Print 24 comment(s) - last by afkrotch.. on Aug 28 at 6:29 AM

Toshiba continues its partnership with Microsoft

The guys over at Engadget have taken note that Microsoft's Zune player has made its way to the FCC website (always a good place to stalk upcoming products). The interesting thing of note, however, is that Toshiba will be producing Zune. If you may recall, Toshiba will also be producing Microsoft's HD DVD add-on for the XBOX 360. According to the FCC filing, the devices features audio and video playback capabilities, 802.11b/g wireless connectivity, FM tuner, 3" LCD screen, 1.8" 30GB hard drive and a USB 2.0 interface.

On the site are a number of photos of the Zune including images of it taken apart, pictures of its circuit boards, hard drive, and wireless chip as well as images of the testing environment set up for the Zune player by the FCC. Also posted on the website is a rough version of the user manual. From its we get a peak at the Zune's wireless functionality (code named "Pyxis"). Here's a snippet on wireless media sharing between Zune players:

Once your wireless setting is set to on, you will be able to send and receive photos and promotional copies of songs, albums, and playlists from other Pyxis users. In order to send someone a song or photo, navigate to the piece of content that you would like to send. Click the center button and select the “send” option. You will then be presented with a “nearby” list containing any Pyxis devices that have their wireless setting on and are in range. Select one (and only one) device from the list and a notification wifi appear on that device allowing that user to accept o reject your send. If he/she accepts, Pyxis will begin transferring the selected content to that device. If not, you will be notified that the recipient has rejected the send.

The manual also goes into detail on how Zune user can set their player to be a "DJ" to stream content to up to four other users, how users go about looking for other nearby Zune players and how you can add "friends" to your device.

Just last week we brought you info on the Zune's interface as well as its control scheme. More details on the device, which will launch in white, black and brown, are expected to be revealed by Microsoft in the coming weeks with an official launch coming on November 14.

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By MobileZone on 8/25/2006 2:21:14 PM , Rating: 3
Still lookin ugly. They should remove every unecessary detail, like those two round bevels around the dial. The only way to "kill" the ipod is through design. Technology doesn't matter at all, as long as it looks good.

RE: design
By ojingoh on 8/25/2006 2:44:02 PM , Rating: 2
uh what do the 2 buttons do again?

RE: design
By Scabies on 8/25/2006 2:58:13 PM , Rating: 2
One is back, the other is play(power)
hold both down to reset (which is frightening... making reset functionality a design feature is a bad sign)

RE: design
By MobileZone on 8/25/2006 11:36:21 PM , Rating: 2

RE: design
By Bonrock on 8/26/2006 4:05:44 PM , Rating: 3
Okay, calm down people. The Zune will probably freeze once in a while, like ALL electronic devices. As someone who owns an iPod, I can attest to the fact that the iPod also occasionally locks up and needs to be reset.

No, it doesn't happen very often, and I'm pretty sure it won't happen that often on the Zune either.

RE: design
By epsilonparadox on 8/25/2006 2:58:53 PM , Rating: 2
I believe one was a dedicated play/pause button and one was a start button similar to PC keyboards that open the start menu.

RE: design
By MobileZone on 8/25/2006 11:39:31 PM , Rating: 2
okay, okay, next step would be adding an integrated keyboard on the front. These guys just dont understand that simplicity and good design is the only way to start matching the pods. I think that Zune should not have any button at all, not either the central one. It should be operated with mind transmission technology.

RE: design
By Hare on 8/25/2006 4:35:03 PM , Rating: 2
Still lookin ugly.
Haven't you heard their new slogan "Get Zune. People will think you have an iPod (if they aren't really close)" ;)

RE: design
By Josh7289 on 8/25/2006 4:47:08 PM , Rating: 2
Jeez, right when this thing was leaked, I was the only one saying it was ugly, but now there are so many other people. ~_~

RE: design
By Dev17 on 8/25/2006 6:08:23 PM , Rating: 2
I don't think it's ugly. Looks fine to me.

RE: design
By MobileZone on 8/25/2006 11:42:48 PM , Rating: 2
Even with that horrible, bad taste, ugly dark frame around the screen and going down to the dial? It makes it look like any other creative player (and that is not a good thing)

RE: design
By kitchme on 8/25/2006 6:38:38 PM , Rating: 2
Would you like a medal? Looks fine with me as well. Like the big screen.

By Burning Bridges on 8/25/2006 5:21:27 PM , Rating: 2
I wonder how easy it will be for people to hack into Zunes with Wireless left on, and steal music, adress books and other such stuff.

Doesn't really sound to great to me =/

RE: Wirless
By Tebor0 on 8/25/2006 7:56:14 PM , Rating: 2
Put your tinfoil hat on and hide your cell phone while you're at it.

RE: Wirless
By MobileZone on 8/25/2006 11:46:06 PM , Rating: 3
Do you think it will not happen? It is just another excuse to sell norton security or zone alarm for zune edition.

RE: Wirless
By kkwst2 on 8/26/2006 1:25:01 AM , Rating: 2
I think it will not happen. There are so many easier ways to get music than hacking the firmware of a proprietary system. Will someone do it? Maybe. Will most of the teeny boppers buying and using these things have any clue how to implement it? Unlikely.

You're much more likely to have your Zune physically stolen.

Besides, all indications are that you have to accept any transfer and can limit the DJ functionality to friends.

By Scabies on 8/25/2006 2:57:07 PM , Rating: 1
Brown.. weird

The FCC has a mockup of the users manual. It refers to WWW.PYXIS.COM when it comes to sync-ing your music. Currently, Pyxis is a medical technology provider, it appears.

"Once your wireless setting is set to on, you will be able to send and receive photos and promotional copies of songs, albums, and playlists from other Pyxis users."

I still think it's overpriced and hasslich, but I am all for a big company to go head on with Apple for personal media player competition. Who better than Microsoft (bugs and apple-user-hatred aside)

RE: !
By GaryJohnson on 8/25/2006 6:06:23 PM , Rating: 2
Several sites (;) seem to indicate that 'Pyxis' is the name of the iPod Nano competitor product in the 'Zune' product family.

I'm curious about the contents of the FCC manual, but I cannot seem to locate it. Do you have a link?

RE: !
By Scabies on 8/25/2006 7:23:21 PM , Rating: 2
Indeed. Following the FCC link from the article....

By One43637 on 8/25/2006 2:59:21 PM , Rating: 2
i'm not particular on Toshiba made products ever since a lot of people were problems with their TVs and laptops. i was actually thinking of picking up a Zune on launch day, but i guess i'll just wait for user reviews. :(

RE: crap
By vtohthree on 8/25/2006 3:38:38 PM , Rating: 1
I agree, there was an article a while back stating how Toshiba was rated one of worst companies for support by the BBB.

LoL, never thought I'd say it, but M$ should have went with a Chinese/Taiwanese contractor over a Japanese one like Apple does (foxconn, mitac, quanta, etc.)...

Definate purchase for me
By AT39 on 8/25/2006 4:06:06 PM , Rating: 2
I think that the DJ feature will be really cool, as I like listening to rap and other pop music, but don't like buying it, so now my friends will be able to stream music to me and stuff. Really cool, as I think a lot of my friends who actually know something about music and DAPs will be getting this instead of the iPod. Release day purchase for me to replace my ageing Zen Micro.

By Tamale on 8/26/2006 10:26:43 AM , Rating: 2
i'm convinced that people are absolutely brainwashed into thinking the ipod is the only nice looking mp3 player in the world. if it isn't an ipod, it's ugly. laff.

this thing looks great... nice big screen.. a couple more dedicated buttons in easy-to-reach places.. and a little detail to kinda pull it all together. it really is pathetic just how strong the apple design philosophies are burned into people's heads.

looks? bah
By afkrotch on 8/28/2006 6:29:03 AM , Rating: 2
Maybe it's just me, but I thought the point of buying a music/vid player was just that. You are trying to get the best one on the market in your price range, whether it looks good or not. Looks is the last thing I consider when buying an mp3 player. Why? Cause it'll spend most of it's time sitting in a pocket.

What I personally want is a flip-style mp3/vid player. Essentially take a Zune/Ipod and fold it in half. Why? It'll be smaller shape in my pocket and also, the screen is protected. When plugged into a PC it should show up as a storage device and require zero software for the placing music/vids onto. There is nothing wrong with windows dragging and dropping. There is something wrong with iTunes and every single other crap software used for transfering music on/off the device.

"If you can find a PS3 anywhere in North America that's been on shelves for more than five minutes, I'll give you 1,200 bucks for it." -- SCEA President Jack Tretton
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