On Tuesday Microsoft announced their new revamped line of Zune Media Players. The three new models (two equipped with flash memory) will be coming out sometime this November. The 4GB and 8GB players have a suggested retail price of $149 and $199 respectively, while the 80GB player (with a hard drive) will sell for $249. This pricing structure is the same as Apple’s iPod.
Some of the changes to go along with the new hardware include a rewriting the Zune’s software as well as a new Zune Marketplace. The new store will offer over 1 million unprotected songs to purchase. Other new features include syncing wirelessly over home networks, h.264 and MPEG-4 support, and podcast support. Early Zune adopters should not feel left out, as they will be getting all of the new software features.
Hard drive Zunes
- It’s called the Zune 80 and, shockingly enough, it has 80GB of storage.
- Uses the new Zune Pad — four way touch-sensitive d-pad (with up, down, left, and right buttons).
- It will sell for $250.
- Available only in black (to start).
- Screen size has increased to 3.2-inches (from 3-inches). As far as we know the resolution is still QVGA.
- Dimensions are 61.1 x 108.2 x 12.9mm (2.4 x 4.25 x 0.5-inches), some 1/3rd smaller than the classic Zune.
- The classic Zune will now be known as the Zune 30 — it’s not going anywhere. More on that in a sec.
New flash Zunes
- Zune 8 and Zune 4 are the names for the 8 and 4GB flash based models.
- Also uses the Zune Pad.
- These will sell for $200 and $150 respectively.
- Both will be available in pink, green, black, and red.
- It will feature a 1.8-inch screen
- Dimensions are 41.4 x 91.5 x 8.5mm (1.6 x 3.6 x 0.33-inches)
- New Zunes ship in November, date not yet announced.
- All Zunes (including the Zune 30) will have a new, redesigned interface and feature parity. In other words, early Zune 30 adopters will have all the same software features as new Zune 80, 8, and 4 users.
- Additional native video codecs for h.264 and MPEG-4 — users no longer need transcode those file types to WMV.
- Zune can sync video from your Media Center PC.
- WiFi sync to host computer! Includes moving over music, movies, photos, podcasts, etc.
- Podcast support. Podcasts can also be shared via WiFi.
- The 3×3 song sharing DRM has had its three day restriction removed, but users can still only play files three times.
- The Zune software is all new and rewritten.
- The Zune music store is going DRM-free, with over 1m MP3 tracks being made available for download.
New Zune accessories
- Zune Home AV Pack ($99.99) – “Home Dock with three faceplates to accommodate each Zune device, wireless remote, AC adaptor and composite AV output cable.”
- Zune Dock Pack ($49.99) – “Home Dock with three faceplates to accommodate each Zune device and AC adapter.”
- Zune Car Pack ($79.99) – “Redesigned FM transmitter/charger and dashboard grip pad.”
- Zune Cable Pack ($39.99) – “Sync cable, composite AV output cable and audio cable.”
- Zune Premium Headphones ($39.99)
- Zune Leather Case ($49.99)
- Zune Sync Cable ($19.99)
- Zune AC Adapter ($29.99)