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Microsoft's Zune HD steps into the limelight

It appears that all the rumors and pictures from the last month regarding the Zune HD were right. Microsoft last night announced its next generation Zune and it appears that the boys from Redmond are finally ready to start taking the fight to Apple's iPod touch.

The angular device packs a 3.3" 16:9 OLED display with a resolution of just 480 x 272. Thankfully, the touchscreen includes multi-touch which currently resides on such devices as the Apple iPhone, iPod touch, and Palm Pre. The Zune HD also brings with it HD radio and is capable of 720p video-out via HDMI with a docking station.

The only other hardware detail that Microsoft announced was the inclusion of Wi-Fi which has always been a Zune staple. In this case, however, a full-screen multi-touch web browser will also be included (and hopefully an email client and various other internet-based utilities).

Microsoft didn't divulge any information on storage capacities for the new Zune HD, but earlier reports pegged the devices launching in 16GB and 32GB capacities. Hopefully, this isn't the case as Apple is near certain to release its next generation iPod touch early this fall in capacities of up to 64GB which would leave the Zune HD trailing behind.

"The Zune music player is an integral part of the overall Zune experience, and we're proud to be growing and extending our offering beyond the device," said Enrique Rodriguez, corporate vice president of the Microsoft TV, Video and Music Business Group. "Delivering on Microsoft's connected entertainment vision, this news marks a turning point for Zune as it brings cross-platform experiences and premium video content to living rooms around the world."

Microsoft's first and second attempts at taking on Apple with its Zune range didn't do much to challenge the iPod's dominance of the marketplace. However, Microsoft appears to have a real chance of scoring some major points with consumers with the Zune HD -- that is if they can manage to keep storage capacities at a lofty level.

The Zune HD will launch this fall.

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RE: I want 240GB+ capacities
By adiposity on 5/27/2009 2:13:17 PM , Rating: 3
Some math corrections...

21,500 should read "2150".
~53,750 should read "~5375".

But if you could fit 2150 or 5375, and only 10% of your collection fits, it means you have 21,500 or 53,750 CDs, approximately.

And this assumes that your CDs are filled to the brim. Most CDs are not 650MB, they are 400 or so. In reality the numbers are probably 30% higher than those I've posted.

Now I ask again, do you really have updwards of 10K CDs are are not compressing at all? Or do you have 50K+ CDs and are compressing at 320kbps?

If you do have 50K+ CDs, do you really consider it "easy" to reach that level of CDs? That's probably half a million dollars at good CD prices!

Even to get ~5000 CDs (about what you can currently fit on your "NAS") would be very expensive ($50k-$100k!). I don't think it's correct to say it's "very easy" to reach this level.


RE: I want 240GB+ capacities
By evalese on 5/27/2009 4:31:59 PM , Rating: 4
If he's recording vinyl, he could have the original recording, cleaned up and split wav files, and mp3s on the same drive. Then you're talking 1GB per album fairly easily. He may be recording in 96KHz or 192KHz. Then you've got huge numbers. You could tear through 700GB quickly.

"If you look at the last five years, if you look at what major innovations have occurred in computing technology, every single one of them came from AMD. Not a single innovation came from Intel." -- AMD CEO Hector Ruiz in 2007
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