Microsoft officially announces Zune player, Marketplace | iLounge News

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Microsoft officially announces Zune player, Marketplace

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Microsoft officially announced its Zune media player and new online music service today. As previously reported, the Zune player will feature a 30GB hard drive, Wi-Fi wireless technology, a built-in FM tuner and a 3-inch screen. Microsoft said the Zune will come in three colors—black, brown and white. The company declined, however, to disclose pricing and an exact release date, only saying the Zune player would be available “this holiday season.”

In addition to the player, Microsoft also announced the Zune Marketplace, a new online music service “where you can choose to purchase tracks individually or to buy a Zune Pass subscription to download as many songs as you want for a flat fee.” The Zune Marketplace appears to be part of the Zune media manager software for organizing music, videos and photos and transferring them to the device.

Microsoft said the the Zune experience “centers around connection—connection to your library, connection to friends, connection to community and connection to other devices.” The Zune player will allow users to share full-length sample tracks of select songs and playlists with other Zune owners. Recipients will be able to listen to the full song up to three times over three days. Microsoft said the song can then be flagged on the Zune for purchasing from the Zune Marketplace.

Microsoft also announced three Zune accessory packs—the Zune Car Pack (FM tuner and car charger), the Zune Home A/V Pack (AV cable, dock, sync cable, AC adapter and wireless remote), and the Zune Travel Pack (earphones, remote, gear bag, sync cable and AC adapter). In addition, Microsoft, as expected, also announced that it is working with a slew of iPod accessory makers on third-party Zune accessories. Those companies include Altec Lansing, Belkin, Digital Lifestyle Outfitters (DLO), Griffin Technology, Harman Kardon and JBL, and Speck Products.

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Comments

1

Brown?!?!?! Wow!  Can you say FUGLY?!?!  I remember the NAACP made a big fuss over ads for the White PSP.  Maybe they’ll come out and protest that this thing gives us brown color people a bad rep!

Posted by Frank on September 14, 2006 at 11:23 AM (PDT)

2

One sign of the downfall of Zune… look at this announcment??? Microsoft is TERRIBLE when it comes to PR and advertising. Man I tell you what… that link makes it look SO interesting. Yawn.

Posted by jeremytheindian on September 14, 2006 at 11:33 AM (PDT)

3

Not so bad.  The real challenge will be the integration with the desktop software.  Windows Media Player is terrible.

I’m looking forward to seeing one.

Posted by Talking Madness in Los Angeles on September 14, 2006 at 11:36 AM (PDT)

4

Jeremy-

Check out http://www.comingzune.com it’s a little better than the press release.

Posted by Talking Madness in Los Angeles on September 14, 2006 at 11:37 AM (PDT)

5

Frank, please stop it. That was a pointless comment, and was not needed…

Posted by Jay on September 14, 2006 at 11:38 AM (PDT)

6

So let’s recap. MS rebrands a Toshiba DAP and calls it Zune (way to innovate there Billy boy!). Then it rebrands the Napster store and calls it, the Zune marketplace (see above comment). Does very little in the way on innovation all the while dumping millions in the hope that somehow everyone will say, you know if MS sells it its gotta be good! Yeah that’ll happen!

Posted by NeuroPunk on September 14, 2006 at 11:58 AM (PDT)

7

I’m considering changing to Zune. I’m sooo tired of Apple not making iTunes better. The new design things in iTunes 7 are borrowed from WMP and WMP is sooo much more powerful where it matters to me (ID3-tags and smart playlists)

Posted by Olf on September 14, 2006 at 12:02 PM (PDT)

8

Brown?  WTF?  Is brown a popular color now?  Never thought it was….

Posted by Cameron T. on September 14, 2006 at 12:04 PM (PDT)

9

I honestly do not think the Zune is anything special compared to other so-called “iPod Killers.”  The design is quite hideous and the overall product is very thick looking.  Furthermore, the brown color is the worst color for an electronic device.  I also disagree with Olf, I find the new iTunes 7 to be a HUGE improvement over the last version.  It also doesn’t remind me of WMP at all.

Posted by Daniel on September 14, 2006 at 12:17 PM (PDT)

10

“The new design things in iTunes 7 are borrowed from WMP and WMP is sooo much more powerful where it matters to me (ID3-tags and smart playlists)” - As a serious question, can you elaborate on this?  What does WMP do that is so much powerful in regards to ID3 tags and smart playlists?  Just curious about what it does that iTunes doesn’t do in those areas.

Posted by Zadillo on September 14, 2006 at 12:17 PM (PDT)

11

BEFORE iTunes 7, I would say that I preferred WMP’s interface.

I dont think I can say that anymore.

Also, when did BROWN become a popular colour for modern electronics?? Do you think this is Microsoft’s sunconscious opinion of their OWN device?

Posted by ahMEmon on September 14, 2006 at 12:31 PM (PDT)

12

I don’t know.  I find it hard to believe that Microsoft will come up with something that has the functionality, utility, and elegance of the Apple product, but they do seem to have some interesting features built into this thing, among them it looks like they’ve got a sizable screen on it, which might make it a step closer to the fabled “real video iPod” that seems to only exist at the patent office.  Still MS implementation never seems to quite match the hype, and the 30 GB capacity ain’t all that, when that’s the low end of the competing product.  The pricing is going to have to be pretty good.  At this point iPod is synomous with mp3 player, so anyone who’s going to topple them will have to do more than copycat Apple (which is largely what the Zune appears to do).  If all the bells and whistles work, like wi-fi and the fm tuner, and turn out to be useful, and if it’s priced competively, it could affect the market, but that’s a lot of if’s.

Posted by Rob E. on September 14, 2006 at 12:31 PM (PDT)

13

this reminds me of clint eastwood stealing firefox from the russians in his old movie, ipod beware here comes zune after you!!!
the end of ipod its near

Posted by alex on September 14, 2006 at 12:36 PM (PDT)

14

after the release of gapless play, video games, and a better design, looks like Apple still has a huge one up.  I do like the menu / whichever wallpaper you decide to use.

Unless Microsoft can offer this player at a much lower price, I don’t see them having another player after this one.

Posted by dunnypop on September 14, 2006 at 12:44 PM (PDT)

15

I can’t believe MS did not release the price for Zune. I think Apples great new iPod prices caught MS off guard and they had to rethink their pricing.

Posted by Steven_V on September 14, 2006 at 12:47 PM (PDT)

16

“WMP is sooo much more powerful where it matters to me (ID3-tags and smart playlists)”
Uh huh. Because you know, they both do they exact same thing. Except WMP took me 30 seconds to figure out what to do, where as iTunes it only took me 5.

Yup, “sooo” much more powerful. /sarcasm

“The new design things in iTunes 7 are borrowed from WMP”
Yup I agree. Because you know, the last time I checked, light blue/blue is the exact same thing as metal/graphite. Also, I see how iTunes stole the new viewing options (browse w/ artwork, coverflow) from WMP, especially since WMP doesn’t have those features! /sarcasm

“the end of ipod its near”
Oh hahahaha. Putting aside the horrible sentence structure, that’s so true because everyone loves their MP3 player to come in Dogsh*t Brown. /sarcasm

Posted by Nobody on September 14, 2006 at 12:47 PM (PDT)

17

i’ll sell my ipod at ebay and get one of this..i am tired of waiting for an ipod with the zune features.

Posted by iJay on September 14, 2006 at 1:36 PM (PDT)

18

“The end of the iPod?”  I don’t think so.  I would never give up my pod for a ‘Zune.’  Thats a dumb a@#$ name for it anyway - it matched the brown color option!

There is nothing in Zune that would make me wanna switch, not even the radio tuner, the larger screen or the wi-fi.  I don’t need those things now. 

And sharing music to listen to only three times?  Whats that all about?  If I bought the song, I should be able to share it without limit!

No!  Gotta say….Zune to be gone!

Posted by mikkimann on September 14, 2006 at 1:41 PM (PDT)

19

Everybody here is missing big point. It is not about a product, it is about everything surrounding that product. ZUNE belongs to microsoft and ms is the hugest company worldwide. It displaced sony’ PS with the Xbox and will displace Apple’s iPod. Do not doubt it.

Posted by Alejandrus on September 14, 2006 at 1:41 PM (PDT)

20

I really like the interface. It looks very clean and simple with own wallpaper support.

Posted by moet on September 14, 2006 at 1:50 PM (PDT)

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