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Leaked Image of Zune HD  (Source: WMPoweruser)
Zune HD reported to get HD Radio tuner, multi-touch

There is no doubt that the dominate player in the market is the Apple iPod family. With the massive success of the iPod, many other major electronics makers followed with their own music players, including Microsoft with its Zune.

The Zune proved to be not nearly as successful in the market as the iPod, but Microsoft is hanging on and introducing new models to try to woo shoppers to its brand. What are rumored to be images of a new Zune called the Zune HD began circulating last week.

Neowin reports that it can confirm that the pictures circulated last week were from an internal Microsoft promotional video. The device is reportedly referred to internally as the "Zune v4 powered by HD" .

The screen is made from glass and the back of the device is aluminum. Features of the Zune HD include multi-touch screen and wireless connectivity. The device is reported to be shipping later this year in 16GB and 32GB capacities.

The player lacks any front controls with all navigation being done by the touchscreen and HDMI out is integrated to allow HD content to be watched on TVs. Presumably the Zune Marketplace will be updated with HD content to go along with the new player. The FM tuner inside the Zune HD is claimed to get an HD radio update as well. A new line of accessories will follow the introduction of the new model along with possibly dock accessories and limited edition colors.

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**Shakes Head**
By Brandon Hill (blog) on 4/15/2009 12:20:56 PM , Rating: 5
The device is reported to be shipping later this year in 16GB and 32GB capacities

I hope this is not the case. The iPod touch is already available in 16GB and 32GB capacities and has been for the past 1.5 years. The third-generation iPod touch will no doubt have a 64GB model at least.

Microsoft needs to just do an all-out jihad on Apple. Parity or less isn't gonna cut it.

RE: **Shakes Head**
By peritusONE on 4/15/2009 12:24:16 PM , Rating: 4
I kinda doubt the 16/32 numbers will stick. With the rumored HDMI out, it doesn't make much sense in making a device HD-capable and only giving you 16-32 gigs to hold stuff.

RE: **Shakes Head**
By RamarC on 4/15/2009 12:33:15 PM , Rating: 3
i'm hoping for a 64gb base unit.

but what is the "HD"? this thing can't have the horsepower to decode/output true 720p or higher. scaling video content intended for ipod/mobile will look awful at HD resolutions.

RE: **Shakes Head**
By nwrigley on 4/15/2009 12:46:25 PM , Rating: 2
I had the same thought - how can a device that size output HD video?

RE: **Shakes Head**
By Spivonious on 4/15/2009 12:48:47 PM , Rating: 3
Because marketing people love sticking HD on things. And it has an HD radio, so the consumer can't complain for false advertising.

Even so, I doubt you can cram the 920,000 pixels into a 3-4" screen, and no one would care anyway.

RE: **Shakes Head**
By 91TTZ on 4/15/09, Rating: 0
RE: **Shakes Head**
By GaryJohnson on 4/16/2009 1:17:15 AM , Rating: 2
920000 dots, not 920000 pixels. 307,200 pixels * 3 dots per pixel.

RE: **Shakes Head**
By mmntech on 4/16/2009 11:38:25 AM , Rating: 2
On a screen that small, I doubt anybody will be able to tell the difference between it and a regular VGA screen. It would probably boost the price significantly too. I'm thinking HD is just HD output as the others said. Most other PMPs can output to full SD now so HD was the next logical step. Still, with just 16 or 32gb of storage, there's not a lot of space for that kind of content.

I still think MS is way over their heads with the Zune. The Register was reporting that the Zune units have been absorbed under Windows Mobile and this might be the last stand alone unit. It's sold pretty poorly. Just 3 million units. It's still not available in the vital Asian and European markets, with no plans to expand sales to these regions. MS came too late to the party and made a bad first impression to boot over the PlaysForSure fiasco.

RE: **Shakes Head**
By acase on 4/15/2009 2:11:03 PM , Rating: 2
I assumed it was just so you could download it and use their device as the player, or like a bluray disc, and not actually watch it on the device itself. Not sure how practical that is but that's all I can figure would work.

RE: **Shakes Head**
By clovell on 4/15/2009 3:02:48 PM , Rating: 3
I wouldn't expect it on a screen that size, but, I don't see why it wouldn't be able to output a 720p signal over HDMI to a TV. RS780M or the like could handle 720p quite easily - so it's certainly not impossible.

Also, the article speculates that HD content would have to be offered on the Zune Marketplace to be a worthwhile feature - I doubt Microsoft is expecting consumers to pay money to see 240 x 320 on their HDTVs.

If the Zune HD could handle a compressed 720p HD format and scale it down to 240 x 320 for regular playback and keep it at 720p for playback over HDMI, this could be a useful feature.

Hell - maybe they could offer a video Zune Pass. Now THAT would put Apple on its heels.

RE: **Shakes Head**
By FITCamaro on 4/15/2009 3:26:59 PM , Rating: 3
Don't be so sure. What was the name of that small Nvidia chip they developed that can decode HD? I'm not talking about Ion either.

It can probably handle 720p content.

RE: **Shakes Head**
By Ricardo Dawkins on 4/16/2009 12:31:01 AM , Rating: 3
RE: **Shakes Head**
By Bender 123 on 4/15/2009 3:07:43 PM , Rating: 3
I agree...Give me space!!!!

As an aside, I really like the Zune...It is really strange, but it is so "not" Microsoft, it pains me to see it failing. The software is relatively lean and the interface clean. The Players have great features and fantastic quality. If a Zune'd out version of the iPod Touch came out, with more storage, better pricing and a functional browsing experience, I would be in for one...I like my Touch, but $400 for a 32GB is too much, I can get a Netbook for $100 less and do a hell of a lot more at that price.

RE: **Shakes Head**
By TomCorelis on 4/18/2009 2:00:26 PM , Rating: 2
I liked them better when they had the 160gb hard drive :-(

Not one to complain about DT
By Mitch101 on 4/15/2009 12:29:11 PM , Rating: 2
In late December 2008, Microsoft had a glitch with its Zune that led to thousands of the players failing in unison around the country

I'm not one to complain about DT articles but it was a one day outage not something I would call a failing in unison. That implies the units never recovered.

RE: Not one to complain about DT
By DeuceHalo on 4/15/2009 12:35:11 PM , Rating: 5
You're implying that DT is actually about news and not sensationalist articles.

RE: Not one to complain about DT
By Mitch101 on 4/15/2009 1:02:17 PM , Rating: 2
News or Sensationalist articles I enjoy the site and its members feedback. Just have to weed through the bias at times but still you find some good information. So Im not here to question integrity of the articles after all I cant name a magazine today that doesn't cater to their advertisers.

RE: Not one to complain about DT
By clovell on 4/15/2009 3:06:37 PM , Rating: 3
Well, yeah. The idea that Microsoft is following Apple is also a bit out there - the features of the Zune Marketplace and the hardware itself are very different from those of the iPod.

Microsoft has a better product, with more features (Wi-Fi, Radio, Nice Games, Sharing Music, Nice Earbuds), in my opinion, it just got to the party late.

Actual Resolution?
By ltcommanderdata on 4/15/2009 12:30:36 PM , Rating: 1
Is there any word yet on the actual resolution of the Zune HD? Are they actually going to try to fit 720p into a ~3" screen? I'm guessing the Zune HD will get a full app store and an internet browser? That latter is the most important feature for me.

And is it just me or does the back of the Zune HD look almost exactly like the back of the original iPhone? It has the same boxy shape, black strip at the bottom, circle at the corner which on the iPhone is a camera but looks to be just aesthetic on the Zune, and a logo in the centre of the top half, Apple on the iPhone, and naturally Zune logo on the Zune.

RE: Actual Resolution?
By mjcutri on 4/15/2009 1:57:20 PM , Rating: 2
actually, there are two circles at the top that look like they are places for screw holes and the back is beveled on either side as well. As for the black strip at the bottom, that does look kinda similar, but it may be more a function of assembly rather than a direct attempt to mimic apple.

RE: Actual Resolution?
By clovell on 4/15/2009 3:08:22 PM , Rating: 2
Putting a browser on it would be logical; the Zune already supports Wi-Fi. Once you're there, you might as well offer an app store. I hope so - it'd be fun to play with writing apps.

Do DT editors even read news?
By DeuceHalo on 4/15/2009 12:32:15 PM , Rating: 2
Or do they just have bots crawl sites for old crap?

Not only was this reported elsewhere last week, but it was pretty much agreed that everything was bogus two days ago.

RE: Do DT editors even read news?
By aftlizard on 4/15/2009 12:42:41 PM , Rating: 2
Umm, it only reports that the original leaked(and likely the newest leaked screens) are bogus, it has been verified that Zune v4 will be a reality with new devices coming, per MS

By TejTrescent on 4/16/2009 5:05:04 PM , Rating: 3
Am I the ONLY person in the world who still wants physical buttons on devices?

Not to mention HDD-based storage--I've got a Zune30 that's about full, I'm wanting to upgrade, and 16/32 isn't an upgrade. <_< I guess I'll just get a Zune 120, if that's what v4 is going to be.

Looking good...
By peritusONE on 4/15/2009 12:22:51 PM , Rating: 2
The updated rumors on this device are looking good. I'm definitely going to keep an eye on this.

By aftlizard on 4/15/2009 12:35:43 PM , Rating: 2
really wants the Zune to succeed and to take on the iTunes,iPod behemoth they need to push for and allow other vendors to install the Zune software on their phones and mp3 players with no licensing as they surely will make up the money through usage of the Zune marketplace.

By Darkk on 4/18/2009 1:16:19 AM , Rating: 2

I guess one more thing
By aftlizard on 4/15/09, Rating: 0
"So, I think the same thing of the music industry. They can't say that they're losing money, you know what I'm saying. They just probably don't have the same surplus that they had." -- Wu-Tang Clan founder RZA

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