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All posts tagged "update"

Friday, August 26, 2011

Zune Client Updated, Ready for Mangoey Goodness

Posted by Adam Krebs in "Zune Software" @ 12:00 PM


"Microsoft released a new version of the Zune software client today. This incremental update brings the version number up to 4.8 and adds support for Windows Phone 7.5 “Mango” handsets. The Zune software and services are also available in a wider selection of countries, including Canada and Australia. Interestingly, Zune Pass has been renamed to Zune Music Pass. Could an all-you-can-eat video subscription service be coming in the near future? We hope so. A video subscription service has been rumored for a long time, and it would make the Zune service even more compelling on the PC, Zune devices, Windows Phone, and Xbox."

Hot and fresh, the Zune 4 .8 update is out with support for the new generation of Windows Phone 7.5 (a.k.a. Mango) phones, and bumps up the number of supported languages in the software to 22 languages. The software is available to download in 39 countries, but the confusing array of international availability hasn't been remedied much in this release. There were signs a few weeks ago of the Marketplace expanding to countries beyond US and Western Europe but they're conspicuously absent in this release (although they should still be coming soon). Also added is 48-hour movie rentals, a streamlined update and sync/backup experience, and an option to see what apps are compatible with your phone before you buy them. In all a relatively minor update but certainly welcome to Windows Phone 7.5 "Mango" users.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

The Zune HD is Dead. Long Live the Zune HD!

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Zune News" @ 11:22 AM

There have been a few updates in the world of Zune over the past week or so.

First, Microsoft has discontinued Zune Originals. That's right, no more custom Zune HDs are available for order. I did a little eye-roll when this happened, because I wanted a 64 GB Zune HD but was waiting for the price to drop a little more. Looks like I waited too long! The Zune Originals Web site says to go look for a Zune HD at Best Buy or Wal-mart, but good luck with that. Zune all but died at retail a long time ago.

In the same week, the Zune team released nine new Zune HD apps, along with updates for a few older apps. Anythingbutipod has the full breakdown on the new apps. I'm in Canada, and despite the announcement two full months ago about the Zune HD apps coming to Canada, I'm still seeing this ugly error when I try to browse the Zune HD apps in the marketplace:

Lastly, there's software update for the Zune HD that takes it from 4.5 Build 109 to 4.5 Build 114. I have no idea what it adds or changes, because Microsoft doesn't release changelogs about the update.

It baffles me as to why Microsoft continues to release apps for a product they've ignored and marginalized in an epic way. I mean, what's the point?

Thursday, February 24, 2011

New Zune HD Apps Showing Up Today

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Zune Software" @ 02:25 PM


Some new apps coming your way today - Zune Reader, Album Shuffle, and Penalty. Stay tuned!

UPDATE: The apps are ready for download where I am, so I've snagged them, but I can't share screenshots because the screenshots are blank in the Marketplace. It's weird.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

New Zune Software Update: What's New?

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Zune Software" @ 08:50 AM

I noticed that in the Patch Tuesday update - which I happen to be installing today - there's an update for the Zune desktop software. There's no information about what this update brings to the table that I can find - anyone know what's new? It's still version 4.7, so I suspect the changes are minor...

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

New Zune HD Games & Apps Released

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Zune Software" @ 11:56 AM

Last week, a series of new games and app updates were released to the Zune Marketplace for your Zune HD:

  • Snowball
  • Finger Physics
  • Tiki Totems
  • A Beanstalk Tale
  • Alarm Clock
  • Facebook (Updated)
  • Twitter (Updated)

For anyone keeping track, that's 27 games and 12 communication/entertainment/other - for a grand total of 39 apps. My general feeling is, why bother? I don't think 39 free apps are going to sway people who are looking for a device with apps - they're going to go for an iPod Touch. It's nice that they're all free, but in the end, I'd prefer to see effort spend on the device and desktop software that would improve upon the things that we bought a Zune HD for in the first place: media consumption.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Zune Desktop Software Client Update to 4.7

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Zune Software" @ 10:20 AM


Today is Windows Phone 7 launch day, and as such, there's a new Zune desktop client ready for you to download; it's version 4.7, and it brings with it a lot of user interface tweaks. I've just installed it and am checking it out now...and I'm seeing more than a few ugly surprises. Here's the official word from the Zune's PR people:

"As you may know, the Zune experience is built directly into the Music+Video hub on every Windows Phone 7, providing a great media experience on the handsets for personal media collection playback, as well as the ability to stream millions of songs wirelessly with a Zune Pass subscription in the US, UK, France, Italy and Spain. In addition, the Zune software will serve as the Windows-based PC sync client for the handsets allowing a user to manage and transfer their media between PCs and Windows Phone 7 handsets.

In support of the forthcoming availability of Windows Phone 7, we are beginning to roll out the updated Zune PC software (version 4.7) today. Zune PC software will be available to download for free from Zune.net. By having access to the software now, consumers around the world can familiarize themselves with all that Zune has to offer and get ready for Windows Phone 7.

The Zune PC software provides a best-in-class experience to manage, discover and enjoy digital media with a variety of exclusive features including new enhancements such as:

• First Connect: provides a simple out-of-the box experience for Windows Phone 7 customers with automatic updates to Zune content upon initial connection

• HD Streaming Video: enables instant-on HD video streaming available on your Windows-based PC for many rented and purchased videos

• Photo Sync: allows a smoother process for transferring photos from a Windows Phone to your Windows-based PC

• Sync Media: lets users purchase music and videos through Windows Phone 7 and sync content with their Windows-based PC

• Parental Controls & Rating on Videos: gives parents more control of available content streamed or downloaded to a phone

Additionally, customers in the US, UK, France, Italy, Germany and Spain will also be able to use the Zune software to access the Zune Marketplace - a one stop shop for music, videos and more. Customers in the UK, France, Italy and Spain will also be able to subscribe to Zune Pass for £8.99/9.99 to get unlimited downloads and streaming access to the Zune music catalogue using the Zune PC software.

For more information around the international availability of Zune services, click here. For more information on the new Zune PC software, please visit www.zune.net"

More to come...

Monday, April 12, 2010

Zune 4.5 Features, Laid Out In Full

Posted by Adam Krebs in "Zune Software" @ 11:00 PM


"1.Smart DJ2.Native AVI and XVID support3.Marketplace on TV-Out...9.In artist view, you can now play all albums or songs, or add them to now playing.10.In the marketplace, you can see more than 3 of an artist's top songs.11.Playlists now have a transparent background in Quickplay...."

Now that the 4.5 firmware has been out for a few days, users have poked through the nooks and crannies to find all the new hotness on offer. If you needed another (or 20-something) reason to update, check out the thread.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Zune 4.5 Update is Now Out!

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Zune Hardware" @ 10:07 AM

I guess the Zune team was all like "Screw that couple of weeks thing we told people, let's release this NOW!". And so they did. I just docked my Zune HD and grabbed the above screen shot. Updating it now...

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

New Zune 4.5 Featured Demoed on Video

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Zune Hardware" @ 02:08 PM


"The Zune team gives you a sneak peek into some of the new Zune 4.5 updates coming soon. Matt Akers, host of the Zune Insider Podcast, talks with Nate Muller a PM from the Zune team about Smart DJ coming to the Zune HD device and also browsing Zune Marketplace on the TV through a Zune HD and a Zune HD dock. Nate gives us a demo of how Smart DJ will work on the Zune HD and also some of the new browsing features of Zune Marketplace through the TV from a Zune HD connected to a Zune HD docking station."

Wow, does the TV-out experience ever look fantastic! After the 4.5 update comes out I'll have to hook up my Zune HD to my TV set again...I've only done it once and found the experience a little disappointing.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Zune 4.5 Features Video Demo

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Zune Software" @ 05:05 PM


Michael Yaeger, Marketing Manager on the Zune team, sat down with Engadget and demoed the new features coming in the 4.5 update. Worth a watch!

Zune 4.5 Update Coming Out Soon

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Zune Software" @ 03:00 PM

[click here for a high-res version of the software screen-shot above.]

Zune 4.5 is coming soon, and it brings with it a few key updates that some people will enjoy. In terms of a timeline, the exact wording I've received from the Zune team is "the next few weeks". As the launch gets closer hopefully I'll notified of the exact date. So what does the 4.5 update bring to the table? Keep reading to find out. Read more...

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Zune Services Down for Maintenance on Monday

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Zune News" @ 09:57 PM


"The Zune service (Zune Pass, Zune Marketplace, Zune.net streaming and Zune video on Xbox LIVE) will be unavailable due to scheduled maintenance. The Zune service will be offline for up to 24 hours starting at 10:00 p.m. PST on Monday, January 25. As with previous service updates, we recommend you download any new music, video rentals or purchases and sync Zune Pass content prior to the downtime. Content that is stored on your PC or Xbox 360 HDD will remain available during the downtime."

Just like the post above says, the Zune.net services will be down for a while. This is a maintenance update; no new features are going to be rolling out with this release.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Zune Desktop Release Date Confirmed

Posted by David Tucker in "Zune News" @ 11:58 AM


“Unless Microsoft's playing a nasty trick on its loyal fanbase, the latest Zune newsletter confirms a feature-laden software update, very likely what we've been calling Zune 4.0, is due out on Tuesday, September 15th, the same day as Zune HD takes its place among its fading peers.”

I haven't actually gotten my newsletter yet so I'll have to take Engadget's word that that it has a real newsletter. In some of the least surprising news I've heard in a while, its essentially confirmed now that the next iteration of the Zune software will launch with the Zune HD on the 15th.

I'm definitely looking forward to many of the reported features, especially HD movie content. I keep dreaming of the day that I no longer buy my content on media and get it all digitally and I hope that this moves me one step closer!

Tags: software, update, 4.0

Monday, June 8, 2009

Zune.net Going Down Tonight For Upgrades

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Zune News" @ 05:28 PM

Tonight at 10pm pacific time, Zune.net will be going down for some updates - the site is expected to be down for a houew hours. When it's back online, the following new features will have been added:

  • Users will be able to follow an artist, getting news and updates about that artist
  • RSS feed aggregation will allow users to add links to an artist page
  • Performance improvements from distributed caching
  • Enhanced Social data is exposed on the home page - a listening now module and additional recommended content
  • Music video previews and concert dates will be available on Zune.net

That's a pretty decent list of upgrades to the Zune.net experience - though I do pretty much everything via the Zune software client, so I'm not sure how much I'll be using those features. Still, nice to see - hopefully there will be a Zune software client update that brings some of these features into the software.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

New Zunes Coming

Posted by David Tucker in "Zune News" @ 06:40 AM


There was some Zune news last night via Twitter from Brian Seitz on the Zune team that there will be "new zune hardware this year." This is great, if not entirely unexpected news. Since we really have very little to go on, I expect there will be a lot of speculation as to what form this hardware actually takes. And no reason not to start now!

Personally I think there is going to be a refresh of the flash players. Maybe a few more size options for the flash drive. I wouldn't mind seeing them increase the screen size a bit on the flash models since there is plenty of room for it. I don't think that the Zune 120 will get a lift. I guess they could expand the HDD again but I think overall that model just seems to be at a sweet spot.

I think the biggest addition though will definitely be a touchscreen based Zune. Microsoft needs something to compete against the iTouch. My one hope for all of these models is that the screens are all upped to wide screen and have their resolutions and color depth increased. If the Zune finds itself integrated

Friday, September 19, 2008

Engadget Asks: What Do You Want in 4.0?

Posted by Adam Krebs in "Zune Talk" @ 02:30 PM


"Now that the dust has settled on Microsoft's impressive, if not quite revolutionary, Zune 3.0 update, it's time for us all to do what we do best: start demanding a new version of desktop and player software -- and a hardware refresh, of course -- chock-full of features that we've been asking for since day one, and a few things we dreamed up along the way. Pick your top-priority from the poll below, or just go nuts in the comments -- the floor is yours."

For me, it's gotta be touchscreen and low-cost models, but for the brand as a whole, I think Zune really needs to get a Mac client out there, if for nothing else than to shut up the haters. In any event, head over to Engadget and sound off! Let 'em know what Zuners want.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Zune 3.0 Now Available!

Posted by Darius Wey in "Zune Software" @ 04:40 AM


Zune 3.0 has arrived! You should already know what's new and improved, but in case you don't, here's the lowdown. On the desktop side, there's Mixview, Just for You, Now Playing, rich search functionality, and enhanced social features. On the device side, you can now access the Zune Marketplace wirelessly, plus enjoy Buy from FM, Zune Channels, games (Texas Hold 'Em and Hexic), audiobooks, and a clock. To download the Zune 3.0 software, simply visit Zune.net, or if you already have the Zune software installed, run it and wait for the update prompt. Once you have the Zune 3.0 software up and running, connect your Zune to download and install the 3.0 firmware.

We'll be covering all that's new in 3.0 as well as some other significant announcements later today. Stay tuned!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

MixView and Genius: Two Different Approaches to the Same Problem

Posted by Adam Krebs in "Zune Content Creation & Management" @ 10:00 PM


"Microsoft showed us a sneak preview of the Zune 3.0 software it plans to release on Sept. 16 with the latest generation of Zune devices, and what we saw made iTunes' simple Genius feature look like a blast from digital music's past. While iTunes serves up a text list of recommended songs within your library and from the iTunes store, adding to the more basic recommendations its MiniStore feature used to make, Zune reinvented the recommendation concept by collapsing artists, albums and fans into the same recommendation engine, more accurately mirroring the way people think about music. The new feature, called MixView (pictured [below]), displays a single album, artist or user in the center of the screen and surrounds it with related items in a graphical format. ... You can start on an artist and instantly discover which bands influenced that artist and vice versa, by mousing over those surrounding elements in MixView. Double-clicking through to any song plays a 30-second sample, offers a chance to buy the track or, if you're a Zune Pass subscriber, plays the track in its entirety."

I feel that both approaches have their advantages. MixView, since it correlates the music you actually play with other peoples' recent listens, will provide a more current selection of music, showing what's hot now. Also, it's less likely to correlate a song you've never played--for example, I have a large number of songs in my library I've never heard, most of which are utter crap and are therefore songs I don't want to hear more of. With Genius, your entire library is scanned and sent to Apple, matching the nodes against other people with similar libraries to you. This approach is better for songs you haven't heard in a while or downloaded in batch. My roommate, for example, que'd up "This Town" by O.A.R. and Genius returned "Camilo" by State Radio, a band who opened for Dave Matthews Band this summer (Dave Matthews Band and O.A.R. are very similar stylistically).

The problem with the Genius approach is that it can produce some odd results--even during the unveiling keynote on Thursday, when asked to show matching artists to Green Day, Genius returned Jimi Hendrix and John Mayer. We'll have to wait until the Zune 3.0 software is released to make a valid comparison, but I can only hope the algorithms evolve as both technologies mature.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Spring Update Around The Net Wrap Up

Posted by David Tucker in "Zune News" @ 09:11 PM

“With those fixes, the Zune software is no longer a show-stopper, and I can recommend the Zune as a credible alternative to the iPod.” - Matt Rosoff, “Digital Noise” @ cnet blogs

“It's a worthwhile bunch of upgrades, if you're into the Zune scene.” - Anders Bylund, Ars Technica

“Unfortunately, news on the video store front isn't so compelling: Microsoft is only adding TV shows at this point, no movies, and there's no way to pull video you've bought on your 360 over to your Zune.” – Paul Miller, Engadget

“There's also improvement in the player itself, like the return of auto playlists and the introduction of gapless playback. Wee!” – Gizmodo

“You’ve heard them say “Welcome to the Social” — well, this is what they’re talking about.” - Devin Coldewey, CrunchGear

Well, if the Zune Spring Update 2.5 was a summer blockbuster, the review teasers would probably look something like that. The final verdict will take several more days of playing with the new software but I know that THIS Zune owner is quite pleased with what this update has given us. The social stuff alone is just fun. The video section is still lacking the one thing I really want to see, which is some sort of subscription option, but I realize that’s hoping for a lot right now.

Overall the reception is pretty positive. Plenty of people still don’t think that it’ll make a difference in the fight to dominate the iPod (which misses the point) but the general consensus does seem to be this is a big step in the right direction.

Tags: update

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Unsubscribe From Podcasts, Right On Your Zune!

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


I guess bufixes weren't all yesterday's firmware update included; reader Nick points out and Zune Boards confirms that a certain oft-requested feature has finally been added—you can now unsubscribe from podcasts right from your device. This is great for discovering podcasts and getting rid of the ones you don't like. Users with the 2.3 firmware update can check it out by playing a podcast and bringing up the menu by pressing the center button on the Zune30 or pressing down on the Zune Pad on the 4, 8, or 80. To unsubscribe, simply select "unsubscribe." Nice, right?

EDIT (12/20/07): A ZuneBoards commenter noticed that using "play all" while looking at an artist no longer sorts the list alphabetically by song title. Now, songs are played in alphabetical order by album title, then track number. Neat.

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