The Media Guru

Oct 3, 2007


Yesterday, Bill Gates unveiled Microsoft’s Zune 2.0 new product line-up. The new Zunes have a design & UI makeover, along with a higher capacity 80GB Zune & flash-based 4GB & 8GB Zunes.

The facts:
- The newest additions are smaller 4GB and 8GB players with flash memory. The devices sport video playback and wireless functionality. They are priced at $149 and $199 respectively. Currently the small Zunes come in red, pink, green, and black. They are similar to the former iPod Nano in size.
- An updated hard drive model will have 80GB of storage and come in black at launch. More colours could be added later. It's supposed to be 27% smaller than the original Zune yet boast a much larger 3.2 inch LCD screen. Pricing will be $249, with premium in-ear earphones. The "old" 30 GB Zune will be sold for $199 and get new firmware updates with the new devices. New Zunes are due to release early November.
- New Wi-Fi features will include wireless sync with PC. This will be a nice advantage over competing devices. However, wireless purchases via Zune are not implemented. The Zune will also expand on sharing capabilities. Shared songs will no longer have a 3 day limit for use, but the 3 play rule remains in effect. Photos as usual have no restrictions at all when shared Zune to Zune.
- The round navigation button has been replaced with a "squircle" shaped button called Zune pad. The pad will be touch-sensitive in addition to the regular directional operations. Consumers can flick their thumbs over the pad to fly through lists of songs or albums or to fast-forward through picture slide shows or videos. For those who need to pause, advance or adjust the volume on the device without looking, they can also navigate the Zune Pad using physical cues by pressing on the four sides or the center of the button to adjust the volume or choose the next track.
- To improve on "the social" online Zune Cards will be introduced. Each card can be personalized based on unique interests.
- Zunecasts (podcasts) are coming to the Zune marketplace along with video content. TV shows recorded on Windows Media Center can also be synced up with the Zune devices.
- New Zunes will be called Zune 4, Zune 8, Zune 30 & Zune 80.
- Additional native video codecs for h.264 and MPEG-4 - users no longer need recode those file types to WMV.
- WiFi sync to host computer! Includes moving over music, movies, photos, podcasts, etc.
- The Zune software is all new and rewritten, and is supposed to actually be more than a rebadge of WMP10 now.
- The Zune music store is going DRM-free, with over 1m MP3 tracks being made available for download. Other details (like which labels, whether there is a DRM-free upgrade path is for users who've bought music with DRM, price differences, etc.) are not yet revealed.

Watch the demo video:

Incidentally, I’ve decided to find more about Zune’s unique “squircle” pad…
A squircle is a mathematical shape with properties between those of a square and those of a circle. It is a special case of superellipse.

In a Cartesian coordinate system, the squircle centered on the point (a,b) with axes parallel to the coordinate axes is described by the equation:

where r is the minor radius of the squircle (cf. equation of a circle).

[From Wikipedia -]

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Anonymous said...

Paret serye, design ek ban features top net...selma......$249?? Too expensive 4 me!

I truely prefer the chineese pirated/ and good, it breaks i purchased another with more improved and latest functions!! Thats how i have 4 MP4 players(3 casser la dan) and 6 pen drives! (5 casser la dan)

carrotmadman6 said...

$249 = Rs. 9000... Ouais, li assé cher,... mais pas blié ena en HD 80Gb la dans!!

Bon marché coute cher!!!! :P
I never buy Chinese products, coz i know it'll be a waste of my money. I prefer paying more for a quality product that I know will last longer.

Anonymous said...

zis pu mp3/mp4 ki mo fer sa, en 2005 mo ti ena 1 mp4 player 512 mb a lepok mo ti paye sa Rs1200, En 2006 mo ti aster 1 lot 1 gb ti paye sa Rs1400, ek sa l'anee mne aster 1 lot 8gb avec camera, Rs1350......B kifer mo bizin aster Ipod ou ban mp3 Creative?

carrotmadman6 said...

I don't have a media player... & if i'll ever own one, it'll be either a Zune or iPod or Creative. :P

Btw, who needs media players... when smartphones can do the same thing?? :D

Anonymous said...

who needs it? me of course!!

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