Microsoft Releases Zune Details

MacRumors

macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
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Okay, so it isn't an Apple story, but many Apple users have been wondering what Microsoft has been up to with their upcomming "Zune" digital music player.

Today, Microsoft released some official details about the device. One of the main highlighted features will be a song-sharing feature that will enable users to share songs to other close-by users wirelessly. The recipient can then play the song three times over three days before deciding whether to buy it.

Analyst Ted Schadler with Forrester Research said he thinks Microsoft has assembled a strong product with many features Apple's iPod has, and some -- such as the wireless feature -- that it doesn't. Still, he questioned whether music-sharing would be enough of a draw to get people to switch allegiances.
Engadget has a pretty good roundup, including more detailed specs, and more pics, etc.

 

e²Studios

macrumors 68020
Apr 12, 2005
2,104
5
With that scroll wheel i smell a lawsuit coming soon :)

Edit: It kinda looks like what people thought the new video iPod would look like.. minus the touchscreen.

Ed
 

Chundles

macrumors G4
Jul 4, 2005
11,966
375
Ed H said:
With that scroll wheel i smell a lawsuit coming soon :)

Edit: It kinda looks like what people thought the new video iPod would look like.. minus the touchscreen.

Ed
It's not a scrollwheel. It's just buttons with a circular overlay, similar to the iPod shuffle's controls.
 

hob

macrumors 68010
Oct 4, 2003
2,004
0
London, UK
didn't like it. looked at it some more. like it a bit. the UI looks quite polished.

Apple shareholders should be worried about "iPod stagnation" - as in, the neophile/youth market will always be searching for something new. iPods are becoming a household name, clichéd... the BBC News said "neophiles will stop being interested when they realise their dads all have one"...! I tend to agree!
 

treblah

macrumors 65816
Oct 28, 2003
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It is really just a redesigned one of these with wifi.

I was hoping for something nicer to kick Apple into gear but the new iPods 640x480 already beats it (320x180). Poor MS. :D
 

HecubusPro

macrumors 6502a
Aug 22, 2006
638
2
Los Angeles
I just wonder what the battery life is on that thing? With wi-fi capabilities it seems like the battery wouldn't last long, though I'm guessing you can switch that aspect of it off.

I suppose it doesn't look too bad, but the iPod is still sleeker, and simpler in approach and style, which is why I think it's done so well

Still, I'd like to hold one in my hand and give it a try, just to see what it's like.
 

cadillaccactus

macrumors member
Jan 14, 2006
39
0
i think they should follow the shuffle and make portability built in. it should come with some backpack-style straps so you can lug it around.
 

dpaanlka

macrumors 601
Nov 16, 2004
4,868
6
Illinois
Sigh... another iPod-layout, round navigation rip off device.

The sad thing is, it will probably do very well.
 

nagromme

macrumors G5
May 2, 2002
12,546
1,186
Sky Blue said:
Brown????!?!!?

I see that MS has (badly) cloned Apple's signature clear-shell-over-solid look though.

And I'm glad they made them so thick :rolleyes: Not like thos annoying thin iPods that just slip into a pocket.


treblah said:
I was hoping for something nicer to kick Apple into gear but the new iPods 640x480 already beats it (320x180). Poor MS. :D
The new iPods are still 320x240--although they MAY be able to run videos to TV at 640x480 (I'm wondering about that).

iTunes video downloads are now 640x480 (or 640x360 widescreen) and that's nice for viewing on your computer (or to TV) but the iPod itself only shows 320x240. Which is just fine at that size.
 

p0intblank

macrumors 68030
Sep 20, 2005
2,548
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New Jersey
I actually like the design, but most of it was obviously stolen from the iPod. The screen is quite large, so I have to say that's nice. Being able to share your music wirelessly is also a nice touch. I don't know how many people would actually use this, but it may work.

Underneath it all, though, it's still a Microsoft product. Also almost everyone already uses an iPod along with iTunes, so I can't see this taking off very far. I rarely say this, but Microsoft may have a good product here. That doesn't mean it will succeed, however.
 

p0intblank

macrumors 68030
Sep 20, 2005
2,548
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New Jersey
I just watched the UI video and again I have to say, it looks nice. It was a little busy for my tastes (with the background mainly), but it definitely has potential. Oh and I really like the fact that is can be held horizontally for widescreen video.

Now where's the iPod video? I would love to have one. :(
 

suneohair

macrumors 68020
Aug 27, 2006
2,137
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p0intblank said:
I just watched the UI video and again I have to say, it looks nice. It was a little busy for my tastes (with the background mainly), but it definitely has potential. Oh and I really like the fact that is can be held horizontally for widescreen video.

Now where's the iPod video? I would love to have one. :(
The Zune isnt widescreen.
 

bankshot

macrumors 65816
Jan 23, 2003
1,259
74
Southern California
Hmm, wireless...

I used to complain that Apple was wasting resources on complex new features (photos, video, etc) when the music playback of the iPod was still seriously flawed. But now that I finally have gapless (yay! time to retire my sig), this no longer matters to me. At last, music playback is fully working, so they have my permission to go wild adding new features that I won't care about. Just don't screw with the music and I'm happy. ;)

  • New games? Don't care.
  • Better video? Don't care.
  • Wireless? Too slow for sync.
  • Built-in iSight? Wouldn't surprise me, but I have a real camera for that, so no thanks.
  • iPod/phone? I don't even own a cell phone... :p I'm sure it'll be great trying to make a call when you ran down your battery listening to music. Doh! :eek: Better to keep those functions separate.
  • More capacity? I won't care until there's either a flash iPod that can hold my entire collection (currently about 35 GB at 160kpbs) or a hard drive iPod that can do it with lossless (probably about 300 GB). That's a ways off.

However, the Zune's song sharing struck me as an interesting use of wireless. Of course it's DRM encumbered, but what do you expect with the recording industry? I do think it's wrong to copy a song from a friend without ultimately paying for it, but this seems somewhat reasonable, giving you some time to preview the song and decide if you want to buy it. Only 3 listens sounds a bit low -- I'd rather have it be 3 days/unlimited, or maybe 1 month/10 listens. Sometimes it takes awhile to get into a song and decide if you really like it.

This kind of reminds me of an article I read a while back, talking about a trend in big cities where people would go up to random strangers with iPods and swap headphone jacks for a few minutes. Each person would get a snapshot of the other's musical world. Cool idea. Now imagine doing this wirelessly. Really cool.

I used to put wireless in the "why the heck would I want that?" category, but it's starting to sound more appealing to me. Still too slow for major sync operations, and battery life has got to be a major concern too. But in addition to the song sharing, there's also streaming to an Airport Express. Just walk in the room and have the music on your stereo. Might be nice. Probably not enough to make me want to upgrade (why should I when I finally have my gapless? :D), but not as useless as video or games. :rolleyes:
 

Digitalclips

macrumors 65816
Mar 16, 2006
1,464
27
Sarasota, Florida
hob said:
didn't like it. looked at it some more. like it a bit. the UI looks quite polished.

Apple shareholders should be worried about "iPod stagnation" - as in, the neophile/youth market will always be searching for something new. iPods are becoming a household name, clichéd... the BBC News said "neophiles will stop being interested when they realise their dads all have one"...! I tend to agree!

History might not agree. Walkman ruled for 15 to 20 years and through several generations. I think iPod will too.
 

Sam*

macrumors regular
Feb 14, 2006
206
0
UK
In the pic at the top on white, it looks nicer than an ipod

Just wondering the weight of this thing