Today's MP3 players are all about a convergence of features, including Wi-Fi, built-in Web browsers, video playback, radio tuners, applications (Apple's App Store works with the iPod Touch), and the ability to play stored content on external devices such as a stereo or an HDTV. Several iPod models have S-Video support for connecting to TVs.
The Zune HD, introduced this September, competes squarely with the Apple iPod Touch, offering a great touchscreen OLED display, storage capacities up to 32GB, Wi-Fi, and an HD radio tuner, all for $219.
Microsoft's Zune HD and Apple's iPod Touch are both a far cry from the bulky and expensive MP3 players of yesteryear. Digital audio players have come a long way. But who knows if this approach--cramming 101 functions into our MP3 players--will last? If it does continue, maybe in another 11 years we'll be able to use our fiftieth-generation iPods to view a 3D holographic video of Mick Jagger running around the room singing "Jumpin' Jack Flash."