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So, What The Hell Is Zune?

Microsoft has finally pulled the wraps off the Zune. While it is mostly what we thought it would be, here are the gritty details:

Zune is a 30-gigabyte digital media player. It features wireless technology, a built-in FM tuner and a 3-inch screen that works both in portrait and lanscape (that means you can rotate it to view it however you want). It shows off music, video and pictures. It comes in black, brown and white. The Zune’s UI is customizable with any wallpaper image, and appears more graphically exciting than the iPod’s simple menu system.

Zune owners can send music wirelessly to other Zune owners. The music sent is a sample, at full length and full quality, but it expires after three plays or three days, whichever comes first. Whole playlists can be sent, as well as pictures (which obviously do not expire).

The Zune Marketplace is where you can download songs, either buying individual tracks or picking up a Zune Pass unlimited music subscription. The Zune Marketplace uses Microsoft Points, so you can purchase music without a credit card.

The FM tuner can display station name and song information, for those stations broadcasting a Radio Broadcast Data Standards (RBDS) signal.

The Zune can automatically import your Windows Media Player and iTunes libraries.

The Zune can import unprotected music from the following formats:

  • WMA
  • MP3
  • AAC

The Zune can import images from JPEG.

The Zune can import unprotected video from the following formats:

  • WMV
  • MPEG-4
  • H.264

Zune devices come preloaded with music from several labels, including DTS, EMI Music’s Astralwerks Records and Virgin Records, Ninja Tune, Playlouderecordings, Quango Music Group, Sub Pop Records, and V2/Artemis Records.

The Zune Car Pack includes an FM transmitter and car charger. The Zune Home A/V Pack includes an output cable for TV or stereo, a dock, a sync cable and an AC adapter. The Zune Travel Pack is a set of five accessories, with premium earphones, a remote, a gear bag a sync cable and the AC adapter.

Here are all three colors:

Here are the seperate colors:

Here’s a shot of the box:

September 14th, 2006 Posted by | General, Windows Media, Zune | one comment

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1 Comment »

  1. I wonder what the details of the Subscription service are. Rumors since the beginning were that Zune would not use PlaysForSure, which I assumed meant that there would be no way to use subscriptions on the Zune device. It appears that is incorrect.

    So does that mean the new subscription service is different than PlaysForSure? If so, I wonder if existing PlaysForSure devices can interact with the subscriptions services also or if that will be left for Napster, Rhapsody, etc.


    Comment by Dan | September 14, 2006

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