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All posts tagged "zune"


Friday, August 14, 2009

Zune Applications Coming?

Posted by David Tucker in "Zune News" @ 01:32 PM

http://daringfireball.net/2009/08/zune_apps

" 'After my post, I got an email from the developer of an iPhone Twitter client. He was contacted by Microsoft a few months ago, with an offer to port his app to the Zune in exchange for 'a bucket of money'. He turned them down, but assumes, as I do, that Microsoft reached out to the developers of multiple popular iPhone apps.' "

John Gruber over at Daring Fireball has made some interesting speculation about the likelihood of applications coming to the Zune HD. Personally, I'm not quite as convinced as John about what exactly this means. I wouldn't be surprised if Microsoft wanted to see some of these applications on the Windows Mobile OS as well.

Even if this does indicate that applications are coming to the Zune, I don't think this will mean all that much if they do it how they've done games so far. Some preloaded games and apps aren't really very impressive compared to the Apple App Store. I'm still not that convinced its even needed anyway but that's just my opinion!


Monday, June 8, 2009

Zune HD Will Have Unicode Support

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Zune Hardware" @ 09:29 AM

http://www.insidethecircle.net/2009...to-zune-hd.html

This is news that will make some people happy: the Zune HD will have unicode support, meaning that it will display non Latin-based characters. This means that if you have a song/video/photo that has a file name, or metadata, in Chinese, Japanese, Korean, etc. it wil display the filename on those characters rather than showing you the "unknown block" characters. Not having any files like that myself, I'm unsure of exactly what languages are supported, or how the implementation will work. What would make people really happy of course would be if unicode support was rolled back to older Zune devices - because no one wants to buy a new device to get unicode support. Microsoft has thus far remained quiet about what sorts of software support they'll continue to provide for the older Zune devices. Let's face it, they've extended the feature-life of the Zune 30 further than anyone else has ever done with an MP3 player - so if they were to stop releasing firmware updates for it, it wouldn't be very surprising. I'd really like to see unicode suppot trickle down to the Zune 120/80/16/8/4 devices though - it would be a shame to see the devleopment stop on devices that are still being sold today.


Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Zune Marketplace Freebie: "Old School" by Hedley

Posted by Darius Wey in "Zune Media" @ 08:07 AM

http://social.zune.net/my/ContentRe...933&mtype=Track

This week brings a new Zune Marketplace freebie that you can download, play back, burn to a CD, and sync to your Zune device. You'll need a Zune account to download the free content. Clicking on the link(s) below will automatically launch the Zune software and take you to the artist's page, so please ensure that the software is installed on your PC.

  • Title: Old School
  • Artist: Hedley
  • Genre: Rock
  • Length: 3:42
  • DRM-free MP3: Yes


Official Zune HD Press Release

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Zune News" @ 02:00 AM

Microsoft Announces the Expansion of the Zune Entertainment Service to New Platform and Markets; Confirms New Zune HD Portable Media Player

Premium Zune digital entertainment service to be available internationally on Xbox LIVE.

REDMOND, Wash. - May 26, 2009 - Microsoft Corp. today announced the evolution of Zune, the company's end-to-end music and entertainment service, to a new platform and new markets. Zune will extend its video service to Xbox LIVE internationally this fall. This marks an important development in the Zune strategy and brings the Zune brand to more than 17 million international Xbox LIVE subscribers. In addition, Microsoft confirmed the next generation of the Zune portable media player, Zune HD. Available in the U.S. this fall, Zune HD is the first portable media player that combines a built-in HD Radio receiver, high-definition (HD) video output capabilities, organic light-emitting diode (OLED) touch screen, Wi-Fi and an Internet browser. Read more...


Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Zune HD Size Calculations

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Zune Articles & Resources" @ 11:30 PM

http://t03.us/2009/05/unofficial-gu...size-of-device/

Josh Sorenson from Cruleworld's Lifestream, hit me up on Twitter and let me know he'd done some caculations - the Zune team is being tight-lipped on the specifications of the Zune HD, but assuming that the photos are accurate, with a known screen size we can figure out the size of the device itself. The big deal would seem to be the thickness - a mere 0.35 inches. For comparison's sake, the iPod Touch is 0.33 inches thick, so essentially the same. And that's really thin.


Say Hello to the Zune HD

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Zune Hardware" @ 09:50 PM

See, I had this plan tonight. I was out at a meeting and was getting home a full 45 minutes before the press embargo on the Zune HD was up, so Zune Thoughts would be one of the first sites to bring you the awesome news about the Zune HD. Then a site in the UK broke their embargo and everyone was allowed to publish the news...and I didn't realize that until I got home and checked my email. So that's why Zune Thoughts is bringing you this news late - hopefully when it come to actual hands-on time with the Zune HD, we'll be able to deliver something unique and special. Without further ado, here is the Zune HD and what I'm allowed to say about it so far (yes, there are a few bits of info that I know but can't share yet).

The Zune HD is designed from the ground up to take on the iPod Touch head to head. The hardware design is completely different from previous Zunes - one look at the sleek thinness tells you that. Microsoft wanted to get some information out about the Zune HD, but they're not spilling all the details just yet. Here's what we know for sure. Read more...


Monday, May 18, 2009

Zune Marketplace Freebie: "Put the Phone Down" by Pilot Speed

Posted by Darius Wey in "Zune Media" @ 03:46 AM

http://social.zune.net/my/ContentRe...933&mtype=Track

This week brings a new Zune Marketplace freebie that you can download, play back, burn to a CD, and sync to your Zune device. You'll need a Zune account to download the free content. Clicking on the link(s) below will automatically launch the Zune software and take you to the artist's page, so please ensure that the software is installed on your PC.


Thursday, April 30, 2009

Windows Media Player to Support Streaming

Posted by Chris Gohlke in "Digital Home Software" @ 03:00 PM

http://news.cnet.com/8301-13526_3-1...testHeadlinesAr

"In the announcement of the impending release of Windows 7 RC (basically the final beta), Microsoft on Wednesday confirmed a rumor that I first saw reported by Zack Whitaker of ZDNet last month: a new feature called Remote Media Streaming will let you access the music library on your home PC from another computer over the Web. It's like Slingbox, only instead of accessing the cable box or DVR sitting in your home, you're accessing the music files stored on your home PC."

This would be an excellent feature to implement to the Zune. I mean, come on, the wi-fi is just asking for a killer application and this would be one of the few features that the iPod touch does not use its wi-fi for. Of course, this is probably a pipe dream since this is in WMP rather that the Zune's software.


Saturday, April 25, 2009

Zune Marketplace Freebie: "Ballskin" by MF Doom

Posted by Darius Wey in "Zune Media" @ 10:00 PM

http://social.zune.net/my/ContentRe...933&mtype=Track

This week brings a new Zune Marketplace freebie that you can download, play back, burn to a CD, and sync to your Zune device. You'll need a Zune account to download the free content. Clicking on the link(s) below will automatically launch the Zune software and take you to the artist's page, so please ensure that the software is installed on your PC.

  • Title: Ballskin
  • Artist: MF Doom
  • Genre: Hip-Hop
  • Length: 1:30
  • DRM-free MP3: Yes


Thursday, April 16, 2009

Zune Marketplace Freebie: "La Di Da" by Asher Roth

Posted by Darius Wey in "Zune Media" @ 04:16 PM

http://social.zune.net/my/ContentRe...933&mtype=Track

This week brings a new Zune Marketplace freebie that you can download, play back, burn to a CD, and sync to your Zune device. You'll need a Zune account to download the free content. Clicking on the link(s) below will automatically launch the Zune software and take you to the artist's page, so please ensure that the software is installed on your PC.

  • Title: La Di Da
  • Artist: Asher Roth
  • Genre: Hip-Hop
  • Length: 3:47
  • DRM-free MP3: Yes


Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Neowin "Confirms" Zune Will Go International This Year

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

http://www.neowin.net/news/main/09/...ional-this-year

"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, April 2, 2009

iZel Universal Device Stand

Posted by Chris Gohlke in "Digital Home Hardware & Accessories" @ 01:00 AM

http://www.myizel.com/

"The iZel is a totally unique and innovative way to support your device for hands free use. Its remarkable design supports a wide range of the world's most popular devices. It has a clever method for adapting its shape to landscape or portrait orientations and it is easily adjusted to position your screen for the optimal viewing angle. Best of all, it folds flat and travels easily. The iZel's durable construction is made possible by using a sophisticated slip-resistant elastomer that helps to keep your device in its place and looking new. Use the iZel when you want to watch a video, make a hands-free call, monitor your email, surf the web, or to simply use your device as a digital picture frame."

This is certainly one way to go about things, but it seems a bit larger than what I want to carry around. Personally, I keep a few paperclips in my bag and just make myself a quick stand on the few occasions that I need one.


Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Zune Marketplace Freebie: "I Like You So Much Better When You're Naked" by Ida Maria

Posted by Darius Wey in "Zune Media" @ 09:25 AM

http://social.zune.net/my/ContentRe...933&mtype=Track

This week brings a new Zune Marketplace freebie that you can download, play back, burn to a CD, and sync to your Zune device. You'll need a Zune account to download the free content. Clicking on the link(s) below will automatically launch the Zune software and take you to the artist's page, so please ensure that the software is installed on your PC.


The Elite Crystal Case for Zune 80

Posted by Adam Krebs in "Zune Accessories" @ 07:00 AM

Let's take a look at the ZuneOne Elite Crystal Case for the Zune 80 ($9.95 USD), shall we? The first thing you'll notice when you open the box is the the cardboard placeholder image with a mockup of the Zune screen and buttons. Oddly, the album art they chose, Macy Gray's "Big", was the same image used on all of the promotional materials for the first-generation iPhone. But I won't hold it against them. On the other side is the album art for Bitter:Sweet's The Mating Game, which was promoted with the first-generation Zune 30. The case is made out of a hard plastic shell that reminds me of many of the tape cassette boxes from the 90s. Though the plastic appears very sturdy, I can see it easily cracking if left in a back pocket or dropped from a significant height. Out of the gate, I noticed how snugly the case fit around my Zune 80, with a thin lip to snap the top to the bottom half of the case. There are small bumps to protect the back and play/pause buttons but the Zune Pad is left uncovered. This keeps the finish on the buttons but has the downside of making them more difficult to access. Read more...


Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Zune Marketplace Freebie: "Magrela Fever" by Curumin

Posted by Darius Wey in "Zune Media" @ 02:55 AM

http://social.zune.net/my/ContentRe...933&mtype=Track

This week brings a new Zune Marketplace freebie that you can download, play back, burn to a CD, and sync to your Zune device. You'll need a Zune account to download the free content. Clicking on the link(s) below will automatically launch the Zune software and take you to the artist's page, so please ensure that the software is installed on your PC.

  • Title: Magrela Fever
  • Artist: Curumin
  • Genre: Rock
  • Length: 4:11
  • DRM-free MP3: Yes


Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Zune Software's Speed of Updating Music = Awesome

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Zune Software" @ 02:42 PM

It's a small, but beautiful thing, when software impresses me - and today the Zune software impressed the heck out of me. I always knew it was quite fast at finding new music in a monitored folder, but I didn't realize how fast it was until today. I purchased and downloaded six tracks from the new Mstrkrft album for my wife (she digs electronic music) and after tweaking the metadata and fixing the file names using the always-awesome MediaMonkey, I moved the files up to my Windows Home Server and swung over to my media editing computer. The Zune software was already running on it, and I was amazed to see it pick up the new tracks on the network-shared drive - we're talking less than three seconds before it found the music. That's a beautiful thing. Compare that with Windows Media Center, which seems to not even find my new music half the time unless I kick off a manual update scan in Windows Media Player, and you can see why I use the Zune software on all my computers for listening to music. Good job Zune team! Even if you don't have a Zune, I honestly reccomend giving the Zune software a try - it's a great piece of software.


Vaja Cases: Protecting Your Zune With Style

Posted by David Tucker in "Zune Accessories" @ 06:57 AM

A case can serve two different purposes. The first reason is almost always protection. The screen especially is always at risk of scratching. The other purpose is looks. Now I’m personally a huge fan of the design of the Zune. I have been since the original Zune 30s with their unique double shot and I love the classy lines of the current generation. It takes a special case to enhance the looks of the Zune and there is always one company that will provide such a case. If you’re not new to the world of electronic gadgets, Vaja’s name will come as no surprise.

Figure 1: Such an unassuming package!

Vaja has a case for all Zune series now available but I’ll just be showing pictures of the Zune 80 case. For the Zune 80 there is only one style available in both aniline and vitelino leathers. I chose a case in passion vitelino leather and no belt clip. The case is simple and functional, with cutouts for a synch cable and the front controls. Integrated into the rear of the case is a stand which easily folds out to allow easy video watching. Now on to the pictures! Read more...

Tags: zune, case, vaja, leather

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

New Zune Retail Display

Posted by David Tucker in "Zune News" @ 07:51 PM

http://www.istartedsomething.com/20...etail-displays/

"The next time you’re at an electronics store (if they’re still around), you might have to put some shades on if you’re to walk past the Zune display cabinet. Planned Marketing Solutions International (PMSI), an established creative agency out of Oregon, has been working on a redesign for the largely brown Zune retail displays that are in many US electronic stores today. They’ve recently put up some renders of this on their Flickr stream." - istartedsomething

Have you gotten a little tired of the retail displays for the Zune that have been around since the player hit the market? Microsoft must be or someone at PMSI felt they should be since they recently posted some renders of some potential new in-store displays. I can’t imagine most stores would dedicate such a large footprint to many products, let alone a Zune display. That said, these renders look very nice and I think having a display that takes at least some of these elements would certainly help the Zune’s retail presence a bit.

Who knows, there’s been talk of a Microsoft store too. They could easily have a display like this in one of their own stores! I like the one that’s all orange and square corners the best. It really makes a bigger statement to me than the other one does. But I think they’re both very nice.


Sunday, February 15, 2009

Zune Marketplace Freebie: "Falling Faster" by The Love Willows

Posted by Darius Wey in "Zune Media" @ 07:40 PM

http://social.zune.net/my/ContentRe...ca-0019b92a3933

Another week and another Zune Marketplace freebie that you can download, play back, burn to a CD, and sync to your Zune device. You'll need a Zune account to download the free content. Clicking on the link(s) below will automatically launch the Zune software and take you to the artist's page, so please ensure that the software is installed on your PC.

  • Title: Falling Faster
  • Artist: The Love Willows
  • Genre: Rock
  • Length: 2:50
  • DRM-free MP3: Yes


Thursday, January 29, 2009

Zune Marketplace Freebie: "Doves and Stones" by Mark Olson

Posted by Darius Wey in "Zune Media" @ 12:45 AM

http://social.zune.net/my/ContentRe...ca-0019b92a3933

Another week and another Zune Marketplace freebie that you can download, play back, burn to a CD, and sync to your Zune device. You'll need a Zune account to download the free content. Clicking on the link(s) below will automatically launch the Zune software and take you to the artist's page, so please ensure that the software is installed on your PC.

  • Title: Doves and Stones
  • Artist: Mark Olson
  • Genre: Blues/Folk
  • Length: 3:20
  • DRM-free MP3: Yes


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