Things have been quiet on the music player front of late, but this week both Apple and Microsoft refreshed their MP3 player line up with new software, hardware, and lower prices. At first glance, it's hard to tell which players offer the better value, so we put them side by side to find out. Full-Size MP3 Players Microsoft Zune Apple iPod touch Apple iPod classic Price $249.99 $399 $249 Weight 4.5 ounces 4 ounces 4.9 ounces ounces Width (at thickest) 12.9 mm 8.5 mm 10.5 mm Screen 3.2" 320x240 3.5" 480x320 2.5" 320x240 Audio/Video/Photo WMA, WMA Lossless, AAC, MP3, WMV, MP4, H.264, JPEG AAC, Protected AAC, MP3, Apple Lossless, WAV, H.264, MP4, JPEG AAC, Protected AAC, MP3, Apple Lossless, WAV, H.264, MP4, JPEG Wireless 802.11g 802.11g None Web Browser No Yes No Hard Drive 120GB 32GB (flash) 120GB FM Tuner Yes No No Firmware Upgrades Free $9.95 N/A Features Buy from FM, Games, Audiobooks, Audible, Overdrive Accelerometer, Genius playlists, Audiobooks, Nike+iPod, built-in speaker, App Store None Rated Battery Life 30 hours (music), 4 hours (video) 36 hours (music), 6 hours (video) 30 hours (music), 5 hours (video) Mini MP3 Players Microsoft Zune Apple iPod Nano Price $199 $199 Weight 1.7 ounces 1.3 ounces Width (at thickest) 8.5 mm 6.2 mm Screen 1.8" 320x240 2" LED backlit 320x240 Audio/Video/Photo WMA, WMA Lossless, AAC, MP3, WMV, MP4, H.264, JPEG AAC, Protected AAC, MP3, Apple Lossless, WAV, H.264, MP4, JPEG Wireless 802.11g None Web Browser No No Hard Drive 16GB (flash) 16GB (flash) FM Tuner Yes No Firmware Upgrades Free N/A Features Buy from FM, Games, Audiobooks, Audible, Overdrive Genius playlists, Accelerometer, Audiobooks, Shake to Shuffle Rated Battery Life 24 hours (music w/o wireless), 4 hours (video) 24 hours (music), 4 hours (video) Full-size MP3 players Amongst the top of the line players, the Zune easily delivers more for your money. Unlike the iPod classic, it has built-in wireless and a host of features including an FM tuner and wireless music downloads. Technology-wise, the iPod touch has more to offer with it's advanced web browsing, built-in speakers, and Nike+iPod connectivity, which lets you keep track of your workouts (particularly your runs) with the help of an optional sneaker receiver. However, the touch only offers 32GB of memory and is $150 more than the top of the line Zune player — a deal breaker for someone who just wants an MP3 player and is trying to save money. Mini MP3 players On the "mini" player front, it seems both Microsoft's and Apple's flash players are neck and neck, both offering the same amount of storage for the same price. However, the Zune outsmarts the new nano with its built-in wireless and stronger list of features making it an obvious win when it comes to value. However, these added features come with a catch — the Zune is 25% heavier and thicker than the iPod nano. ConclusionValue-wise, Microsoft easily steals the show in both full-size and mini categories, offering more for your money. If all you need is a PC-friendly music/video player, the Zunes are solid choices. The main negatives are the rather uninspired styling and lack of Mac compatibility. On the other hand, techies who want a player that's slim and is equipped with (just slightly) more advanced technology, Apple's iPod touch is the better option. Although it's more expensive, it's web and gaming features set it apart from the pack. The iPod classic — well — we're sure it has a great personality. Louis Ramirez is dealnews' Features Editor.