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Microsoft Media Music Technology

Next Generation Zune Coming for Holiday Season 208

Posted by Zonk
from the just-what-we-all-wanted dept.
thefickler writes "Microsoft has confirmed the existence and coming launch of the long rumored Zune 2.0 or 2nd generation Zune, and it appears that Microsoft will expand the Zune family with new styles, sizes, and price points. 'Future Zune products will feature podcasting support and expanded video support. The Zune will also move into other geographic markets when Microsoft feels it has an appealing product to offer those demographics. Perhaps most importantly of all, the representative mentioned that Microsoft will build on the wireless support. Maybe we'll finally have the freedom of synching our digital audio players via wi-fi. The rep didn't mention anything specific about Microsoft's rumored answer to the iPod Shuffle. But interesting rumors from sources considered "reliable" point to a very innovative product.'"
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Next Generation Zune Coming for Holiday Season

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  • Re:zune vs IPOD (Score:5, Informative)

    by hobo sapiens (893427) on Sunday July 22, 2007 @11:45PM (#19951805) Journal
    I am sure that when compared to the iPod, it's a decent product at least from a technical perspective. I always hear people talk about the better screen. Of course it has things like wi-fi ability, etc. The problem is not the device itself, it's the company pushing it. You may get a better product (although, let's be honest, marginally better) but MSFT cripples the dang thing with DRM. It's the RIAA's dream device, so buried in DRM that it's capabilities count for nothing, since you cannot really take advantage of them.

    I do not know much about the actual hardware versus an iPod, so I cannot really comment on that. I am just talking about obvious hardware (like the screen) and features. I have always said that if someone could figure out how to hack a Zune so that one could take advantage of the features, I'd want one. Good capabilities, it's just that MSFT totally shackles it.

    It's a shame really (from MSFT's perspective). In their greed and blatant pandering to the RIAA, they missed a valuable opportunity.
  • by rampant mac (561036) on Sunday July 22, 2007 @11:50PM (#19951843)
    "it has a larger screen"


    But it has the same resolution as the video iPod's screen.

  • by twitter (104583) on Monday July 23, 2007 @12:24AM (#19952109) Homepage Journal

    "it has a larger screen" But it has the same resolution as the video iPod's screen.

    Bigger is always better until you try to put it in your pocket. Is it also thicker and have square corners? A larger battery with less life? Woops, I think that would cover all the bases.

  • Zune problems (Score:3, Informative)

    by DECS (891519) on Monday July 23, 2007 @01:42AM (#19952557) Homepage Journal
    One embarrassing footnote to the "million Zunes sold" meme is that few of those sales have been to individuals. The majority of Zunes are still sitting on store shelves. We know this because Microsoft managed to shovel an excess inventory of at least 4 million Xbox 360s on retailers. That fact that Microsoft hasn't been able to fake similar levels of sales for the Zune indicates that sales of the Zune are REALLY low.

    More Articles on Zune [google.com].

    Meanwhile, Apple shipped several times as many iPhones in its first weekend, selling it only in its own retail stores and AT&T shops. That says something about Apple and Microsoft's ability to retail.

    Apple has also been selling iPods at a profit; Microsoft's Zune + Xbox division has lost BILLIONS every year. Think about that for a moment.

    -
    Ten Fake Apple Scandals: 1 - Phony Rage About iPhone Price and Profits [roughlydrafted.com]
    Reality: The iPhone costs less than any smartphone, and will have a higher resale value after two years than any phone. Here's why.
  • by GotenXiao (863190) on Monday July 23, 2007 @01:46AM (#19952583)
    The battery on my Archos 604 Wifi will survive transferring a few hundred meg of files from Not At My Computer(TM) without being plugged in.

    Similarly, I can "stream" files over the wifi from any SMB share.

    And since the 604 Wifi has Opera, I could browse to (almost) any online music shop and download tracks and play them.

    Plus I can use the device as a wireless fileserver.

    Unfortunately I haven't seen any reports of ShoutCAST working (although the new 605 Wifi has optional Youtube/Dailymotion support).

    Oh, and touchscreen.
  • by aywwts4 (610966) on Monday July 23, 2007 @02:01AM (#19952663)
    Personaly, (I hated the zune, I ridiculed people who got them) But when someone was going to sell me their brand new one for 70 bucks I couldnt say no. (my ipod was broken at the time)

    And relucantly I am starting to admit it isnt that bad.

    A quick breakdown of what I am impressed with.
    -The audio quality is actualy quite good, much crisper and clearer than my 4th gen ipod.
    -Clicky buttons are excellent! I keep it in a little felt sock, and I can turn the volume up, and change tracks all through a layer of clothing, without taking it out of the container.
    -Being able to easily set shuffle between artists, albums, genras, etc works really well.
    -If you are on the album view, pressing left or right will take you to that artist's other albums, its more convenient than I expected.
    -And the locked down interface you have to sync it with... Errors and crashes aside, is very close to drag and drop, (disable auto sync) find your music folder, it finds album art, drag the albums or artists you want onto the zune, click sync, and watch it upload.
    -Being able to turn off random with 3 clicks, instead of having to go back to the root menu and go to shuffle, and turn it off, then go back into songs.

    The bad is the battery life is... not very good, and it doesnt seem to turn on when I want it, and there is no audible confirmation you turned the beast off. And the sync software, while not as bad as itunes, I wish it were open (or cracked) so I could use whatever I want... Oh and the obvious wifi doesnt really exist. Its worthless in every way.

    Personaly I would take a creative any day of the week, but since those are never sold for good prices used, I would sadly and reluctantly take a zune over an ipod, Ipods just do so many annoying things.
  • by Osty (16825) on Monday July 23, 2007 @02:26AM (#19952809)

    But, to get back on topic, I live in Europe and I have never seen a Zune. I now wonder wether they will introduce the 'old' Zune here at the end of 2007, as a link underneath TFA states, or don't bother with that and start with the new one right away. It's about time we get some real competition for the iPod here.

    Re-reading the article, it doesn't sound like the "old Zune" is going away. Instead, they're going to do three things:

    1. Introduce a new flash-based player, like the iPod Mini/Nano (probably not in the same league as the Shuffle),
    2. Ship the 2.0 firmware with undisclosed new features on the current Zune hardware (similar to the "fat" iPod selling alongside the mini/nano/shuffle), possibly with a drive size increase, and
    3. Provide the 2.0 firmware to existing Zune owners
    If indeed the "fat" Zune gets a drive size bump, that's probably what you'll see showing up across the pond. If it doesn't and it's just a firmware update, the Zune packages should be the same as here (just different colors). And I'd expect the flash-based Zune would sell in all markets that get the fat Zune.
  • by MojoStan (776183) on Monday July 23, 2007 @03:28AM (#19953091)
    "But it has the same resolution as the video iPod's screen."

    But it has a larger screen than the iPod.

    My point: screen size is important for viewing images and videos on these devices. They both have a 320x240 resolution, but the Zune's 3-inch screen is 44% larger (in area) than the iPod's 2.5" screen. View the same image/video on both devices and you'll see a big frickin' difference. Ars's review has some nice photos that show just how much bigger the Zune's screen is (as well as the device itself): http://arstechnica.com/reviews/hardware/zune.ars/2 [arstechnica.com]

    I'm not claiming the Zune is better than the iPod (I think they both suck). I'm just claiming that screen size does matter when viewing images and videos.

  • Apple is vulnerable (Score:2, Informative)

    by Alexpkeaton1010 (1101915) on Monday July 23, 2007 @10:59AM (#19956205)
    I think Apple is vulnerable in the Mp3 player market right now. The iPod does not have great battery life, and it still scratches easily. If they don't release a new version this holiday season, I will think about getting a Zune 2.0. I read that Zune 1.0 had great battery life and was well made, the problem was the DRM. If they fix the DRM, then Zune 2.0 might well be the superior device.

It is not every question that deserves an answer. -- Publilius Syrus

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