Microsoft unveils Zune digital media player (images)

Posted:
in iPod + iTunes + AppleTV edited January 2014
Attempting to lure the spotlight from Apple Computer and its new line of digital media products, Microsoft Corp. on Thursday officially unveiled its upcoming Zune digital media player to the media.



Calling it the "next big milestone" for connected entertainment, the world's largest software maker said Zune will feature 30GB of hard disk storage and come in three colors: white, black, -- and we kid you not -- brown.



The device will also include wireless technology, a built-in FM tuner and a 3-inch screen when it goes on sale later this holiday season. Zune users will be able to share content wirelessly with other Zune users and purchase new content from the "Zune Marketplace."



"The digital music entertainment revolution is just beginning," said J Allard, vice president, design and development, at Microsoft, who is leading the charge for building the family of Zune products. "With Zune, we are not simply delivering a portable device, we are introducing a new platform that helps bring artists closer to their audiences and helps people find new music and develop new social connections."



Microsoft said each Zune will come preloaded with content from record labels such as DTS, EMI Music's Astralwerks Records and Virgin Records, Ninja Tune, Playlouderecordings, Quango Music Group, Sub Pop Records, and V2/Artemis Records.



The Redmond, Wash.-based company will also make available three accessory packs to "help Zune users enjoy their music where they want to, at home or on the road." A Zune "Car Pack" will include a car charger, while a "Home A/V Pack" will combine an AV output cable, dock, sync cable, AC adapter and wireless dock remote. The third kit, dubbed "Zune Travel Pack" will offer "premium" earphones, a dual connect remote, a gear bag, sync cable and AC adapter.







Microsoft also said it is working with leading accessory manufacturers -- including Altec Lansing, Belkin, DLO, Dual Electronics, Griffin Technology, Harman Kardon and JBL -- to provide consumers with additional options "to customize and personalize their Zune experience."



"In addition to the features available at launch, built-in wireless technology and powerful software provide a strong foundation to continue to build new shared experiences around music and video," the company said. "As Zune evolves, the device can be easily updated. The Zune software on your PC will let you know when these updates are available for download."



Microsoft, which faces an uphill battle in catching up with Apple's iPod, has yet to provide a firm launch date for the device. So far, analysts on Wall Street have downplayed Zune, calling it a "repackaged Toshiba Gigabeat player" that stands to offer more bark than bite.
«13456711

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 205
    Isn't it kinda stupid to only offer a bigger HD player when the hottest sellers are flash based models like the nano and shuffle?



    And no pricing announced?
  • Reply 2 of 205
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by minderbinder


    Isn't it kinda stupid to only offer a bigger HD player when the hottest sellers are flash based models like the nano and shuffle?



    And no pricing announced?





    Everything I've seen so far said that the target price was $299
  • Reply 3 of 205
    dcqdcq Posts: 349member
    Wow. I was a tad underwhelmed by Apple's showtime event.



    But this thing makes Apple look so much better right now.



    PS I think that shade of brown is known as "babyshit"...
  • Reply 4 of 205
    To be fair I think it's pretty cool, apart from the dimensions maybe. 3 inch speaker, and the ability to wirelessly and easily transfer files? Apple can't provide that..
  • Reply 5 of 205
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider


    The device will also include wireless technology, a built-in FM tuner and a 3-inch screen when it goes on sale later this holiday season. Zune users will be able to share content wirelessly with other Zune users and purchase new content from the "Zune Marketplace."







    hmmm....if people are able to share music with other Zune users, that will pretty much defy copyright laws. Obviously, it's pretty indescript as to what you'll be able to share. This would probably anger the record companies too, in fear that somebody will (and probably easily) hack the Zune to be able to share DRM'd material.
  • Reply 6 of 205
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by DCQ


    PS I think that shade of brown is known as "babyshit"...



    brilliant...
  • Reply 7 of 205
    "Brown is the new black".



    Seriously, as someone mentioned. I too was underwhelmed with this past Tuesday's announcements (will except for iTunes 7).



    Love that some labels (Astralwerks Records, Virgin Records, V2) will pre-load music on their player (I wonder if sub-pop would load some vintage tracks from the 90's?--That would be awesome!!). Otherwise, I hope this pushes Apple to keep innovating their digital portable players ("I'm looking at you 5th generation iPod!!").
  • Reply 8 of 205
    It looks very chocolately. 8)
  • Reply 9 of 205
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by akerman


    To be fair I think it's pretty cool, apart from the dimensions maybe. 3 inch speaker, and the ability to wirelessly and easily transfer files? Apple can't provide that..



    Wireless? Yeah, but I'm sure with limits. Easily? That remains to be seen.



    What will battery life be like when using wireless? How well will they implement the "sideways" implementation of controls? Will the screen look consistently good from two viewing angles? Will they drop the price to $249 or lower now that their rumored price is higher than Apple's 30?
  • Reply 10 of 205
    kreshkresh Posts: 379member
    I probably woulnd't mind the player. It's applying security patches every week to plug the holes in the Zune's Media Store (whatever it's called).



    I can just imagine that piece of software is going to be typical MS: Full of holes and compromised within 60 minutes of getting on-line.
  • Reply 11 of 205
    mmmm...new zune looks fantastic on paper..but wait till they start shipping.



    Within days purchasers will be getting the blue screen of death....or even better the zune player will erase/corrupt tracks willy nilly.



    Plus you will have to partner it with a PC and when you change your pc or have virus meltdown and reinstall xp, zune will need resetting and all tracks will be lost!!



    Ok i'm just pulling a few legs, but thank god i'm with apple.
  • Reply 12 of 205
    "come in three colors: white, black, -- and we kid you not -- brown."



    PRICELESS!
  • Reply 13 of 205
    guarthoguartho Posts: 1,208member
    Gosh, I hope it gives me a little pop-up in the lower right corner of the screen telling me about updates EVERY TIME I TURN IT ON!
  • Reply 14 of 205
    ......
  • Reply 15 of 205
    kreshkresh Posts: 379member
    Does it have a real Apple type scroll wheel? I thought Apple had that pretty much locked that up with patents.



    If it's a fake scroll wheel like Sandisk Sansa e series, then that's crap.



    edit: Who want's to bet that within a few weeks the DRM will be cracked and you can transfer your whole library to a friend? This wifi deal sounds like a music Pirate's wet dream!
  • Reply 16 of 205
    the brown one kind of looks like a piece of meatloaf. just my 2cents.
  • Reply 17 of 205
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 14,739moderator
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by kresh


    Does it have a real Apple type scroll wheel? I thought Apple had that pretty much locked that up with patents.



    With it being raised up, I'm guessing they are just click buttons that have a circular shape.



    I honestly don't understand how there can't be someone inside Microsoft's design department who just says that it looks awful. I know they're consistent with their bad design but this is ridiculous.



    One thing they got right was a widescreen display. That's what I was hoping Apple would do with their ipod video.
  • Reply 18 of 205
    Brown MP3 player. Those genuises! They've taken all the new iPod nano colors and mixed them into one super color. Can't decide which color of iPod Nano to buy? Get all the colors in one, with the Microsoft Zune. How can this fail?
  • Reply 19 of 205
    kreshkresh Posts: 379member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Marvin


    With it being raised up, I'm guessing they are just click buttons that have a circular shape.



    I honestly don't understand how there can't be someone inside Microsoft's design department who just says that it looks awful. I know they're consistent with their bad design but this is ridiculous.



    One thing they got right was a widescreen display. That's what I was hoping Apple would do with their ipod video.





    I think Apple and MS are playing tag at the moment. After viewing the Keynote, I had the impression that Steve was leaving something out, like something was substituted at the last moment. Almost like they were waiting on MS to announce Zune, then pop out the Apple vPod



    MS waited until after Apple's keynote to announce Zune, but unexpectedly they did not give a release date. The ball is back in Apple's court.



    Who's going to be the first to announce Apple or Microsoft?
  • Reply 20 of 205
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Marvin


    One thing they got right was a widescreen display. That's what I was hoping Apple would do with their ipod video.



    But you have to turn it sideways for some content? Seems like kind of a kludge to me.
Sign In or Register to comment.