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64GB Zune HD gets a launch date

Earlier this week, DailyTech reported that the 64GB Zune HD made an early appearance on the official Zune website. Although the link to the actual product was inactive, Microsoft’s intentions were clearly made.

Today, Microsoft has officially confirmed the existence and upcoming release of the 64GB Zune HD. According to Microsoft, the new player will launch on April 12 at a price of $349.99. For comparison, Apple’s 64GB iPod touch rings up at $399.

In addition to the pricing and availability information for the 64GB Zune HD, Microsoft also announced that the existing 16GB and 32GB models will each receive a $20 price reduction.

Updated 4/9/2010

Microsoft just let us know that the 64GB Zune HD is now available to order in Platinum, Black, Blue, Red, Green, Purple and Magenta.



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By sapiens74 on 3/31/2010 1:53:54 PM , Rating: 2
Some areas they go all in like the Xbox and other areas they dabble

Zune has a lot of things going for it but MS doesn't really seem to be pushing it.

I still hate the name....

I bet a re-branding will come sooner or later...




By MadMan007 on 3/31/2010 2:55:20 PM , Rating: 2
What they need to do is push it out worldwide. I'm still not certain why they haven't done that at least for the hardware. The Zune store might have distirbution licensing issues but that shouldn't stop them from launching the hardware worldwide. Maybe whatever Zune comes out after Phone 7 is launched will go worldwide.


By Mitch101 on 4/9/2010 2:00:54 PM , Rating: 3
I want one to replace my Zune 30 but am disappointed by the lack of applications available for it.

Apps (5 Apps)
http://www.zune.net/en-us/products/zunehd/appsgame...

Games (12 Games)
http://www.zune.net/en-us/products/zunehd/appsgame...

Probably explains why the rumors of the Zune HD2 based on the Mobile 7 technology specs.


By kmmatney on 4/9/2010 3:54:59 PM , Rating: 2
Wow! Is that it? Seriously?


By Cypherdude1 on 4/9/2010 11:50:49 PM , Rating: 1
I use my Samsung S3 player strictly for playing music. I hook it up to my car and my, 100 RMS watt, 2.1 speakers when I'm doing yard or garage work. The sound is excellent mainly because I am able to tailor the sound exactly the way I want using the Samsung's 9 band equalizer.

My computer's sound card has a built-in, hardware-based, 10 band equalizer hardwired into the sound card's main chip. This means there is no delay when I adjust the sound on my computer. I am able to tailor the sound settings for music and movies I play on my computer to optimum levels. I can also do this on my Samsung S3 MP3 player. I would never purchase any MP3 player without a 9 or 10 band graphic equalizer and I highly recommend you don't either.

After doing some research, I was surprised to find only Samsung offers a 9 band equalizer. The other manufacturers only offer 5 or 3 band equalizers and sometimes only basic bass and treble controls! If you want a great little MP3 player, try Samsung's Q2 16 GB player and it won't cost you a fortune either!
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B002DMKJ6I


By Supa on 4/9/2010 4:08:30 PM , Rating: 1
I think it's safe to say now that Zune HD is not the iPod touch killer.

Microsoft proved with Xbox 360 that they can compete if given enough support and cash.

They are certainly not doing that with Zune.

---


By Noliving on 4/10/2010 3:52:51 PM , Rating: 3
Well there is actually a lot more available but you have to search the internet, the app store on the Zune marketplace is only for Microsoft published applications, which in my opinion is dumb but then again all the apps are free.

But to install those apps that are off the internet on your zune requires some work.

Here is a site to download some 3rd party apps for the zune hd.

http://games.zhdapps.com/


By Noliving on 4/10/2010 3:58:38 PM , Rating: 3
Another place to get 3rd party apps or games for the zune hd
is : http://www.zuneboards.com/forums/zune-games-171/


By Reclaimer77 on 3/31/2010 7:41:23 PM , Rating: 2
The Zune is the best thing going atm. It clearly beats the iPod on any objective comparison. They advertise it fairly well, so what do you mean they aren't pushing it ?

Unlike Apple, Microsoft doesn't NEED mobile devices to survive. But most of the ignorant masses have already convinced themselves the iPod is the second coming. So how much money should MS waste in trying to convince people otherwise ? Again, they don't need the Zune to live.


By Wulf145 on 4/1/2010 12:22:25 AM , Rating: 2
If they were pushing it they would sell the Zune worldwide and not just in N. America.

I do not know why MS has decided to produce, what seems to be, an excellent MP3 Player but not sell it outside of N. America. If it were available in Europe I would buy it ASAP.


By Reclaimer77 on 4/1/2010 1:51:42 AM , Rating: 2
If it were available in Europe the EU Trade Commission would probably sue them again for something stupid like it being bundled with Microsoft software and apps.


By Wulf145 on 4/1/2010 5:13:43 AM , Rating: 1
On what grounds, if it were so they would have had to sue Apple by now?


By melgross on 4/10/2010 7:19:02 PM , Rating: 2
Ballmer gave this reason a few months after the first Zune came out: If we did, we'd lose more money.

Not surprising. People just don't want these. That's why there are so few apps or games available. If people don't buy them, developers don't develop for them. Then people won't buy them, and around it goes.


By nafhan on 4/9/2010 4:28:37 PM , Rating: 2
It just depends what you are using it for. If you're using your MP3 player primarily for (gasp) listening to music plus occasional basic web browsing and watching movies, the app store doesn't matter, and the Zune arguably delivers a better music experience (subscription plan and built in HD radio).


By kmmatney on 4/10/2010 12:29:00 AM , Rating: 2
Yes, you can live without the Apps, but they can be very useful. I went on a trip to Taiwan, and downloaded a free App to help translate between Chinese and English. A few times I was able to type something in English, and then show the Chinese translation on the screen, and the person know exactly what I was asking about - a real lifesaver, especially when trying to talk to Taxi drivers. This is just one example of where an App was extremely useful. Its also nice to startup the Comcast email App and wipe out all my junk mail. You can live without the Apps, but they are a great feature, and one major reason to buy an iTouch over the Zune.


By bodar on 4/10/2010 8:17:33 AM , Rating: 2
I agree that, if you place high value on apps and don't already have an internet-capable phone, Zune HD is not the way to go at least until the "HD2" comes out with all the Win Phone 7 apps it should support. It just depends on your priories. Mine were for the better audio/video experience and I think I have the right device.


By Noliving on 4/10/2010 4:08:06 PM , Rating: 3
Oh I agree but the point still stands, if you use it primarily for listening to music, watch videos and look at pictures the Zune HD is clearly the better choice, especially with that OLED screen!


By Reclaimer77 on 4/11/2010 7:25:34 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Yes, you can live without the Apps, but they can be very useful.


Yeah because when I fire up my Zune to listen to music, podcasts, or watch videos the first thing that comes to mind is "damn, I wish I could shake babies on my Zune" or one of a thousand stupid wastes of CPU cycles that you drooling Mac idiots call "aps".


By smackababy on 4/9/2010 4:31:57 PM , Rating: 3
I love my Zune HD and on my "objective comparison" it offers way more value than the iPod touch. I do nore care about apps, there for that has no value eithe way for me. The exclusive of iTunes is a huge value for me, as that program is terrible. The soudn quality of the Zune is higher than the iPod, and the price is lower.


By bodar on 4/9/2010 4:34:48 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah, app/game selection are a shortfall, but the Zune audio sounded much better to me using the same headphones. Is there an iPod dock for 720p out to TV when traveling? Nope.

I use my 32GB for audio/video/podcasts and the occasional web/Facebook app and I love it. The UI is excellent, the screen is great, and performance with the Tegra is quite snappy. I wanted a music/video player, not a portable game/internet device with so-so audio (IMO) and lower-res screen. I bought the device best suited to my needs. I'm getting a smartphone this summer anyway.


By Reclaimer77 on 4/11/2010 7:32:52 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2352882,00.as... I really don't see why anyone would buy this over the iPod touch (unless you really hate Apple). The Touch has way more overall value, on any objective comparison.


Wow real in depth comparison you posted there. A HALF PAGE article with barely any head to head comparisons. It's a goddamn opinion piece, not an "objective comparison".

Yeah I love how they completely ignore the fact that you can't use either device without the proprietary software suite. And sorry Apple, but the Zune software stomps iTunes into a bloody pulp.

iTunes, at least the Windows version, is one of the worse excuses of software I have ever seen. I can't believe millions of morons slave a decent media player to such a piece of shit front end program. It's an abomination. And in typical Apple fashion, the PC version runs about three times slower than the Apple version on better hardware. For no reason !

In fact, forget the device. The iPod loses hands down simply because of iTunes alone. And please, I have extensive experience with both, don't waste your time arguing with me about it.


By jonmcc33 on 4/9/2010 4:26:06 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I still hate the name....


As if "Bing" is any better? At least they got Windows 7 correct.


By Reclaimer77 on 4/11/2010 7:35:32 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I still hate the name....


Yeah because so much depth goes into putting "i" in front of everything...

If only Apple ruled the world ! Hey hold on a sec, my iOven just told me that my iDinner was done. And I have to check my iWasher for a clean iFork.


Marketing BS
By CyborgTMT on 4/1/2010 4:21:28 AM , Rating: 2
I'm kind of getting tired of companies plastering their new buzz word HD on everything. Taken from the Zune web site's fine print:
quote:
Supported 720p HD video files play on the player, downscaled to fit the screen at 480 x 272 – not HD resolution.




RE: Marketing BS
By zxern on 4/1/2010 11:00:26 PM , Rating: 5
It will output 720p video to an external display if you use the dock. So the HD is in fact appropriate here.


RE: Marketing BS
By Mitch101 on 4/9/2010 2:19:21 PM , Rating: 2
Dont forget the HD Radio Tuner built into the Zune HD.


RE: Marketing BS
By ClownPuncher on 4/9/2010 2:57:19 PM , Rating: 2
The HD radio on my Zune HD 32gb is stellar, though I will probably end up selling it or passing it down and getting this 64gb model.


RE: Marketing BS
By MadMan007 on 4/9/2010 3:07:20 PM , Rating: 1
Too bad the 'HD' in HD radio is a marketing scam and doe sNOT mean High Definition. HD Radio = Hybrid Digital. This isn't MS's fault at all but it's still a crock.


RE: Marketing BS
By callmeroy on 4/9/2010 3:42:36 PM , Rating: 2
Who here is saying or has said HD Radio means "High Definition"?

Hybrid Digital radio STILL has better sound quality than standard radio. The Zune HD still can ouput video in 720p HD.

So where is the wrong in Zune HD carrying the "HD" moniker?


RE: Marketing BS
By scrapsma54 on 4/9/2010 3:52:33 PM , Rating: 2
The Oled screen also puts out a nice and nifty contrast ratio that pales other devices in comparison. The video quality is still great for a very small package. The Tegra processor is what makes it all happen, and the 3d rendering is slick too. I too am going to sell my 16Gb and get the 64GB, probably the last zune I will ever need, unless I wait for windows 7 phones.


Pass
By Dropmachine on 3/31/2010 3:10:55 PM , Rating: 2
I'll take a 32gb Creative Zen Xfi2 thanks, and add a 32gb mini SD card. Better sound, FLAC support, and at $200, a whole lot less.




RE: Pass
By cubdukat on 4/1/2010 3:05:02 PM , Rating: 2
I never even considered Creative as a viable option, and I actually owned two Zen's--a 40GB Xtra and a Zen Vision:M which got stolen the first week I had it.

I'll have to look at what they have now. Now that DRM's an exception to the rule, I don't necessarily feel any loyalty towards either MS or Apple. I've gone through no less than three new iPod classics and two refurbs. There is no reason why anything costing almost 300 bucks should be so fragile. I'll still buy music from iTunes, but I have no reason to be tethered to them anymore.

Besides, I'm pretty sure their players are Linux-friendly out of the box, and that's important seeing as I run a Linux system on the same computer.


iPod to Zune
By Saffleur on 4/1/2010 9:16:56 AM , Rating: 3
I've owned the iPod and I now have a Zune.

Each have their pros and cons but overall I would say I am happier with the Zune. My only two real gripes are the browser and lackof applications available for download.




Zune Hd Is awesome!
By mrdeez on 4/9/2010 9:03:43 PM , Rating: 2
I shopped around for a MP3 player and for my money the Zune is your best bet. Smaller and lighter size, interface better than Apples, screen is melt in your mouth gorgeous, and sounds great. It did take me a minute to figure out "Libraries" in windows but now got it down now.

I also like the battery life as well.....I really think this player has the capability to be a worthy competitor to the Ipod but I just dont understand why there isnt more in store demos and working players for people to try....I was in frys and the one they had there never came on neither did the one in best buy....the ipods didnt either but still, it gives off a bad vibe if people cant try it on an in store demo.




Love it!
By rburnham on 4/13/2010 10:19:57 AM , Rating: 2
I picked up a Zune a few months ago and I am glad I did. The way it handles podcasts with the exceptional Zune software is very handy for me. My old MP3 player just put everything (music and podcasts) together, but I dig the way the Zune separates the podcasts from the music. Very handy.




what, no Apple news today???
By muhahaaha on 3/31/2010 2:15:15 PM , Rating: 1
slow day at the rumor mill, ay? No Apple news to rile up the readers? Bummer.




RE: what, no Apple news today???
By Yawgm0th on 3/31/10, Rating: 0
Demand outlook not so good
By Taft12 on 3/31/10, Rating: -1
RE: Demand outlook not so good
By Jabroney701020 on 3/31/2010 1:09:00 PM , Rating: 3
Can you clarify what it is exactly that you are talking about in your first sentence?


RE: Demand outlook not so good
By ebakke on 3/31/2010 1:19:40 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah, did he think it was $50 more than the comparable iPod?


RE: Demand outlook not so good
By Lord 666 on 3/31/10, Rating: 0
RE: Demand outlook not so good
By inighthawki on 3/31/2010 2:19:32 PM , Rating: 4
Because some of us don't have bundles of cash lying around the house? Believe it or not $50 is a lot of money for some people like myself, and the difference between $350 and $300 can be more than enough to justify the purchase.

Also there's no evidence to support the idea that zunes will be discontinued anytime soon. Personally I think now in particular may be a bad time to invest with winmo 7 coming and the rumored zune hd2, but Microsoft, from what I've heard, has no plans on dropping the zune product line anytime soon. Especially with how far they've come.


RE: Demand outlook not so good
By lufoxe on 3/31/2010 3:29:55 PM , Rating: 2
$50 makes a difference for me, which means one more game, or crazy thought, food and rent.

quote:
"Price is what you pay. Value is what you get" ~ Warren Buffett.

<sarcasm> Because yes, when I think value, I think apple </sarcasm>

Warren Buffett could not be more true, so please explain to me how it's not a value. I bought my 30GB zune about 4 years ago, and I get features like wireless synching, radio tagging, and song purchasing through the device. The third can be done only on the iPod touch, not on a 4 year old iPod.


RE: Demand outlook not so good
By Phynaz on 3/31/2010 3:44:34 PM , Rating: 2
If $50 is the difference between eating or not then you need to re-examine your priorities, because you shouldn't be buying $300 gadgets.


RE: Demand outlook not so good
By inighthawki on 3/31/2010 3:59:08 PM , Rating: 2
Even the poorest of people like to occasionally scrape up money that would normally be used for food or rent to buy a luxury here and there. Perhaps he was exaggerating just a bit, but in all seriousness, imagine a college student. Food for a week could be budgeted under $50 if they are a light eater and rent on campus can be cheap as well. Being a full time student, you may only have a part time job paying a very minimal amount of money. After tuition expenses and the above food and rent, you could easily be left with almost no money at all. At that point you might be willing to eat a little less each week to slowly save for something new like an xbox or PS3.


RE: Demand outlook not so good
By Lord 666 on 3/31/2010 4:18:40 PM , Rating: 2
Lufoxe,

Thank you for proving my point. You did not wait until Zune was a lower price. Yet, you found value from the early adoption and have had four years of enjoyment. That equals $75 per year. So when I read that someone wants to wait for gadget x to be $50 cheaper in 6 months or so, what really is that difference in price over the life expectancy of any electronic device? A very minor difference in reality.


RE: Demand outlook not so good
By inighthawki on 3/31/2010 6:55:35 PM , Rating: 2
By waiting six months to save $50, you can also argue that that $50 can be used to buy yet ANOTHER gadget to provide enjoyment while he waits, getting, shall we say, a 2 for 1 deal.


RE: Demand outlook not so good
By lufoxe on 4/2/2010 7:54:15 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Thank you for proving my point. You did not wait until Zune was a lower price. Yet, you found value from the early adoption and have had four years of enjoyment.


Ah lord666, you miss the point by a mile again.
The point is not the value of getting it when it comes out, to point is the value of $50. If Gadget A starts at 399.99 and Gadget B starts at 349.99 and according to your scenario drops $50, you still save $50. With the Zune I still get more features that does not appear on any apple products, recieve a service I cannot receive with apple, and I can still use songs I bought FROM apple. I'm missing the lack of value.

P.S. - We all know in these forums that early adoption is the equivalent of shiney tax (it's shiney I want it, get charged more).


RE: Demand outlook not so good
By Fritzr on 4/9/2010 9:18:10 PM , Rating: 2
$400 for iPod
$350 for Zune AND $50 purchase from iTunes

Add the extra Zune features & the unknown is the better buy for your $400 :)


RE: Demand outlook not so good
By callmeroy on 4/9/2010 3:45:30 PM , Rating: 2
Because even those of us that are "into" technology and gadgets --- some of us still want to get the best deal we can for our money? What is so friggin hard to understand about the concept of wanting to pay less for something?


RE: Demand outlook not so good
By porkpie on 3/31/2010 2:23:55 PM , Rating: 2
"Yeah, did he think it was $50 more than the comparable iPod?"

If you're "competing on price", you're offering a lower price than the competing product, not a higher one. So I rather think the OP had that part right at least.

Beyond that, I think he merely meant to suggest that the Zune was a failure, despite being sold at a lower price point.


RE: Demand outlook not so good
By lightfoot on 3/31/2010 2:45:41 PM , Rating: 3
The Zune is the only viable alternative to the iPod Touch.

The biggest problem with the Zune has nothing to do with the Zune its self. The actual device is on par, if not superior to, anything that Apple sells. The problem is that every conceivable peripheral on the planet is designed to interface with the iPod using Apple's proprietary interface.

The anti-competitive practices that Apple uses to sell its MP3 players will eventually become its undoing - a victim of its own success.

Microsoft's biggest mistake was dropping the rest of the Zune line in favor of the touch based HD - now they have no entry level devices.


RE: Demand outlook not so good
By Smartless on 3/31/2010 2:58:57 PM , Rating: 2
I can't believe I'm going to side with Apple on this one but I really doubt anti-competitive practices, if ANY, will lead to an undoing. In the portable market, Apple and Microsoft's roles are reversed. Why make a peripheral for anyone else if 90% of the market uses ipods. You know the closest competitor is Sandisk who's lines are more or less cheap knockoffs of ipods. The only thing that could possibly shake off Apple's grip on players will most likely be the mobile phone market. I'll stop short of agreeing with reader1 in that closed systems will rule the earth but realistically, unless closed markets like iTunes lose their appeal, everything Apple does will be golden. Gosh I think I'm going to puke after writing that.


RE: Demand outlook not so good
By gralex on 3/31/2010 10:13:48 PM , Rating: 2
Damn... you almost had it there, and blew it. Please don't take it personally Smartless, cause I think all ayall are crazy!:-) I thought mobiles replaced mp3 players years ago. I also thought the only people buying iPods were Uncles & Grandparents (as gifts).

And didn't Nokia pretty much bury the standalone GPS a couple weeks ago (at least in Europe, but I'm pretty sure Google will be doing the same in the States)? The only thing I thought mobiles weren't gonna replace was digital cameras (because of the tiny CCD's & toy-lenses), and I bet i got THAT wrong since I'm fairly sure they ain't selling like they used to. But even if dc's are still selling like hot-cakes, i'm seriously: you guys still have media players? $300 ones? I must be very stingy AND lazy...


RE: Demand outlook not so good
By MadMan007 on 3/31/2010 11:45:39 PM , Rating: 2
Maybe it's different where you are but mp3 players don't come subsidized by contracts that add up to thousands by the time they're completed.


"Spreading the rumors, it's very easy because the people who write about Apple want that story, and you can claim its credible because you spoke to someone at Apple." -- Investment guru Jim Cramer

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