The new Microsoft Zune will come in three choices: black, white or brown and should be in the hands of overseas users by November 14th 2006. It all starts with a 30GB digital media player and adds the twist of wireless connectivity to share selected full-length sample tracks, playlists, pictures or your home-grown tracks directly from your Zune to a friends Zune. You can then listen to the full-length songs that you receive up to three times in three days, flag the ones you like and easily buy them the next time you sync up. The Zune Marketplace allows you to shop for new songs and content, and show off your favorite pictures and videos on the big, bright screen. There is also a built in FM tuner.
The 30Gb Zune stores up to 7,500 songs, 25,000 pictures or 100 hours of video. You can make playlists on the go and watch a slide show while you’re listening. Watching video is a different experience too, as you can turn the unit on its' side into landscape mode, for widescreen viewing.
A Zune Pass subscription gives you “all you can eat” access to discover and explore the Zune Marketplace, downloading tracks and other content. Plus, with the built-in FM tuner you can listen to local FM radio stations or tune in to programming while you’re at your local health club, for example. Advanced tuning capabilities allow you to see the name of the song currently playing on selected frequencies. It is these little extras like the FM tuner built in that seem to add to the overall value of the Zune.
A full selection of accessory packs and individual add-ons will also be available, with some of the offerings looking pretty neat.
It also seems that updates to the Zune player will be available over its' wireless connection, which sounds great. What would be even more interesting is if music could be downloaded on your PC and then transferred to the Zune wirelessly too.
So here I am an avid iPod fan, looking forwards to seeing what the Zune has to offer. It has nothing to do with brand loyalty, if the Zune delivers, Microsoft will have another paying customer on its' books.