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All posts tagged "zunehd"

Saturday, January 15, 2011

WP7 Connector Hack Opens Up Mac Syncing To Zune HD

Posted by Adam Krebs in "Zune Content Creation & Management" @ 12:30 PM


Zune HD finally comes to the Mac! Well, sort of...

ZuneBoards' nate8nate sniffed out a hidden setting in the Mac version of Windows Phone Connector that allows the ZuneHD to sync just like a Windows Phone device. Surprisingly, the hack is pretty simple (setting the boolean value ZuneEnabled to true), which also likely means there's a reason this was turned off. At the moment it's ZuneHD-only and wireless syncing isn't quite there, but very cool nonetheless. nate8nate says that the latest version has much more Zune-related stuff than the first release, suggesting that Microsoft is inching towards full Zune/Mac compatibility. The real question is whether this changes the game or is just a nice-to-have in the larger Zune strategy.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

ABI Review Ringke Zune HD Case by Rearth

Posted by David Tucker in "Zune News" @ 02:57 PM


"I am not much of a case kind of guy and prefer to let my gadgets wear like a favorite pair of sneekers or baseball cap. But to each is his own. If I were going the route of a case I do appreciate a simple silicone case to wrap up a player in a light coat of silicone. Even though silicone cases are basically the same, there are some slight differences in material grade and fit. Testing out the Ringke Zune HD case by Rearth, I have found my favorite."

I personally don't see the need to put my devices in cases very often. The Zune HD especially is a very attractive device and its so small that it seems almost criminal to put something over it! That said, there are plenty of people who want or need a case. Grahm over at abi shares my feelings on cases but even with that, he really did like this case. That's as good a recommendation as any! If you're looking for a new case for your Zune HD, you might want to check out his review.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

CNet Hands-On With Zune HD Browser

Posted by Adam Krebs in "Zune Talk" @ 10:30 AM


"Last Tuesday, I shared my positive impressions of the mobile Web browser Microsoft is including in its upcoming Zune HD portable media player. What I didn't share (not because I didn't want to) were the photos I took of the Zune HD browser in action. The following photo gallery includes four shots of the Zune HD browser doing its thing. The first shot shows the browser in portrait mode, the second shot shows how bookmarking is handled, the third shot shows Facebook in landscape view, and the final shot demonstrates the keyboard in landscape mode."

CNet's Donald Bell got some hands-on time with the device last week and was impressed by the quality of the music and (surprisingly) browser experiences. Microsoft's NDA prevented him from sharing pictures of some of the more interesting parts of the device, but apparently one of those restrictions has lifted. There are some cool shots of the browser doing its thing, but nothing particularly mind-blowing (they're pictures, after all...).

One cool thing is the emphasis on usability while typing on the on-screen keyboard. The selected key appears to be able to "grow" around your finger (see above), like a cross between the iPhone's keyboard loupe and Palm's WebOS wave application launcher. Bonus shot here. And of course, the default search engine is Bing. I really want to see how fast it runs and how the awesome power of Tegra helps out with some of the more processor-intensive operations. The Zune Press train keeps on rollin'!

Tags: ie, browser, zunehd

Zune HD Pricing Leaked (and Amazon Confirmed)

Posted by Adam Krebs in "Zune News" @ 08:30 AM


"Yesterday, a Best-Buy-based-tipster revealed that Zune HD pricing would be $220 (16GB) and $290 (32GB). Now, Amazon's pre-order page is confirming the price. For Best Buy and Amazon to get pricing wrong seems highly unlikely."

Well, now we know. $210 for 16 GB and $290 for 32 seem like a great deal when compared to this generation's iPod Touch line, but keep in mind that the Touch is likely to get upgraded around the time the HD launches. One big concern I've been hearing is the lack of a 64 GB option at launch, though there are rumblings about a mid-year (read: April/May/June) refresh that will bump up capacities. Let us know: is this a deal-breaker for you?

Also confirmed is the September 8 launch date, but we don't know anything about options for Zune Originals or other promotional editions. I'm debating whether to pick mine up on day 1 (as I did with my 80), or wait until the Originals series comes out (as I wish I did with my 80).

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

20+ ZuneHD Shots Leak Out

Posted by Adam Krebs in "Zune Hardware" @ 11:44 AM


"We've seen our fair share of Microsoft's upcoming Zune HD, but the company just threw together a delightful little photoshoot for its new PMP, with the black and silver versions of the device on display along with a large quantity of attractiveness in both flavors. Most of the shots are variation on a pretty basic theme (and a little small, since these haven't made their way through quite "official" channels just yet), but they do give a good idea of what the UI will look like if you're into the Black Eyed Peas."

Some press shots of the upcoming ZuneHD have leaked out showing the device in its various media modes. Displayed are the home screen, radio tuner, and Now Playing screen and something called "Pins" and "History." I'm sure we'll be seeing a whole lot more of the player as its September 8 release date approaches.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Shot of Zune HD Marketplace Surfaces, Intrigues

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


I know it's a little late by Twitter standards, but this is a Zune site so why not?

Engadget's Ross Miller doesn't think this picture is interesting by itself. I would both agree and disagree; the picture itself isn't too interesting, but taken in context it reveals a few key tidbits. For starters, it looks like they're retaining the Twist UI paradigm, which was introduced all the way back in Zune 1.0. It looks like the artist views are going to start imitating the "enhanced now playing" in the Zune software a little more, with band pictures and info popping up when you scroll through music (see a better shot here.) Also, it appears that the Marketplace and Collection will begin to look a little more closely related, with dynamically-generated previews of the tracklist shown below the album title and release year (see above.) September 8 can't come soon enough.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

New Zune HD Pics, Video, and Release Info Surfaces

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


Gizmodo got a tip about the release date of the new Zune HD, including this cool product shot below:

They're saying the device will launch on September 8 and come in 16 and 32 GB varieties, which jibes well with what we've heard so far.

Meanwhile, Engadget's got a video hands-on with the device and photo gallery including shots of the dock. There's no music loaded so we can't see all the cool improvements in that department (check out this older video to see some of them), but if you needed another look at the power of Tegra, it's still as awesome as ever. Also, the last frame in the video shows that Internet is indeed a top-level menu item, not hidden in "more" as previously thought. Personally, I'm interested in the promo pictures behind the album art while playing music (see the picture, above). I think it would be really cool if it had a smaller version of the Now Playing visualizations that the software has featured since v3; it really does feel more engaging with the music you're listening to.

Tags: , zunehd

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Zune HD Tegra Rumor Confirmed(! UPDATED)

Posted by Adam Krebs in "Zune Talk" @ 08:30 PM


"There is a lot of news circulating today about some rumors of the new Zune HD using the NVIDIA Tegra processor. Several websites have been following the rumor, that started at donanimhaber.com, but apparently no one can confirm whether or not Microsoft's latest portable media player does indeed use NVIDIA's system-on-a-chip design. Well PC Perspective can: the Zune HD does in fact use NVIDIA's Tegra processor. I actually learned this fact from some NVIDIA staffers over at Computex in early June but I guess I just didn't realize how "news worthy" the information was. No longer do you have to worry about "rumors" on the subject - Tegra has its first major design win."

After what seems like ages of speculation, we now have what appears to be a somewhat convincing report from PC Perspective that the new Zune HD will be powered by NVIDIA's awesome Tegra processor. Putting the pieces together, it really does make sense. The Tegra chip is supposed to serve as the base chasis in upcoming Windows Mobile 7 hardware and the demos of what is possible with Tegra are astounding. I don't know of another chip on the market which can support amazng transitions and HD video out all while keeping the power consumption to a minimum. Fudzilla notes:

"Nvidia's Tegra is a great platform and it needs only 150mW to decode a video stream and only 20mW to play audio which makes it a perfect candidate for such players like Zune HD. Nvidia already showed some netbook and tablet products based on Tegra at Computex. These were probably all based on Tegra 650, the high end Tegra part as Nvidia likes to call it, while Zune HD will probably based on the mid-range Tegra 600."

Now bear in mind this is all speculation until we get confirmation that doesn't come in the form of "some guy heard it from some anonymous guy at a press event." But until then I'll continue to ooh and ahh at the demos and dream about the prospects of mobile gaming on this thing. I can't wait to see how it'll turn out.

UPDATE: Matt Aikers, via the ZuneInsider Podcast has confirmed that the chip is in fact a Tegra. Guess we don't need those scare quotes anymore! (Thanks Alber1690).

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Penny Arcade Comic Lampoons ZuneHD Rumors

Posted by Adam Krebs in "Zune News" @ 09:44 PM


"I'm the kind of Zune fan that doesn't sound much like a Zune fan, the molotov toting aggressor motivated by deep conviction that things can be better than they are. For the most part reviled, either for having the hubris to challenge Apple dominion or for trying to shoehorn their way into yet another market, Microsoft's device acquits itself well when taken on its own terms."

Penny Arcade, my favorite gaming webcomic, seems to be just as eager for tomorrow's Microsoft E3 press conference as I am, not least due to the Zune HD / Xbox 360 integration rumors. Their latest comic pokes fun at all the unsubstantiated rumors, and does it beautifully. Check it out, and check this space post-press conference tomorrow.

Tags: zunehd, e3

Saturday, May 30, 2009

A Few More Details About International Release

Posted by Adam Krebs in "Zune Hardware" @ 05:30 PM


"Up until now, the portable media player and its online iTunes Store equivalent, Zune Marketplace, have only been available in the US. From early Autumn, however, a revised service, Zune Video, will be available on Xbox Live in the US, UK, France, Italy, Germany, Ireland and Spain (with more countries coming aboard later). Xbox 360 owners in these territories will be able to go online and access video content and play it via their console. A variety of access options will be available, including instant streaming, download to rent and download to own. However, no Zune portable music players will be launched outside of the US - at least not yet. This is about the online service only."

It's still fairly difficult to determine what Microsoft's strategy around an international release will be. So far they've been tight-lipped about their specific plans with regards to launching the Zune services outside of North America or Western Europe, and even the Zune HD doesn't look like it'll make it outside of the US. This seems like a poor strategy, and one I really hope they fix before the HD launches in the fall.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Zune HD Coming In September?

Posted by Adam Krebs in "Zune News" @ 12:10 PM


Paul Thurrott, a guy who should know, says the Zune HD is coming to us this September. NeoWin backs this up, saying Amazon will ship the device in September. Remember that this is all vapor until the device is in your hands, so take everything here with a healthy helping of salt. Check out our other coverage of Zune HD (including rumors of an international launch and Tegra graphics) to see what all this Zune HD hooplah is all about.

Tags: rumors, zunehd

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

New Fan-Made (Fake) Device Renders: Eww

Posted by Adam Krebs in "Zune Talk" @ 04:30 PM


No offense to whomever Photoshopped this, but it looks like the unfortunate offspring of the large screen of a LG KF700 and the oversized chin of an HTC G1. The image purports to be the next generation flash or harddrive-based Zune model, but I'd argue against it being a flash device based on the awkward positioning of the controls at the bottom, which make it seem like a more difficult-to-operate version of the 4G iPod Nano (a device with usability problems of its own). That just leaves the higher capacity harddrive based model. As Crunchgear's Devin Coldewey points out, it appears the screen is just a stretched copy of the Zune80 press image, the picture itself doesn't really vibe well with the rest of Zune marketing. Even though this clearly isn't an actual render from the Zune team, it does raise an interesting point; what will the third generation harddisk and flash-based Zunes look like? Is the high-end touch screen device the future of the line? Sure would be nice to hear from Microsoft on this.

Tags: new zune, zunehd

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Rumor Roundup: Zune HD to Get Pixie Dust, Fairy Wings?

Posted by Adam Krebs in "Zune Hardware" @ 05:00 PM

With the influx of rumors about Microsoft's (unconfirmed) upcoming Zune HD, we're starting to see news that the device will support everthing from wireless streaming of Netflix content to telepathic track switching (not really, but that would be cool). Here are some of the choicer rumors followed by my take.

Zune HD...

  • ...will feature a 3.6" screen. Seems pretty reasonable. The current-generation Zune80s have a 3.2" screen which has been fine. The larger form factor will make it more enjoyable to watch movies, especially with a 1.85:1 aspect ratio. My main concern is the effect a higher pixel density and resolution will have on battery life.
  • ...will be powered by Tegra. Check out the video in that article and tell me that it wouldn't be a great way to browse your music and videos. Again, battery life will be an issue, but it might be worth it. Also lending creedence to this rumor is that Microsoft is an official Tegra partner, which is planning on launching mid-2009. Zune is the only portable device I know of that Microsoft makes. Tegra on Zune HD will also make way for more powerful XNA and Xbox game support, maybe this will finally be the Xbox portable?
  • ...is getting HD Radio. Not so sure about this. I don't know enough about HD Radio, but I haven't seen anything smaller than a car-sized unit, let alone implemented on a portable media player. The Sirius and XM players I've seen have been bulky and cumbersome, and I doubt enough people care about HD Radio for Microsoft to waste space with another chip.
  • ...will have flash storage, between 16 and 32 GB. It doesn't make sense to include such a small amount of storage for high definition content. If Microsoft wants to make an impact, they're going to have to release a 64 GB version. Neowin is predicting 4, 8, 16, 32, and 120 GB versions (maybe the HD in Zune HD stands for hard drive?) I'm predicting 32 and 64 GB models.
  • ...will have mini-HDMI out. Again, this would make sense, and could make video out finally useful.

A browser, multi-touch, and an international release should all be a given this time around. Hopefully the other stuff will pan out too. We'll probably learn a lot more as the predicted fall release approaches.

Tags: hardware, zunehd

Friday, April 10, 2009

Zune Marketing Leaked: Zune HD On The Way?

Posted by Adam Krebs in "Zune News" @ 04:11 PM


Whoah. Engadget's got the scoop on what appears to be marketing for a new Zune player, called the Zune HD. Which, judging by its name, will feature an HD screen and what looks to be touch controls. We have no specs, or proof that it's even real, but I'm sure we'll find out soon enough. Even if it turns out to be a hoax, I still want it.

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