Print 65 comment(s) - last by ZeeStorm.. on Sep 20 at 12:42 PM

Microsoft's PMP comes to life

Microsoft has been waiting for this moment for quite some time, and now the time has come. Apple had its day in the spotlight on Tuesday when it announced its 5.5G iPod, 2G iPod Nano and 2G iPod Shuffle, but Microsoft today is touting its new Zune Portable Media Player. What was once known as "Project Argo" now has to start the long journey uphill to take on the dominant champ Cupertino, California.

Details about the player really started coming to light last month when the Toshiba 1089 appeared on the FCC website (always a great source for upcoming products). From the documents, we gathered that Zune will feature a 30GB HDD, 802.11b/g wireless connectivity, an FM tuner, USB 2.0 interface and a massive 3" LCD screen. Microsoft confirmed all of those specifications today and disclosed a few more for good measure.

As previously discussed, the Zune will feature Zune-to-Zune music sharing which allows users to share full-length sample tracks of select songs, homemade recordings, playlists and pictures between devices. Shared songs can be listened to up to three times over the course of three days. Songs that you receive from other Zune users that you like can be flagged and later purchased from the Zune Marketplace.

Zune Marketplace is Microsoft's alternative to iTunes and is an all-in-one media player, store and album/video manager. Users can purchase songs one at a time or purchase a Zune Pass subscription and download as many songs as you choose for a flat fee.

Microsoft has also announced three new accessories that will be initially available for the Zune. They include the Zune Car Pack (FM tuner with car charger), Zune Home A/V Pack (AV output cable, dock, sync cable, AC adapter and wireless remote) and the Zune Travel Pack (earphones, dual connect remote, travel bag, sync cable and AC adapter).

Some fans of Apple’s iPod were a bit disappointed with the model range revamp. While Apple performed the usual updates such as improved battery life and brighter screens along with storage capacity bumps across the board, there wasn’t anything really there to make consumers go “WOW” – gapless playback doesn’t count.

However, Apple at least has two things going for it when comparing the 5.5G iPod to the Zune. Firstly, the $349 model features Toshiba’s new 1.8” 80GB hard drive which easily trumps the Zune’s meager 30GB unit. Secondly, Apple has popularity on its side. Even Microsoft’s J. Allard describes the iPod as "the Pong of digital music." The iPod faithful are a hard bunch to win over and Microsoft will have its hands full despite such added perks like the 3” screen and WiFi.

Microsoft still hasn’t announced pricing or availability for Zune, but we’ll keep you posted on the details.

Comments     Threshold

This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled

RE: Meager 30GB?
By kkwst2 on 9/14/2006 5:37:19 PM , Rating: 2
Maybe not meager, but I've got about 50GB of music now. Mostly from about 400 ripped CD's at bit rates that are probably overkill. But I certainly don't want to re-encode them all just to put them on my player.

Add a few gig of photos and TV episodes that I might want to catch up on, and I could certainly use the 80 gig.

I was quite surprised that they weren't even offering a 60 gig model. I'm sure it will come soon enough.

RE: Meager 30GB?
By FITCamaro on 9/15/2006 1:37:09 PM , Rating: 2
In my view 400 CDs of good music doesn't even exist. While I don't have all the music I like, I have 1.5-2GB of music.

RE: Meager 30GB?
By Montrevux on 9/15/2006 2:26:47 PM , Rating: 2
I have 2GBs of just Led Zeppelin.

RE: Meager 30GB?
By kkwst2 on 9/17/2006 5:22:59 PM , Rating: 2
That's a bit of an annoying comment. Have you listened to the millions of albums produced to make such a bold statement? Not to mention that "good" is quite subjective. Maybe there aren't 400 cd's of music that you would like, but I doubt it. As someone who is classically trained in the violin and played jazz sax for 10 years, I'll bet I'd put my ear for "good" up against yours.

Anyway, I'm sure there are plenty of people out there that can find more than 30 GB worth of "good" music and have a lot more music than I do. If you want to carry around your whole collection or close to it, 30GB can get somewhat limiting.

“We do believe we have a moral responsibility to keep porn off the iPhone.” -- Steve Jobs
Related Articles
New Toshiba 1.8" Hard Drives
September 13, 2006, 8:15 AM
Apple Announces New iPods
September 12, 2006, 1:25 PM
Toshiba to Manufacture Microsoft's Zune
August 25, 2006, 1:52 PM

Copyright 2016 DailyTech LLC. - RSS Feed | Advertise | About Us | Ethics | FAQ | Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information | Kristopher Kubicki