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Thursday, September 14, 2006

September 14 - Zune Release!

It doesn't take a lot to get me hyper, so the launch of the long-anticipated Microsoft Zune is no exception. The specs are impressive too, though we're not the first to notice that the 30GB iPod killer has a tiny amount of storage compared to Apple's superior new userpering 80GB iPod. The Zune has some impressive features, though boasts nothing that wasn't expected. Wi-Fi, built in FM Radio, a 3-inch QVGA screen and the heralded Zune2Zune sharing. The person you share the music with has to listen to it over a three day period, during which, if they do, they can flag it for purchase in the Microsoft Zune Marketplace. The download costs very little, and if you have a 'Zune Pass', you'll be pleased to know that you can download as much as you want so long as you're prepared to pay monthly. Microsoft quote 'Zune starts with a 30GB digital media player and adds a twist. You can wirelessly share selected full-length sample tracks, playlists, pictures or your home-grown tracks directly from Zune to Zune. You can listen to the full-length songs that you receive up to three times in three days, flag the ones you like and easily buy them the next time you sync up. You can discover new music in the Zune Marketplace, and show off your favorite pictures and videos on the big, bright screen. Zune has all that and a built in FM tuner, too. Let your inner DJ run wild.' Sounds impressive, if not a bit desparate. This could well be the iPod killer I'm talking about though, so I better watch myself. 'Zune is easy to use and easy to love. You can choose one of three base colors, each combined with a distinctive double-shot finish created by the overlay of one color on another. The player also can easily be customized with your favorite pictures.' All sounds impressive, but does it live up to the challenge in real world tests? We hopt to review one soon, but we can't give an exact date. Three Zune Accessory Packs provide complete solutions for Zune in your car, in your home or while you travel. These are a nice idea of packaging several accessories into one pack. Great for consumers who aren't completely with it. Individual accessories are also available for those who are, but it is believed that you might save money by buying a pack. If I get one, it'll be the 'Home' pack, as I really take my music with me. I spend more time listening to music blogging, than I do when I'm out and about. 'As Zune evolves, your device can be easily updated. The Zune software on your PC will let you know when updates are available for download. And with built-in wireless capability in each player, the future is filled with possibilities.' Yeah. And we've not heard that before. Even still, I can see myself liking, and possibly using a Zune, even if an 80GB iPod is available. Rumours are in that the main iPod pimpers are helping accessorize your Zune aswell. This doesn't mean they're dropping the iPod though. I always like Logitech products though, so it'll be nice to see what they can develop for the Zune. Finally, I'd like to comment on the Microsoft Zune marketplace, saying that the design is wonderful.

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