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Altec Lansing M604 Zune Speaker Dock
Microsoft launches Zune companion site, offers 14 day free trial of Zune Pass

Microsoft has launched its companion site for the Zune music player. is a gathering place for users to explore the social aspects of the player, meet new and upcoming artists, check out official Microsoft accessories and get more detailed information on the Zune itself.

Speaking of device specifics, divulges quite a bit of information about the player itself. We already know that it has a 30GB hard drive, 3" QVGA screen, FM radio and WiFi. From perusing the site, we learned that the device measures 4.4" x 2.4" x 0.6" and weighs 5.6 ounces. Battery life is rated at 14 hours (WiFi off) and 13 hours (WiFi on) when playing music. Battery life when watching videos is listed at "up to 4 hours." Charging time is listed at 3 hours from empty and 2 hours to 90% charge.

Also worthy of note is that Microsoft is giving Zune owners a free 14 day trial of its Zune Pass subscription service. Users can download as much music as they desire within the trial period and listen to the tracks as much as they like, but the songs will go dead after 14 days. You'll then either have to purchase the tracks or you can delete them off your player.

Finally, now that Microsoft is launching Zune Marketplace to accompany the Zune player, it is discontinuing its MSN Music store. After November 14, the MSN Music store will no longer offer music downloads. For those affected by this change in policy, you can view Microsoft’s Q&A here.

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What if...
By Vokus on 11/3/2006 10:38:48 AM , Rating: 2
What if this thing takes off, and becomes the new thing to have...

RE: What if...
By ObscureCaucasian on 11/3/2006 10:58:15 AM , Rating: 2
Might pressure Apple into offering a subscription service on iTunes if that model takes off.

RE: What if...
By Misty Dingos on 11/3/2006 11:01:55 AM , Rating: 4
I don't have an MP3 player so my opinion of them is largely unbiased. Largely. I think that the Zune player looks at least as nice as any IPOD. If its functionality lives up to the MS hype then Apple is going to have to get back to work and make some real changes to the IPOD line up. From the first IPOD they have been in the driver's seat of this market. Lately though it seems as though they have been coasting.

Innovate or die! Slow down and get run down!

RE: What if...
By Aikouka on 11/3/2006 11:03:47 AM , Rating: 2
Well, one thing that I like about it over the iPod is that it seems you don't have to connect an audio cable to dock the device. You simply plug it in to the dock (whether it be a dock or a speaker setup) and the audio is transferred. I always thought it felt cheesy when plugging an iPod into a dock and then plugging the audio cable in.

RE: What if...
By dauthi on 11/3/2006 11:38:47 AM , Rating: 2
No, not true. Some speaker models require you to do that, but the majority of the ones that I've tried, and the one I own (Altec Lansing In-Motion) require you to simply pop it into the dock and enjoy.

RE: What if...
By Aikouka on 11/3/2006 11:55:34 AM , Rating: 2
Looks like I've only worked with the ones that require it (including Altec Lansing models). Still as cheesy as demods >:|.

RE: What if...
By Ralph The Magician on 11/3/2006 3:15:21 PM , Rating: 1
Don't worry, it won't.

RE: What if...
By jarman on 11/3/2006 6:52:10 PM , Rating: 2
And you are basing your opinion on???

Probably not an ipod "killer", but...
By freon on 11/3/2006 4:56:33 PM , Rating: 2
I dont own an ipod, but it is obviously the king of players at the moment. Heck, most people dont even bother to look at the other players on the shelf. It's no surprise though, because how often do you see any marketing for them???? "I want an MP3 player, therefore I will buy an ipod" seems to be the common sense out there.

Now I have no doubt MS will have no problem getting the name and hype out there with Zune. They will spend hundreds of millions in marketing. Even in that case, if this player lives up to its hype and grabs a large base of consumers, it doesn't look like it could be an ipod killer simply because of the user base ipod has. It will, however, probably force Apple to bring up the tempo on developing better and more exciting changes to the ipod. I hope that happend, because it should make for a pretty decent MP3 player war in the next couple years.

By Tamale on 11/3/2006 5:11:04 PM , Rating: 2
actually i see people with creative and other off-brand players pretty frequently..

of course the ipod is still the majority, but never-the-less i do know a lot of people with alternative players. i myself am a minidisc fan :)

RE: Probably not an ipod "killer", but...
By TomZ on 11/3/2006 5:31:49 PM , Rating: 5
There are lots of reviews that show other models of MP3 players as being better than iPod. So, why be a sheep and follow the herd? Instead, we should use our brains, do a few minutes of research, and buy the best products, rather than the what Steve wants us to buy.

Also, on the same subject, I just cannot understand why consumers buy into DRM crap like iPod+iTunes. By using these together, you are basically signing yourself up for the long-term lock-in, at least as long as you want to play the content you paid for. And you are telling Apple that it is okay for them to control when and where you can play your content. Is that okay with you? It's not cool with me.

I don't see where Zune really solves this problem either, since they just take DRM into a different business model. I just hope the hardware is at least better and has more features than iPod, which is reasonable to expect.

By freon on 11/3/2006 5:58:29 PM , Rating: 2
I completely agree. People should do more research and buy the best products. Unfortunately, the majority of consumers out there are pretty much sheep that follow the herd. Especially when it comes to anything in the tech/electronics market. Spend a couple hours at a Best Buy, just watching people, and that's all you see; sheep.

Of course, the companies behind the products know that target very well. All their comercials and product hype are geared completely for that user base. I would have to say Apple and Intel are probably two of the largest offenders when it comes to that marketing tactic, in the tech world anyway.

It would be nice if some major competition from a company with the money and resources MS has forces Apple, and maybe even others, to step up their efforts and make the products as good as they are popular. Doubtful, but you never know.

RE: Probably not an ipod "killer", but...
By aos007 on 11/4/2006 11:47:09 PM , Rating: 2
There is a good reason that iPod actually IS the best HDD player around. As someone who had an iPod since 2nd generation, and as an owner of iRiver iHP-120 (considered by many as THE best player ever produced), and as an audiophile as well as engineer who used to design and build DACs and headphone amplifiers, I have to say that only people who hate iPods are doing that for political reasons. iPod is the biggest revolution in music that I've seen in my lifetime and it changed the way I listen to it. And for now, they still got it.

Are there players with better sound quality? Yes (old iRiver for example). Is the sound inferior to using a digital output from another player with standalone DAC/amplifier? Absolutely. Are there players that have more features crammed in without need for extra accessories? Heck yeah. Are there players that play more formats? Sure. Is there a player that provides seamless, straighforward, total music experience in a smaller, slimmer and simpler way? No way, not even close. If you're buying a player TO PLAY MUSIC and not to show off the long list of features or proudly talk to you friends how you flashed the thing to add gapless playback or cooler equalizer, then iPod is the only one that fits the bill. Computers screw me whole day long, when it comes to music I just want to press button and play. There's a lot, LOT more to a device being useable than just a list of features. Older you get, more you'll appreciate it.

And whoever thinks that iPods have not changed since the first one... that is just plain false. Some of new features were just gimmicks - after all, you can't have a great idea every year but you must have SOME idea twice a year to provide a refresh and try to get people to buy it again (I hate the concept but that's shareholders for you). But the latest one with downloadable games makes me want to get it - more practical than my DS and PSP.

Also, iPod will happily play non-DRM music, which you should be ripping yourself if you care about quality at all. And its losless format can be played even on
Linux anyway. Between mp3, aac and apple losless - all of which can be played by open source software - there's no need for anything else. I hate DRM as much as the next guy but why bash Apple for it? There are worse companies around. I don't use music store and I can still fill the thing.

I get it, having iPod is not cool anymore. That's no reason to hate it.

Is iPod the best that can be? Of course not. It could come with more features, more playback formats, longer battery life, be cheaper. Is the quality declining for both hardware and software? Quite likely. But at the end of the day, Apple is a company and they're doing their best to make as much money as they can with as little effort as possible. So far they're doing it better than anyone else.

If anything else, I'm pissed at Microsoft. Is iPod SUCH a threat to their business? And just what IS their business anyway? Own the land, the sea and the stars? They just hate it if anyone other than them ever makes a cent of anything that passes through a microprocessor.

By sscilli on 11/12/2006 6:25:54 PM , Rating: 2
But the latest one with downloadable games makes me want to get it - more practical than my DS and PSP.

What do you mean more practical than your DS and PSP? More practical for playing games? I don't see how that is posible. Maybe you mean more practical for playing games and music, but if thats the case than what was all that stuff you wrote about electronics overloaded with features?
I don't own an mp3 player, but whatever crappy games you can play on your ipod will not be comparable to your DS or PSP.

By crystal clear on 11/3/2006 11:40:46 AM , Rating: 1
Hot property
By crystal clear on 10/28/06, Rating: 2
By crystal clear on 10/28/2006 2:58:44 AM , Rating: 2

Read this
"Microsoft Misses Key Zune Domains

The software giant has built an ambitious digital music strategy around Zune—too bad it doesn’t have the domain names to match.
October 3, 2006

Talking about domain names,here are a few interesting tit bits-

*Zune market for sale on domain broker USD 1500.

* taken by Antonio Nogales - ownership from June 1998.

Unquote- all confusing.

They surely could add MS to

RE: Zune?com/net
By creathir on 11/3/2006 11:50:06 AM , Rating: 2
FYI... has changed from its orig. "empty page" to something similar to the website...
- Creathir

RE: Zune?com/net
By inthell on 11/3/2006 1:40:20 PM , Rating: 3
i like its pretty

RE: Zune?com/net
By Brandon Hill on 11/3/2006 1:47:17 PM , Rating: 2
Wow, that's pretty cool

RE: Zune?com/net
By crystal clear on 11/4/2006 2:34:26 AM , Rating: 2
This could be a good story for your next artcle-

"ABI Research Reveals 58 Percent of iPod Users May Choose Zune "

Can it be used as a file store?
By Rayz on 11/4/2006 2:40:36 AM , Rating: 2
Can it be used to store other files, apart from music and video?

I assume so, because you can put photos on it. Does it appear as an extra drive when you plug it into your PC?

RE: Can it be used as a file store?
By frabgod on 11/4/2006 2:53:34 AM , Rating: 3
We have asked that question of several people on the Zune team at Microsoft, and are pretty certain that the answer is "no".

It's too bad, I could use a 30GB drive for those spontaneous backups and file transfer needs.

Potentially, it could happen in a firmware upgrade if there's enough calling for it.


RE: Can it be used as a file store?
By Rayz on 11/6/2006 5:52:45 AM , Rating: 2

That's quite a feature to leave out ...

About Zune
By crystal clear on 11/4/2006 5:08:00 AM , Rating: 1
Name criticism

"The name Zune has been criticized by some because they believe it is similar to the pronounciation of the Hebrew word Zi-yun, a term for fornication. [2]

Also the name Zune has been criticized due to the fact that in Canada, the word Zune is also a French-Canadian term used as a euphemism for penis or vagina, often around children."

RE: About Zune
By ninjit on 11/5/2006 12:12:37 AM , Rating: 2
That might even be WHY they chose the name, free publicity:

If some talk-show host picks it up and bashes the name because it's "promoting" promiscuity amoung the young - Microsoft gets free publicity.

If Leno or Letterman makes a jab at the name with some MS jewish or French Canadian joke - again, free publicity.

It's like the start of the new Survivor series this season, I don't even watch the show or follow anything related to it, but even I heard about the controversy of dividing up the tribes along racial lines - and then I read that they merged back to the original formate barely two shows into the season.
So why did they do it? To generate hype and get more free publicity.

I would buy one in a second...
By KeithTalent on 11/3/2006 8:02:53 PM , Rating: 2
if they had a 60GB version available.

By Dilmore on 11/4/2006 1:38:11 AM , Rating: 2
Ima Buy one as soon as its out.

bs right there
By vze4z7nx on 11/7/2006 12:46:09 PM , Rating: 1
did u see the power connecter for the zune... the connecter that connects the zune to the computer? its the same thing as the connector apple used in their iPods. ZUne is just another waste of money and time comming from Micosoft. let billy gates use it.

"Let's face it, we're not changing the world. We're building a product that helps people buy more crap - and watch porn." -- Seagate CEO Bill Watkins

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