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Clunky-looking Microsoft Zune player revealed in filing

post #1 of 92
Thread Starter 
An obesely proportioned digital media player, confirmed to be Microsoft's upcoming Zune device, has turned up in photos and documentation filed with the FCC.

The filing, published on Thursday, was made by Toshiba Corp, suggesting that electronics and component maker will play an integral role in the manufacturing of the device.

According to a draft user manual accompanying the filing, Zune will include a 30GB 1.8-inch Toshiba hard drive, 3.0-inch low temperature polysilicone TFT LCD display, high qualify FM tuner with RDBS, headphone jack and USB 2.0 connectivity.

The user manual further indicates that Zune will be powered by a rechargeable Li-Ion battery, include mechanical switches for all control surfaces and feature a Wireless LAN module manufactured by Taiyo Yuden.

Wireless communication

"In order to use wireless sharing feature such as 'send' and 'DJ' you will need to turn on your device's wireless capabilities," Microsoft states in the user manual. "When this setting is on, your device will be discoverable by other Pyxis devices and also be capable of searching for other Pyxis devices in range."

Sending content

Once Zune's wireless capabilities are enabled, users will be able to share photos and promotional copies of songs, albums and playlists from other Pyxis users, the documentation states. After selecting the audio track or image to be shared, users of the device can activate a send command which will display a list of nearby Pyxis devices that also have wireless capabilities enabled.

DJing content

"Pyxis allows you to stream music to up to 4 other Pyxis devices. If you wish to 'DJ' content to other devices you need to go either to settings/music or press the center button in the 'now playing' screen," the manual states. "You will be presented with a DJ setting with 3 options: off, on, or friends. If you choose DJ:on, anyone can listen in to the same music that you are currently listing to. If you choose DJ: friends, only people in your friends list can listen in."

Being the DJ

After users enable Zune's DJ setting, users will receive an onscreen notification as other users join the audio stream. "If you turn off your device or begin playing non-music content, any listener connections that you have will end and you will not be shown as a DJ again until you are once again listening to music," the documentation goes on to read.

Tuning in

Users who are tapped into a DJ listening session will be unable to use any transport controls, according to the documentation. Instead, the user DJing the stream has full control of the session. In order to stop listening to the DJ, users must start playback of "any piece of music or video content" in their library.

Friend requests

"You can invite other Argo members that you meet to be your friends wirelessly via Pyxis. Navigate to the 'nearby' screen and find the person that you wish to send a friends request to," the manual states. "Select 'send friend request' and the person will see a notification on his/her device allowing them to accept or reject your request."

Images of Zune follow:





































post #2 of 92
Wow, what a blatant rip off of an iPod external design. Except larger and guaranteed to be less reliable. However those wireless, and sharing features are long overdue on an iPod.
post #3 of 92
8)8)8)8)
post #4 of 92
apple needs to adopt the wireless features like microsoft. I still agree that the player looks thick and ugly compared to the ipod
post #5 of 92
I can't wait. I'll finally be able to listen to what everyone else is playing on the train ride to work every morning. That's exactly why I bought an iPod. So I can listen to what someone else chooses.

Apart from the fact that it'll suck battery (goodbye weekly recharges, hello nightly docking), it's by Microsoft. So basically it'll work in the commercials but in real life it'll be flaky, and no one will care about it, except Apple fanboys who will use it as ammunition as to why iPod pwns.

Zune. Yawn. Will it ship with Vista?
post #6 of 92
It looks pretty cool to me. I wouldn't call it clunky, but whatever.

The iPod is still better
post #7 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by mariofreak85

It looks pretty cool to me. I wouldn't call it clunky, but whatever.

The iPod is still better

Ugly. It looks kinda cheap. Like it doesn't even feel right.
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post #8 of 92
If I were Apple, I'd be afraid, very afraid. That thing looks demonstrably way better than any iPod. It simply looks amazing. I am, ohmygod, flabbergasted.

The billions and billions of dollars Microsoft spends on R&D has finally come to fruition. This is the result of years of hard work and dedicated engineers diligently working to reinvent the music playing device as we know it.

I am simply enamored at how Microsoft closed the curtains and totally designed this thing from the ground up, without regard to what designs and form factors are already out there.

Unbelievable. As Jim Rose would say, "I am riveted!"
post #9 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by macinthe408

If I were Apple, I'd be afraid, very afraid. That thing looks demonstrably way better than any iPod. It simply looks amazing. I am, ohmygod, flabbergasted.

The billions and billions of dollars Microsoft spends on R&D has finally come to fruition. This is the result of years of hard work and dedicated engineers diligently working to reinvent the music playing device as we know it.

I am simply enamored at how Microsoft closed the curtains and totally designed this thing from the ground up, without regard to what designs and form factors are already out there.

Unbelievable. As Jim Rose would say, "I am riveted!"

*blink* You're on your own.

Does anyone else notice the computer it's hooked up to on the bottom pictures?
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post #10 of 92
Apple actually does need those wireless features... those sound really amazing. I would love to be able to wirelessly listen to what my friend is listening to on his iPod, instead of us having to crouch over his iPod, sharing the earbuds, listening with one ear to whatever is going on on his device. This is actually a long-overdue feature on the iPod. But I wonder how long Apple will avoid this for?? I mean, they still had one-button mice shipping until just a few weeks ago... about a DECADE after the rest of the industry came out with multi-button mice! I'd hate to see Apple drop the ball on this one, as they have so many times in the past.
post #11 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by theapplegenius

Does anyone else notice the computer it's hooked up to on the bottom pictures?




Too funny!
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post #12 of 92
Why do I think the iPod may someday become the Newton?
And not as in an iPod with a touchscreen, but a chunly, obsolete block with limited capabilities.
I can just see someone releasing a software package similar to "The missing synch" where we can get this ugly, pathetic clunky device to synch with iTunes and such.
Then, I believe, We will see the iPood litteraly killed by Microsoft.
Oh my, what a bleak future.
post #13 of 92
Wow, it is reassuring to see that billions of dollars of R&D at MS lets them use masking tape and styrofoam blocks to do NASA-like testing of this new and imaginative device!

[theapplegenius: This is satire. You may want to see macinthe408 to understand.]

I know the Zune is supposed to be in colors and this may not be the final version, but dang it looks like it came right from the Lego's skunkworks for plastic clunkiness. And how about the steps you have to take to get to actually sharing music, I think landing the shuttle takes fewer steps. Since only about 6% of those who buy this thing will put the wifi on, and they will be surrounded by iPod users, I don't see this as being a fun experience.

Actually this brings up a point. Let's say Apple feels it needs to have wifi capabilities. Does it choose the same one as MS? That means these Zune things COULD tie in to the huge installed iPod base thereby leaching off iPod friends and their iTunes purchases. This is like Macs having BootCamp. A minor Trojan horse to invade the enemy stronghold. This may mean Apple needs a different wifi protocol. Does anyone know about this kind of thing?
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post #14 of 92
This must be a mock up or something and can't be what the shipping product will look like, can it? Today an mp3 player (does it actually play mp3's or just M$' proprietary files?) anyway players are fashion accessories as much as a bit of technology for the non geek. Wireless has to first work and second be easy to set up and use. Don't get too excited folks.
post #15 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by scotty321

...I would love to be able to wirelessly listen to what my friend is listening to on his iPod, instead of us having to crouch over his iPod, sharing the earbuds...

Ewwwww
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post #16 of 92
That thing looks... ugly. It looks like its made out of cheap plastic from the pictures too.

Anyways... it's made primarily by Toshiba. It WILL be crap. Every single thing I've owned of theirs has died, minus the Toshiba HD in my 2nd replacement iPod. I"ve had... 6 Toshiba HDs die on me, a DVD player, a TV, and 4 laptops. I'll be staying far, far away from this thing, just because its made pretty much by Toshiba.
post #17 of 92
U------G------L------Y

yak, not nice. imagine walkin down the street with that in your pocket, hahaha, you'll fall over if your not careful....
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post #18 of 92
Theres a couple more pictures at:

http://www.reghardware.co.uk/2006/08..._zune_details/

I didn't realize that Microsoft weren't making them themselves... Will they be branded Microsoft Zune or [Random company] Zune?
post #19 of 92
Interesting article title.
post #20 of 92
I also like how the dock connector is in the same position and looks relatively the same as the Apple one.

Now, with this wireless sharing feature.. I'll be the first to say it. Zune viruses here we come!
post #21 of 92
Is anyone else suspicious about the fact that it looks like this thing is being tested in an holodeck?
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post #22 of 92
HOLY Sh*t!

Look at the 4th picture from the bottom. Check out the size of that beast!
LMAO ROFL

For ms's sake I hope this is not even near the final design. Maybe this is just a functional, proof-of-concept. Please?
post #23 of 92
No, if you look back a month or so you'll see apple have an almost identical room for their mighty mouse photos:



From http://www.appleinsider.com/article.php?id=1909
post #24 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by theapplegenius

*blink* You're on your own.

Does anyone else notice the computer it's hooked up to on the bottom pictures?

What is that thing?
post #25 of 92
I think those wireless features pose a threat. It doesn't look as bad as I thought it would. Apple needs to advance the iPod, fast. I'm mildly concerned for the future of the iPod, but inter-company competition can only be a good thing for consumers. I am confident that Apple can trounce this; whether they've learned from their mistakes quickly enough to nip this in the bud by accelerating iPod "innovation", only time will tell. </drama>

EDIT: Why does the illustration of the laptop (penultimate picture) have but one trackpad button?
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post #26 of 92
I like the DJ option... that's pretty cool. iPods would be nice to adopt this feature for AirPort streaming. That would be really cool.

Man, you gotta use two hands to play music from this thing. At least with iPods you can do it all with one hand. That's kind of inconvenient.
post #27 of 92
They promise all these features, but you know that they 1) won't be there in the finished product, 2) not work right, or 3) cause the product to be delayed as they attempt to make the features work right.

By the way, it's ugly.
post #28 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by meelash

What is that thing?

Oh, you mean the one in the comic pic?

Aaaahh
post #29 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by theapplegenius

*blink* You're on your own.


I think he was joking, at least that's what I thought. I got a good laugh anyhow.
post #30 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by theapplegenius

*blink* You're on your own.

Does anyone else notice the computer it's hooked up to on the bottom pictures?

Yeah, what about it. Looks like a standard Windows laptop, owned by some corporation (I'm guessing that from all the 'property of' and inventory tags on it - it almost makes me think its a gov't computer with as many items it has on it).

And this is NOT the final form factor for the 'Zune'. You mock the stupid thing up first (aka, cheap plastics), then, when you have the look you want, you then work on a final materials list. Second, you'd be stupid to put the actual device in a government document that doesn't need to have the actual device. The FCC only cares about frequency and electrical interference, not "OOh, its got a scroll wheel". Plus, its hard for MS to have a grand-announcemnet event if they stupidly put up pictures month in advance.

And how come it seemed like so many people had been saying that the iPod needs wireless capability, and now it seems like so many are saying, with regards to the Zune, that its a pointless feature.

Quote:
Originally Posted by crees!

I also like how the dock connector is in the same position and looks relatively the same as the Apple one.

Well, where would you put it, on the back? On the top? The bottom is the only place that makes obvious sense. As for the size, the length is about the same, but the width is a lot thicker. Sort of like the whole case. But, like I said, its not the finished product, so you wouldn't think any part of it would be nice looking.
post #31 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by scotty321

I mean, they still had one-button mice shipping until just a few weeks ago... about a DECADE after the rest of the industry came out with multi-button mice!

I missed this, what multi-button mouse did Apple release? I looked on the Apple site and still only see the mighty mouse list as a faux 2 button mouse.
post #32 of 92
Look, a MacBook!



At least we know it'll be Mac-compatible, right?
post #33 of 92
Killer feature? It's available in shitbrick brown.

Apple's doomed.
post #34 of 92
Apple's new video iPod should be coming out soon as well. We don't know exactly all the features it will have, but I'd imagine it will put up a good fight against the Zune. Especially if it turns out to be the buttonless full screen video with virtual video scrollwheel.

I think Apple has something up their sleeve.
post #35 of 92
That functionality is retarded. The other user can't listen to any song he wants, only the same song you are listening to.

Let's see, if I want to share what I am listening to with others, I have PLENTY OF OPTIONS INCLUDING WIRELESS.

I can put my iPod in the speaker dock.

I can get a stereo miniplug Y connector for $5 and plug in another set of earbuds.

I can use an iTrip and have my friends tune in with a $20 FM radio.

This Zune POS is going to sell for $299 with a 30 Gb hd and a .5" larger screen than the existing iPod with video capability. Just wait until the new iPods come out, they will completely crush Zune.

Oh and by the way, MS has said that they will be rolling the features out in a staggered fashion so who knows when the wireless capabilities will even be released.
post #36 of 92
This is it? The rumoured self-proclaimed iPod killer?
Harrharrharrharr
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post #37 of 92
Microsoft is smart. People love retro, and Zune will remind everyone of the original Gameboy! Big... slow... clunky @$$ piece of $517! bahaha!
post #38 of 92
i see too many wires. i think these might be fake, people. it's not a zune, it's a bomb.
post #39 of 92
From the article:

Quote:
Once Zune's wireless capabilities are enabled, users will be able to share photos and promotional copies of songs, albums and playlists from other Pyxis users, the documentation states.

"Promotional copies"? Does this have something to do with whatever DRM scheme MS was obliged to accept? I'm assuming that "sharing" means streaming, uncached only and not actually transferring songs, so I wouldn't think there would be any need to cripple even that, but then our friends in the recording industry seem to be capable of almost anything.....

Also, if the apparent size from the images is anywhere near accurate, this will be an interesting test of the oft-debated "between a sub-notebook and pocket size" form factor.

The conventional wisdom is that for something this size to find a market it must offer some functionality that is compelling, i.e, internet appliance hand-writing recognition actual OS thing actual apps thing. You know, a Newton (which this looks to be as big as).

It just seems hard to believe that MS would bring out a straight up music player, wireless feature or no, that was that big. It would be laughed out of the room, I have to assume that, if that really is the size, that they have something more in mind for the Zune than simple MP3/photo/video thing with wireless.

Hey, maybe that's it! This isn't Microsoft's iPod killer, it's their Newton killer! Er.... stay dead-er. Rekiller. Something.
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post #40 of 92
It's the b*stard child of a 3rd Gen iPod and a Zen Vision:M, plus an M$ Operating System!
They are SO doomed...
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