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Zune tops iPod in music discovery

18 September, 2008 (08:28) | zune news | By: Harvey Chute

Both Zune and iPod unveiled significant new approaches to music discovery in this month’s product updates. Central to iPod’s approach is its Genius feature, which recommends additional music tracks based on a single track that you’ve selected in iTunes. Zune’s approach is the MixView, which brings up a graphical cloud of related artists, listeners, and music tracks.

I’ve used both, although my iTunes can only discover CD-ripped content on my PC, not my larger collection of Zune Pass content. So that unfairly cripples the potential of the iTunes Genius feature for me. (The Genius sidebar works a little better, as it draws from iTunes Store for its recommendations, not just from my personal collection.)

Media reaction to these approaches is typified by a piece published in yesterday’s USA Today, written by Katherin Boehret and edited by the WSJ’s Walt Mossberg.

Concluding statement:

“Apple’s Genius is a helpful tool when it comes to quickly making a playlist, and its iTunes sidebar might reveal fresh related content. But the Zune software truly allows people to discover more about their own music and that of others.”

Consensus of the tech media seems to clearly point to Zune’s MixView as providing a more effective, interactive, and fun means of music discovery than iPod’s Genius feature.

Nice work, Zune team.