updated 12:35 pm EDT, Fri September 15, 2006
Zune Features and More
Yesterday's announcement of the Zune media player was high profile, but left many details unknown, including the company's longer-term strategy for the Zune name. Many of these are now being addressed. The new device will support the unprotected formats of the iPod, says Microsoft's Cesar Menendez. H.264 and MPEG-4 video as well as AAC audio will be playable on the Zune alongside the expected MP3 and Windows Media formats. Despite the wide-aspect screen, however, video will still be limited to the same 320x240 resolution as Apple's iPod. Microsoft has also said that its current strategy is relatively limited, according to Reuters. Videos will not yet be available to buy at the Zune Marketplace and the initial Zune player resembles more conventional media players. Nevertheless, the software giant has openly stated its intent to produce a Zune-branded music phone - positioning its future handset in direct competition with the Apple music phone expected next year. Click through for more information about the Zune through official video demonstrations.
The first video shows the general interface, which is significantly more visual and reflects the user's personalized theme. The built-in FM radio, as with Apple's Radio Remote, can display RDS track data from supporting radio stations.
A second video illustrates the process of sharing songs with nearby Zunes: owners first pick the song they want to share and then browse a list of nearby Zunes. The recipient has to accept the track before the download begins.