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New Zunes to get Wi-Fi store, FM tagging

updated 10:40 pm EDT, Sun September 7, 2008

3G Zune to get Wi-Fi Store

Microsoft's third-generation Zune players will be the first to support true wireless updating and purchasing, retailer Fry's has unintentionally revealed in an online store listing for a blue 8GB Zune. In addition to confirming both blue and silver as new colors for the flash player, the entry exposes a "Device to Cloud" feature that will let users update their song mix from most Wi-Fi hotspots, including purchasing tracks directly from the Zune Marketplace.

The remote access feature will also improve a pair of additional features. The FM radio now supports tagging songs identified by the player that can later be purchased, either directly from the Zune or when it returns to its host PC. Microsoft's Zune Marketplace also has hand-picked playlists dubbed Channels that are updated over time and can be refreshed on the player over the wireless link.

Two important features include Microsoft's promised Zune games, two of which (Texas Hold'em and a port of Hexic) are preloaded on the player and have Xbox 360-like support for custom soundtracks, as well as the ability to share audio podcasts and Channels over the Zune's trademark Zune-to-Zune feature.

As with a recent Amazon leak, Fry's lists the device as in stock, hinting that Microsoft plans to launch the new Zunes the same week as Apple introduces new iPods and two months earlier than Microsoft's usual November updates. Pricing is $150 and should be matched by a 16GB model likely priced at $200.

The upgrades help Microsoft regain some parity with Apple. Although no Zunes are so far expected to support web browsing or third-party apps outside of games, Zunes will now have similar over-the-air purchasing and may have an edge in the ability to update at least some of the player's collection in similar fashion. Apple is known to be readying its iPhone and iPod touch 2.1 firmware for this month and should reveal any potential hidden features at its "Let's Rock" special event on Tuesday. [via Zunerama]

By Electronista Staff
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  1. Guest

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Nov 1999



    Very Original.

  1. 64stang06

    Mac Elite

    Joined: Aug 2007



    Sure it was.

  1. rytc

    Senior User

    Joined: Jan 2001



    If that's all they can come up with a bunch of me toos then then they're never going to increase marketshare.

  1. slapppy

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Mar 2008


    All year long...

    All this time and this is it? Another lets do what Apple is doing again...

  1. BelugaShark

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Aug 2007



    So Skymarket is for WinCE and Zune Marketplace is for the Zune?
    lol, maaaan... that must be "fun"

  1. vasic

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: May 2005


    Moving goalposts

    And as MS is readying to launch the new and improved, Apple is just about to move the goal posts once again tomorrow. This is the third year in a row for MS and Zune to be, well, leapfrogged isn't exactly the right word (Zune would have to had surpassed iPod in order to be leapfrogged), but perhaps eclipsed; just as MS, after working on it for a full year, manages to get reasonably interesting features into their Zune, Apple replaces iPod line with something out of this world.

    Let's watch tomorrow; it'll be fun to think about the new Zune...

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