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Zune Buyer's Guide | Step 3: Review Zune features and specifications

Zune vs iPod: Side-by-Side Comparison

How do Microsoft's Zune players stack up against Apple's latest iPods?

We've assembled a side-by-side table of technical specifications for Zune and iPod. The basic specifications are based on information from Microsoft's Zune specifications site, from Apple's iPod technical specifications sheet, as well as information gleaned from our forum members who are familiar with both players.

Hard-drive players | Small flash music/video players

Side-by-Side: Zune vs. iPod

Hard-drive players

Feature Zune 80 iPod Classic
Image Zune graphic iPod graphic
Storage 80 GB 80 GB or 160 GB
Capacity (songs) 20,000 20,000 songs (80GB)
40,000 songs (160GB)
Capacity (pictures) 25,000 pictures 25,000 pictures
Capacity (video) 250 hours of video 100 hours of video (80GB)
200 hours of video (160GB)
Controls Zune Pad touch-sensitive control Clickwheel touch-sensitive control
Screen size/type 3.2" LCD 2.5" LCD
Screen resolution 320x240 320x240
Screen aspect ratio 4:3 4:3
Landscape display mode Yes Yes
Portrait display mode Yes No
Personalized wallpaper Yes Yes
Audio player Yes Yes
Video player Yes Yes
Picture viewer Yes Yes
Games player No (can be modified to play games) Yes
Audio formats WMA, WMA LossLess, MP3, AAC AAC, MP3, Audible, Apple Lossless, AIFF, WAV
Video formats (native support) WMV, H.264, MPEG-4 H.264, m4v, mp4, mov, MPEG-4
FM tuner Yes No
Height/Width 4.26 x 2.41 4.1 x 2.4 inches
Depth .51 inch .43 inch (80GB)
.55 inch (160GB)
Weight 4.5 ounces 4.8 ounces (80GB)
5.5 ounces (160GB)
Wireless 802.11b/g ("Wi-Fi") No
Wireless/social features (audio) Wireless Zune-to-Zune sharing of audio files, for up to 3 plays None
Wireless/social features (pictures) Wireless Zune-to-Zune sharing of pictures None
Wireless/social features (video) None None
Wireless sync Yes No
TV-out Yes, 640x480 Yes, 640x480
Connectivity USB 2.0
USB 2.0
Battery Li-Ion rechargeable, built-in Li-Ion rechargeable, built-in
Battery life Music: 30 hours (wireless off)
Video: 4 hours
Music: 30 hours. Video: 5 hours. (80GB)
Music: 40 hours. Video: 7 hours. (160GB)
Battery charge time TBD 2 hours to 80%
4 hours to full charge
Colors Black Silver, black
PC / Mac PC only Mac and PC
Online download service Marketplace iTunes Store
Downloads available Audio, music videos, podcasts, TV Audio, music videos, podcasts, TV/movies, games
Price per song / album 79 Microsoft Points ($.99) per song $.99 per song; $9.99 per album
Subscription service Zune Pass None
Subscription cost $14.99 per month; unlimited downloads Not available
Client software Zune Software iTunes
System requirements - OS Windows Vista, XP Home or Pro with SP2 or later, Windows XP Tablet PC SP2, or Windows XP Media Center 2005 with Rollup Update 2 and Oct. 2006 Rollup Update. Mac OS X v10.3.9 or later; Windows 2000 SP4; Windows XP SP2 or later
System requirements - Processor 1.5 GHz or better Not specified
System requirements - Other Broadband Internet connection; 64MB of Video RAM Broadband Internet connection; video RAM not specified
Price $249 $249 (80GB)
$349 (160GB)
What you get in the box Zune, premium headphones, sync cable, and three sizes of ear sleeves. iPod, earphones, USB 2.0 cable, Dock adapter, Quick Start guide.

Hard-drive players | Small flash music/video players

Next: Get your Zune >

  • Zune Buyer's Guide introduction
  • Step 1: Say hello to Zune
  • Step 2: See Zune models
  • Step 3: Review features and specifications
  • Step 4: Get your Zune