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New Zunes

New Zunes

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Zune120

Tuesday is commonly the day the world changes. One of the most common changes is that new music and videos are released to stores on Tuesday. Historically, IBM released new products on Tuesday. There even use to be quote, "the world never changes on a Monday." For Microsoft, the MP3 player world changed today (a Tuesday). We released two new Zune MP3 players: a 120GB HD Zune and a 16GB memory-based Zune.

Why are these two Zunes different than our previously released versions? Here are some key highlights:

  • Zune8Blue FM Song Tagging - Have you ever been listening the radio, come across a song you like, and want to buy it? You scramble for something to write with, try to capture the song name and artist, and then go to Amazon or where ever you go to buy your MP3s, and buy it? FM Song Tagging allows you tag a song that's playing for later purchase when you sync your device with your PC.
  • Games - One thing missing from our digital music player was the lack of games. Games have been added to this version and you'll be able to create and add your own games using XNA. No familiar with XNA? It's a game development toolkit and is supported on Xbox, Windows, and now Zune.
  • Device in the Cloud - If you have access to wireless hotspots, you'll be able to update your collection, browse the Zune Marketplace, exchange favorites with friends, or buy your FM tagged songs.
  • Audio Books - All Zune devices will support the audio book formats produced by Audible.Com and OverDrive.

You can expect a software update from Zune.net to enable these features later this month. All the other features like Wireless Sync, Wireless Sync, play video and TV Shows, etc. are still enabled.

I'm not a subscriber to Audible, but I know a number of people who are and they'll be happy with this feature.

Personally, I like the FM Song Tagging. I know, in the age of MP3s and satellite radio, FM radio listening is so last year, but when I'm not listening to NPR/SCPR, I like listening to KROQ and myFM. Being able to tag a song is a lot less frustrating than trying to write down the name of the song or typing it on Mobile OneNote on my phone.

Hopefully these new updates also brings a better software experience. We'll have to wait and see.

Excelsior!

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  • You can't change the world by ignoring its existence.

    Since Zunes are not available outside North America, they are irrelevant to the world.

    This is particularly bad since it's now possible to develop for Zune using XNA Game Studio (a very good feature IMO) - since this requires an actual Zune, non-North American developers are effectively discriminated against.

    Not a high point for Microsoft.

    I'm sorry to sound negative, but this really is something that should be taken seriously.

  • Wow...I was not aware Zunes were not available outside North America. Even if you buy a Zune and set your OS to en-us to get support and access to Zune pass internationally, Zune still doesn’t support Unicode. Yikes!

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