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Difference Between Zune HD and iPod Touch

Zune HD vs an iPod Touch

Zune HD is the Microsoft’s first touch screen portable media player which features an HD radio tuner and an organic light-emitting diode (OLED) touch screen. It is considered to be a direct competitor to Apple’s very own iPod Touch. According to Microsoft, Zune HD is the first portable media player to feature a built-in HD radio receiver, an OLED display, high definition video output, and Wi-Fi. The multi-touch OLED display comes with an aspect ratio of 16:9 with a resolution of 480×272 pixels. The iPOD touch features a 3.5-inch LCD screen with a screen resolution of 480×320 pixels. The Zune HD weighs about 2.6 ounces while the iPOD touch weighs around 4 ounces. Zune HD offers an estimated audio battery life of 33 hours while iPod Touch offers estimated battery life of 30 hours.

The Zune HD will support HD video playback externally through an HDMI-based docking station at 720p HD quality which needs to be purchased separately. The iPod touch supports video output at 480p and 576p with an optional cable to be purchased separately. Both Zune HD and iPod Touch support Wi-Fi features at 802.11 b/g.

The Zune HD has a capacity of 16/32GB while the iPod Touch is available in 8/16/32GB. The OLED screens are relatively new technology to the PMP market and have major benefits over the traditional LCD screens. Because of the thin design, OLED requires no backlight to function and, therefore, provides longer battery life to the PMP and offers great picture quality. Microsoft has invested a good amount of time in creating the Zune HD so that it goes head to head with the iPOD Touch.

The biggest advantage of the Zune HD over an IPOD Touch is the built-in HD radio receiver which provides superior sound quality when compared to traditional radio. The iPod Touch lacks an FM or HD radio receiver. Both the Zune HD and IPod Touch offer JPEG format for storing photos. The iPOD Touch offers voice recording and line-in recording features which are lacking in the Zune HD.

The Zune HD runs on a custom version of Windows CE software while the iPod Touch runs on Apple’s most popular iTunes software offering thousands of apps which is the biggest advantage over the Zune HD. Zune HD offers only 9 apps and 7 games whereas Apple’s iPOD Touch offers around 75,000 apps and 21,000 games. Hence Apple is the sure winner when it comes to software comparisons between the two devices. Apple’s App Store enables creating and editing of calendars, surfing the web, searching places with Google Maps through its built-in GPS. Microsoft’s Zune HD includes some basic utilities like a weather app and a calculator but lacks maps and calendar apps.

Apple’s 10 million song iTunes library outdoes Microsoft’s 4.2 million catalogs. The biggest disadvantage with Apple’s iTunes is that the users are forced to buy every single song for a price of a dollar or two while Microsoft allows downloading 10 songs to keep every month for a monthly subscription of $15. However, if a user wishes to buy the songs individually from the Zune marketplace, the unnecessary currency conversions seem totally annoying.

When it comes to the price comparison between the two PMPs, the Zune HD wins over the iPod Touch with its 16GB model offered at $219 and 32GB at $289 in five different colors; black, platinum, green, blue, and red. Apple offers its 8GB iPod Touch at $199 which is pretty high price for a device with half the capacity of the all-new Zune HD. However, Apple offers a 32GB iPod Touch at $299 which is only $10 more than the highest-priced Zune is offered. Apple’s iPod Touch is available in only two colors; black/silver.


1. Zune HD is a product from Microsoft while the iPod Touch is a product from Apple.

2. Zune HD features a built-in HD radio receiver and an OLED screen while the iPod Touch lacks an FM radio feature and comes with an LCD screen.

3. iPod Touch offers 75,000 apps and 21,000 games whereas the new Zune HD offers 9 apps and 7 games.

4. iPod Touch supports instant messaging and email whereas Zune HD doesn’t support these features.

5. Zune is available in multiple colors to choose from while iPod is available in only black and silver colors.

6. Microsoft offers its Zune HD 16GB at $219 while an 8GB iPod Touch which is half the capacity of the lowest priced Zune HD costs $199.

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1 Comment

  1. Very informative…thank you!

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