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Zune gets TV shows, Zune Card sharing, more

updated 07:25 am EDT, Tue May 6, 2008

Zune TV Shows

Microsoft this morning gave the Zune its first true video service. The version 2.5 update to the Zune software now lets users buy TV shows from the Zune Marketplace and allows them to choose from over 800 episodes from various shows and TV networks, including former iTunes supporter NBC Universal. Shows are sorted not only by network but also by genre, allowing users to browse animation or dramas regardless of the provider. Each show is priced equally to shows from its Apple rival at 160 Microsoft points ($1.99 in the US) but doesn't qualify for the unlimited-access Zune Pass.

The video service should support all Zunes and is available today, Microsoft says.

In addition to the video catalog, Microsoft has also added several key features to the Zune PC software, including a unique Zune Card Sharing ability: subscribers to the $15 monthly Zune Pass can sync friends' Zune Cards to their computers and devices, letting them automatically download songs from the Marketplace as their friends play them. Non-Pass members can also use the feature but can buy them a-la-carte, the company explains.

Other additions include "auto playlists," a feature similar to iTunes' smart playlists that adds content to a playlist as the user's music collection changes; gapless playback for continuous-mix albums; more advanced music and video browsers, including the ability to edit metadata for tracks; album and artist reviews at the Marketplace; and integration with Windows Live that puts the currently playing track as a user's status.

Zune 2.5 is available as a free download today.



By Electronista Staff
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  1. jdonahoe

    Junior Member

    Joined: Jul 2006

    0

    Didn't NBC pull

    Didn't NBC pull their content because of pricing issues? Wasn't $1.99 what it was available for, before the exodus? My real question is: how much is Microsoft making on each video rental or is this just a poke in the eye at Apple?

  1. Monde

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jan 2004

    0

    Back room deal

    It was never about the money, but rather the control. Just like music. It's not about the tunes, but rather the distribution of them. If one controls the distribution, one controls the product. Media companies know this well, which is why they loath Apple's control/distribution so much. As far as Steve is concerned, its my way or the highway.

    For an industry used to calling the shots, this must truly rankle. Considering zune's no-existent market share, and the money NBC could otherwise be making gives you an idea of how big that hate is.

    I can't say I lay awake at night worrying about those poor network & music executives and their profound short sightedness. They had their heads so firmly planted up their nether regions, they couldn't see what was obviously a revolution in the way people get their media. Lucky for us.

  1. vasic

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: May 2005

    0

    Just hillarious!

    The cost of the shows is 160 points! It's that simple. Now, let's see, I have 735 points in my account; how many shows can I buy? How much more money/points am I going to need for a full season? What was the exchange rate for this currency again? 80 to a dollar - roughly the same as Albanian Lek; if I imagine I'm a tourist in Albania (!), it might be easier. Let me whip out my calculator...

    I love bringing this up every time Zune Marketplace is mentioned. This points system is probably a bean counter's wet dream. That it is a colossal hassle is quite obvious to just about everyone else.

  1. testudo

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Aug 2001

    0

    Re: just hillarious

    Sure, it sounds stupid, but look at it this way. The price of any product never has to change. It's always 160 points. Sure, it might end up costing you more for that 160 points (what is it now - let's see 160/1.99 = what, 80 cents a point - no, that's not right, its 80 cents per 10 points - no, 100 points, so that means its .8 cents per point). So, sure, you might have to later spend $2.50 on 160 points, but you're still spending only 160 points!

    BTW, when is Apple going to add MS Points to the Currency Rates section of the calculator?????? Damn Apple, always late with the important features!

  1. vasic

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: May 2005

    0

    Totally makes sense!

    I can now clearly see, Testudo, how it totally makes sense...! And you're right, we really need to pressure Apple into adding this 'currency' to is widget; how do people live without it I just can't imagine!

  1. climacs

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Sep 2001

    0

    re: hilarious

    I love bringing this up every time Zune Marketplace is mentioned. This points system is probably a bean counter's wet dream. That it is a colossal hassle is quite obvious to just about everyone else.

    I love to point this out too. Only Microsoft could take an incredibly simple idea - paying 99 cents for a song, $1.99 for a TV show - and go out of their way to think up a method to make it really complex.

  1. sgirard

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Aug 2005

    0

    zune on clearance

    I just read on Zunescene that the Zune was on clearance at Target-- did NBC jump onto a sinking ship? And wasn't Microsoft paying Universal a $1 tax per Zune sold, whether the user put Universal content on it or not?

  1. testudo

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Aug 2001

    0

    Re: zune on clearance

    Was that the current model, or the older models?

  1. sgirard

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Aug 2005

    0

    zune on clearance

    The original 30GB I think has been cleared from inventory at Target, and the newer models (including the new flash models) are (apparently) on clearance at some stores. Also, it seems the Zune display has been moved to the back of the electronics isle, near the clearance endcaps. You can read the thread in the forum at zunescene.com under "General Discussion".

  1. jdonahoe

    Junior Member

    Joined: Jul 2006

    0

    Is there a minimum

    Is there a minimum purchase of points? As an example, if you bought a couple videos on the Zune marketplace for 160 points each, but you only had 319 points in your account, could you buy 1 point or are you forced to buy some minimum odd number. So you would never leave with a zero balance.

    I know this is all moot, stupid, but moot, maybe even stupid moot.

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