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Microsoft Zune

Friday, November 17th, 2006 by | Filed Under: Multimedia
 
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Q:
I heard something about Microsoft releasing a new media player called Zune yesterday. Is this true and if so, what’s the deal with it?

A:
It certainly is true. You’ve probably been reading about it online and hearing it all over the radio. Microsoft has released a new media player that may just be the next big thing. It is called Zune and its official release was just yesterday (November 14, 2006). Microsoft’s tactic is to make Zune look like the next generation media player. It is even bigger (and maybe better) than an iPod and it definitely surpasses an MP3 player. Let’s see how this is so, shall we?

Well, first of all, the biggest feature is that the Zune player can hold up to 30 GB of material, which competes very nicely with what the iPod can hold. The next big deal is the player’s 3-inch and bright LCD screen with both horizontal and vertical views. You can also do wireless sharing (with a range of up to 30 feet) with all your other Zune using friends and while you’re at it, listen to the radio with its built in FM radio. The Zune player comes in three colors as well, which are black, brown and white. Now, that is pretty cool.

The player itself looks much like an iPod, with a few differences. It only weighs 5.6 ounces, so it’s perfect to take with you anywhere you go. It can hold music, videos and photos and offers a long lasting battery life. This new player already even has accessories to go along with it, such as cases, remotes and headphones. You can also format the player to work in your car if that happens to be where you listen to your music the most.

The Zune player also (obviously) comes with its own software. Add it to your computer and you can manage anything. View your songs, videos and pictures with the software. Rip and burn CDs, create your very own music playlists and edit all of the track and album information from your CDs. Also, if you ever decide to switch over to Zune from your iPod, the Zune software can import your existing files over to their new home. It can do this with any music you have saved on Windows Media Player as well. Zune is also compatible with the Xbox 360, so you can listen to your music while you play games too!

Here are the system requirements for Zune: Windows XP Home or Pro with the Service Pack 2, Windows XP Tablet PC SP2 or Windows XP Media Center 2005 with the Rollup Update 2 and the recent October 2006 Rollup Update. You must also have a 1.5 GHz processor, a broadband Internet connection and at least 64 MB of RAM for any videos.

Now, before you get too excited, I have to tell you that the Zune player is not released everywhere quite yet. Microsoft actually has a six U.S. city tour set up for the next year where they will introduce the new player. They are going to be auctioning off the Zune players in these cities and you can either bid online or you can visit the auctions yourself. Their first stop is La Brea in Los Angeles, California. Those auctions are actually underway as I write this.

So, basically, if you’re really interested in this new player or if you just want to learn more about it, you can visit Zune’s main Web site here. The site also has a Support page where you can look at FAQ and just receive additional information. Check that page out right here. Now, all I can really say is, “What will they come up with next”?!

~ Erin

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