Microsoft Zune officially revealed

Microsoft Zune officially revealed

Summary: The Zune will come in three colors (brown, black, and white) to start off with and includes a large 3 inch display, integrated WiFi, and FM tuner. The first device should be available in the next couple months and has me convinced what my next portable media player will be, how about you?

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TOPICS: Microsoft
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 zune_triple_1.jpg

It is now official, the Microsoft Zune will be out in time for the holidays. I assume this means we'll probably see devices available in November and maybe even October if we are lucky. I was unimpressed with the new Apple iPod announcements since I wanted to see something with a larger display. As a MacBook Pro owner I would probably have been over at the Apple Store that day with a more compelling announcement. Cesar Menendez is a Microsoft employee whorking on the Zune project and I highly recommend checking out his blog with links to some great Zune coverage. Apparently, some music bloggers were invited to Microsoft campus last week and had a chance to get a sneak peek at the device. I particularly enjoyed the 3hive and Sterogum blog entries.

I now know what will be on my Christmas list, but doubt I'll be able to wait that long and will probably make the purchase as soon as they are available. The larger display, ability to share and purchase tunes via WiFi, and the unlimited subscription service have swayed me to not buy an iPod at this time and wait for the Zune launch. There was no pricing information given for the 30GB media player or more specifics like what type of formats it will be compatible with, what type of connections it uses (USB, miniUSB, or proprietary), so we'll have to keep our eyes on the Zune sites to track down this information as it becomes available. I think I like the brown model and am saving up for mine right now.

Microsoft is definitely trying to help with the "shared community" experience like it obtained with the Xbox Live service and this is actually one feature that I find attractive for the Zune. I will be able to share and receive songs from friends, coworkers, and others and listen to it 3 times over a 3 day period and if I like it then I can tag it to purchase or add to my subscription service right then and there. What a great way to share and discover more songs and artists. If I was a musician I would personally be quite excited about this type of community sharing that should increase exposure for many artists. I know I personally tend to only buy what I know I like and really need a subscription service or this ability to share songs to branch out and find some new, great music.

I also hope that podcasts are supported well on this new platform and music service as the wireless sharing could also be a great way to share and learn about podcasts from others who I hang out with or meet in different situations. I think Microsoft is starting to think outside the box in many areas of the company and look forward to seeing what innovators can do with the backing of a large company. What do you think of the Zune?

Topic: Microsoft

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8 comments
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  • Wireless capabilities

    I think the wireless capabilities are pretty nice, but i think that it won't cost a lot of time before the first virusses will appear.

    But unless they provide the capability to use my iTunes bought files I won't even consider it as my media player.

    My bett is on the Nokia N93 which has a lot of the same capabilities, but i only have to use one gadget for calling, listening to music, taking casual pics and making movies on the road.
    tombalablomba
    • Good point about iTunes

      Back when rumors and leaks were flying around there was talk that Microsoft would somehow bring over all your iTunes music to the Zune, but I haven't seen anything confirmed on this from Microsoft yet.

      The N93 doesn't have any large storage capacity though like the Zune so it really isn't geared towards music and movies as much as its camera functionality. Can you use a subscription service with the N93? I wonder what will happen to those Windows Media subscription services when the Zune is out with its own music service?

      One thing about the iPod is that it is simple to get content onto it and use it and iTunes works with all the iPods. Microsoft is a bit confusing about which service to use with which device. It would have been sweet if Jobs had announced an iTunes subscription service for unlimited music a couple days ago.
      palmsolo (aka Matthew Miller)
      • Subscription Services

        I will never consider any subscription service after what they did overhere in the NL, the music companies decided that it was time for a change and they pulled the plug out of it.

        If i need a music service, i'll just call it plain old radio, it also has a shuffle and if i don't like the station I pick another one.

        Just read that the latest mini SD is now 4Gb, I prefer to load some of my playlists to my nano (2Gb) and still don't get bored.

        Only thing i'm afraid of with anything that is connected easily to the outside (whether it's my laptop, phone of music player) is the possibility of someone writing a virus for it.

        Now, i'm not inclined to accept anything from people i don't know. Can you imagine what will happen when people get used to this free sharing. (they did it in the 70's and boy did they have a time containing those sexual transmitted diseases ;) ).

        Once had the pleasure on a ferry to receive such a bluetooth virus (though didn't accept it), but i saw a lot of people accepting it.

        Just try it in a crowded place, search for bluetooth, and send a file around with a "qute" name, you would be surprised about the people that will have it. (
        tombalablomba
    • Then you'll always use an iPod

      Why would apple license Fairplay? There's no benefit to them at all. They've got lots of people who spent lots of money (foolishly, IMO, and I'd say that about buying any DRM wrapped lossy files) and don't want to lose those songs, nor do they want to do a lossy to lossy conversion to MP3, WMA or Vorbis.

      With that said, if what you say is really true, I'm pretty sure there's software that strips the Fairplay off of the files. I think that Zunes play AAC files, so long as they don't have any DRM on them.
      notsofast
  • No thanks

    30 GB is way too small for my needs. And no, I'm not interested in "gifting" my friends with DRM laden files they can only listen to 3 times. I'd rather just burn them a cd.
    tic swayback
    • Re: No thanks

      Since this article was about Zune and since you had not responded to it yesterday, I was beginning to wonder if you had given up on pointing out the deficiencies of Zune vis-a-vis iPod.

      Sometimes it ticks a little slowly, but it surely ticks :-).
      tick tock
      • Sorry to all my fans

        Sometimes actually having to work gets in the way of enlightening the masses. I'll try to do better next time.
        tic swayback
  • Wireless Opens this device up to the World

    When you combine the big screen with storage and the WiFi feature, you have a true MultiMedia device that can provide TV/Movie Video feeds
    as well as a means for Microsoft to slide in the back door positioning it to become a MultiPlayer Gaming device-competing with both SONY and APPLE.

    Jacomo (aka Bruto)
    jim.aimone@...