Radio: just another iPod app

Microsoft is comparing their new, upcoming Zune HD to Apple’s iPod Touch. In an interview with c|net’s Ina Fried, the GM of Zune global marketing went so as far as to say “This device is created to go head to head with the iPod Touch.” That’s debatable, according to Christopher Breen writing in MacWorld online.ZuneHD

I say, big deal. So the Microsoft Zune flack gets dissed by the iPod/iPhone/iSteve flack. Whatever. What is interesting is the one Zune HD feature that Mr. Breen thinks not much of a feature at all:

Radio. HD Radio, at that. Here’s his quote:

“…Microsoft, from all appearances, is jamming its fingers in its ears and sing-songing “iPod! iPod! iPod! We have radio, iPod doesn’t!” as if radio, of all things, is the killer app (which, if you really want it on your iPod touch, can be had via one of a handful of apps).”

The inference is clear and comes right out of Jerry Del Colliano’s playbook. Radio? That old thing? What’s next? A built-in ashtray and cigarette lighter? Goodness, why did Microsoft even bother?

This devaluation of radio is not surprising, coming from an iPod fan. However, what I find jarring is how quickly radio has become just one of 10,000 other 99 cent apps that can be installed on your iPod.

That is, if you really want it in the first place.