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iLounge gets an insider scoop on Zune

Details continue to leak out concerning Microsoft’s upcoming Zune portable media player. Today we have tons of new information on Zune including its design, user interface, and much talked about WiFi. There is also a new black and white image of a black Zune complete with headphones.

The first bit of information covers was presumed to be a touch sensitive click wheel on the face of the device. Not so according to iLounge. Instead, the wheel features four buttons (play/pause, menu and up/down scroll). The user interface has some nice touches including large album art due to the Zune's massive screen, customizable wallpaper and a larger capitalized letter that pops up on the screen as you scroll through your music library to tell you which part of the alphabet that you're on. Other details provided include an integrated FM tuner and the fact the Zune is larger than a 30GB 5G iPod and is made entirely of plastic. As for the integrated WiFi, here's iLounge's take:

Apparently you can use the Wi-fi feature to “loan” other Zune owners music for some short period (a day), giving them the opportunity to buy the tracks themselves from the Zune music store. While this is a cool idea, and could work well for ubiquitous iPods, it gets an “eh” here because you’re unlikely to randomly bump into other people who have Zune’s, and unless Microsoft actually gives away music, you’re even more unlikely to find people who are willing to purchase tracks from its latest music store. You may also be able to spool Zune music to a Wi-Fi-enabled Xbox 360, which again is a cool idea, but requires a $100 wireless adapter and the $300-400 console.

Whether all of the above is enough to convert the iPod faithful over to the dark side remains to be seen. iPod users are a loyal bunch and they always seem to come back for more. Microsoft may be able to pluck a few fresh buyers from the sidelines, but the road to any sizeable market share will be a long one.



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By psychobriggsy on 8/18/2006 2:04:46 PM , Rating: 1
I strongly suspect that Apple will be upgrading their iPod hardware later this year.

What they bring is guessed at, but not confirmed in any way. I'd guess at:

- larger display (possible full-face of the device, with touch-screen navigation)
- 60GB & 120GB hard drives (Zune will probably get these too, once they're available)
- Wireless might be bluetooth (lower power) with facility to do sharing like Zune is purported to. With Bluetooth 2 it'd take a while (half a minute) to copy a song at 2mbps, but it won't kill your battery. Apple also likes Bluetooth. Maybe it'll use it to connect to the internet via your mobile phone.

The built-in FM transmitter sounds neat, although that's because practically all new cars have iPod docks available anyway, so the iPod is in far less need of this. Docks are safer anyway, you can control the iPod via the car's safer navigation controls rather than messing about with the player itself.

I'll make a random wild guess in the dark that the iPod will continue to look nicer to the majority of people.

The UI will be the primary issue. We all know the iPod's is very good, but will the Zune have an equally good or better interface, or will it turn out to be clunky or underfeatured?

In the end, we'll see how it looks and works when it comes out.




By Xenoterranos on 8/18/2006 2:09:44 PM , Rating: 2
I'm most certainly waiting for something with a bigger screen. Nothing out right now, save for maybe the Archos, has a big enough screen. Touch would be nice too.

Hell, I want a DS Lite with a 120Gb hdd and a FM tuner.


By FITCamaro on 8/18/2006 2:38:31 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
The built-in FM transmitter sounds neat, although that's because practically all new cars have iPod docks available anyway


Really? Because last I checked it was like 6-7. I won't buy an iPod. You can all enjoy your proprietary hell. Yet you still make fun of Microsoft for it....


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