Microsoft Zune MP3 Players
Zune Digital Media Player plays and displays your
music, videos, and pictures 24x7, and unlike the iPod, it even has
a built-in FM tuner.
Zune wirelessly shares full-length tracks, playlists, pictures
and podcasts with other Zune friends.
Hear something you like on music, radio or video, tag it and then
buy it next time you sync up.
80 GB Digital Media Player Black (2nd Generation)
In recent reviews:
- Laptop magazine - called the Microsoft Zune "ambitious
- PC World - an "intriguing mix of innovation and lack of
- PC Magazine - the Zune is "interesting if not compelling."
- The Washington Post - calls Zune's exclusive reliance on the
Zune Marketplace for protected content a "breathtaking display
of corporate faithlessness, cluelessness or both."
Microsoft claims they are in the portable-player business for the
long haul, not expecting this player to suddenly outsell the iPod;
Microsoft , but promises great improvements in the second version
due in November, 2007.
Look And Listen
Screen - Zune sports a bigger color screen size
than most MP3 players, at 3.2-inch , for uncompromised portable
Color - The lastest 1.7-ounce models [4G and 8G]
are available black, pink, green and red, and sport a new rectangular
shape closely resembling the Nano.
Zune also comes equipped with premium earphones, designed to block
out external noise, providing superior sound and bass response.
Size - The 80G model is naturally larger at 4.5-ounce,
and comes in black only.
But with an 80-GB hard drive, and slightly better ear buds than
the iPod, its larger 3.2-inch screen makes it a hot competitor to
the iPod Classic series.
Customization - A rather interesting customization
feature is the ability to laser engrave artwork onto the devices.
Control - The new touch-sensitive Zune Pad controller
makes it easy to navigate and rapidly scroll through Zune's menus.
Slide your finger up and down or right and left on the Pad or press
its center or edges to make things happen. Other controls are Play/pause
NOTE: free software upgrades are provided for older Zunes to enable
them to take advantage of most new Zune features.
Sound quality is excellent.
No cables and wires with Zune. You can easily connect to your home
wireless network and sync your Zune with your PC digital media collection
You can also sync using the dock, AC adapter, or speaker dock accessory
Connect to the Zune Online Community - create a Zune card and Zune
profile page to share your musical persona. Invite friends, share
song recommendations, post comments, and browse member pages to
discover new tunes and others who share your musical tastes.
You can purchase music and load your device with new tunes, on
the Zune Marketplace. With over three million songs, DRM-free MP3s,
music vidoes, audio/video podcasts, and more content added every
day. You can also choose between the download or subscription packages.
The Zune automatically imports TV shows or movies recorded using
a PC running Windows Media Center in Windows Vista. The Zune also
features a built-in FM radio tuner.
Advanced tuning capabilities display the name of the song currently
playing on select frequencies.
...and the Zune is compatible with Xbox 360 to customize the soundtrack
in supported games. You can also stream music, pictures and vidoes
from the Zune software on your PC to your Xbox 360 console using
a wireless connection.
Songs purchased from the Zune store won't play in other players.
And the Zune won't play songs you've purchased from any other WMA
music stores, like Rhapsody, Napster or Wal-Mart's music store,
or any songs you've purchased previously -- including those purchased
using Microsoft's own PlaysForSure media certification.
- Great interface
- Zune uses an innovated pad for browsing your music, video and
Zune player stores up to 20,000 songs, 25,000 pictures, or 250
hours of video; based on 128 kbps WMA files, with length of 4 minutes
each. Pictures transferred to Zune will automatically be optimized
for Zune screen size. Video estimates are based on 500 kbps WMV
files with 128 kbps WMA audio tracks.
Microsoft has launched three new Zune MP3 players in November 2007,
with some welcome software upgrades. The new versions of Zune are
closer positioned to compete against the iPod Nano and the iPod
Classic and from the last review of sales on Amazon - they are leading
both Apple alternatives.
The proposed range and pricing will include:
- 4GB - $149 - available in black, red, pink, and green
- 8GB - $199 - available in black, red, pink, and green
- 80GB - $249 - available in black only
Along with all the standard features one would expect in an MP3
player, the new features that Microsoft includes in the three new
Zune users will be able to sync their player to a computer over
a home Wi-Fi network. Existing Zune users will be provided with
a new firmware upgrade, so that they too, can have this new wireless
Zune.net is the new online music community allowing users to create
customizable "Zune Cards" . With a $15 monthly Zune Pass
subscription, you can download unlimited tracks to three PCs or
up to three Zunes.
This Web 2.0 widget automatically keeps a running log of your favorite
music based on information fed to it from your computer's Zune software.
Song titles listed on Zune Carda link back to the Zune Marketplace,
allowing users to share their selection with Zune buddies to preview
and purchase the recommended music .
But the Marketplace has around 3 million tracks, [about half what
More than a million are MP3s with NO digital rights restrictions.
There is also a small selection of podcasts and music videos.
The Marketplace doesn't sell TV shows, movies or audio books,
though you can watch shows synced from a Media Center PC.
Integration with the video-recording capabilities of Microsoft's
Windows Media Center platform is finally included with Zunes. If
you're using Windows Media Center, or derivatives such as Windows
Vista Home or Windows Vista Ultimate, you can now sync PC-recorded
TV content directly to your Zune. You will have to wait and see
if you can sync TivoToGo content as well.
Relaxed Music Sharing Restraints
Whilst Microsoft has relaxed the sharing of music with other Zune
owners, it has yet to provide unrestricted Zune-to-Zune music sharing.
Whats Not Included
There are still some key functionality missing in the upcoming
Zune launch, such as:
- Wireless music and movie downloads
- Internet radio streaming
- Internet and e-mail support.
And you still get you superior player audio fidelity, as well as
max screen size and picture quality. Will it be enough?.....wait
for December for the first months sales, and we will review Zune
MP3 Player again.
Find more information, find the best deal on Amazon and/or
80 GB Digital Media Player Black (2nd Generation)