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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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  • by denttford (579202) on Sunday July 22, 2007 @11:27PM (#19951663) Homepage
    When in doubt, spend.

    (also applies to politics)
  • by kimvette (919543) on Sunday July 22, 2007 @11:29PM (#19951671) Homepage Journal
    They should use The Who's "We Won't Get Fooled Again" for their ad campaign in a form of irony.

    I mean, is anyone really going to buy Zune 2.0? After all, it didn't work with the DRM scheme standard Microsoft was pushing, is inferior in every way compared to Apple's iPod, and was a flop in the marketplace, especially when compared to its competitors such as the iPod.

    tagged "playsforsurenot"
  • by Jeff DeMaagd (2015) on Sunday July 22, 2007 @11:35PM (#19951733) Homepage Journal
    is inferior in every way compared to Apple's iPod,

    Not in every way, it has a larger screen, and is available for a little cheaper at many places. I hear that it has better contextual menuing. That's not very much to go on though.
  • Re:From TFA: (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Surlyboi (96917) on Sunday July 22, 2007 @11:37PM (#19951735) Homepage Journal
    You must be new here. WMF is, if anything, the anti-mac fanboy.
  • Superior, so what? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by ameyer17 (935373) <slashdot@ameyer17.com> on Sunday July 22, 2007 @11:43PM (#19951791) Homepage
    As long as the Zune's marketed by Microsoft and the iPod's marketed by Apple, the Zune is doomed because, let's face it, Apple's good at marketing, and Microsoft's good at forcing stuff down consumer's throats.
  • by DwarfGoanna (447841) on Sunday July 22, 2007 @11:55PM (#19951877)
    But I suspect by the time Zune is worthy of the "iPod Killer" moniker, Apple will have already killed the iPod themselves. Sure, they'll still be selling dedicated DAPs for a while to come, but I wouldn't be shocked if a midrange "good enough" iPhone changes the playing field there. Exactly what they did before with the mini/nano. One thing I find admirable about the new Apple is that they don't seem to give a shit about cutting into their own installed base with a product that fits the market better than what they had before. By the time MS gets this right, *the market they're after is going to liken the standalone DAP to monochrome displays and 200 songs.


    *no, slashdot is not this market. I know.

  • by Osty (16825) on Sunday July 22, 2007 @11:58PM (#19951911)

    I'm still baffled as to why anyone would *want* to sync their mp3 player over wifi, given that you have to plug it in to charge it anyway. Until they get wireless power into mp3 players, wireless syncing seems like a somewhat pointless feature, to be included for buzzword-compliance only.

    Think of a car application, where you have the Zune basically hardwired into your car audio. As such, it'd have power already, but you'd still have to remove it from the car in order to add new music. Being able to wirelessly sync would allow you to run the Zune app on a PC in your house and sync songs out to your car without having to take the Zune out of your car at all.

  • by twitter (104583) on Monday July 23, 2007 @12:20AM (#19952067) Homepage Journal

    At least that's what Roughly Drafted told me [bayimg.com].

    Sometimes, spending is just throwing good money after bad. They can't make Zune a winner because rented and dissapearing music just aren't cool. Even less cool is the idea that billboards will be able to "squirt" adverts onto your player or what your player might tell them in return. Minority Report was supposed to be a horror story, not a business model.

  • by R3d M3rcury (871886) on Monday July 23, 2007 @12:22AM (#19952097) Journal

    I'm still baffled as to why anyone would *want* to sync their mp3 player over wifi, given that you have to plug it in to charge it anyway.
    Well, I have an iPod nano. I love it. I only have to charge it maybe once every couple of weeks (I listen to it when I bike).

    So I don't really need to charge it all that often. But it would be nice if I could sync it without having to plug it in.
  • Re:zune vs IPOD (Score:5, Insightful)

    by quacking duck (607555) on Monday July 23, 2007 @12:34AM (#19952187)

    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 hadn't thought about this before, but considering how some people are boycotting any CD put out by RIAA members (with help from RIAA Radar [riaaradar.com]), they should be boycotting the Zune as well, seeing as how Microsoft kicks back a small amount to Universal Music [cnn.com] for every Zune sold.

    Microsoft sold out all consumers in a failed bid to give RIAA members teeth to demand an unjustified cut for every iPod sold, just when Apple was renegotiating licensing with the music labels. Now, you may argue that Apple's on "our side" only because it's best for their bottom line... but at least they're not actively against us in this battle! The least we can do is return the favour.
  • by wvmarle (1070040) on Monday July 23, 2007 @12:45AM (#19952257)

    I just RTFA, and it sais NOTHING, and that is truly NOTHING, about what is really in the pipeline. Only lines like "it's going to be better", and "we're expanding it blah blah" with a lot of marketingspeak - but really nothing on the actual product. The only concrete product mentioned, the "Zune Shuffle" or whatever, also falls short of an actual description, let alone giving me the idea that it is reliable.

    Sorry folks, nothing to see here, move along. Really, there is absolutely nothing.

    The only thing about this article is that it keeps the buzz going, it keeps the people talking about this device. And guessing. Just guessing. Because there is nothing really said there, everything is just a guess.

    Editors, please do your job, and don't put this kind of nonsense on the front page. It doesn't belong there. I'm really interested in tech news, and also what Microsoft is doing - even though I don't buy their products, they are one of the major forces in the computer world - but this is the least informative article ever.

    Ah well, let the Microsoft bashing continue.

  • by Repton (60818) on Monday July 23, 2007 @12:53AM (#19952309) Homepage

    If your Nano did wireless synching, you'd be charging it more often than every two weeks...

  • by UnknowingFool (672806) on Monday July 23, 2007 @02:31AM (#19952841)
    On paper the Zune looked okay. The problem for most people is that Microsoft was a little deceptive in advertising in what Microsoft failed to disclose. It had a bigger screen, but the resolution was the same as the iPod and the player was larger. It had wifi but it wasn't really wifi. You can buy music online only it's not compatible with anything you may have bought before, etc.
  • by Sparks23 (412116) * on Monday July 23, 2007 @04:24AM (#19953323)

    As much an Apple fan as I am, I also hate Apple software on Windows. Not only does it look out of place, it Just Does Not Work.
    We share that particular boat; I use Mac OS X for my personal stuff -- web-browsing, e-mail, music, writing and so on -- and Windows for work and gaming. I love Apple's work on OS X, but I find their Windows software nauseating. When it comes down to it, I think anyone who likes Apple for *sensible* reasons (as opposed to just being a blind fan) hates Apple's approach to Windows software.

    Those ports violate everything Apple supposedly stands for, such as software that 'just works.' Software 'just working' requires it to work /in context/ with the operating system, and everything else on the system. Apple's cross-system ports do not by /any/ stretch of the imagination; they attempt to shoehorn bits of OS X into Windows, and they do so poorly. (Also, whatever framework they used to port iTunes to Windows is horrible, and I want to find whoever wrote iPodService, hunt them down, and garrote them with a Firewire cable. WTF, Apple?)

    This is actually a pet peeve for me. This same stupid shortcut approach to cross-platform development is why things developed on Windows and ported directly to OS X look mildly schizophrenic and get complaints about 'not being well-designed for OS X' from Mac users. It's also why a lot of cross-platform software ported from Linux using GTK+ for Windows or running under X11.app on OS X doesn't 'fit in' either. Why would Apple think this braindead approach to cross-platform development would work any better for them?

    If you're going to do something cross-platform, bloody well develop it cross-platform instead of designing it just for one platform and then taking shortcuts to port it without thinking whether or not your design works in the new context.
  • by tabby (592506) on Monday July 23, 2007 @07:07AM (#19953987) Homepage
    after a year still noone is running linux on it

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 23, 2007 @09:16AM (#19954855)
    I will agree with your basic argument about good porting practices and respecting the platform you are developing for. However I think it is worth noting that Apple is not doing anything that Microsoft, and pretty much every other Windows developer, is doing.

    If you see a crappy Windows port on OS X it's sticks out like a sore thumb and the Mac community usually cringes and looks for something else. This is because the Mac has a long tradition of user interface consistency. The HIG may be dying by Apple's own hand but for the most part Mac programs are created in the essence of it and they generally work in a consistent and predictable manner.

    On Windows nearly every program on your computer is off doing it's own thing. There are very few tried and true Windows interface or application standards. Even Microsoft has no consistency between products. From WMP's custom skin, to IE7's completely off the wall browser interface, to Office 2007's completely unusual interface that not only has its own theme but its own interface paradigm. That really only scratches the surface of the patchwork nature of a Windows environment.

    Nearly every program on my PC is different from every other program on my PC. Sometimes it's radically different and other times it's only annoyingly different. The inconsistencies are across the board from visual differences, to key commands, or from menus to window behavior. I would be more willing to criticize Apple for their Windows ports if the entire operating system wasn't a huge inconsistent mess. I mean really, aside from a very few almost universal Windows behaviors what are they supposed to be modeling against?
  • by Sparks23 (412116) * on Monday July 23, 2007 @11:32AM (#19956697)
    Oh, no, I agree that porting will cause these problems; believe me, I've posted on that topic on here myself enough times. As a developer, this is a pet peeve of mine! :)

    In my opinion, if you want to target cross-platform you're better off designing applications in two stages: the actual functional backend, and the GUI layer. Write all your core functionality as portably as you can, but divorce that functionality from most UI. Then write the UI from scratch for each system; use a drawer on OS X, use an MDI window on Windows, whatever. Have your popup notifications done as toasts on Windows, Growl notifications on OS X, etc. There are ported apps that approach it that way, and consequently /feel/ right and work solidly on each system they're hosted on. Not many, but they do exist, and they feel like they were designed properly for each system they run on.

    Apple did not, unfortunately, and so while their software is wonderful under OS X, the ports are cringe-worthy.
  • Podcasting (Score:3, Insightful)

    by slapout (93640) on Monday July 23, 2007 @11:59AM (#19957127)
    "Future Zune products will feature podcasting support"

    Are they saying that it will take a new hardware model to support podcasting?? Apple did it with just software.
     
  • by Osty (16825) on Monday July 23, 2007 @04:53PM (#19961473)

    If you see a crappy Windows port on OS X it's sticks out like a sore thumb and the Mac community usually cringes and looks for something else. This is because the Mac has a long tradition of user interface consistency.

    While other developers may still suck, Microsoft got it right with Office on OS X. If Microsoft can do that, surely Apple can get iTunes and Quicktime right on Windows.

    On Windows nearly every program on your computer is off doing it's own thing. There are very few tried and true Windows interface or application standards. Even Microsoft has no consistency between products. From WMP's custom skin, to IE7's completely off the wall browser interface, to Office 2007's completely unusual interface that not only has its own theme but its own interface paradigm. That really only scratches the surface of the patchwork nature of a Windows environment.

    Office 2007 aside (the Ribbon is just "different"), the controls within the interfaces always act the same, even if they're not in standard locations. There is no shift-ctrl-right-click buttons in WMP, the menu in IE7 pops up and acts just like a normal menu even if it is hidden by default, and even Office 2007's Ribbon buttons act like normal toolbar buttons when you click on them even though they're in an odd container. Personally, I don't care that Apple's media apps have the brushed aluminum skin (media players have always been different like that). What I care about is that the controls in the app work as expected on the OS its running. Simple things are missing or just plain weird, like missing a lot of keyboard controls or having specific actions on different buttons if different modifiers are held down during a click.

Machines certainly can solve problems, store information, correlate, and play games -- but not with pleasure. -- Leo Rosten

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