A couple of days ago I mentioned that there was a Zune HD firmware update available, version 4.5, and then when I arrived home I performed the update. I had to connect a couple of times and prompt to refresh the software update check before my netback found an update available, but then everything went smoothly. In addition to the new features I mentioned earlier there was another surprise in the update, no more commercials in the games.
In the video above I take a quick walk through Picks and Smart DJ Mix on the Zune HD. There are also improvements in video codecs, but I honestly do not use my Zune HD for watching movies so it will be a while before I test this capability out. Picks appear as a new tab when you launch the Marketplace on your Zune HD. You will see album art of some selected artists and after tapping one you will see albums, songs, and more. To enable Smart DJ Mix you simply tap and hold on a song, album, or artist to see a menu option for Play Smart DJ Mix and then the Zune software will generate a playlist of songs from that selection for you to enjoy. There are so many songs in the Zune Marketplace that discovery can be difficult, especially from the Zune Desktop software. I am really enjoying the Smart DJ Mix capability and plan to use this quite a bit as I workout and enjoy my music.
As I showed in my video, there are no longer any ads in the application. There have never been ads in the utilities like the calculator, Twitter, and Facebook, but there were static or moving Zune and Kia car ads in the games. When you launch a game now you will see a loading icon, but no more ads.