Zune's Music Discovery System Tops iTunes

Apple, Microsoft take page from Pandora's book in broadening users' horizons
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 17, 2008 3:38 PM CDT
On Sept. 16, 2008, the Microsoft Zune portable media player will give users the ability to buy music directly from the FM radio built into each device.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – In test-driving new software from Apple and Microsoft designed to facilitate music discovery for users of their respective media players, Walter Mossberg gives the edge to Zune’s system over rival iTunes’ upgrades. “Though I didn't happen to have as much time to use Zune's software as I did Apple's Genius, I got more out of my Zune experience,” he writes in the Wall Street Journal.

Zune’s “Mixview” displays a web of related items around each song; select one, and a new web will appear. This ever-digging approach “adds a real zing to the discovery process,” Mossberg writes. Apple’s Genius, meanwhile can make playlists based on your existing library, or suggest new songs. But the interface isn’t convenient—its suggestions don’t automatically change as you listen—and they’re limited to songs sold on iTunes.