Zune Thoughts - Daily News, Views, Rants and Raves

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All posts tagged "mp3 player"

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

AnythingButIpod Disassembles Zune HD

Posted by David Tucker in "Zune News" @ 08:30 AM

"You will need: Tri-wing screw driver. #0, T-4 & T-5 Screw driver, Tweezers. Tri-Wing screw drivers can be found on Amazon or if you need to search elsewhere it is the same screw type that Nintendo uses on their Wii and DS Lite."

If you're a brave or crazy individual who wants to pull apart your shiny, brand new, Zune HD then according to AnythingButIpod, those are the tools you'll want onhand. If you're less brave or perhaps just sane, you'll want to follow this link over to AnythingButIpod to see what's actually inside. ABI really did an excellent job on showing off all the Zune's guts so if you've got a strong constitution for mangled electronics then you should really go check out the whole article.

I don't want to give it all away, but I will say that the tribute that Microsoft apparently has on the inside of all of its Zune HDs in memory of a Zune team member who passed away is actually very touching.

Friday, September 11, 2009

DVICE: Zune HD First Look

Posted by David Tucker in "Zune News" @ 03:16 PM

“A 32GB Microsoft Zune HD media player arrived at our doorstep today, and we had just enough time to take it out of its packaging and snap some first shots. Unfortunately, Microsoft didn't provide the Zune 4.0 software necessary to sync it up and actually use the unit, but we still were in awe of its spectacular 3.3-inch 16:9 OLED touchscreen. It's responsive, bright, sharp, and contrasty. Beautiful.”

DVICE has a quick first look at the Zune HD. They seem to like it even they weren’t really able to use it since they don’t have the software for it yet. Never-the-less, they are still impressed by the styling of the Zune HD and its size and performance! Microsoft really seems to have a hit on its hands here since all of the commentary on the HD really has been positive.

There’s nothing else new here since DVICE couldn’t actually use the Zune HD yet but if you want to check out a nice gallery of some Zune HD shots, check out their first look and admire what you can soon buy (or just pre-order now). Release day is almost here!

Zune HD #1 At Amazon!

Posted by David Tucker in "Zune News" @ 01:50 PM


This is great news for Microsoft. The Zune HD of course only has two models but clearly this shows there is some excitement for the Zune right now. How long will it last is the big question. Can Microsoft build off of what looks to be a little momentum for the first time in a couple years? Microsoft really needs to do just a few things to really have a strong presense in the market.

They simply have to have a larger capacity Zune HD. There is no excuse for the lack of a 64 GB device. That the 32 GB device is selling so well shows people are willing to spend more for a bigger device.

They need a small standard player. I know people who just want a little DAP to take to the gym. I have a coworker who won’t consider anything bigger than a Nano. And get this thing out in multiple markets already! Whatever it takes just do it. Sell your soul for it. I don’t know if this would all translate to success but I can’t imagine Microsoft really considers what’s happened up until now a success.

Friday, June 12, 2009

The iZel: A Digital Device Holder

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Digital Home Hardware & Accessories" @ 08:30 AM

The iZel is a small, portable digital device holder (stand) that allows you to easily watch video content in comfort while on a plane, train etc. All you need is a surface to put the iZel on. In the video I test it out with a variety of devices: Zunes, smartphones, an iPod Touch, etc. When I travel, I like to load up my Zune with a movie or two, but I end up holding it in my hand to watch it - not very ideal. The iZel offers a solution to that problem, although depending on the screen size of your device, and how good your eyesight is, watching a video at tray-table height might be difficult. The iZel is made of very durable materials, so it should last a very long time, making it worth the price tag in my opinion (though not everyone agrees). I'll likely be travelling by plane in September, so I'll get a chance to use it in a real-world situation. In the meantime, I'm going to use it as a holder for my cellphone-du-jour, the Samsung Jack. The iZel can be purchased for $24.95 from Amazon.com. [Affiliate]

Monday, June 8, 2009

Zune HD to Come in 16 GB and 32 GB Capacities?

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Zune Hardware" @ 02:00 PM


"The Zune HD also comes with Internet Explorer (with tap-to-zoom technology), which means you'll not only have access to you favorite websites, but you'll also have access to other Wi-Fi features like song sharing, channel streaming, and the Zune Marketplace). Beyond that, the Zune HD has everything you'd expect a PMP to have and the standard Zune stuff, such as podcasts, Zune Pass, games, and a photo viewer. Zune HD is available with either 16GB or 32GB."

We know that the Zune HD is going to be Flash-based, but Microsoft has remained tight-lipped on the exact storage capacities that the Zune HD will be offered with. An Canadian American publication named CRAVE has published an article in which, as you can see by the quote above, the storage capacities are listed in a matter-of-fact way at 16 GB and 32 GB. I emailed the editors at CRAVE last week to ask for a confirmation of this information, because it wasn't presented as a rumour or a "maybe this is what it will have", but the editors didn't reply to my email. So will the Zune come in 16 GB and 32 GB capacities? It seems like a reasonable guess - 8 GB would be too small to be of much use with HD content, and 64 GB would likely drive the price of the device through the roof. So what we're left with is either 16 GB, 32 GB, or both. Will those be the two storage capacities we'll see this fall? We'll see...

UPDATE: The Managing Editor at Crave got back to me, and the author got the 16/32 GB capacity information from this PC World article where they also are quite matter-of-fact about the storage capacities.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Zunes at Woot: Cheap Cheap Cheap!

Posted by Adam Krebs in "Zune Buy & Sell" @ 11:30 PM


Deals site Woot.com is offering up refurbished (Microsoft Recertified) Zune 30s for just $80 plus $5 shipping. That's a whole 30 gigabytes of fun and an awesome scratch-proof casing. Not to mention the latest Zune software update: quite a bargain! If nothing else, you might want to check Woot to see their infamous ad copy ruthlessly mock the 30 GB model and its inability to keep time this past New Years. That, and the excellent v2 Car Pack is available for just $10 plus $5 shipping from sister site sellout.Woot.com. As with all Woots, it's only sold until the end of the day or they run out--whichever comes first. And judging by past sales, this tends to happen pretty quickly.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Bumblebee Prefers The Zune

Posted by David Tucker in "Zune News" @ 01:06 PM


"One of our staff visited a Chevy dealership to confirm that the new Camaro’s MP3 connectivity kit worked great with production Zunes. The test was very successful - and this culminates a considerable amount of work with both GM in Detroit and their supplier in Korea to ensure a great user experience."

Brian Seitz tweeted this earlier today and it is really exciting news. I'm pretty surprised actually that any car would come standard with connectivity for the Zune. Let's face it, the iPod is so ubiquitous that it makes sense to have standard support for it. But I won't complain! It seems some 28 GM models will be supporting this which isn't surprising since many GM cars share audio components.

But let's not overlook the best part of this. Its the Camaro. I currently own a red 2002 Camaro and I've always been a big fan of the American muscle car. I'm very seriously considering getting a 2011 Camaro next year and this is just icing on the cake. And hey, if Bumblebee prefers the Zune, everyone should!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

iHarmonix Platinum Earbuds: Easy Listening on the Go

Posted by Hooch Tan in "Digital Home Hardware & Accessories" @ 07:00 AM

Most of us have a media player of one sort or another. Whether it is an iPhone, Archos or Zune, PMPs typically come with stock earbuds. While great for space and portability, they usually lack decent sound reproduction. iHarmonix manufactures several lines of earbuds to improve upon what comes packed in a tiny bag of cellophane. I had the opportunity to put one of their Platinum ev-Series Earphones through its paces and I was fairly pleased with what I heard. Perhaps as an indication of thoughtfulness, the earbuds thankfully do not come in a cut-my-arteries-blister-pack, but one with a cardboard backing which is much easier to open. Inside, the earbuds came with three sets of ear gels in different sizes, a soft velvety pouch to and a slip of paper to serve as instructions. Read more...

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Neowin "Confirms" Zune Will Go International This Year

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Zune Talk" @ 05:50 PM


"After doing some digging, we can confirm that the release this fall will be international . While we were not able to get a list of countries that the Zune will ship to, we can confirm that it will be shipping to: Australia, China, and Europe. A company representative told me that there will be far more countries that the Zune will be shipping to. Stay tuned for more, including specs and pictures (We've seen the internal video!). I'll leave our readers with this: It's slim and you won't need a D-Pad. Feel free to speculate."

We pretty much knew that new hardware was coming this year, but the interwebs are blowing up over a single tweet from Brian Seitz where he confirmed that there's new hardware in the pipeline. People seem pretty excited about a new Zune, so that's good to see. The above quote from this Neowin article has more specifics than I've seen elsewhere - though I disagree with the use of "confirm" when they can't quote their source. At any rate, if this news is accurate, I'd say it's very big news indeed. Not only does it seem to firm up the rumour about an iPod Touch-like Zune (slim and no D-Pad), but it seems the Zune is finally ready to bust out of the confines of North America. Take this all with a large grain of salt mind you, because none of this is confirmed, but I think it's worth getting excited about! I wish I could add my own speculation into the mix based on what I learned spending two days with the Zune team, but I can't...I do hope though to be among the first to be able to provide you all with accurate information when the time comes.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

How Many Quarks In A Zune?

Posted by Adam Krebs in "Zune Talk" @ 06:30 PM


"My friend Nick is good at answering the questions I didn't even know I wanted to ask. For example, how many electrons per song on an iPod? At approximately 4 minutes per song (Apple's average), we can play through 150 songs in 10 hours (far less than the 1000 song storage capacity), giving us approximately 1.09•1020 electrons used per song. That's downright efficient compared to the piggish 160 gig iPod Classic, which weighs in at 850mA•h, 40h: 1.27•1021 e / song."

File this under useless trivia, but maybe you've always wondered the number of electrons your Zune takes to play a song. Or maybe not.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Canada Only: 8 GB Zune + Armband for $99 CAD

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Zune Events" @ 08:15 AM


Just a quick note for our Canadian readers: Future Shop is having a one-day online sale on the Zune, offering the 8 GB Zune in black, red, or blue for $99 CAD. Also included is a free armband and a $30 "song card" (not sure where that's from). Or, if you're interested in the black 16 GB, it's $50 off and selling for $159 today.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Steal of a Deal - Tekkeon TekCharge MP1800

Posted by Chris Gohlke in "Digital Home Hardware & Accessories" @ 08:00 PM


"Tired of running out of juice when you're on the run? The Tekkeon TekCharge MP1800 is a rechargeable portable battery pack that supplies power to phones, MP3 players, Bluetooth headsets, and other mobile devices. The charger comes with seven adapter tips for use with most kinds of mobile phones, but you can also use the USB cable that came with your iPod, Zune, or other device. In other words, it's almost universally compatible, provided that your gizmo can be charged via USB."

I think I'm going to order one of these as is should cover my iPod, Zune, and phone. The normal price is $44.95, but right now Amazon has them for $28.99 $39.27 (they hiked the price!). [Affiliate] Unfortunately there is a couple of week backlog on their supply, so it will be a bit before I can share my thoughts. Anyone out there already have one of these?

Friday, February 6, 2009

Zune Knockoff

Posted by David Tucker in "Zune Talk" @ 07:27 AM


“New Century Technology’s Zune copy gives us a glimpse of what lies ahead for Microsoft’s PMP: a free for all on the Zune aesthetics in China. This un-dubbed brushed aluminium PMP is just the beginning.”

Here’s a tip for everyone on this coming Valentine’s day. Do not buy this instead of a Zune. Nothing says “I love you” like a terrible knockoff! PMP Today reports that the specs on this are nothing impressive and something tells me you won’t be able to find this outside of China. If you really want to see the gory details you can check them out here. I suppose it’s a good thing though that the Zune at least has enough mindshare to be worth copying.

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