Microsoft's New Zune MP3 Players


Microsoft released new models of their Zune media players, adding the following:

• A slimmer new case design in both hard-drive- and flash-based models.

• Automatic syncing over Wi-Fi.

• The new "Zune Pad" is both a click button and a touchpad.

• "Zune Card" widgets for embedding on the web, a la Xbox Live Gamertag widgets.

• "Zune Social," a Last.FM-like music tracking platform.

• Integration with Windows Media Center platform, for watching your recorded content.

The Zune-to-Zune "squirting" will still be wrapped in three-plays-only DRM, even for content you ripped yourself, although the self-destruct timer has been jettisoned.

All new features will be added to the original zoom via a firmware update.

4GB for $150; 8GB for $200; 80GB for $250, available in mid-November.

Still not the disruptive product I wish it could be.

From the windswept sands of Gadgetzan: Gadget Lab (Hands-On); Crunchgear; Reuters; Daring Fireball;; Gizmodo; Cult of Mac; Engadget; Ars

Join the Conversation


  1. Why can’t my iphone do this?

    • Automatic syncing over Wi-Fi.

    Apple is fucking retarded sometimes (apologies to those with actual mental handicaps). Even the squirting thing. It’s a fucking cool idea. We’ve got bluetooth which we can’t use other than with the dumb headset which I refuse to purchase/use. We’ve got wifi which is good, but could be used for so much more. Gah. I swear. I want to be a good little apple addict (I’ve owned a ton of apple gear over the years) but it seems like the evil empire (MS – cue lightning) keeps getting things right.

    Oh ya, this part:
    • All new features will be added to the original zoom via a firmware update.

    the OG zune doesn’t have touchpad capability, right?

  2. I think Microsoft should say “Fuck the labels” and get rid of the 3-play DRM. I bet you $10 that if they did, the Zune would become a serious iPod competitor.

    The Wifi syncing is pretty sweet.

  3. @SCAUGHT – No, the original had a 5-way directional pad-type thingy.

    Good news about the firmware update for the older ones, I picked up a white one during the Woot-off for $150 a while back (and exchanged it for a brown one at a local store, much cooler looking), and these new features should be cool. I hope they release that upgrade ahead of the release of these new models.

  4. I’ve always supported the brown zune, and most everyone else on the internet thinks I’m crazy. Joflow, you must be a person of incredible taste and intelligence.

  5. What I want to know is if it can be used as an external harddrive now? The old one couldn’t and that really is the only feature keeping me from switching over from an Ipod now that they have 80Gig models.

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