Zune 2.0 is awesome!

I’m sorry for the doubtful post I had before.

Zune 2.0 is actually really awesome, based on the latest posts and news I’ve seen.




Here’s some of the specs:

Hard drive Zunes

  • It’s called the Zune 80 and, shockingly enough, it has 80GB of storage.
  • Uses the new Zune Pad — four way touch-sensitive d-pad (with up, down, left, and right buttons).
  • It will sell for $250 (with "premium" headphones).
  • Available only in black (to start).
  • Screen size has increased to 3.2-inches (from 3-inches). As far as we know the resolution is still QVGA.
  • Dimensions are 61.1 x 108.2 x 12.9mm (2.4 x 4.25 x 0.5-inches), some 1/3rd smaller than the classic Zune.
  • The classic Zune will now be known as the Zune 30 — it’s not going anywhere. More on that in a sec.

New flash Zunes

  • Zune 8 and Zune 4 are the names for the 8 and 4GB flash based models.
  • Also uses the Zune Pad.
  • These will sell for $200 and $150 respectively.
  • Both will be available in pink, green, black, and red.
  • It will feature a 1.8-inch screen (compare to the nano’s 2-inch screen).
  • Dimensions are 41.4 x 91.5 x 8.5mm (1.6 x 3.6 x 0.33-inches) — compare to the new iPod nano, at 69.8 x 52.3 x 6.5mm (2.75 x 2.0 x 0.26-inches).

Everything else

  • New Zunes ship in November, date not yet announced.
  • All Zunes (including the Zune 30) will have a new, redesigned interface and feature parity. In other words, early Zune 30 adopters will have all the same software features as new Zune 80, 8, and 4 users.
  • Additional native video codecs for h.264 and MPEG-4 — users no longer need transcode those file types to WMV.
  • Zune can FINALLY sync video from your Media Center PC! Jeez, took you friggin long enough, guys!
  • WiFi sync to host computer! Includes moving over music, movies, photos, podcasts, etc.
  • Podcast support! (Sorry, no over the air downloads — sync only.) Podcasts can also be shared via WiFi.
  • The 3×3 song sharing DRM has had its three day restriction removed, but users can still only play files three times.
  • There is still NO wireless music store.
  • The Zune software is all new and rewritten, and is supposed to actually be more than a rebadge of WMP10 now. Friggin finally.
  • 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.

New Zune accessories

  • Zune Home AV Pack ($99.99) – "Home Dock with three faceplates to accommodate each Zune device, wireless remote, AC adaptor and composite AV output cable."
  • Zune Dock Pack ($49.99) – "Home Dock with three faceplates to accommodate each Zune device and AC adapter."
  • Zune Car Pack ($79.99) – "Redesigned FM transmitter/charger and dashboard grip pad."
  • Zune Cable Pack ($39.99) – "Sync cable, composite AV output cable and audio cable."
  • Zune Premium Headphones ($39.99)
  • Zune Leather Case ($49.99)
  • Zune Sync Cable ($19.99)
  • Zune AC Adapter ($29.99)

Zune (desktop) software update:

  • The Zune Marketplace is officially adding DRM-free music support, launching with over a million DRM-free MP3 tracks. As we mentioned earlier, 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 known.
  • Zune Marketplace is also getting podcasts and music videos. (Great, but where’s the real video content?)
  • Microsoft is also launching Zune Social, a free online music community / social network (great, another social network!) which allows users to create…
  • Zune Cards, which are web widgets not unlike Xbox’s Gamer Cards. Zune Cards let other users track your most played and recently played music (updated each time you sync back to your host machine). Users can also sample music directly from someone’s Zune Card.
  • You can now share with others music that was shared with you.
  • No, the Zune still doesn’t analyze the tracks it shares, so Zune Pass unlimited customers still can’t share music without DRM.
  • But, at very least the Zune’s 3×3 DRM no longer has a time limit. Same three play restriction, but it no longer has to be within three days.
  • This is truly awesome. I knew Microsoft would do something great with 2.0.  It was that obvious!

    I can’t wait until November comes. Even if I can’t get the money to buy a new one, I’ll still have the new software.

    More later…

    (specs via Engadget)


    2 thoughts on “Zune 2.0 is awesome!

    1. I saw those on Engadget too, and I was like "wowzers!"
      Zune really is coming out with something awesome. I can\’t wait. I\’m going to still keep my old pink Zune – because I still love it!
      Maybe I\’ll give a Zune 2.0 to a friend for Christmas or something.

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