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All posts tagged "zune hd"


Tuesday, September 15, 2009

AnythingButIpod Sizes Up The Zune HD

Posted by David Tucker in "Zune News" @ 08:00 AM

"...in an attempt to help you size up the Zune HD, here is a photo with hopefully a player that you already own. Full resolution photo after the break."

There's two important things we can take away from this picture. AnythingButIpod has a lot of MP3 players! More importantly, if you haven't been able to touch a Zune HD yet in person (like myself), you can see how it sizes up against other PMPs. One thing I notice when looking at the picture is how well Microsoft used the surface of the device. There's not a ton of bezel to make the Zune HD too much larger than the screen.

I'm looking forward to going to the store and playing with one in person (I am waiting on a 64 GB model before I play with one full time!) to see how it really feels but visually I think it stacks up very nicely in size to the other players. AnythingButIpod has a nice high resolution shot of all of these PMPs together!


New Zune Originals Launched

Posted by Adam Krebs in "Zune Buy & Sell" @ 07:53 AM

https://zunestore.net/us/catalog/index.aspx

The Zune HD has launched, and with it the famed Zune Originals artist series. This time, you can order a Zune HD 16 GB player in black, or a 32 GB Zune HD in red, blue, green, or platinum and get a "tattoo" engraved on the back of the device. There are 20 artist series tattoos, several of them available previously, an Xbox (games) series, and an MLS series (remind me why this isn't international?). Overall I'm left a bit underwhelmed. The colors look frankly pretty awful, with the red a bit more magenta than I would've hoped, and unlike what I read from WinSupersite, the black is limited to the 16 GB player only. Perhaps I'm not enough of a hipster for most of the designs, but only the Jasper Goodall piece really speaks to me at all. And even while it's a pretty funny design, I can't think of engraving a Queen Bee on the back of a device I'm going to use daily. Perhaps I'm hating a bit too much but I was sort of hoping for more this time.


Zune 4.0 is now Live. Get It While It's Hot!

Posted by Adam Krebs in "Zune News" @ 07:17 AM

http://zuneinsider.com/archive/2009...-0-is-here.aspx

"Early this morning the Zune PC software update went live, Zune HD hit the street and Zune.net got some cool new features. We can't wait for you to get the chance to download the new software, get your hands on a Zune HD and give Zune Pass a spin."

After what seems like months of waiting (technically there was no spring update), Zune has released new hardware, software, website, and Marketplace. One thing that's struck me is how coherant the update is through the software, website, and what I've seen of the Zune HD. In adition to the big changes, it appears a number of longtime requests have been fixed along the way. For example, the software now has a "mini mode" and the now playing screen can finally go full-screen. And even the older devices have been blessed with an update to 3.2 firmware. We'll be covering the news all morning as it happens, so if you see something cool please be sure to let us know.


Zune HD 15% Off At Dell

Posted by David Tucker in "Zune News" @ 06:52 AM

"Chances are if you're wanting a Zune HD on launch day, gaming capabilities in tow, you've already gotten one pre-ordered, but if you're not already financially committed elsewhere, this deal from Dell's website might sway your opinion. Entering the right coupon code will net you a 15 percent discount..."

On the big launch day, Engadget is reporting that Dell gives you a great deal if you haven't preordered the Zune HD already! 15% off any expensive electronics is never something to sneeze at and when that 15% discount comes on the day of launch, well, that's a great opportunity! Of course if you're buying through that deal that means you didn't get on the cutting edge so you could have a Zune HD in your hands by today but with between $33 to $43 in savings I'm willing to bet you're ok with that.

The deals are actually over on LogicBUY so you'll want to follow the appropriate links for the correct deals:

Zune HD 32 GB

Zune HD 16 GB

The only question is, what accessory will you be spending that savings on!


Zune HD Hardware Deep Dive (Part 1)

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Zune Hardware" @ 12:13 AM

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DdrA-HRlNOk

This is a "deep dive" video where I take a closer look at the device. For some unknown reason YouTube refuses to allow the video to be embedded on this site, unlike all the other videos. Just click on the image above and watch it over on YouTube. The model I'm looking at here is the 16 GB model, in black, and it sells for $219 USD as of September 2009. This is a follow-up video to my Zune HD unboxing and first impressions video, so be sure to check that out first.

Jason Dunn owns and operates Thoughts Media Inc., a company dedicated to creating the best in online communities. He enjoys photography, mobile devices, blogging, digital media content creation/editing, and pretty much all technology. He lives in Calgary, Alberta, Canada with his lovely wife, and his sometimes obedient dog. He wonders if the Zune is ever going to exist outside the USA.

Do you enjoy using new hardware, software and accessories, then sharing your experience with others? Then join us on the Thoughts Media Review Team! We're looking for individuals who find it fun to test new gear and give their honest opinions about the experience. It's a volunteer role with some great perks. Interested? Then click here for more information.


Zune 4.0 Software Sneak Peak

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Zune Software" @ 12:02 AM

The new Zune 4.0 desktop software isn't out quite yet at the time I'm writing this, so here are three screen shots (provided to me by the Zune team) that show you a bit of the new user interface. Click on each image to get the high-resolution version. Enjoy!


Microsoft Introduces a Powerful New Zune Media Player, PC Software and Online Services

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Zune News" @ 12:01 AM

Here it is, the official press release for the launch of the Zune HD. This is the first piece of a lot of great content I've got planned for you today Zune Thoughts readers. The wait is over - the Zune HD is here!

REDMOND, Wash. — Sept. 15, 2009 Zune, Microsoft Corp.’s end-to-end digital entertainment service and media player, today announced significant advancements for consumers. The new Zune HD touch-screen media player is now available at retail, and a powerful update to the Zune PC software is free for download. For the first time, standard- and high-definition (HD) movies can be purchased or rented1 through the Zune Marketplace online store, and a new streaming music service on Zune.net lets Zune Pass subscribers listen to music from a Web browser. The updates to the Zune hardware, software and online services released today, combined with a new Zune video offering on Xbox LIVE coming later this fall, bring customers instant access to their favorite music and videos anywhere,2 across their mobile device, PC and TV.

“With today’s announcement, the Zune business is growing into a comprehensive entertainment service that’s no longer tied to any one screen or device,” said Enrique Rodriguez, corporate vice president of the TV, Video and Music Business at Microsoft. “Zune lets consumers connect to their music, TV shows and movie content and enjoy it on the three screens they use every day.”

Zune HD: Next-Generation Digital Entertainment

Zune HD marks a significant step forward for portable media players, combining powerful hardware components such as an organic light-emitting diode (OLED) multitouch screen, an NVIDIA Tegra HD processor and HD Radio capabilities with software advancements such as the new Quickplay menu, a well-featured Web browser, and engaging music and video playback features to deliver a new portable listening and viewing experience. Quickplay is a new signature menu for Zune, putting customers one touch away from the content they love, such as favorites, last played items and media most recently added, eliminating the need to dig through menus to find the music, videos, pictures or podcasts they want. Read more...


Monday, September 14, 2009

The 16 GB Zune HD: First Impressions & Unboxing

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Zune Hardware" @ 11:45 PM

This is an unboxing and first impressions video of the Zune HD. The model I'm looking at here is the 16 GB model, in black, and it sells for $219 USD as of September 2009. The Zune HD has a 3.3 inch OLED touchscreen, in a 16:9 aspect ratio, at 272 x 480 pixel resolution. It uses the NVIDIA Tegra APX 2600 processors to accelerate graphics and achieve impressive performance. The Zune HD comes in 16 GB (Black) and 32 GB (Platinum) models. ZuneOriginals.net has them in blue, green, and red as well. Want to buy a Zune HD? Amazon.com has them. [Affiliate]

Jason Dunn owns and operates Thoughts Media Inc., a company dedicated to creating the best in online communities. He enjoys photography, mobile devices, blogging, digital media content creation/editing, and pretty much all technology. He lives in Calgary, Alberta, Canada with his lovely wife, and his sometimes obedient dog. He wonders if the Zune is ever going to exist outside the USA.

Do you enjoy using new hardware, software and accessories, then sharing your experience with others? Then join us on the Thoughts Media Review Team! We're looking for individuals who find it fun to test new gear and give their honest opinions about the experience. It's a volunteer role with some great perks. Interested? Then click here for more information.


DLO Pumps Out Two New Cases for Zune HD

Posted by Adam Krebs in "Zune Accessories" @ 10:30 PM

http://www.dlo.com/products/player/zune-hd

In what is hopefully a sign of more accessory makers signing on, DLO has released two new cases for the forthcoming Zune HD player. The Jam Jacket (above, left) is a silicone case with cutouts for the connector ports and home and sleep buttons, and a reinforced rubber back piece for wrapping a headphone cord when it isn't in use. The Action Jacket, on the other hand, is designed to be used while exercising. It is a padded, neoprene case with an adjustable bicep strap and removable belt clip, depending on your preference. It's got a plastic window for using with the touch screen, which in my expericence has never been the best for capacitive screens. You can pick the Jam Jacket up for $19.99 while the Action Jacket sells for $29.99.


Zune HD Sold Early, Doesn't Work

Posted by Adam Krebs in "Zune Hardware" @ 02:00 PM

http://www.engadget.com/2009/09/14/...until-tomorrow/

"Why bother to honor the street date? Ask the cool cats at the Fort Myers, Florida Best Buy, who has no qualms selling our tipster a unit over the weekend. At the time, no 32GB versions were available, and even now, this 16GB unit won't sync with one's PC or do much of anything useful."

So a guy got lucky and bought a Zune HD this weekend. Too bad it's just a pretty paperweight until Microsoft decides to flip the switch tomorrow to enable the new software and firmware. Who's getting one of these shiny new toys tomorrow?

Tags: zune hd

Saturday, September 12, 2009

BuyTV Zune HD Videos Released

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Zune Articles & Resources" @ 10:00 AM

http://www.buy.com/videoclip/zune-p...tion/75832.html

In typical fashion with everything Zune related, there's always someone that refuses to respect the press embargo that they agree to in the first place, and retailers don't understand what the term "launch date" means. I wonder why Apple doesn't have this problem with the iPod? At any rate, if you want to check out some videos of the Zune HD, here they are.

Tags: videos, zune hd

Friday, September 11, 2009

Why Isn't The Zune Launched Internationally Yet?

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Zune Talk" @ 05:00 PM

First, some background on this problem. Here's what I said in my analysis of the iPod announcements:

"iTunes is in 23 countries. The Zune Marketplace is in one. Microsoft's US-centric approach with the Zune is maddening...I thought there was some light at the end of the tunnel when they launched the Zune in Canada last year, but we never got the Zune Marketplace here, and now the devices being sold here are being killed off. "Disaster" is a good word for how well the Zune launch went in Canada. Between the Zune HD being US-only at launch, and all of the IP-based geographic blocking madness that the Zune software and Web site does, it's like the Zune team is doing everything they can to alienate everyone in the world outside the US."

In the resulting discussion from the post, the issue of this US-centric approach to the Zune was brought up several times, and I floated this theory:

"Apple was the first company to negotiate big, international music distribution deals, and way back then most of the music labels probably though Apple would fail, or at best only be mildly successful. So they said "Sure, 99 cents sounds fine as long as the bit rate sucks." Fast-forward, and iTunes is massively successful. We've watched as the record labels pressured Apple for variable pricing year after year, trying to re-assert control over their music. They finally got it. The labels don't like all the power that Apple has, so here's my theory: they're making it very hard, if not impossible, for the Zune guys to get the same sort of deal that Apple has. They're trying to exert control over the Zune deal in a way they wish they could have done with the Apple deal years ago.

Witness the $1 that Universal demanded Microsoft pay them for every Zune sold. We're talking POWER STRUGGLE here people. Maybe that's one reason why Microsoft can't accomplish now what Apple did years ago - the record labels are more aware of what they want to control.

Second reason? Maybe Microsoft feels that the Zune Pass is SO important that they can't/won't launch Zune Marketplace without it. It's quite integral to the Zune experience - many new Zune features rely on the customer having a Zune Pass - so maybe Microsoft isn't launching in new markets unless that market includes the Zune Pass. I think this is a bit silly - not everyone wants a Zune Pass - but maybe it's another reason? These are just my theories." Read more...


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!


Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Reactions of a Zune Fan to the September 2009 iPod Announcements

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Zune Talk" @ 12:33 PM

Because I'm sitting here watching the superb gdgt coverage of the Apple iPod event, I figured I might as well multi-task and jot down some point form reactions and thoughts on what I'm reading. It's important to understand what "the other guys" are up to - that's the main reason why I bought an iPod Touch earlier this year; I wanted to understand how the App Store worked, to see how good the browser was, and to get experience using the on-screen keyboard. Here are my reactions to today's Apple event, in chronological order:

  • Good to hear Steve Jobs is healthy - organ donation is so important. I've signed my organs away if something happens to me, and you should too. If you're dead, they won't do you any more good, so why not share?
  • 1.8 billion applications downloaded - that's a huge, impressive number. Apps matter. Microsoft has always said that software matters, but they've historically done a poor job of showing that on Windows Mobile and the Zune. They're finally getting rolling with a Windows Mobile app store, but apps on the Zune are still a bit of a question mark. Sure, we've had a couple games since the last generation units, but no cohesive plan on Microsoft's part to roll out a Zune games store, or to sync up with what the Xbox guys are doing.
  • iTunes is in 23 countries. The Zune Marketplace is in one. Microsoft's US-centric approach with the Zune is maddening...I thought there was some light at the end of the tunnel when they launched the Zune in Canada last year, but we never got the Zune Marketplace here, and now the devices being sold here are being killed off. "Disaster" is a good word for how well the Zune launch went in Canada. Between the Zune HD being US-only at launch, and all of the IP-based geographic blocking madness that the Zune software and Web site does, it's like the Zune team is doing everything they can to alienate everyone in the world outside the US. More after the break. Read more...


Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Zune HD Comes In More Capcacities / Colors Than We Thought

Posted by Adam Krebs in "Zune Hardware" @ 07:30 AM

http://community.winsupersite.com/b...ng-forward.aspx

One bit of good news from yesterday's otherwise disheartening announcement is that the Zune HD won't be limited to one color per storage capacity. Until this point, the official position had been that the 16 GB version of the player would be available only in black, and the 32 GB version only in platinum, with three different colors available through the Zune Originals series at launch. Not so, says Paul Thurrott. Thurrott now confirms that the one-capacity, one-color restriction was for pre-orders of the device only. Come September 15, you'll be able to order a black 32 GB device and a platinum 16 GB device from the store. But if you're going to wait to pick up the device, you might as well order it from the Zune Originals website, and get a nice etching to go along with it.


Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Zune to Retire Every Player But Zune HD?

Posted by Adam Krebs in "Zune Hardware" @ 10:00 PM

http://community.winsupersite.com/b...ng-forward.aspx

"Microsoft guru Paul Thurrott of SuperSite for Windows fame has read the writing on the wall. According to the reps he spoke with, production has ceased on all Zune models before the upcoming Zune HD. In other words, when supplies run out, Zune 4, 8, 16, 80, and 120 are as good as dead, with only this year's model left standing."

Alas, fair Zunes 4, 8, 16, 80, 120, we hardly knew thee. Jason mentioned a couple weeks ago that the flash models were on the outs, but I had no idea they'd be axing the larger capacity Zune 120 as well. This seems like an incredibly short-sighted move, as it leaves only the high-end luxury model as a compatible device with the Zune software. Apple has known for quite some time, and proven for even longer, that when users buy into a device / software ecosystem, it helps to have a variety of different players to choose from. I hope the Zune team delivers a pleasant surprise in the near future, but for now I'm not holding my breath.


Zune HD Pamphlet Explored (HD Movie Downloads, Accessories, Zune.net Streaming Music)

Posted by Adam Krebs in "Zune News" @ 01:30 PM

http://www.bostonpocketpc.com/Zune+...D+Pamphlet.aspx

One thing I noticed during the hands-on demonstration I got with Zune HD was a fold-out pamphlet that came in the HD's box. A cursory glance at the contents appeared to reveal nothing important, but apparently there was a great deal I overlooked (including, incidentally, bringing a camera with me in the first place). Steve Hughes luckily remembered his, and took a number of pictures of the different areas of the pamphlet. Among others, it mentions HD movie downloads, music streaming from Zune.net, and something called QuickPlay. Xbox 360 Smooth Streaming is mentioned and demoed for Gizmodo Australia (the presenter at the event I attended told me the Zune HD could wirelessly stream to 360, but I haven't heard this corroborated anywhere else). Check the read link for some bonus shots of the newest generation of accessories and descriptions.

Tags: zune hd

Friday, August 28, 2009

What Volvoshine Got Right

Posted by Adam Krebs in "Zune Talk" @ 01:56 PM

http://t03.us/2009/08/just-how-accu...ine-his-source/

"So Over the past few months a big source of information about the Zune HD has been Volvoshine (Ryan Rea). But the question comes to hand on just how accurate he actually was. I Will decided if it was True or not and then check out the chart at the bottom…"

Now that we know most of what there is to know about the new Zune HD, let's take a look at what infamous leaker Volvoshine got right, wrong, and is still to be announced. A number of the things he got wrong were a little saddening, but not entirely unexpected (bigger screen and five times the battery life?), whereas the price of the 16 GB player was a pleasant surprise ($220, instead of the rumored $250 to $280). We have yet to see about games or rumored Netflix compatibility, but hopefully we'll hear about these in the next few weeks.


Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Which 3 Apps Do You Want?

Posted by David Tucker in "Zune Talk" @ 01:17 PM

http://forums.thoughtsmedia.com/f16...unch-94913.html

"Well, just for kicks lets assume that the App store will be available at launch. Here's the question. What apps would you like to see at the launch of Microsofts latest media device? Just to make it difficult, limit your list the top 3."

Forumite Phillip Dyson posed an good question in the forums and I thought it was worth putting up here on the front page so we can get everyone's opinions. I actually really like his Netflix and eBook reader suggestions. But he already picked those so I need my own list of applications. I see my Zune as a very media centric device so my list will really focus on that!

If you want to know though, you'll have to follow this link to the forum discussion.


Monday, August 24, 2009

Video and Pictures from Best Buy Zune HD Event

Posted by Adam Krebs in "Zune Events" @ 11:30 AM

http://www.zunespring.com/index.php..._id=276&zs=home

One thing I wish I brought with me on my journey to Best Buy on Saturday was a video or picture camera to document the device in action, and to show off the contents of the Zune HD box. Luckily, John Aarington from ZuneSpring.com remembered his, and helpfully uploaded several pictures and two videos of his experience. He must be Boston-based, because the presenter is the same as the one I saw. Check out the read link for bonus shots of the Zune HD box, a fold-out poster, and two videos of the device and TV functions.

Tags: hardware, , zune hd

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