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™‚

Back in Full Power!

I’d like to first thank all of the readers who were waiting arduously for this day. I found a way through WordPress to actually load the ACP end of the site a bit faster, so I will be able to (hopefully) truly start posting more. πŸ™‚ I know that a lot of updating will be needed, but I’ll get working on it straight away.

Thanks for keeping faith with Wired Zune. I guess it’s time for us to repay you now. πŸ™‚

Thanks once again!

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!

Sorry. We suck.

First of all, I hope that you guys are having a fun new year. Three
days into 2007. πŸ™‚ I myself am not having the best of times, but I’m
trying to find my way through.

I’m sure many of you have seen the activity of Wired Zune drop
substantially over the past week or so. Many of you who’ve been
emailing with me for a while now probably know that I’m in S. Korea as
of. Well, recently there was an earthquake in Taiwan, which have
increidibly slowed down my internet connection to the Wired Zune
servers. The server that Wired Zune is hosted on is actually in
Dallas, Texas, which is the main problem. πŸ™

No worries though!

I’m actually writing this post via an email. I got a friend of mine in
US to set up the blog so that I’ll be able to post on it through a
secret email. πŸ˜› So here goes the first post using this feature of
WordPress! πŸ™‚

To make up to you guys for the lack of updates recently, I’ve got a
few things coming once the internet is back in full speed.

– Comprehensive review center. We’ve got products from the Zune, DLO
cases, Vaja and more just waiting to be uploaded once the internet
allows us!
– A contest is actually already running at the forums for 5 DLO Deluxe
Leather cases for your Zunes! πŸ™‚ We’ll soon be having 3 quality Vaja
Leather cases too! Make sure you participate in our forums. πŸ™‚
– We’re also working very hard with the ZuneStyles staff. As you know,
ZuneStyles and Wired Zune are under the same network. All of the
backgrounds on ZuneStyles will be exclusive to ZuneStyles. Once again,
when the internet is going, I’m personally going to be contributing a
lot of ZuneStyles too!
– Forum shop will also go under its final testings and will open up
shortly!
– The Easter Bunny is thinking of placing a Zune or two beside his
eggs… Look out for a possible contest too! πŸ˜‰

I guess that sums it up. πŸ™‚ Hopefully this feature will go well and I
won’t have to dehydrate you guys with no information for over a WEEK
again! πŸ˜›

Thanks for sticking with us! πŸ™‚

– ioDi

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!

Merry Christmas!

For those celebrating Christmas, Wired Zune would like to say, MERRY CHRISTMAS! Only once per year, we hope you enjoy this day to the fullest!

Merry Christmas

To get all this “holiday” atmosphere going, we’ll be launching a new contest later tonight for 5 DLO Leather cases for your Zune! So keep a look out! πŸ™‚

Orange Zune Spotted on eBay!

Who would’ve thought that Microsoft actually slipped in some Orange versions of the Zune too in that 100 limited editions! We’ve only been seeing a few Pink come up, but I guess there are quite a few Orange ones out there somewhere. πŸ™‚

A guy went to buy a White Zune, but ended up with an Orange, and thought that he could make some profit off of it, considering how recently, a Pink Zune was sold for $960 USD on eBay. He listed the item on eBay with a starting bid of $750!

Orange Zune

… which no one thought was worth it. I guess you’re stuck with the Orange one buddy. πŸ˜›

Unfortunately, he claimed that he won’t be relisting this… He could’ve probably made himself a few bucks if the pricing had actually begun lower…

To greedy? I think so too.

We Have a Winner!

We have a winner for our Zune competition! Check out our forums for the winner!

The selection was done by putting all tickets into a bag. A random winner was drawn for each prize items.

Keep a look out for further competitions at Wired Zune, as we have a few more coming in pretty soon! πŸ˜‰

Wired Zune Has A Logo!

Feel any different? New design? Different color scheme? Nope. A new header with our brand new logo. πŸ™‚

Well, this logo will be in the logo of Wired Zune for the time being. πŸ˜‰ We’ll most likely have a new logo that will for sure stick with Wired Zune on its first birthday, but this will be the one until then. If there are some good replies, we may keep it as the one that will represent Wired Zune for a longer period. πŸ˜›

Wired Zune Logo

For those who have not caught the logo’s meaning, let me give a brief explanation. To simply say, cover up the two O’s at the top and you’ll see a “w” type of sign, although the line at the bottom makes it kind of look odd. πŸ˜€ Now, cover up the O’s at both sides and you have a “Z”. Pretty clever? πŸ˜‰

We invested mid-XX USD for this logo so that Wired Zune will have some sort of an identity for the time being. Most likely, we’ll have a new logo, as stated before, for its birthday… Or maybe earlier.. πŸ˜›

Zune Update Released

A bit late on this. πŸ™‚ Got all caught up with other work, but I just finished the updating for my Zune software and one thing that I immediately notice is speed.

Zune Update

The overall speed of the software have been heavily debated about after its initial launch. But with this update, fear no more. No more intense lags for those who are using a low-end computer. πŸ™‚ Heck, its as fast as Winamp for me. πŸ˜›

When you load up your Zune software, the software should immediately detect that there is an update available. Proceed on, if you wish to feel the new level of quality. πŸ™‚

Enjoy!

Vista Patch Coming Later Today

It has been a nagging part about using Vista a bit earlier than the rest of the world. Not being compatible with the Zune. But today, Cesar Menendez of Zune Insider have stated that Microsoft will be coming out with a 22 megabyte patch that will clear such problems.

Vista Logo

But to point out, this patch will not only be addressing Vista users. After the initial launch back in the 14th, the Zune software have come under much criticism after not installing properly on many computers. Cesar recommends that this will actually work as fix for this problem along with many other problems Zuners have been dealing with.

Great stuff Microsoft! A 1.2 firmware update and a patch!

Zune Firmware 1.2 Arrives Before Christmas!

I guess Microsoft did keep their promise. πŸ™‚ A week before Christmas and here we are with the 1.2 firmware update. Already positives reviews regarding this firmware are spreading. Some say the Zune overall have gotten faster. But still, it seems as if some of the problems with 1.1, especially the skipping between songs seem to still exist for some Zunes.

Zune Firmware Update

We encourage everyone who have updated their Zune to 1.2 to visit our forums and make a comment on this update. πŸ™‚

Thanks!

Want a Pink Zune?

Firstly, no, Wired Zune isn’t giving out a Pink Zune. πŸ˜‰ But for those who are hoping to snatch one out of the hundred released, check this picture out. You are actually told that you’ll be receiving a Pink Zune, even though the boxing may look different.

Pink

I wonder if in the international launch, more pink Zunes will be released… Probably not though. πŸ™

Cnet’s Zune vs. iPod Battle

Cnet once again comes out with a unique approach to all the Zune reviews. Heck, at least this time, it’ll be a lot more fun to actually watch than just watch some guru come out and talk about the Zune. πŸ˜‰

Veronica Belmont

In the interesting Prize Fight series, the host, Veronica Belmont, gives each device a certain amount of points in 5 different categories. The result is 19-20, for the iPod, but Veronica does indeed point out some key parts to both the iPod and the Zune. A pretty fun review to look at, if you’re indecisive about which to buy for the Holidays, but don’t want to read pages after pages of reviews, this should be an interesting watch.

Link to video: Part 1 | Part 2

I’m a Zune.

Microsoft tends to have a little “internal” humor type of video for their employees, and it seems as if one of them got leaked! Kudos to ZuneBoards for leaking this, as the clip itself is pretty funny. For your pleasure, here’s the clip.

[youtube]DQg0JNaKeVM[/youtube]

I wish I worked in Microsoft. πŸ˜‰