Microsoft's Zune Player in three colours - Picture: Microsoft Earlier today, Microsoft released information on their portable media player to rival Apple’s iPod…the Zune.

A quick read of the fact sheets gives the following information:

It will be a portable media player available in three colours, white, black and BROWN?…Should go well with that mahogany coffee table, or the brown corduroy trousers you’ve been hiding. According to amrit at Sterogum, who got to see the Zune in a Microsoft press preview, the casing is plastic with a translucent coating. This should mean that the coloured layer below is protected and will have an appearance similar to Apple’s iPod.  

Microsoft's Zune in white - Picture: Microsoft Brown? WTF?

The player will be released with a capacity of 30Gb only. Other versions may be available later. The Zune has an FM tuner and the killer feature apparently will be wifi. What can you use the wifi for? Transferring your pictures, playlists and music to other Zunes. That’s all weel and good but the intended use is to allow a community of Zunes to share music, allowing Zuners(?) to try new music and then mark it for purchase later on. Any DRM protected music that is transferred to another player will be available for either three days or three playbacks, whichever comes first. The comparison made on a few sites is to Microsoft’s Xbox Live service where demos are available.

Previously it was said that Microsoft might pay to free people from their iTunes purchases, so they could take their music library with them to the Zune. Apparently this is no longer happening, probably due to the sheer cost.

Microsoft's Zune showing rotation of the unit - Picture: Microsoft The Zune also has a large 3 inch screen with the player able to be held sideways and videos or pictures shown accordingly.

To accompany the player, there will be two types of Zune music service. Firstly there is the iTunes style music shop where you can choose to buy music on a track-by-track basis and there is the subscription service where for a monthly fee, you have the entire Zune library at your disposal. This will be called the Zune Pass.

…brown? o.0

This competitor to the iPod may ruffle feathers as it is fom Microsoft but, will it go anywhere? Apple has built up a brand, got its iPods into the hands of celebrities and into music videos. Will Microsoft be doing the same to get the name out in the open…or will it become another ‘mp3 player’ that non-techies and those less willing to research their purchases will have never heard…those who will ultimately end up in an Apple store, however rare they are.

Some sites who got a first hand look at the Zune:

Other Sources:
Zune Virtual Pressroom – Microsoft
Zune Insider
Want to see things as if you have been drinking too much?

By Viran

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