Print 43 comment(s) - last by sebmel.. on Sep 16 at 5:11 PM

The Zune HD is officially available as of today

Today is the big day for fans of Microsoft's Zune -- the Zune HD is launching and new details about the device, and the software behind the scenes has turned up with the official launch. The new Zune 4.0 software to go along with the Zune HD player is now ready to download.

Older Zunes are getting some new software love too with a 3.2 update. The new software is fully Windows 7 compliant, naturally. It Supports all those nifty 7 features like Jump Lists, previews, and Aero Snap.

Other new features of the software include a Quickplay menu to access your favorite media on the Zune HD player. Smart DJ is rather like the Apple Genius feature and creates music mixes with similar genres from your collection and it will add music from the Zune marketplace for those with a Zune Pass.

A new Mini Player mode is now available that keeps the mini player on top of any PC apps that are running. Microsoft has also introduced download to rent or own movies and TV shows in SD and HD formats. Engadget also reports that the ability to move DRM tracks between Zune users has been removed from the new software.

Perhaps the most interesting new tidbit of info for the new Zune HD player is that Microsoft plans to position the device as a mobile gaming platform. If the popularity of gaming on the iPod touch and iPhone are an indication of the popularity of mobile gaming, this is a very good thing.

The official Microsoft press release states, "Later this year, Zune plans to release free applications such as Twitter for Zune and Facebook for Zune, in addition to fun 3-D games such as "Project Gotham Racing: Ferrari Edition," "Vans Sk8: Pool Service" and "Audiosurf(TM) Tilt." Games can be added to Zune HD via Zune Marketplace over the Wi-Fi connection or when connected to the Zune PC software."

Microsoft reports that its strategy at this point is to keep some games and apps offered on the Zune HD as free products that are developed in-house or in close collaboration with third parties. Premium 3D games will be items you have to purchase presumably. There will be no SDK to allow devs to build apps for the Zune HD at this point.

The launch of the Zune HD today also marks the retirement of all other Zune devices.

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Still sorely lacking in ID3 tagging
By zero2dash on 9/15/2009 11:20:54 AM , Rating: 1
Updated to 4.0 this morning. Like the new eye candy, hate the fact that the app is still pathetic when it comes to ID3 tagging. Don't really care about the DJ stuff (especially since it force overrides album art, and the WMP/Zune album art is low res).

Looks like I'll keep sticking with the Media Monkey + Zune (app) combo. I wish Media Monkey could sync with Zunes.

RE: Still sorely lacking in ID3 tagging
By smackababy on 9/15/2009 11:26:00 AM , Rating: 5
I've had few problems with ID3 tags and they were easily fixed with the "Find Album Info" option.

By therealnickdanger on 9/15/2009 11:39:02 AM , Rating: 5
Yeah, I've never had issues with ID3 tags either. Find Album info seems to solve everything.

RE: Still sorely lacking in ID3 tagging
By redog on 9/15/2009 4:18:26 PM , Rating: 2
'Find Album Info' usually works great but i still like to clean up some albums so they collate better (mainly for multi artist albums).

My biggest gripe is the fact you still can't make a play list for music already on your device. This becomes a problem when I'm at work and want to setup a play list for later in the day, car, etc and i don't have everything on the machine.

Wish they would make it more like iTunes in this regard.


RE: Still sorely lacking in ID3 tagging
By Smilin on 9/15/2009 5:47:56 PM , Rating: 2
You can do this. Just play your first song/album.
Any additional ones you add to the now playing list (it adds to the list, not replacing it).

They used to have the "quick list" but removed it some versions ago.

By Souka on 9/15/2009 6:56:36 PM , Rating: 1
Just replace your Zune with a Fune

RE: Still sorely lacking in ID3 tagging
By MadMan007 on 9/16/2009 1:52:38 AM , Rating: 1
I don't let the Zune software touch my tags. I'm far too anal about doing them my way.

By zero2dash on 9/16/2009 12:01:29 PM , Rating: 2
Same here.

What I'm saying in the original comment is that the Zune app has paltry manual ID3 tag support. There's not much you can change (from what I remember). Granted, they may have added better manual ID3 tag support in Zune 4, but I haven't bothered with it because I'm too stringent in how my tags are and how they are updated, which is why I do all my ID3 tagging in Media Monkey.

Given the GUI differences, actually I do everything in MM except sync (because it doesn't support the Zune). If it did, I wouldn't use the Zune app whatsoever. Anytime I add something new to MM, I use the auto-tag feature, then the rename feature to organize things how I like them (similar to the structure iTunes uses, which is \artist\album\## track name.mp3).

"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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