Zune, Harder Than Waldo?

I’m sure you all remember the days when you used to stay home flipping through a crazy picture book, looking for a guy with a red and white striped clothes. Some places, it was quite easy to find him. Sometimes, it took forever. Well… Zune is somewhat in the same situation…

San Francisco Zune

While Microsoft is promoting their Zune slogan, “Welcome to the Social”, in reality, the Zune world isn’t too social at all. CNET News.com reporter Ina Fried tried to find another Zune user to connect with in the San Francisco area. Sadly enough, she could only find one person with their Zune running in San Francisco. The MSN Messenger may be good at connecting people, but it seems as if even after nearly a month after the launch of the Zune, there still isn’t too many Zune users.
After time passes and the word on Zune is actually spread, unlike the somewhat poor advertising by Microsoft, the “social” part of the Zune should pickup. But as of, the slogan by Microsoft, to some extent, seems false.

A couple points in the article though, seems to have room for error. One is that the Zune is only in its first generation, so you shouldn’t expect someone from one side of SF to be able to network with someone at the other side. Second, keeping the WiFi feature on has proven to drain the battery quite quickly, so this could be another reason why Ina may not have detected a Zune, even if she may have been sitting beside someone with a Zune.

The “social” part of the Zune should definitely start picking up sometime early 2007.

Microsoft Wants WMA/WMV Authority?

“I believe Microsoft came out with Zune not to counter the iPod hardware but to make WMV/WMA relevant again. To be more precise they had to counter the iPod to make their CODEC relevant, but they don’t care about the hardware itself, they care about the CODEC, and that’s the exact opposite of Apple. Apple’s iPod plays many different CODECs, just none of Microsoft’s offerings. Apple wants users to buy their hardware and they use their software to get to you. If Microsoft can get their CODEC back into the masses they can then control the rights to use that CODEC and rights to manufacture hardware that can decode their CODEC. Controlling rights = charging money. It’s big, big money and big, big business (see MPEG 1, 2, 4 for examples of this). Microsoft can’t afford for the Zune to fail. They have too much at stake here. Apple didn’t make a huge impact with the 1st generation iPod, it wasn’t until they made it work with Windows that it really took off. So too will be the path of Zune. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t like the Zune, but I also think Microsoft has a lot of fight in them and they know that they can’t afford to lose this war, but they can afford to lose a few battles.”Β  (Benjamin J. Higginbotham – Techonlogy Evangilist)

Whether true or not, Mr. Higginbotham brings up an interesting point. Did Microsoft truly enter this media player market to regain the once almighty WMA and WMVs? Obviously, Microsoft is seriously late into the market, if they are actually seeking major profit from the player. But then, Xbox was successful, even if it did come into the gaming industry late.

The fact that Zune is actually working in correlation with the Xbox, the Media Center, Vista, etc. also brings up on eye on how regaining their power in medias once again could be the real reason why the Zune was released. Months ago, Robbie mentioned Zune as the “Last piece of the puzzle” and this phrase could be the hint that Microsoft is actually trying to regain their authority in digital medias.

This definitely is a mind boggling thought as only Microsoft knows the truth behind the Zune. Head on over to our forums and give us your opinion on this topic!

How Does Zune for 90 Sound?

It’s the Holiday season and the perfect time to get yourself a Zune, if you don’t have one yet. Is the cost for a 30GB player a bit pricy? No worries then, as Amazon is giving an opportunity for 1,000 people to buy a Zune for only 90 USD!

Although it has not yet been decided on which of the four products will be sold at this incredibly low price, if we can get enough people to vote for the Zune as the one to be sold, then 1,000 lucky people will be receiving their Zunes at a mere 90 bucks. Make sure you go and vote for it, if you’re hoping to snatch one! Even if you already have one, a vote would be appreciated by those who haven’t got their Zunes yet. Better yet, more Zunes in the world, the better the social! πŸ™‚

Vista Compatibility Coming January 30th!

I already mentioned about an update coming before Christmas. While the “hope” of it still lives, it seems as if a key update, the compatibility with Windows Vista, will actually be coming next year 2007 – January 30th.

Jason Reindorp, the Director of Marketing at Microsoft for their own branded digital mp3/media player, the Zune, has finally put Vista owners with a Zune out of their misery and has announced that Vista compatibility is coming on Jan 30.

We at Wired Zune now, aren’t too sure which source to trust. Cnet or iTWire, as they both are a credible source. But hopefully, Cnet will be right on with this one, as I personally can’t wait to update my black Zune. πŸ˜‰

Zune Update Before Christmas

It’s about time! The one that you all Zuners have probably been waiting for! πŸ˜‰ An update!

Personally, my Black Zune πŸ˜€ have been running great for me. No software problems. No major glitches. Pretty good for a first generation. But, it seems as if Zune wasn’t at a satisfactory level for the mass.

Therefore, Microsoft have claimed that an update will come before Christmas, which will fix issues such as the non useable with Windows Vista problems and various minor glitches. Note that this update will not feature any major new features to dazzle Zuners with, but it will be key fixes for the current released Zunes.

“It is plumbing stuff, but it is stuff customers will notice and appreciate,” Reindorp said. “It’s not going to be a whole new wireless scenario or anything like that.”

But not to get your hopes down too much. Zune will be coming with more features in the future. Just that it hasn’t been clearly outlined as of, according to Bill Gates.

“We’ll do more things,” Chairman Bill Gates said in an interview last month. “But, you know, we’re vague and mysterious about what that is. I mean, but we’re not just going to do media; we’ll do more.”

Great news for us all Zuners! πŸ™‚ Finally, there seems to be a light of hope for the Zune, within the massive media attacks since November 14th!

Hold Your YouTube Videos on Zune!

This is probably one of the most anticipated hacks ever due to the limitations of the Zune when it comes to videos. ShamansTears were able to get a quick hack going for the Zune. πŸ™‚ Now you can view your favorite YouTube videos on your 3 inch screen. πŸ˜‰

About time that we put that nice and big screen to some good use! πŸ™‚

The “Screen” Just Got Bigger!

Hey guys. I’m back from a week long trip in Singapore, for a THIMUN conference, but am back with an awesome news that just can’t be overlooked. πŸ˜‰ So what is this? Your 3 inch Zune screen can get bigger!

Technically, no, you’re not going to get a massive Zune. But for $250, you can get a nice VG-SD Video Glasses for your Zune, that will enable you to view your videos and/or movies on a 35 inch screen, 2 meters away!

The guys at 22Moo have produced such a pair of futuristic looking goggles and I’m highly considering trying one of these. While the product has not yet been tested by Wired Zune, by looking at the specifications and the pictures, it looks great! πŸ™‚ It also seems to work with various generations of the Apple iPod along with the Playstation, Xbox, Gamecube lines.

VG-SD Video Glasses

Apart from the fact that this device will probably increase accidents :P, the only disappointment that I see that could rise is the clarity of the videos. Enlarging from 3 inch to 35 inch is quite a big jump. It’d be awesome though if we could get a HD going for one of these. πŸ˜‰

VG-SD Video Glasses Black

Nonetheless, an awesome side product yet again!

Vaja Releases A New Collection For Zune

Our friends at Vaja Cases just officially released a new line of cases for the Microsoft Zune. Federico, the guy that does the marketing at Vaja Cases, just informed me via email, with these three awesome shots of their cases.

New Collection of Vaja Cases

According to their website, you can even customize your own case to your suitings! A simple math tells us that there is a 1000 possibilities, which includes the changing in color, printing your own text, or having a custom image on the case.

Classic Vaja Case for Zune
Classic Case

Balace Case for Zune
Balance Case

Vaja has a reputation for delivering top quality cases for all products. Their leather is full grain cowhide, which are specially selected in Argentina for its quality, strength, character, and grain. These leathers are made to be much cleaner than other ones and are used mainly with endurance in mind.

It looks as if these will be a hit! They’re amazing from the looks on the picture. πŸ™‚

Happy Thanksgiving!

Wired Zune would like to say Happy Thanksgiving to all our visitors and fans! πŸ™‚

Thanksgiving Cilpart

What could be better than sitting at the dinner table with all your family and a nice big turkey in the middle, with you fiddling your fingers with the Zune, sharing songs with your cousin across the table? πŸ˜‰

Enjoy it today everyone. We won’t make any too important news today to get you on the PC, reading about the Zune, as today can be better spent with your family! πŸ™‚

Zune Firmware Hacked! Use It As A Harddrive!

The guys at Zune Boards have successfully hacked the Microsoft Zune firmware. According to their screenshots, it looks as if you’ll be able to use your Zune now as an external hard drive too!

This is a great day for all Zune users because it opens up another whole new dimension that the Zune could be used for. The hack has not yet been released, so I cannot comment further on this, but possibly, we could also take some preloaded content off from the Zune to our PC.

Great job Zune Boards! πŸ™‚

Zune: An iPod Killer?

While many iPod fans are looking down on the Zune, Apple is actually quite concerned with the release of the Microsoft Zune. The Zune itself now nearing its 10th day, but everyone agrees that is surely is no iPod killer. But can it be? Microsoft has the talent and Zune has the potential.

In my column “Why Microsoft’s Zune scares Apple to the core”, I argued that, unlike Apple’s overconfident iPod fans, Apple itself is taking Zune very seriously. In that column, I listed Zune attributes and Microsoft capabilities that could hit Apple where it counts — profit margin and market share. I never argued that Zune would be better than the iPod, or even that Zune would succeed. My sole point was that Apple is taking the Zune seriously as a threat to its profitable and dominant iPod line and has good reason to do so. (Mike Elgan – Computerworld)

Brown Zune Long

Mike Elgan at Computerworld definately knows what he’s talking about in his entry. Everyone probably agrees that the Zune may have been a bit rushed. From Argo to Zune in early-July, and then the launch in November that year. Definately, the first generation is nowhere near the quality that iPod delivers. Microsoft has successfuly persuaded many buyers through, but not limited to, the 3″ screen and the Wi-Fi capabilities. But, at this state, it definately isn’t an iPod killer. Elgan takes us through the Zune’s hardware issues, compatibility issues, usability issues, along with a possible way the Zune could decimate the iPod. Probably his strongest point is that for the Zune to suceed, it should in no way copy iPod, but instead, becoming a true anti-iPod. Such a turn could definately provoke some great competition between Microsoft and Apple.

Zune: Upgrade To 80GB!

A few days ago, we posted a postΒ on how you can successfully modify your Zune so that it’ll be able to hold a 40GB harddrive.

Zune Logo

Well, guess what? The guys at iPodMods have done it again! They’ve now released a way that you can replace the Zune harddrive with an 80GB harddrive and still have the cover fit the whole drive!

Click here to check out there once again, amazing modification! You can also buy these harddrives directly the shop at iPodMods.

It’ll only beΒ a matter of time until the Zuners have an immense Zune harddrive. I suspect that with such modifications going on, some harddrive manufacturers may actually try to develop a harddrive especially for the Zune.

ZuneCast! Feed Your Zune!

It’s November 20th. Six days since the Zune launched. But already, we are having unofficial modifications for the Zune coming out. The first being… FeedYourZune.

Feed Your Zune Logo

Widely known as Podcasting, FeedYourZune allows such an option now for your Zune. πŸ™‚ Get this unofficial program to enjoy:

– Automated download and syncing of Audio and Video Podcasts to your Zune.
– Full featured RSS video playback. Supports all video formats.
– Discover thousands of amazing Video and Audio Podcasts with the built in Channel Guides from Network2, FireAnt, and more to come!
– Open web architecture – supports RSS, BitTorrent, and Blog Permalinks.
– Create playlists, favorites, manage disk space, and more…

The program itself is pretty powerful. Straight out of the box, you’ll be able to get your Podcasts going without much or any configuration.

Many more of such programs will come eventually, but we can tell you that FeedYourZune is a heck of a useful addon to install on your Zune. Heck, your PC version of “Zune” even works great with it! We’re loving it! πŸ˜‰

Upgrade Your Zune To 40GB!

First off, no, it’s not something that Microsoft is offering. Just to let you know, it is something that is also quite risky. But if you are willing to risk it and try to get that extra 10GB, then continue on.

Zune HDD Upgrade

The guys at iPodMods found out that the ZIF drives from Toshiba is actually compatible with your Zune. In fact, you could actually put a 60GB or a 80GB drive in your Zune, although the downside is that you won’t be able to put the back cover on again.

If you want to go ahead and try it out, here’s an extensive walkthrough by iPodMods.

53% Says No To Zune.

GigaOM have been running a survey since the day Zune launched, and it seems like many people are not exactly preferring the Zune after a lot of negative comments regarding the device were put up by various consumers. These comments include the Zune software not being installed, the device not looking as “sharp” as seen in the pictures, and the Zune not having some “expected” and “basic” features such as deleting your music straight from your Zune.

Zune Logo

Currently, the Microsoft Zune team is going through all their support requests. We should have a new firmware release in December or sometime early in 2007. It’s confirmed that there won’t be any new features for now, but Microsoft will most likely give their full attention to bring their sales up and get the hype going once again, after somewhat of a disappointment.

If you’re enjoying your Zune, make sure you visit some Microsoft blogger’s blogs to complement them for their hard work! The Zune’s potential is huge and Microsoft will make sure that they reach it to the fullest, although the media may not be too happy about it right now.

Zune Released In Canada?!

Zune seems to already be going international! Well… we all know that eBay already has some great Zune auctions going on, but from Canada, you can now purchase your own Zune! Not through a local dealer though… but via online!

Zune Canada

TigerDirect.ca are already selling the Zunes on their website. The prices are in CAD with CAD taxes. For some odd reason, the Black Zune is priced at a lower price than the White and the Brown, when they all should cost the same. Nonetheless, you people at Canada can now order your Zunes! πŸ™‚

I have no idea how they are actually managing to sell these units when they are only to be distributed in US. Unless you receive your Zune from another person as a gift or so, I’m pretty sure that the Zune can’t be distributed outside of US through places like TigerDirect… Take your risk, if you badly want your Zune and you’re living in Canada…

[phpbay]microsoft zune black, 5 [/phpbay]

New Features? A Bit Later…

Recently, the guys over at ClicZune were given a chance to interview David Caulton, the man behind Zunester. According to their interview, it seems as if we may not be seeing “major” improvements with the Zune in the next couple months.

“In this interview, we learned that we are not going to see new features for the 30Gb Zune player before spring. We might have a firmware update in January but only for small adjustments.” (ClicZune)

Brown Zune Long

The Zune’s potential is unimaginable as of. Especially its wireless capabilities have been the rather shining parts of the Zune, compared to its competitor, the iPod. Most likely, the upgrades will be presented via the automatic updating of the Zune firmware, when you connect it to your PC. On the 14th, many people reported that a wireless capability was not available with the default firmware, and once upgrading to 1.1 (the current version), the wireless features were activated. Some things we can also look forward to our options such as the user being able to manage their music using the Zune only. Bill Wittress, the runner of ZuneGuy, commented that one of the things that is needed the most right now for the Zune is the ability to delete your music without connecting to the PC. We’ll see if this feature is added on the 1.2, but don’t get your hopes too high already because Microsoft is said to be responding to the various issues that have risen since the launch on the 14th.

Zune: The Origin

Remember the time when we referred to our beloved player as Argo? Then, in early July, we were all “hit” with a new name — Zune. Where’d this name come from?

Zune Logo

“The creative strategy was quite simple: Don’t try to be like iPod or to beat iPod,” he said. Instead, he had to “create a new word that will help Microsoft to create a distinct personality.” (David Placek, CEO of Lexicon)

I guess that the name wasn’t all developed by Microsoft, but indeed, was from another creative mind outside of Microsoft. Nonetheless, the name is starting to make itself out amongst the people, even outside of US. Microsoft seems to be bound to create yet another brand.

If you’re by any chance interested in the full origin of the name, Zune, check it out here! Thanks TTC!

Welcome to the social

Finally. The day that we’ve been waiting for since the talk of Zune being its final name back in early-July.

CruchGear's  Zune Pictures

Today, the Microsoft Zune is now available to the public! We’re proud of it, even when we aren’t Microsoft’s employees. πŸ˜‰ Imagine how the guys at Microsoft must feel. Yup, just amazing! Eager to get one of these, I called nearly every electronic store I know of to get one (I’m getting a Black!) but no luck as of as most dealers told me to come tomorrow. πŸ™
Well, other than the fact that I’m here to tell you about the launch of Zune, I’m also here to tell you on the future of Wired Zune. Microsoft Zune is now released and some things will be changing here at Wired Zune:

First off, our ZuneStyles.com will be going live this weekend. As you know, we currently hold the domain and is under no use. We’re planning on redirecting Zune Styles to our Zune download section. Currently, on my desktop, I’ve got a couple hundred backgrounds for your Zunes and will constantly be adding more, along with other various modifications for the Zune.

Our group of staff members will also be going “live” through the Wired Zune site and the forums. πŸ˜‰ We are still open to more applications, so check out this entry from a while ago and get your applications in! We have big dreams for Wired Zune, so we need great people to help it reach its potential!

We’d also like to redirect our attention to the current ongoing Zune giveaway competition in our forums. Check it out because you may be getting a free Zune as an early Christmas present from us! πŸ˜‰

Lastly, we’d like to mention that we’ll be doing a weekly roundup every week so anyone who’s gone for a week or so can check out our weekly roundup sections to catch up on the latest Zune news.

More are to come as this is just a little peak on what we’ll be doing now, since the “social” has begun!

Keep visiting Wired Zune for the #1 Zune information on the net!

Best Buy “Leaks” a Zune!

I guess a salesman at Best Buy decided to sell a Zune a bit too early. πŸ˜‰ Not that we care. One lucky person got their Zune a few days earlier than the rest of us! Only problem is that the customer can’t install the software. πŸ™ πŸ˜› I guess I’m going to be heading down to Best Buy right now to see if a guy can leak me one too. πŸ™‚

Welcome!

Welcome to the social! πŸ˜‰