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Apple's Jobs slams Zune, says player poses no concern

Apple Computer chief executive Steve Jobs said he does not see Microsoft's community-centric Zune device as a threat to his company's iPod digital media players.

"I've seen the demonstrations on the Internet about how you can find another person using a Zune and give them a song they can play three times. It takes forever," Jobs told Newsweek in an interview ahead of the iPods fifth anniversary next month.

"By the time you've gone through all that, the girl's got up and left! You're much better off to take one of your earbuds out and put it in her ear. Then you're connected with about two feet of headphone cable."

Jobs was equally unconcerned that the iPod could lose its cachet because of its growing popularity. "That's like saying you don't want to kiss your lover's lips because everyone has lips," he said. "It doesn't make any sense."

During the development of the iPod, which turns five years old on Oct. 23, Jobs said he knew he had struck a chord due to the device's internal appeal. "The way you can tell that you're onto something interesting is if everybody who knows about the project wants one themselves," he explained, "if they can't wait to go out and open up their own wallets to buy one."

For the iPod, one of the biggest insights Apple had was not to try to manage its music library on the iPod, but to manage it in iTunes, according to Jobs. "Other companies tried to do everything on the device itself and made it so complicated that it was useless," he said.

In the three-page interview with Newsweek, the Apple boss also professes his love for Levis and discuss the lengthy back-and-forth process with record labels that eventually led to the launch of the iTunes Music Store.

"It was a process over 18 months. We got to know these folks and we made a series of predictions that a lot of things they were trying would fail," Jobs said of the labels.

"Then they went and tried them, and they all failed, for the reasons that we had predicted. We kept coming back to visit them every month or two, and they started to believe that we might actually have some insight into this, and our credibility grew with them to the point where they were willing to take a chance with us."