Yet Another Zune Giveaway (YAZG)

I can still remember the time when the Zune was released. Loads of sites were giving away Zunes. Infact, Wired Zune was also one of the many sites that did a Zune giveaway (planning another one before the second gen. is released!) and have had some successful days after it.

But it seems like yet another Zune giveaway is on the net!

Kelly at A Yoga Coffee Outlook is giving away a Zune MP3 Player!

It’s a great idea it seems. If you include the text above in your blog and add a link to www.yogacoffeeoutlook.com and then post a comment on the post saying that you’ve done it, you may just as well win a Zune!

Well, the deadline is pretty long… You just have to post it on your blog by July 1, 2007 and you’re ready to wait.

We don’t recommend making hundreds of Blogger blogs and posting them all to increase your chances. Just a bit of fun and if luck is with you, you may very well be surprised in July. πŸ˜‰

Rumor: Zune Gen 2 in August?!

First off, nothing official here folks. But a rumor is a rumor and as a Zune blog, we can’t let this one go by. πŸ˜›

Despite the next firmware update drawing closer than ever, there are still people thinking that Zune is a project that has/will be abandoned pretty soon. But according to James, the release manage of the Zune who was quoted at ZuneInsider, “Microsoft is abandoning this generation of Zune” is a total blasphemy and he believes that they will continue to carry out the Zune line and add more features like they’ve done with the Xbox first generation and the addition of the Xbox Live.

Gizmodo‘s tipster have also “said to have” heard some secret peptalk going on at the Game Developers Conference 2007 on a Zune coming with games sometime in August. As it’s merely a rumor, nothing should really be taken seriously, but if Zune does indeed come with gaming, I think a small firmware update hopefully for some simple games for the first gen Zunes may be great too. Playing on a 3″ rather than a 2.5″ iPod Sudoku may be a bit more fun!

Another Special Zune for a Good Cause

There will be 35 limited black editions of the Zune from the Zune team. It looks like any ordinary black Zune, except at the back, it’ll have a special Tempt One’s (a graffiti artist) logo on it. A renowned graffiti artist, unfortunately, Tempt One has been in the hospital for over a year now due to a rare disease. This is a special promotion that is dedicated towards Tempt One.

Tempt One Black Zune Limited Edition

Tempt One Black Zune Limited Edition

On March 10, 2007, the Zune team will be putting these up for offers.

[via ZuneInsider]

Apple and Microsoft. The Neverending Story.

The battle between the Apple and Microsoft seems to be one that will unfortunately be inevitable as more and more generations of the two players are produced.

The US Patent & Trademarket Office on March 1, 2007 granted Apple regarding the double shot effect that we see in the Brown and the Black Zunes today. Unfortunately, Apple applied for such a patent back in 2005 – a year before the Zune was even announced – and with the patent now being granted, it seems as if Microsoft may hit a hard sales block.

Zune Doubleshot Effect

If excluding the Wi-Fi features, Microsoft has been revered for their creativity with the double shot effect. But unfortunately, with the patent now being released nearly five months after the release of the Zune, it makes us wonder if we’ll see such an effect with the next-gen Zunes.

[Patent Link]

Vaja i-Volution is Gorgeous

Makers of the Balance case which we have reviewed, Vaja has released another line of cases for the Zune! The i-Volution!

From the pictures of it, it seems as if extra protection has been added for the Zune, but what I’m really digging right now is the double colors!

Vaja i-Volution Case for Zune

The price of the case begins at $70, but can be customizable to suit your needs.

Win a FREE Zune from Microsoft!

Microsoft must’ve thought that we were in need of more of those free Zune contests. πŸ˜‰

Make MSN your homepage… And you could win* a Zune!

So, for just the heck of it, I entered. Why don’t you? Odds are like in the nano world probably πŸ˜€ but you never know whatΒ  could happen!

Best of luck to all who enters!

Join the Microsoft Zune Team!

Now here’s your chance to really get close with the Zune! No more some Zune users or anything like that.

Get in the real action by joining the official Microsoft Zune team by clicking here! Oh yeah. 34 positions available for you to join up in. Everything from a Business Planning Manager to a Marketing Manager is in there.

Oh yeah, also. If any of you decide to get into the team, especially the Development Manager, make sure you contact me. πŸ˜› We’d love to have you join our insider team. πŸ˜‰

Rare Zune Master Edition For Sale On eBay!!

Ok. So there are like 100 orange/pink Zunes out there. But guess what! There’s the next best thing that you probably couldn’t buy off a shelf on Wal-Mart. In fact, there is a 0% chance that you’ll ever get these off the shelves of any stores… that is… except eBay.

You all probably know by now that eBay has a hella crazy lot of things for sale over there. Anything from rubbish to extremely rare items. Just a while ago, a rather “rare” for us Zune fans popped up.

Zune Masters on eBay

In fact, a Zune Masters edition of the Zune is actually being sold on eBay here! It is being sold by a user known as snip3rm4n man and he seems to be doing a favor for a Zune Ambassador friend who decided to opt-out on all the promotion part. I think the guy could’ve gotten a better deal had he sold the light changing Zune cup depending on the temperature of the liquid and the Zune Ambassador edition of the Zune itself.

Zune Masters Back on eBay

I’m currently thinking of taking part in this auction. Already got a Black and am not a big fan of the Brown as it reminds me of the edge of typical swamps, a cool Zune Ambassador logo at the back seems very well worth it. Heck, you even get an awesome cup!

Also, if you’re looking for a slick Zune bag by North Face, you may want to check this auction out held by the same person.

Zune Masters Bag by North Face

But beware for those interested… Winning this auction doesn’t mean you’re in the Zune Masters club.

Zune Ready For Valentines.

First of all, this isn’t news regarding ZuneStyles. πŸ˜› Anyways, with the valentines day fast approaching, the Zune team was generous to offer a few Zune backgrounds that you could use for Valentines. These backgrounds, like others that you’d find on the web, is in the correct dimension and ready to go into your Zune. According to Cesar, if you also purchase a Zune for someone, as a Valentines promotion, Microsoft will add a free Zune Premium Earbuds! Great deal!

Zune Valentines Background

Looks great! πŸ™‚ I guess I should get an official Zune wallpaper section going at ZuneStyles soon…

Zune.net Updated.

Zune.net has actually been updated as of yesterday and is in full throttle currently. Nothing too exciting, but you can have more control now over your account.

Zune.net Update

Since the support section seems to have dramatically changed, could this be an indication that finally, Zune users will be able to receive some quality support from Microsoft? Not sure about it as of, since it’s only been a day since the update. Hopefully it will though.

Unconfirmed: Zune Phone Coming.

Zune Phone seems to not be too far away. With the Apple iPhone planning on being released in mid-2007 this year, we’ve been hearing all sorts of news on when Zune Phone will be released or if it ever will be released. But according to CrunchGear, it seems as if the Microsoft team is once again in their round table, working their minds to capture and seriously compete against Steve Job and Apple’s iPhone.

But considering how only idea clouds are being formed as of, there aren’t really specific launch dates (although we’ve heard a ready to be sold at 2007 Holidays news) or even specifications on the Zune Phone.

Despite this fact, a Zune Phone looks as if it’ll be more of a smartphone that’ll co-work with the Zune AND the Zune Marketplace. Windows Mobile running on the Zune Phone seems like an unlikely decision by Microsoft. Probably an interface similar to the current Zune’s UI? After all, people are quite fond of the revolution that Zune has brought in terms of MP3 interface.

More updates on the Zune Phone as they’re released. But with the iPod coming in June and hopefully the Zune Phone coming in late 2007, I wonder how many will bite the Apple rather than wait for the Zune Phone…

Is Your Screen Cracking?

An interesting information appeared on Engadget today. It seems as if the Zune screens are starting to crack.

Cracked Zune

If we look at the internal structure of the Zune, you’ll be able to find that the battery is actually located right behind the Zune screen. From a bit of science, we know that by charging the battery up, there will be a lot of heat involved and this will expand the battery. The expansion actually is said to put pressure on the 3 inch Zune screen, thus resulting in a screen crack.

It seems as if this could be the infamous first generation dillemma that many products experience. If this indeed is true, Microsoft should certainly not consider this as an outside the warranty coverage as it is a major problem which seems like it could happen on all Zunes in the hands of the customers.

But of course, being an insider tip, we aren’t too sure about the authenticity of this news. Are your screen’s cracking?

If so, please our Zune Troubleshooting and Problems Forums and inform us.

Flash Zune And Enhanced WiFi

Recent news reports from Chris Stephenson have suggested that along with the Zune launch in Europe at Q4, he has also proposed a flash mp3 player based on the Zune platform, along with a massive improvement with the currently limited WiFi late this year or early 2008. What does this mean?

Firstly, we’re looking at a more “lite” version of the Zune. Not everyone needs the 30GB of space that the Zune offers. Personally, I’m using less than 5 GB of my Zune as of, when only counting music. Even when including a few video clips, I only hit the 9.5 GB mark. With Samsung and SanDisk developing larger and larger flash drives, its only a matter of time until we’ll have an affordable 10+ GB flash drive. With such a “smaller” (compared to the current Zune drive) drive and a more affordable one, I’m hoping that the Zune will attract more buyers, thus actually proving their slogan, “Welcome to the social.” Not only that, but flash drive based Zune will be significantly smaller. The current Zune is in some sense, fatty. Fatter than the fattest iPod video. Not too many users are fond of the bulge in their pockets. A slimmer design will definitely make the Zune look slick and actually be a media player that will be able to find its home in a normal sized pocket.

Regarding WiFi, the possibilities are somewhat huge. We’re talking WiFi hotspots, a longer range when finding other Zunes in your local area, a connection with your computer via WiFi, a connection to the Marketplace, etc etc etc. Zune’s WiFi feature was hyped up before November 14, 2006. Currently, it is under heavy criticism due to not only the disappointingly limited WiFi features, but also due to the somewhat massive DRM protection on contents.

Stephenson’s speech is definitely encouraging for Zune users. A flash zune, maybe people will need to dish out more cash if they so do wish, but enhanced WiFi… Hopefully it’ll be implemented through the firmware updates, rather than making it incompatible with Zune generation 1.

Zune To Europe In Late 2007?

Well… maybe not the best news for you European Zune fans. Reuters reports that the Zune may be going out to Europe in late 2007. At least, according to Jason Reindorp, the marketing director for Zune at Microsoft, the Zune that took 10.2% market share for 30GB+ media players might not be reaching EU just yet.

More coverage and insight as more news is released on this. I’ll have to get in touch with Mr. Reindorp soon…

Zune Trademarked. Is a Zune Phone Coming?!

Back in August 16, 2006, Microsoft filed a request to have the “Zune” trademarked. On the 17th of January, 2007 (yesterday), it was completed. The “Zune” trademark currently covers the released media player that we currently know of as Zune, but the interesting part is that it also covers internet services along with telecommunication. Long Zheng has some pretty cool ideas on where this trademark may be used in the future… Including maybe a Zune bathtub toys. πŸ™‚

Anyways, this brings up more speculation on the rumored Zune Phone. It has been confirmed in the latest Macworld by Jobs himself that an iPhone will be arriving to a mobile service near you. Microsoft is somewhat of a late joiner into the MP3 industry, heck, too late for a mobile industry when already Motorola is having some mad fun with its RAZR and all its “ZR” products while Samsung and LG is dominating the Asian markets and not to forget, Nokia also enjoying its share in Europe. Despite the fact that Apple iPhone is a latecomer to the industry, its reputation with the iPod have already won them numerous amounts of potential buyers. But with Zune under criticism, especially with its Wi-Fi features and not meeting its hype before the launch, many eyes are already raised on whether Microsoft will enter the mobile phone industry or not and even if they did, if they will be successful or not.

Only time will tell I guess…

Zune To Enter Flash-Memory Market

According to an interview between Dwight from TechBlog and Bryan Lee, the corporate vice-president for Microsoft’s entertainment business, it seems as if Microsoft will be entering the flash-memory MP3 player market, currently dominated by Korean and Chinese manufacturers.

Lee said “it would be logical” for the Zune platform to see an annual or twice-annual refresh of its software and hardware. He said there will be other models, including flash-memory-based Zunes.

What this means simply is it is a major challenge to the Apple’s iPod nano, along with SanDisk and Samsung yepp’ who have made a name for themselves for providing high-quality flash-memory based MP3 players.

The above interview by Dwight also brings up the infamous side of Zune’s Wi-Fi feature, the 3 day/3 play DRM protection. It is said that the music industry will be reviewing this protection along with Microsoft, as it seems that this restriction is exacerbating the already limited Wi-Fi features. It will be interesting to see the conclusion that Microsoft will come to. Whatever it is, they’ll need to find a sweet spot that will not only please the music industry, but also the current and potential Zune customers.

Zune Working On Mac!

No. This isn’t something official. Microsoft didn’t release Mac compatible Zune client for all you Mac users. Apologies if the title was a tad bit too deceiving. πŸ˜‰ But we still have some great news for your Mac users!

First off, Mac users probably know already that the Zune is actually compatible with VMWare‘s Fusion Beta. But our buddy Patrick Stuart found out that actually, you can use the Zune client using Parallels too!

Great news for Mac users who are looking for an alternative. πŸ™‚ Thanks Patrick!

Play Games on Your Zune! Coming Not So Soon.

I apologize if the title was a tad bit misleading. πŸ˜› But I hope that I got your attention! πŸ™‚ Anyways, to the main news.

Microsoft’s Peter Moore was quoted to have said that Microsoft will be adding game functionality to the Zune.

“Microsoft Corp., the world’s largest software maker, will introduce video games for its Zune music player within 18 months to match features available on Apple Computer Inc.’s dominant iPod.”

Unforunately, this is a time span of 18 months. July 2008. Yes, 2008, not 2007. Is it just me or do I see it as a tad bit too late? In a span of 18 months, I see at least the 2nd generation of Zune, if not maybe even the third in mid-2008 coming out, as I’m quite confident a follow-up product will be released for the holiday season in December 2007. So, we’re basically looking at the first generation of Zunes NOT having game functionality. Maybe Microsoft may update the firmware, but I see a strong chance that this won’t be happening for the first generations.

I’ll have to get in contact with Mr. Moore here… I’ll try to get an interview. πŸ™‚

Microsoft Sees Zune Going to Europe… Soon.

Czech Business was fortunate enough to find some valuable information regarding the Zune going out overseas. In an interview with Jan Muelfeit,Β Microsoft’s vice president for Corporate and GovernmentΒ  Engamenet in Europe/Middle East/Africa was quoted to have said, “It should be in Europe in the first half of 2007. Right now, it’s sold just in the U.S.”

Very good news for European fans. πŸ™‚ We can all get a Zune through eBay, but wouldn’t it be better if it was actually fully supported internationally? Especially the Marketplace would be a blast overseas, including the 14-day free Zune Pass… and yeah… I’m just rambling on. πŸ˜‰

Anyways, we finally see some hope of the Zune oustide of US!

Zune Masters Special Edition In The Wild!

I’m sure many of you have already heard of the Zune Masters program. A picture of the “special edition” version that Zune Masters will be getting has been floating around the net for a few days now. One lucky chosen student from Zune Masters I guess decided to post some “real” pictures of the artwork!

If anyone finds any more of these pictures out on the net or know someone who is an ambassador, please send us an email via our news email! πŸ™‚

Zune Masters Art 2

Zune Masters Art 1

Thanks sn1p3rman!