Blog Post

Microsoft Zune: Not Just A Portable Device, A New Community-Based Platform

As we mentioned last night, Microsoft is lifting the veil today on its much-anticipated Zune. The initial emphasis is on music but the device is optimized for video as well. No pricing yet. Some quick details:
— Due for the holiday season, Zune consists of a 30G digital media player, the Zune Marketplace music service and the “foundation” for an online music-sharing community.
— The player includes wireless, an FM tuner and a “bright” 3-inch screen. (For those keeping track, that compares to 2.5 inches for the video iPod.)
— Zune comes in three colors: black, brown and white.
— Users will be able to customize with themes or personal pix.
— Zune software can import audio files in unprotected WMA, MP3, AAC; photos in JPEG; and videos in WMV, MPEG-4, H.264.
— The players will be pre-loaded with content — music and videos — from DTS, EMI Music’s Astralwerks Records and Virgin Records, Ninja Tune, Playlouderecordings, Quango Music Group, Sub Pop Records, and V2/Artemis Records.
— The biggest surprise may be the focus on wireless community — years ago people got a kick out of beaming Palm cards, now Microsoft hope Zune owners will wirelessly share music, playlists and pictures. It’s not music-sharing nirvana: song sharing is limited to homemade recordings and full-length “sample tracks of select songs.” Users can listen to any song that’s received up to three times over three days — gack, more exploding media — then can flag a desired song on the device and buy it from the Zune Marketplace.
We’ll have more, including an interview with a senior Microsoft exec, so stay tuned.
–The release is up as is a virtual press kit for detail gluttons.

13 Responses to “Microsoft Zune: Not Just A Portable Device, A New Community-Based Platform”