Having been a long time fan of various MP3 players, after jumping from Minidisc, I have had a good few! Apple, Creative, Sony, Phillips…
Personally I have found Microsoft’s Zune HD (import) to be the best so far.
This is helped in no small way by the excellent Zune music management software. I find it to be on par or perhaps even exceeding iTunes on the Mac in some areas.
|Zune now playing screen|
The main area being the Zune subscription service. Personally never been a fan of subscription services, and I have tried Spotify, that was until I tried the Zune service. The sweetener with the MS offering is the 10 credits per month to “buy” tracks that are then downloaded DRM free for you to keep! You have remember to use them as they don’t roll over.
As it scans your music library ala iTunes it can supply you with “picks” similar to the Genius function which it thinks you will like, there are a few misses but it has introduced me to a lot of great new music!
|Zune picks for you|
You can also see other users with like minded tastes, another fine way to find a new artist / genre.
With Windows Phone 7 just around the corner and the UK version of the service appearing, albeit in a limited fashion at present, I for one can’t wait! This means I hopefully don’t have to pay overinflated prices for the American subscription cards soon 🙂