Saturday, September 16, 2006
Zune: The Beast is Here
Not a lot of surprises in the specs department, but they've confirmed the basics we've known for a while, like WiFi, 30GB of HDD, built-in FM, a 3-inch screen and the basic music, pictures and video playback. They also finally let slip the screen res -- an unsurprising QVGA -- and some better news on the codec front: the Zune supports h.264, MP3, AAC and WMA. As for ballyhoo, wireless Zune-to-Zune sharing is where the real action is at, and it works pretty much like we've been hearing: you can share a full-length track with a friend, and they've got three times to listen to it over a three day period, after which they can flag the song for purchase on the Zune Marketplace -- unless they're an unlimited "Zune Pass" subscriber, of course. You can also share playlists and pictures with your buddies, along with what we suppose are "unprotected" homemade recordings.
So far Microsoft isn't mentioning Live Anywhere functionality, but they do hint heavily at future software updates to take even better advantage of the wireless capabilities. Of course, it all really comes down to matching your Zune with that snazzy new fall wardrobe of yours, and to that end the Zune comes in black, brown and white. Sadly, Microsoft still won't spill the beans on pricing and availability (other than a vague "this holiday season"), so we'll keep an eye out for that just like always.
Posted by DAP at 9:59 AM