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Image courtesy Paul Thurrott's SuperSite for Windows
Zune caught in the wild

Paul Thurrott's SuperSite for Windows has posted two photo galleries of Microsoft's Zune portable media player (PMP) in action. The images show a user scrolling through a music library, watching video content along with two users sending/receiving music files and pictures. Browsing through the photo galleries also gives us a pretty thorough overview of the menu system included on Zune as well as its FM radio functionality and Zune friends list.

The Zune was announced yesterday and is positioned to take on Apple's 5/5.5G iPods. The device features a large 3" QVGA screen, 30GB hard drive, WiFi connectivity and a USB 2.0 interface. Also announced alongside the actual player was the Zune Marketplace which rivals Apple’s iTunes as a one-stop shop for purchasing, listening to and syncing music.

Microsoft has also teamed up with Altec Lansing, Belkin Corp., Digital Lifestyle Outfitters, Dual Electronics, Griffin Technology, Harman Kardon and JBL, Klipsch Audio Technologies, Logitech and a host of other companies to provide accessories for the Zune. Apple's iPod has enjoyed healthy aftermarket support for accessories and Microsoft is doing everything in its power to ensure that its Zune players enjoy the same luxuries.

Update 9/15/2006: Team Xbox has posted some videos of the Zune along with commentary on the features of the player.

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um ok
By Gore98 on 9/15/2006 1:00:18 AM , Rating: 1
How is the ipod the best product out there when products such as the toshiba gigabeat and the archos 04 line exist!? Sorry, but the archos 604 blows away everything apple can offer!! lol@ipod owners who buy crap only because its trendy

RE: um ok
By abhaxus on 9/15/2006 4:17:23 AM , Rating: 4
perhaps ipod owners buy them because they have more accessories available.

I used to be like you, stupidly mocking ipod buyers. But we're barely into the second wave of ipod accessories. There are simply more accessories for the ipod than anything else on the market. I bought one because my onkyo receiver has a docking station for it.

RE: um ok
By JDub02 on 9/15/2006 10:47:11 AM , Rating: 3
I bought my iPod strictly for the accessories. I was able to get an adapter that plugged into the back of my stock car stereo that would make it think the iPod is a CD changer and keep it charged. There's nothing like that for any other portable mp3 player on the market.

iTunes isn't my favorite application, but I think it's just as good as WMP with regards to organizing music. iPod/iTunes is by far the industry leader, so it must have something going for it other than hype.

Now if I can just get the darn scratches off of my iPod ...

RE: um ok
By stmok on 9/15/2006 4:23:41 AM , Rating: 2
Sorry, but the archos 604 blows away everything apple can offer!! lol@ipod owners who buy crap only because its trendy

Welcome to the world of Looks and Marketing!

RE: um ok
By dysonlu on 9/15/2006 2:03:33 PM , Rating: 2
To stmok: Amen.

(By the way, I'm not one of those dudes that are bashing MSFT just for the sake of it, but I find the Zune quite fugly, especially that brown/bronze color. Hope it's better looking in "person".)

RE: um ok
By clementlim on 9/15/2006 5:44:54 AM , Rating: 3
Well...most people go for looks. What is the first thing you focus upon when you saw a gal/guy? Definitely not what's inside. I guess a lot of people are blinded by beauty. I just use my handphone for portable music and video. Not really a good option but I don't want too many gadgets in my pockets.

RE: um ok
By Hare on 9/15/2006 7:53:24 AM , Rating: 1
How is the ipod the best product out there when products such as...

I'm sure the gigabeat and archos offer the best usability and overall experience with their ease of use and the best onlistore for digital media? Wait a sec... They don't. I quess that's one thing that explains why the iPod has become so popular. It's easy to use and integrates extremely well to Apples online services. Not to mention the accessories etc.

RE: um ok
By Johnmcl7 on 9/15/2006 8:47:46 AM , Rating: 2
A lot of the Ipod success is because it has the Apple name on it, I know plenty of people who have bought one for that reason alone and then regretted it when they've seen the Ipod rivals in action.


RE: um ok
By Burning Bridges on 9/15/2006 9:41:02 AM , Rating: 2
That's interesting, a lot of people I know that own an iPod have them because they have used other people's and seen how easy it is to use, and how much the other people enjoy theirs.

I wouldn't say the Apple name has much to do with it in these parts.

RE: um ok
By Vertigo101 on 9/15/2006 10:05:46 AM , Rating: 2
4 out of 5 iPod owners I know bought them because they were 'stylish'. Those same 4 owners have had issue after issue with them too.

My cousin-in-law bought a Powerbook because it was stylish....if that's not the worst reason to buy a computer, I don't know what is.

Anyone who buys an iPod for the iTunes Store deserves to be an iPod owner.

I'd consider buying an iPod if they had some kind of major price drop, but I'd never use iTunes with it.

RE: um ok
By retrospooty on 9/15/2006 10:12:06 AM , Rating: 2
"A lot of the Ipod success is because it has the Apple name on it"

I dont think so... The ipod is huge becasue its is nice looking, easy UI, and first off the block with that combo and it became huge. There may be others out there that are functionally better, but ipod is a HUGE name now. Apple's brand name means little, I would say the opposite, the ipod brand is bringling Apple up, not hte the reverse. Apple is a tiny player, the name hold's almost zero weight in the industry (for reference see the personal computer space)

RE: um ok
By akugami on 9/15/2006 5:12:34 PM , Rating: 2
Doesn't mean 4 out of 5 people overall bought the iPod for style. That just shows how shallow the people you personally know buying these iPods are. Not saying all the people you know are shallow, just those particular ones buying the latest fad. Most people I know of buy the iPods for the positives they hear about the useability and it's wide variety of peripherals. And also, it doesn't mean 4 out of 5 people buying their iPods have problems. If they were so problematic then we'd sure as heck have heard about it by now.

RE: um ok
By protosv on 9/15/2006 9:38:59 AM , Rating: 1
There's also this little thingy called iTunes, which requires an iPod. If you want to buy your music legally online, it's basically the only game in town. The archos and toshiba can be as beautiful and easy to use as they want, but they won't work with iTunes...

RE: um ok
By Vertigo101 on 9/15/2006 10:11:50 AM , Rating: 2
If you want to be stuck with iTunes and the iPod, you're right: it is the only game in town, and that's exactly the way Apple wants it.

I guess ripping your own CD's isn't an option any more, eh?

Personally, I'd never buy DRM'ed music.

RE: um ok
By melgross on 9/15/2006 7:13:01 PM , Rating: 2
They won't work with Zune either. Did you forget that?

RE: um ok
By AlexWade on 9/15/06, Rating: -1
RE: um ok
By akugami on 9/15/2006 5:17:18 PM , Rating: 2
For some reason, people are laying the blame for DRM on iTunes at Apple's feet. It's not Apple's fault, it's not MS's fault, it's not Creative or whatever's fault. It's the fault of the RIAA and MPAA. And as far as DRM goes, Apple's is one of the least restrictive as far as music goes.

And one of the reasons why it will be so so hard to beat Apple in the DAP market is the pervasiveness of peripherals for the iPods. Look around at the iPod market. It's huge.

“And I don't know why [Apple is] acting like it’s superior. I don't even get it. What are they trying to say?” -- Bill Gates on the Mac ads
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