In the midst of the press coverage of the Zune launch, one thing has struck me, and I know it marks me as a geezer: I have not seen one piece that's compared the audio fidelity of the Zune vs. the iPod. Now, I know that MP3s (or whatever format these players use) are not exactly exemplars of sonic excellence to begin with, but surely some players sound better than others, and even more surely there must be some difference in the quality of the headphones that come with them. Back in the day, high fidelity was a big deal, a significant aspect of the listening experience; any serious music fan was, to some extent, an audiophile. That's all gone by the boards. Now, music fans walk around with those awful standard iPod headphones – they don't care a jot about frequency response or stereo imaging, they only care about the convenience, portability and perhaps prestige of the player. Musical snob appeal has shifted to the size and quality of one's collection, not the size and quality of one's woofers. Given the choice, I fervently endorse the former priority, but doesn't it strike anyone as strange that here we've developed this astounding feat of miniaturization, the MP3 player – thousands of albums that fit in your pocket -- and yet we're practically back to pressing our ears against cheap transistor radios?