative Labs Zen, but it was too expensive and the hard drive was too small.
I liked that the IPod is fairly established. It's had years to refine it user interface, which is one of the reasons the IPod is so popular. Although this is also a bad thing; they've monoploized the digital music realm and created their own standards without regard to the people. They've told us that this is the standard and we're going to like it. Don't get me wrong, Microsoft is the same way, just a different devil. Anyway, the point is that I don't like the IPod, but... after analyzing the different models it is still a possibility. Unfortuneately, not even I can go against Steve Jobs.
Anyway, the IPod doesn't play WMAs and it has a smaller screen, but like I said, it has a solid interface and TONS of accessories out there.
The Zune on the other hand doesn't play AAC files and has a less refined interface, but has a bigger screen (the screens are actually the same resolution, but because it's bigger, you can sit farther from it when watching videos. I figured if I am going to be stuck with a color screen, I might as well get the bigger one.) and the squirgle. I like the squirgle more than the touch circle on the IPod. The computer interface is crap in my opinion. ITunes is better laid out than the Zune software, but it may appeal to a younger age group.
In the end, the Zune was the better decision for me, the IPod is good, but not for me. It sucks that the Zune will never sync with a Mac or Linux, but I will always have a Windows PC so it's really no big deal. Anyway, I've had it for a few months now. The first month sucked because it would keep shutting off on me. I called Microsoft and they said they were going to release a new update that would fix it. I bought the warranty for it so I figured if the update didn't fix it I would return it for an IPod. The update fixed it so it works like champ now, but it was touch and go for awhile...
Now I take it everywhere. I hook it up at work to my computer speakers, in my car through the MP3 player input, and at home through the Home Dock that Ciri bought me for Father's Day. I also got a plastic case to protect it from my clumsiness. The Home Dock is cool; I have a ton of video Podcasts on it and I when I dock it, I can watch them on the TV. It even came with a remote too! I have to program my receiver's remote to control the dock so I don't have another controller lying around. I love learning remotes!
My first real PMD (or MP3 player if you want to call it that, it plays more than MP3's) ever. The last music player I had was that CD player I bought when I worked at the Good Guys. It was a $200 player (the case was designed by some big italian dude... I dunno, but it was made by iRiver; good company), but I bought the floor model for $30. Heh heh. It was sweet, but phased out by the digital music revolution. So, now I am happy, I bought the biggest hard drive that they make in the Zune, so I will be set for a looooong time. 80 gigs is a good amount of storage space.