The Zune is a contender, but one that looks like it was obviously rushed to market to make a holiday release. The good news is that there is nothing wrong with the Zune device or PC player that can't be fixed in software. The bad news is, there's a lot of software fixin' that needs happen. If Microsoft sticks to an extremely aggressive software update release, it can turn the Zune into a killer product. If they wait for months to make modest improvements and limp out a handful of new Zune players next year, they'll toss money down a bottomless pit and implode under the ever-expanding iPod market.
ExtremeTech got their hands on Microsoft's new digital music player, and put it through the paces. Their comprehensive analysis gives you chapter and verse on the Zune.
Is it better than the iPod? You'll have to read the review to find out.