Zune HD 4.5 update now available, adds Smart DJ and Picks

Microsoft has done a good job of updating the Zune HD with features and free software and today rolls out their 4.5 update. The Smart DJ and Picks capabilities should enhance your Zune HD experience.
Written by Matthew Miller, Contributing Writer

Remember that Zune HD 4.5 update we just talked about last week when Microsoft said it was coming "very soon"? Well very soon obviously means less than a week since the Zune HD 4.5 update is now available to download and install. Unfortunately, my Zune HD is in my workout case at home so I won't be able to update until later tonight.

If you recall, these are the functions that are included in this new update:

  • Smart DJ Mix on Zune HD: Zune has always been committed to helping people discover new music. We added Smart DJ to the Zune software last fall and now we’re bringing this popular music discovery feature to the Zune HD device. Smart DJ on Zune HD will let you create an instant playlist mix whenever the inspiration strikes direct from your device. Just choose a song or artist from your collection or from the Zune Marketplace catalog and press the Smart DJ icon to build a new mix based on your selection. If you have a Zune Pass music subscription it will pull music from your existing collection and the Zune Marketplace catalog to create the mix. If you don’t have a Zune Pass subscription you can still use Smart DJ to build a playlist from the collection on your device.
  • Picks on Zune HD: Picks is another popular music recommendation feature in the Zune software which we’re extending to the Zune HD device. The Picks algorithm analyzes what you listen to and compares that to millions of other Zune users to make personalized recommendations. With this update, you’ll be able to access these automatic recommendations directly on the Zune HD device as well as on your PC.
  • Browse and Stream Music from Zune Marketplace on your TV: Using the Zune HD A/V dock, you can connect your Zune HD to your TV to play your favorite videos and music from your device on the big screen. With this software update, you’ll also be able to browse and stream music from Zune Marketplace directly on your TV to find and listen to your favorite music from the comfort of your couch. You can browse New Releases, check out recommendations from your Picks page, search for a specific song or artist, or even create a new Smart DJ playlist on your big screen a great way to make an instant soundtrack for your next party.
  • Expanded Video Codec Support: With expanded support to include MPEG-4 Part 2 Advanced Simple Profile (ASP), which includes Xvid and AVI support, you’ll be able to immediately enjoy a broader range of video content natively on Zune HD with no transcoding required.

I am personally looking forward to the Smart DJ capability on my Zune HD and think that will be something people will come to enjoy on the go.

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