Microsoft: the iPods $30,000 price tag

Wow, who rattled Steve Ballmer's cage? As if hounding Apple on the price and power of Macbooks wasn't enough, Microsoft's latest TV ad ups the ante by

Wow, who rattled Steve Ballmer's cage? As if hounding Apple on the price and power of Macbooks wasn't enough, Microsoft's latest TV ad ups the ante by taking a swipe at iTunes.

The latest advert (embedded at Ars Technica, here) tots up the cost of filling a 120GB iPod solely from iTunes - a whopping $30,000 (£20,000). A cheery financial advisor then compares that to the price of filling up one of Microsoft's Zune media player using its monthly, unlimited download ZunePass subscription - just $15 (£10).

Of course, Microsoft Zune owners (yes, both of them) don't get to keep their songs, except for their choice of 10 tunes each month with ZunePass.

On paper, it's a great deal. And if the Zune and the iPod were launching today, Microsoft might have a shot. But many Yanks are now are their third or fourth iPod. They've already ripped all their CDs and have spent the big money on music they're going to spend - in which case a regular 15 bucks a month looks like a bit of a luxury.

The real winners from this ad? Buffalo, Seagate and Western Digital as music fans suddenly appreciate the cost of not backing up their library.