Zune coverage: Today Show’s old iPods, CNN’s new shuffle | iLounge News

Zune coverage: Today Show’s old iPods, CNN’s new shuffle


Microsoft’s marketing machine has gotten its new Zune media player in front of many eyes this week—from newspaper, web and magazine articles to TV commercials, special events, and coverage on news shows. Two somewhat contrasting Zune segments appeared this week on NBC’s “Today Show” and CNN’s “American Morning.”

The “Today Show” segment, featuring a pre-recorded report by NBC’s Peter Alexander, was impartial in facts, but twice showed the Zune sitting beside an older, fourth-generation iPod with monochrome screen instead of the latest video-capable fifth-generation iPod. Later in the segment, stock footage of an older iPod mini is also used. After Alexander’s report, Matt Lauer, Meredith Vieira, and Al Roker discuss the Zune, with Lauer saying, “We’re iPod guys.” Roker says the Zune’s wireless features are “Not enough for me” and that the Zune online store is “a little more unwieldy than the iTunes Store.” Lauer ends the segment with a statement about the relationship between NBC and Microsoft. “We should mention that Microsoft and NBC are joint partners in the MSNBC.com website.”

On CNN’s “American Morning,” hosts Soledad O’Brien and Miles O’Brien (no relation) talk with Andrew Ross Sorkin of The New York Times. Sorkin gives an overview of the Zune’s features while holding a Zune and showing it on camera. After the wireless features are downplayed and music compatibility problems are disclosed, the segment takes a turn when Soledad O’Brien pulls out her new second-generation iPod shuffle. “Now that’s the thing that’s a lot sexier than [the Zune],” Sorkin says. “Microsoft in the end will come out with something—I don’t know if it will be that pretty— but something.” Miles O’Brien asks, “Why don’t they get some decent design people to make things look better? It’s clunky.” Sorkin concludes with “No Comment.”

Watch both segments below.

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Posted by Gordy. on November 15, 2006 at 11:30 AM (CST)


that whole comparison with the zune and the 4th gen ipod is bullshit.

Posted by bozz on November 15, 2006 at 11:51 AM (CST)


I have to agree with bozz, comparing the Zune in appearance to 4th generation iPod (kind of like how Microsoft compares the size of the Zune to a 60/80gb video iPod on their website instead of the 30gb version) is beyond deceiving, it is biased reporting, but I did like that both Lauer and Roker proclaimed themselves iPod guys.  I think Lauer was also a bit funny when he prefaced the entire report by stating NBC is partners with Microsoft and in effect giving a wink wink to everyone out there to take the report with a grain of salt.

I also liked the “no comment” at the end of the CNN report!

Overall I think Microsoft is afraid to compare apples to apples (or maybe apples to sour grapes!) in any direct advertisement or news release.

Posted by cjp on November 15, 2006 at 12:04 PM (CST)


So what if MS is pulling out all the misleading stops on it marketing campaign?  I do seem to remember that Apple has been guilty of that a number of times.  I belive the FTC forced apple to stop a commercial because it was too misleading.  As well as their inflated performance numbers for their PowerPC processors.  Let the marketers be, we all know they tell lies…  Disclosure- I don’t like the Zune and will never get one.

Posted by hahahaha on November 15, 2006 at 12:11 PM (CST)


NBC should be fined BIG TIME.  Things should start being done about that kind of misleading ‘reporting’.

The CNN clip however should be streamed and played EVERYWHERE!!  I will surely link it to all my PC lovin’ friends.

Posted by iScott on November 15, 2006 at 12:15 PM (CST)


Funny thing is I still like my 4th gen, 40 gig iPod more than the Zune.

Posted by BrettB on November 15, 2006 at 12:25 PM (CST)


This made me want to get a Shuffle even more.
Thanks CNN for the free advert.

Posted by Bobo on November 15, 2006 at 12:34 PM (CST)


I totally agree with Brett B., I like my 4G 40 GB iPod more than the Zune, but I also think my other two iPods (1st Genration 512 MB Shuffle and Black 5G 60 GB iPod) are better than the Zune. I see in the future that Microsoft won’t be selling a lot of Zunes. Especially when everyone criticizes it, and I agree with them…

Posted by DanielH on November 15, 2006 at 12:37 PM (CST)


Did the “Today” show say that they are a part of MSNBC - which is owned by Microsoft?

This was no accident.

Posted by Dan on November 15, 2006 at 1:02 PM (CST)


Personally, the whole marketing thing turns me off to both devices.  I don’t trust any claims unless I’ve verified them myself or they are confirmed by a trusted tech testing magazine/agency/website.

In practical experience, I had an iPod, but didn’t like that it did not have a true power down, so that its batteries would drain themselves constantly even sitting in my backpack.  Really, I can wait two seconds for the device to boot before I chill to my tunes.

The Zune, in my research, looks poorly implemented.  The installer doesn’t even give you a choice of where to put the software on your computer.  The device itself doesn’t look any more robust than the latest iPods… if you drop it, you’re done.

I’ll stick with my 20Gb Dell DJ.  16 hours of battery life (I tested it), works in the cold, and I don’t have to take off my gloves to use it because it has physical buuttons instead of a touchwheel.  Sure, it weighs a couple ounces more than the comparable iPod, but its about the same size, and the HDD is much more shock resistant.

Too bad Dell stopped making HDD-based DJs; I would have bought another when it comes time to upgrade.

Posted by Daniel on November 15, 2006 at 1:25 PM (CST)


I didn’t think the lack of a “true power down” would be a deal breaker for buying an ipod.  I have a first generation nano, which is routinely criticized for its poor battery performence.  I didn’t charge it or use it for a few weeks recently but it still was almost fully charged when I checked it.  Were you using the “hold” switch when putting the ipod in your backpack so that it wasn’t being used accidently?

Posted by fstop on November 15, 2006 at 1:41 PM (CST)


can’t believe they used the $G iPod to compare with the new Zune… Biased or what!! just look at any iPods and then look at the zune, it just looks out dated already.

Posted by zune? what zune? on November 15, 2006 at 1:46 PM (CST)


This is the best they can do? Compare it to an old out-of-date iPod? The Zune now doesn’t have a chance. Period.

Posted by Charles on November 15, 2006 at 2:28 PM (CST)


What is even more hilarious are the ‘plants’ that posted obviously suspicious messages on other forums in favour of the Microsoft product. One of them was so contrived and ill-suited it was as if he was talking about a chocolate bar.

Why is this even newsworthy (apart from forums like this)? This product should be completely ignored.

Posted by Pikemann_Urge on November 15, 2006 at 2:58 PM (CST)


It wasn’t the FTC, it was Great Britain that forced them to pull the ad. The issue was the claim of the “world’s fastest desktop processor” because rules there are stricter. Since the G5 didn’t win every benchmark as well as the grey area between desktop workstation class computers, Apple was forced to pull the tagline.

By the way, your entire argument is known as the Ad Numeram Fallacy (Appeal to Common Practice). Just because Apple screwed up doesn’t excuse Microsoft’s faux astroturfing. In the end, it looks like they got burned.

Looks like the big MS should concentrate on making a better product, instead of marketing a worse one.

Posted by terry chay on November 15, 2006 at 3:30 PM (CST)


When rabid Apple fanboys attack! Next on Fox..

Posted by toothpaste on November 15, 2006 at 4:36 PM (CST)


I think Miles summed it up when he said “Clunky”.
The zune is exremely clunky. I’m still in love with my ipod, this whole zune thing is wishful thinking on their part.

Posted by shoe laces on November 15, 2006 at 4:43 PM (CST)


Here’s a fun blurb on Zune’s failure screen:


Posted by superape on November 15, 2006 at 5:33 PM (CST)


Hello..? Anyone know what the MS in MSNBC stands for..?
Anyone wonder why the ‘Welcome to the social’ tag line was in prime view on the front of the desk of Today..?

Posted by ilovebrownzune on November 15, 2006 at 6:25 PM (CST)


Funny how all the videos I’ve seen the zune playing on TV spots have been widescreen… and have black bars top and bottom..! You’d think that to push the ‘bigger screen’ idea they’d use something that *filled* the screen..!

Posted by GadgetGav on November 15, 2006 at 6:27 PM (CST)

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