Clunky-looking Microsoft Zune player revealed in filing

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Comments

  • Reply 61 of 91
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by melgross


    He's serious. We ALL agree with him.



    All of you haven't used the device yet. Once you do, it will be apparent how "great" the engineers are that reside in Redmond. Design is about art, beauty and iconic creation. The Zune isn't any one of those three and in a culture that is shifting dramatically to, "does it look cool," from "what can it do," Microsoft will be once again, too far behind to catch up. Sure, it may have features that the iPod doesn't have but when it's as big as a Palm Pilot from the early 90's and ran by software that will never have the reliable stability, it doesn't have a chance of swaying the young teenagers that make up the majority of that 75%. But hey, let the old people have Zune, they deserve something that they're used to...large, ugly technology that has no visual appeal. The Apple engineers have not been idle since the release of the iPod video. And what they have to release in the next two years will once again redefine and revolutionize this technology.
  • Reply 62 of 91
    jlljll Posts: 2,709member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mjtomlin


    I can see the future now ... a group of friends sitting at a table, all jacked into their own separate MP3 players listening to one person's "shared" music library, while text messaging each other on their cell phones.... Give me a break.



    That's not too far off. For many years teenagers here have been using SMS all day long to send messages to friends - even if they are near each other.



    SMS is a second nature to them and I wouldn't be surprised to see them sending messages to each other while sitting in the same room.





    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mjtomlin


    Which brings me to another point... if sooo many analysts are worried that cell phones will soon start to eat away at the iPod's market share, how in the hell can they consider Zune to be any threat whatsoever? Seems a little late to be jumping into media player market doesn't it?



  • Reply 63 of 91
    zedraczedrac Posts: 42member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by staylor007


    All of you haven't used the device yet. Once you do, it will be apparent how "great" the engineers are that reside in Redmond. Design is about art, beauty and iconic creation. The Zune isn't any one of those three and in a culture that is shifting dramatically to, "does it look cool," from "what can it do," Microsoft will be once again, too far behind to catch up. Sure, it may have features that the iPod doesn't have but when it's as big as a Palm Pilot from the early 90's and ran by software that will never have the reliable stability, it doesn't have a chance of swaying the young teenagers that make up the majority of that 75%. But hey, let the old people have Zune, they deserve something that they're used to...large, ugly technology that has no visual appeal. The Apple engineers have not been idle since the release of the iPod video. And what they have to release in the next two years will once again redefine and revolutionize this technology.



    Sarcasm doesn't seem to transmit well over the internet, does it?
  • Reply 64 of 91
    addaboxaddabox Posts: 12,660member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by melgross


    Here you go:



    http://www.pyxisit.com/



    Hmmmm....



    Quote:

    Pyxis Mobile has developed a suite of wireless applications specifically tailored to the unique needs of the financial services industry. Using their handheld device, users can access business-critical information from enterprise backend systems.



    That's going to look great on the box. Business critical information, dogs!
  • Reply 65 of 91
    addaboxaddabox Posts: 12,660member
    So here's the Toshiba Gigabeat S, which engadget is saying is the basis for the Zune;







    Add a fake scroll wheel and move a few buttons around and it looks about right.



    From what I can see, it's about the same size as the 5g iPod, although MS add-ons may have increased that. The Toshiba claims 5 hour battery life, so figure no more than half that if the wireless gets used much.



    Windows Mobile, or Windows Media Mobile, or whatever they call it. At any rate, explicitly designed to interact with Media Center, so probably seamless transfer of DVR content, possibly additions to the MC interface to enable content transfer between the Zune and a Media Center computer. Pretty clearly they want this thing to be a extension of the MC paradigm into the portable space.



    So it looks to be a standard MS vs. Apple set-up: Apple's focus on clarity and usability over feature set creep; MS trying to put as much stuff in there as possible with a mind towards some kind of "convergence" on world domination, or at least the living room.



    I can imagine the promo video- consumer in tastefully spare loft space happily browsing content via a Windows Media Center box and a 52" plasma. Quick shots of music, video and pictures menu items. Scrolls down to "Zune" setting, highlights a few menu options, happy little animation happens, consumer plucks Zune from cradle and continues watching video in wide-screen mode as he walks out the door (presumably not slamming into a wall or falling down the stairs). Consumer hooks up with posse of uber-cool buddies, all toting Zunes, quick shot of wireless menu option on Zune screen, uber-cool buddies begin to nod in unison, grinning like mad.



    Which makes for a great video, just like the Oragami videos seemed to promise some kind of incredibly groovy untethered lifestyle. The problem is that once you've put a lot of elements and "features" together in the MS way is it still easy to use? In a way that makes sense to the average consumer? Do size and battery life trade-offs really make sense for what you get? Are there any hidden "gotchas" as you navigate the MS ecosystem?



    Even all these years after Apple demonstrated that making a thing that does what it does with nothing but clarity and simplicity, the competitive response is invariably "lets make it do more stuff".
  • Reply 66 of 91
    tadunnetadunne Posts: 175member
    So Microsoft is selling this thing based on it's wireless sharing thing?



    I see a few problems with this.. even if they sell like hotcakes it will be a while before there is anyone nearby to make these features useful?



    Also this being an M$ product going around with this networking tech turned on will surely get you owned!?



    oh and one more thing..



    This thing is freakin huge! just look at the picture of it next to the laptop!
  • Reply 67 of 91
    mbaynhammbaynham Posts: 534member
    i think that the 6th gen ipod will have an equivelant of these features, but, as per usual, apple is keeping things close to its chest. haha. id larf if they released it a week before the 'zune' like with leopard and vista, ( if thats whats going to happen), to take the sting out of the zune. we can hope...



    how easy was it to find out features on the 5th gen ipod?



    edit: typo
  • Reply 68 of 91
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Louzer


    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.



    Since we are writing about pictures taken from electrical and magnetic interference tests conducted by Toshiba, we can conclude that :

    a- the laptop is a Toshiba

    b- Zune will use the same cheap plastics and roughly the same form factor tested for the FCC since using other materials would change electrical and magnetic interference qualities?
  • Reply 69 of 91
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by addabox


    So here's the Toshiba Gigabeat S, which engadget is saying is the basis for the Zune;







    Add a fake scroll wheel and move a few buttons around and it looks about right.



    From what I can see, it's about the same size as the 5g iPod, although MS add-ons may have increased that. The Toshiba claims 5 hour battery life, so figure no more than half that if the wireless gets used much.



    Windows Mobile, or Windows Media Mobile, or whatever they call it. At any rate, explicitly designed to interact with Media Center, so probably seamless transfer of DVR content, possibly additions to the MC interface to enable content transfer between the Zune and a Media Center computer. Pretty clearly they want this thing to be a extension of the MC paradigm into the portable space.



    So it looks to be a standard MS vs. Apple set-up: Apple's focus on clarity and usability over feature set creep; MS trying to put as much stuff in there as possible with a mind towards some kind of "convergence" on world domination, or at least the living room.



    I can imagine the promo video- consumer in tastefully spare loft space happily browsing content via a Windows Media Center box and a 52" plasma. Quick shots of music, video and pictures menu items. Scrolls down to "Zune" setting, highlights a few menu options, happy little animation happens, consumer plucks Zune from cradle and continues watching video in wide-screen mode as he walks out the door (presumably not slamming into a wall or falling down the stairs). Consumer hooks up with posse of uber-cool buddies, all toting Zunes, quick shot of wireless menu option on Zune screen, uber-cool buddies begin to nod in unison, grinning like mad.



    Which makes for a great video, just like the Oragami videos seemed to promise some kind of incredibly groovy untethered lifestyle. The problem is that once you've put a lot of elements and "features" together in the MS way is it still easy to use? In a way that makes sense to the average consumer? Do size and battery life trade-offs really make sense for what you get? Are there any hidden "gotchas" as you navigate the MS ecosystem?



    Even all these years after Apple demonstrated that making a thing that does what it does with nothing but clarity and simplicity, the competitive response is invariably "lets make it do more stuff".



    VERY well put!
  • Reply 70 of 91
    bradgbradg Posts: 36member
    Will zune be compatable with os x?



    Will it be able to share songs with the new ipods?
  • Reply 71 of 91
    addaboxaddabox Posts: 12,660member
    Not a chance.
  • Reply 72 of 91
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 31,982member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by zedrac


    Sarcasm doesn't seem to transmit well over the internet, does it?



    Apparently not.
  • Reply 73 of 91
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 31,982member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by tadunne


    So Microsoft is selling this thing based on it's wireless sharing thing?



    I see a few problems with this.. even if they sell like hotcakes it will be a while before there is anyone nearby to make these features useful?



    Also this being an M$ product going around with this networking tech turned on will surely get you owned!?



    oh and one more thing..



    This thing is freakin huge! just look at the picture of it next to the laptop!



    That's the major feature. The slightly larger screen is something that should be matched by Apple. The fake scrollwheels some companies are coming out with might fool some people who haven't use the iPod wheel.



    It's about the same size as the 5G, except for the thickness. It's much thicker, possibly for the battery.



    The photo shown around is not a good one. The angle, and the lens zoom make it look larger than it is.
  • Reply 74 of 91
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 31,982member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Stephane


    Since we are writing about pictures taken from electrical and magnetic interference tests conducted by Toshiba, we can conclude that :

    a- the laptop is a Toshiba

    b- Zune will use the same cheap plastics and roughly the same form factor tested for the FCC since using other materials would change electrical and magnetic interference qualities?



    Yes, it has to be the same unit as tested. Any changes will require retesting. When we designed equipment at my company, we had to go through this as well. Anything that could change the emissive results required retesting. That meant any change. If it ended up causing any problems at all, no matter how minor, it would be removed from the market.
  • Reply 75 of 91
    macgregormacgregor Posts: 1,434member
    I have to say the MediaCenter-like screen looks kind of cool, and I agree with Addabox on their probable marketing this as MC on the road (except that the saturated teletubby colors make it hard to read). I think it will be adopted by those who are living MC-centric lives and Apple needs to move to the living room more aggressively than it is now.



    If you can sit on your couch with your Zune ... gads that sounds creepy ... and run your home media system with it, possibly scrubbing through media content as if it were a remote control, then it will be interesting enough to hang on as MS slowly accumulates content and favorable contracts with broadcasters and cable outlets. This is not so much a shot for Microsoft to unseat the iPod, it is a shot at further taking the living room from Sony and Apple.



    I am a little more wary of Zune now. Side by side it may not outcompete the iPod, but the complete service that MS wants to control could outlast the iPod, especially if cellphones start to intrude on the mobile space.
  • Reply 76 of 91
    maestro64maestro64 Posts: 4,678member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Louzer


    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



    Well I hate to tell you this, what you are seeing is the final version, the FCC requires you to submit test data on a"Final" product when you are applying for a FCC class A product. You can not mock up something and provide data to the FCC on something that is not "final" production level product. The fact it showed up on the FCC web site says they had submitted for their FCC license number in order to sell the product. It looks like someone did not request the FCC not to disclose this information on their public site until after the product release. I bet some EMI engineer at M$ is getting a serious ear beating this morning.



    Also, the inventory tag you are seeing is something that the Test lab puts on the customer's product and support equipment for tacking and control purposes. All EMI test labs do this.
  • Reply 77 of 91
    If those features were on an iPod, they would just work. Knowing microsot though, something tells me that all the fancy extra features on this will be designed in an awkward non user friendly way that will render them almost pointless. I can just imagine:



    joe1 "Hey buddy lets use wireless to play each other music!"

    joe2 "Awesome lets do it"

    joe1 "Ok one second let me just enable the wireless"

    joe2 "Yes. I too must enable wireless"

    ...

    ...

    ...

    joe1 "Ok Wireless enabled"

    joe2 "Wait mine isn't working"

    joe1 "you may need to restart the device"

    ...

    ...

    ...

    joe2 "ok working now"

    joe1 "oh wait I forgot I don't actually have any music"
  • Reply 78 of 91
    I do believe Apple would be wise to incorporate wireless tech into the iPod, but as a tool for synching, not for sharing. Here's the difference as I see it:



    Zune uses wireless to share. As in, other Zune users get to listen to whatever you're listening to, or see whatever pr0n you're seeing. Yawn. This just won't go over well at all. To begin with, if you're with a group of people, how do you share music or images? Do you all put on headphones and listen to music? Or do you crank the stereo? You share music in a group by using speakers. Same with photos. If you want to share photos with an iPod, you pass the iPod around, gather 'round the iPod, or plug it into the TV and screen 'em for everyone. What you do not do is all go off into separate corners, fire up your Zunes, and gawk as the same photo in unison.



    For these reasons, Zune's wireless will be a flop.



    Apple needs to do wireless right, which means synching, or real sharing. As in, you're visiting with friends, and after you show your vacation pics on the TV, a few friends ask to have their own copies of the pics. So you pull out your iPod, they pull out their iPods or laptops or whatever, and you wirelessly dump your photos onto their drives. You've just shared photos for real. With music this runs into thorny DRM issues, but at the very least, one should be able to wirelessly share their entire iTunes library when in range, meaning that others can listen to whatever they like.



    In fact, lets bust open the whole pinata: a wireless iPod should be able to share everything on its HD with anyone within range. For example, you're at work, and your iPod synchs with the current project directory on your work computer. Then you go home, and when you get within range, your iPod synchs that same project directory with your home computer. This all happens wirelessly, automatically, and invisibly. The wireless iPod user is basically surrounded with a data force field that synchs with anything within range.



    Optimally, if you visit with 3 different friends over the weekend, your iPod should wirelessly absorb all of the shared files on their computers/iPods, and each friend's computer should wirelessly absorb all the shared data on your iPod. If we take such wireless sharing to an extreme, assuming unlimited bandwidth and storage capacity, then by the same "seven degrees of Kevin Bacon" model, it should take no more than a few weeks for any wireless iPod user to accumulate an iTunes library consisting of all the available digital music in the world (perhaps a few months for social recluses like myself.) Of course DRM prevents such a scenario, but apply the same model to non-DRM files, and you can see the potential. Such data networking could obliterate the corporate media's stranglehold on information and news. In fact such a technology could result in social upheaval on a scale similar to that which resulted from technological innovations like the printing press or television.



    The only question is, do we end it with nuclear armageddon before the current power structure is brought down? Since leaders in both the East and the West seem to equally lust after the end times, I remain pessimistic that we'll even see broadband access to >90% of American households.



    Ok I don't know if that made sense but I'm flyin' too high to proof-read at this moment. Bottom line: Zune sells only because Microsoft has the marketing resources to force it on consumers. It's all good, because it will pressure Apple to include wireless tech in the iPod.
  • Reply 79 of 91
    I always wondered where all those unemployed soviet industrial designers and architechs went... now we know.... they work at microsoft!
  • Reply 80 of 91
    macgregormacgregor Posts: 1,434member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Junkyard Dawg


    Apple needs to do wireless right, which means synching, or real sharing. As in, you're visiting with friends, and after you show your vacation pics on the TV, a few friends ask to have their own copies of the pics. So you pull out your iPod, they pull out their iPods or laptops or whatever, and you wirelessly dump your photos onto their drives. You've just shared photos for real. With music this runs into thorny DRM issues, but at the very least, one should be able to wirelessly share their entire iTunes library when in range, meaning that others can listen to whatever they like.



    This is like the IR data sharing between pda's back in the day when I used one! I'd might like to share some iPhoto, iMovie, iCal, iStuff with ifamily and ifriends. That would drain battery power, but hey, it would be nice to share.



    So now what about the music and video content with DRM? Well what if family and friends could at least see your public playlists (just like in iTunes on your laptop)? Maybe they could wirelessly listen to it 'a la Zune, but they can't download it from you for obvious reasons. But maybe they could download the playlist and the next time you sync to your computer, it asks if you want to "buy the music." Boom, you are remembering the tunes and feeling good and you say yes, and only then do you get it downloaded. So you end up sharing playlists and metadata rather than the actual mp3/AAC file.



    In the far future maybe you could simply download right from someone elses iPod and on the next sync, iTunes would recognize the new songs and automatically charge you for them, but that is asking for mistaken charges and it doesn't solve the legal iPod-to-computer transfer of music.



    I too don't see standing around in a group of people with headphones on, all listening to the same music from someone streaming the data. But maybe the kids nowadays will.
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