Zune was crap before it was launched. Typical MS.... years late to the party and then they _still_ can't come up with a good product. Switching music to the xbox and Windows phones? Good luck with that! Again... same situation.... MS phones are years late to the party and are still crap. When MS's is tired of spending money pushing their phones, they will be visting the Zune as well.
MS here is your problem with "new tech".... you lock it down so hard that you give your potential customers no reason to use your products. The Zune was a perfect example. Why do I want to be forced to use MS's software just so I can load and delete song's from the device I bought? There are thousands of devices that allow drag/drop.
The Zune was 3 years behind it's time the moment it was released. It was also crippled from the very start as well. MS is so bent on control that they don't see the consumer world passing them by.
The only Apple product I've used is one of their ipods. But I think they are all the same... locked down just as tight. I'd not own an Apple mp3 player for this reason either. But there are still _big_ differences betwen MS and Apple. Apple is not several years behind the curve (they are actually making the curve) and their products are leaps and bounds above MS's products.
But I think Apple's lock down is just as bad. I tried to to use iTunes and just could not get past the learning curve. I just wanted to drag/drop some music onto the ipod but could not figure out how to do that. I did not want to sync (which was easy to find) as the folder only contained a couple of songs I wanted to add.
But as mentioned, Apple is not years behind everyone else and their hardware is actually good.
I agree I don't like the locked down approach from any manufacturer. I only have music in MP3 format and I do have numerous ipods and ipads. You can drag and drop songs to them. In iTunes set your device for manual synching by selecting the device icon on the left side of the iTunes window and then on the "Music Tab" set it for manual control.
Now just open a folder on your machine, select the music you want to be added and drag the files onto the ipod/ipad icon in the itunes window. You can do this with any computer since you have chosen to manually control your music instead of letting iTunes control it. This can also be done with videos if they are already in the correct format.