Gear Live Dissects a Zune!

You probably have all dissected a frog in your science lab. But how about a Zune? The guys over at Gear Live decided to get their curiosity to reality.

Zune Dissected

Unfortunately, they beat me to it. πŸ™ (Was going to go buy one tomorrow or in a few days…) Nevertheless, they got some nice shots of the inside of the Zune, so I’m satisfied. But maybe… maybe… I’ll go and still try to dissect one as who knows if Gear Live may have missed an important section or not…

Check out Gear Live’s site to see more pictures!

Marketplace Will Let You Download Again!

Gizmodo just reported that unlike iTunes, the Zune Marketplace will allow you to re-download your songs up to 5 times, and in case needed to more, can easily be done by contacting the Marketplace staff. Yet another reason why you should get the Zune!
How will this fair?

Microsoft is raising the bar for Apple once again. As you iPod/iTunes users know, Apple wants you to backup your own music. In a sense, by not providing a re-download service, Apple actually saves lots of money in fields such as bandwidth, server resources, etc. Well, Microsoft seems like they’ll actually “give up” the additional bonuses that’ll be left in a case where they don’t provide the re-download service.

With an aggressive move by Microsoft, let’s see how Apple reacts to this!

Confirmed: Microsoft Will NOT Credit You!

Remember our post about Microsoft crediting you for sharing songs? And then, we had the whole hype knocked out of the picture after Cesar’s post. But, on October 30th, Gizmodo released a PDF file saying that possibly, Microsoft will credit you. So… what’s going on?!

Well… we have an official answer.

As you know, Cesar, the guy that runs Zune Insider stated clearly that such a “credit” will not exist for the Zune as of. But, the guys at Gizmodo came with a PDF file that got us going once again, so I decided, heck, why not ask another that is working with the Zune? Bill Wittress. The man that powers ZuneGuy.

I decided to ask him regarding this “controversy” or a “rumor” you might say. I even gave him the PDF file and pointed him to the Gizmodo page. All he had to say was:

“Still not true. πŸ™‚

(That) Research is an entirely different part of the company.”

Rumor resolved. πŸ˜‰

Zune.net

Well, unfortunately, Microsoft was not able to pickup Zune.com. Nonetheless, Zune.net is still pretty cool.

Officially launched on November 3rd, Zune.net is developing everyday and should be packed with some awesome stuff by November 14th. Currently, it offers Zune advertisements which we posted a few days ago, along with some accessory information.

Anyways, nothing more to explain on this one. πŸ˜‰

Oh yes, I’d also like to mention that you should send in your applications pretty quickly because already a couple have submitted their applications via email. Make sure that you send them in to applications@wiredzune.com to be part of the Wired Zune team!

See the Zune… on TV!

It’s about time that Microsoft began to display advertisements on the TV. Recently, billboards promoting the Zune has been popping up here and there. I’ve seen a few posters myself. Stickers are being given out. Yeah, that’s great. But nothing’s as good as an advertisement that you can watch on your plasma TV. πŸ˜‰

Check out these advertisements!

[youtube]4KwiBwT-0nc[/youtube]

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Research Reports 58% Possibly Will Convert

After all, the Microsoft Zune may be putting a bigger threat on Apple iPod than many predicted.

CruchGear's  Zune Pictures

According to a research done by ABI, many MP3 consumers – including iPod users – are thinking of converting to the Microsoft Zune.

When 1,725 teenage and adult US residents were asked whether they planned to buy an MP3 player in the next 12 months, of those responding they were likely to do so, 58 percent revealed they were β€œsomewhat likely” or β€œextremely likely” to choose a Microsoft Zune player over the iPod or another MP3 player brand.

This 58 percent that were likely to go the way of the Microsoft Zune – all identified themselves as existing iPod owners. The respondents owning other brands, 59 percent, were also β€œsomewhat or extremely likely” to purchase the Microsoft Zune as opposed to another brand – including the iPod.

Now, it is up to Microsoft to actually release a product that will be eye-catching and featured filled.

I personally feel that if the Zune were to truly put up a record breaking sales, they’ll need something more for generation two of the Zune. Many have already stated the rather “not flashy enough-ness” of the WiFi song sharing feature. Sure, it’s an original idea (to some extent) and pretty neat and easy to share your songs, but it isn’t that impressive.

The market for MP3 players is a pretty saturated market and if Zune were to be successful, they’ll need that extra icing.

Limited Edition Zune! Up for Silent Auction!

Ok. So we know that mostly everyone wants the “hot” Brown Zune. But you want something even cooler? A limited edition color? Well, here’s your chance!

Β 

La Brea Massive Zunes

Β 

La Brea Massive stands for three of the most popular store/brands in La Brea L.A. This includes Stussy, Union, and Undftd. Well, these guys decided to go and make us all drool once again. πŸ˜‰ La Brea Massive is auctioning off a customized Zune pack which includes the Zune, Shure E5c earphones, JBL on tour portable loudspeakers, and ZeroHalliburton 5″ black aluminum attache. Two of these kits will be avaliable per store with the store’s logo at the back of the Zune along with the staff’s hand picked playlist pre-loaded in the Zune.

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Wired Zune is Hiring Staff!

So far, Wired Zune has been run by a team of two people. One doing all the front-end stuff, while one doing all the back-end stuff. Whether we’re working on a new article or doing the back-end coding stuff, we’ve been dedicating approximately 10 hours per week to keep the website optimized, ad-free, and best of all, one of the best Zune websites on the net.
Now, we’re looking to hire talented people to be part of the Wired Zune team! In a sense, to offload some of the current staff’s work, but we also believe that for a site like Wired Zune to continuously grow, it is necessary for a great number of people to work behind the scenes. Two people has a limit. But if we have more people working, we can raise that bar, thus allowing Wired Zune to reach its deserved potential.
Some positions we need filling are listed below. The number in the paranthesis indicates how many people we’re looking for in that position.

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Interview with Bitter:Sweet

With the Zune nearing its release, we thought that it’d be great to catch up with someone that actually is in a way, part of the Zune. Bitter:Sweet.

Bitter:Sweet

Bitter:Sweet Interview Questions

Wired Zune: First off, can you say hello to the Wired Zune readers and introduce yourselves abit?
Bitter:Sweet:
Hello there lovely’s. We’re Shana and Kiran of Bitter:Sweet!

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Microsoft Won’t Credit You

Well… Not too good of a news to report. πŸ™

Remember our post about a rumor that Microsoft may credit you for sharing songs? Well, it seems like that may not be true at all…

According to Cesar from Zune Insider:

“I can tell you that we have no plans to pay people to share songs sent via Zune to Zune sharing.”

Well… the idea was great while it was a rumor! πŸ˜‰ Maybe Microsoft will implement this in the future as the idea is definately great!

Share and Earn!

There are rumors regarding a possible “free credits” for sharing your songs!

Zune’s WiFi capabilities, although not that great, is something that many are still looking forward to. We already know that when you share a song, the person that receives the song will be able to listen to it up to three times within three days of receiving the song. After the three plays or days, that user will be able to purchase that song at the Marketplace. Well, the fun doesn’t end there according to the recent rumors!

It is said that if your friend was to purchase the shared song, you’ll be credited for “referring” a sale! Sort of like a sales commission! You are to receive a certain amount of credits (How much? We don’t know yet.) that will enable you to purchase some free songs. Wired Zune thinks that these credits will be the Microsoft Points that Microsoft has announced a few weeks ago. RapidShare, a file sharing website, has a similar concept and it has proven to be extremely successful in increasing the sales and the popularity of RapidShare. Smart move by Microsoft? πŸ˜‰

More to come as information is leaked.

A little bit slow on updates…

Recently, I’ve been quite sick, so I wasn’t able to update the site. I’m sure you probably have all heard about this, but we’ll just update you for those who haven’t read about it yet.

CruchGear's  Zune Pictures

Our buddies at CruchGear decided to go to Soup Up Cafe, where Cesar (ZuneInsider) was going to do a little showcase of the Zune. Unforunately, they weren’t allowed to get any shots of the UI, but hey, the images are great too! πŸ™‚ Cesar managed to bring all three color variations of the Zune.

CruchGear's  Zune Pictures
CruchGear's  Zune Pictures

And a video for you to enjoy while waiting. πŸ˜‰

[youtube]JXQYpHY2ex4[/youtube]

I’m right now kicking myself for missing out on this one, once again. πŸ™

Source: CruchGear

Interview with Zune BETA Tester — Gear Live

Our friends at Gear Live have once again, “caught” a BETA tester of the Microsoft Zune. πŸ˜‰ (You guys are so lucky!)

These BETA testing buddies were “caught” by the Gear Live team at the Podcast Media Expo. One lucky dude was able to get a hold of something we’ve been trying to convince Microsoft to send us for a review. πŸ™ Anyways, he’s a BETA tester, with a Black Zune (Microsoft didn’t give him the Brown one because that’s the one everyone’s after! ;)), and just to tell you, he’s not affiliated with Microsoft.

Here’s a quick summary we organized for you from the clip:

  • Magnetic Earphones: These really help you not have tangled earphones.
  • Radio Presets: Great for those who are fans of radios.
  • You can locate your songs through albums, artists, playlists, genres, songs, etc.
  • If you’ve got thousands of songs (this guy’s got like 4000), and you want to listen to a specific song, you can use the Quicklist feature.
  • Possibly, you may be able to set up the Zune with your Media Center to import videos from your TV. (Unconfirmed)
  • Automatically imports pictures from your PC. You can then, watch them using like a slideshow!
  • Have to use the Zune Marketplace. Files from iTunes, MSN, etc. won’t work with the Zune.
  • BUT! You can rip songs from your CDs and store them in your Zune.
  • Guys with Brown Zunes have some authority. πŸ˜‰

Here’s some pics (10) that we personally took for those who can’t see the video.

Zune (1)

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Win a Zune! and More!

To liven up our forums and to increase the Wired Zune member base, the Wired Zune team decided to run a competition!

First off, the prizes:
First Place
Microsoft Zune
: Yes! The Microsoft Zune that’s going to be released on November 14th!

HOW TO WIN
Now I’m sure that this is where all your attention is at! So, I’ll get straight to the point.

This competition will be sort of like a lottery. Through participating in the forums, you’ll increase your chances of winning the Zune. Here we go.

Every 10 points you earn will equal 1 ticket in to the drawing hat. So basically, the more tickets you earn, the higher your chances of winning the prizes it’ll be! How do you earn these points?

Win Points By…

  • Adding an avatar and a signature earns you 5 Points
  • Every 5 posts you make will earn you 1 Point
  • Refer a friend and get them to post 10+ posts and earn 10 Points
  • Mention this contest on your blog/website/something! entry and earn 50 Points
  • Add a link to Wired Zune on your website and earn 20 Points
  • Submit an article about the Zune to news@wiredzune.com and if published on our website, earn 100 Points
  • Donate a prize to our competition and earn 100 Points
  • If you have a forum account with 500+ posts with an average of at least 3 posts per day, add a link to this thread and earn 50 Points

There you have it! Earning points could never be easier!

—– FROM WIRED ZUNE FORUMS —–

More Information | Register to Participate!

Don’t miss out! πŸ™‚ This is the one time that you’ll really just have fun to win a Zune! πŸ˜‰ Also, don’t forget to get your friends and everyone to come and participate! You’ll have lots of fun AND even get a chance to win a Zune for Christmas! πŸ™‚

CBS Unboxes Zune

Chris Stephenson of CBS (formerly Microsoft) had the “honor” to unbox the Zune infront of all drooling watchers (including me). He gives us a sneak peek of the Zune from the packaging to the backgrounds, etc. I guess I’ll be dishing out for quite a bit of Zunes in the next few years if Microsoft is to be releasing more and more generations of the Zune!

Zune Unboxing

Warning: Not recommended for those who want to truly be amazed. πŸ™‚ Wait for Nov. 14th I tell you! πŸ˜‰

CBS Link

Will Zune Suceed In Asia?

Asia is no doubt, the biggest continent in the world. To add on to that, they also have the highest population. Therefore, for Microsoft to suceed and literally “beat” Apple and the iPod, the Asian market is critical to their success. 10 out of 10 people will agree that the iPod was a huge success… except in Asia. No doubt Apple is the “hegemon” when it comes to the portable music industry in regions such as the Americas and Europe. But in Asia? Not as much…

In Asia, the trend has always been the “flash MP3 players” until recently, Samsung, iriver, Cowon, and the likes have begun to produce HDD players. Especially in countries such as China, Japan, and Korea, the yepp’ series (from Samsung) and iriver have been a huge hit. For Zune to actually surpass these “barriers” in the Asian market, it is critical for them to excel in the following areas. We’ll compare them to two major companies based in Korea; Samsung yepp’ and iriver.

1. Design

If the Zune were to ever suceed in Asia, they will need to somehow have a design that should capture the Western and the Eastern eyes. While Apple may have had success with the Western eyes, they certainly didn’t with the Eastern. Samsung and iriver have produced masterpieces to “outplay” Apple in regard to designs, in the Asian market. Although the first generation of Zune resembles the iPod in many ways, for Microsoft to really be successful in the long run, a variation will be required sooner or later.

2. Features

Something that iPod also have not yet reached the level of companies in Asia. Samsung and iriver showcase new designs nearly every year. Not only that, the featuers in every generation of players improve significantly. First off, a color LCD panel was introduced before Apple even had the idea of a Video (Colored) iPod. Thankfully, Zune is starting out with color. That’s great! πŸ™‚ Something that definately puts Zune somewhere at least. But now, the Asian companies have stepped up another level. While the Zune will have an FM transmitter, it is something that Samsung and iriver have already accomplished since their early generation of players. Now, they are supporting DMBs. Not only that, Samsung’s latest player, YP-T9, supports flash gaming (although the iPod has Bejeweled) and the clarity in the panel is twice as good as the former player, T8. For the Zune to surpass these competition in the Asian market, an upgrade in the features will be necessary in the second generation. As of? The features are slightly ahead of Apple, but uncomparable yet, to yepp’ and iriver.

3. Battery Life

Battery life is critical. Remember iPod? Battery going dead after about a year, sending it to Apple to have it changed or do it yourself, etc. The iPod supports up to 20 hours of audio playing while, but the Zune only supports 12 hours of music and 3.5 hours of video! This isn’t even close to iPod, nor is it to yepp’ 30 hours of battery life and iriver’s 32 hours of audio time. This is something that Microsoft will need to improve if they are to truly compete.

That was all on why Zune will have a hard time suceeding in Asia. Now for some more positive news on how Zune may suceed.

1. Microsoft

Apple isn’t as popular of an OS in Asia compared to Microsoft. Apple simply doesn’t support as much languages since their earlier computers, which is why Microsoft is simply more popular in Asian homes. Also, Asia has a huge gaming population, which is also the reason why Microsoft Windows OS is more widely used. The brand name, Microsoft, will help in some sales in Asia for the Zune.

2. Community

If the majority of the U.S. population has a MySpace account, many Asians have a Cyworld international account or is part of some sort of a social networking. The idea that Microsoft has with the Zune being a social networking player, will be quite a hit. This is something that iPod and other Asian based companies have not yet accomplished. The idea of sharing music without the need for another gateway (P2P, torrents, etc.) will become popular quickly. This isn’t only for Asians though of course, as it’ll surely be a hit in the Western market too.

Will the Zune suceed in Asia? The above 5 points are just some points comparing the Zune to other products in Asia. Only time will truly tell though, on whether the Zune will suceed or not in the Asia market.

Wired Zune Forums Created!

Yes! πŸ™‚ Something that ya’ll have been waiting for…

Wired Zune Forums

Finally. πŸ˜› Well, our modifications and styles aren’t fully completed, but we decided to open it because we only have a little over a month before the initial launch of Microsoft Zune.

Head on over there! πŸ™‚

Zune vs. iPod

Thanks to Jake Luddington, we have an awesome, real shot comparing the sizes of both the Zune and the iPod.

Zune vs. iPod Screen

We knew that the Zune screen would be bigger. But wow. πŸ™‚

Zune vs. iPod Side-by-Side

A shot of the Zune and the iPod together. Zune seems quite big, considering how the iPod is also a bit big compared to players from Samsung and irivier.

Zune vs. iPod Edge

Zune and the iPod from the sides. Zune seems a lot bigger from this angle too. But surprisingly enough, it weighs lesser than the 80 GB iPod!

Zune vs. iPod Stacked

Is it just me or does it seem like the iPod is resting on the Zune?

Zune Album Art

Great shot. One of the best yet since the clips from Gear Live! πŸ™‚

Zune Song List

Another awesome photo. The stuff at the top of the screen… Possibly a way to sort your music?

Great shots once again! Thanks Jake!

Zune Accessories. Spice It Up!

$249.99 for an awesome device. That’s cool. But do you really want to be The One in your block?

Well, Microsoft released some information regarding their accessories. A while ago, we mentioned an Australian based company, VAF, having an accessory for the Zune, Octavio. But, I’d like to now tell you that Microsoft will be coming with their own bundle too! Pricings for these have also been released.

Zune A/V Pack

Zune Travel Pack

Zune Car Pack

The above images are the Zune Home A/V Pack, Travel Pack, and the Car Pack (in order). They have been listed at $99.99, $99.99, and $79.99. For further information, you can refer to the main Microsoft Zune press release page.

If you can’t dish out the “rather pricy” Zune accessories, no need to fret as Microsoft will be packaging the Zune with: USB synch cable, headphones, and a pouch, along with other stuff like the manuals, CDs, etc.

Pouch

Pouch Pouch

There you have it! πŸ™‚

Some Key Updates

With so much Zune information being released, we decided to instead of posting a new post everytime, post ONE post that contains lots of up-to-date Zune infos!

To begin, the Zune pricing and release date. Zune will be:

  • $249.99 Per Unit – No different to the iPod
  • $0.99 Per Song or 79 Microsoft Points – Same as iTunes, as in USD of course
  • $14.99 Per Month – Zune Pass to your Zune Marketplace

In one of our previous posts, we mentioned how Microsoft will not be underpricing their products. It seems like this is too true. With the first generation of Microsoft Zune, they are already going head-to-head with Apple and the iPod. The pricing should definately give us some insight on how much hype Microsoft have been able to create along with how good the pricing:quality ratio will be between the two biggest competitors.

For the release date, it has been finalized as November 14th, so that gives us about 6 more weeks until the first launch.

Now for the pre-loaded content in the Zune.

Audio Tracks

  • Band of Horses – Wicked Gil
  • Bitter:Sweet – The Mating Game
  • CSS – Alala
  • Darkel – At The End of The Sky
  • Every Move a Picture – Signs of Life
  • Small Sins – Stay
  • The Adored – Tell Me Tell Me
  • The Rakes – Open Book
  • The Thermals – A Pillar of Salt

Music Videos

  • 30 Seconds to Mars – The Kill
  • BT – 1.618
  • Chad van Gaalen – Red Hot Drops
  • Coldcut ft. Roots Manuva – True Skool
  • CSS – Let’s Make Love and Listen to Death From Above
  • Fruit Bats – Live: The Wind That Blew My Heart Away
  • Grandaddy – Elevate Myself
  • Hot Schip – Over and Over
  • Kraak & Smaak ft. Dez. – Keep Me Home
  • Kinski – Live: The Snowy Parts of Scandinavia
  • Paul Oakenfold ft. Brittany Murphy – Faster Kill Pussycat
  • Serena-Maneesh – Drain Cosmetics

Film Shorts

  • 5 Boro: “A New York Skateboarding Minute”
  • Radical Films: “Kranked – Progression”
  • TGRTV The North Face

Images

  • Various images to personalize your Microsoft Zune. Wired Zune will be launching Zune Styles to help you “accomplish” this mission! πŸ™‚

I guess that’s a wrap up of the main “Zune” stuff. Soon, we’ll also wrap up all the accessory news that’s been going around recently.