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Microsoft officially announces Zune

updated 01:35 pm EDT, Thu September 14, 2006

Microsoft Zune Official

Months of rampant speculation have come to a close as Microsoft has formally launched its first self-branded music player after years of collaboration with other manufacturers. As widely expected, the Zune is a 30GB music, photo, and video player designed around the concept of sharing music with other listeners. Music and photos can be shared with nearby Zunes through a wireless connection; interestingly, users can not only flag songs to purchase later, but can even download and listen to a complete song from another player up to three times over three days. The player also includes a built-in FM radio and lets owners personalize the interface theme. Microsoft's similarly new Zune Marketplace is launching alongside the player and will give the choice of buying albums and songs individually or subscribing to an unlimited Zune Pass service. Players are shipping this holiday for an unannounced price. Click through for a photo of the Zune in its shipping black, brown, and white colors as well as the full press release with details on accessories.

REDMOND, Wash. - Sept. 14, 2006 - Marking the next big milestone for its Connected Entertainment vision, Microsoft Corp. today unveiled details of the first products to be released under its Zunetm brand. Designed around the principles of sharing, discovery and community, Zune will create new ways for consumers to connect and share entertainment experiences. The Zune experience centers around connection - connection to your library, connection to friends, connection to community and connection to other devices.

"The digital music entertainment revolution is just beginning," said J Allard, vice president, design and development, at Microsoft, who is leading the charge for building the family of Zune products. "With Zune, we are not simply delivering a portable device, we are introducing a new platform that helps bring artists closer to their audiences and helps people find new music and develop new social connections."

The Zune Experience

Available this holiday season in the United States, Zune includes a 30GB digital media player, the Zune Marketplace music service and a foundation for an online community that will enable music fans to discover new music. The Zune device features wireless technology, a built-in FM tuner and a bright, 3-inch screen that allows users to not only show off music, pictures and video, but also to customize the experience with personal pictures or themes to truly make the device their own. Zune comes in three colors: black, brown and white.

Every Zune device creates an opportunity for connection. Wireless Zune-to-Zune sharing lets consumers spontaneously share full-length sample tracks of select songs, homemade recordings, playlists or pictures with friends between Zune devices. Listen to the full track of any song you receive up to three times over three days. If you like a song you hear and want to buy it, you can flag it right on your device and easily purchase it from the Zune Marketplace.

Zune makes it easy to find music you love - whether it's songs in your existing library or new music from the Zune Marketplace. Easily import your existing music, pictures and videos in many popular formats and browse millions of songs on Zune Marketplace, where you can choose to purchase tracks individually or to buy a Zune Pass subscription to download as many songs as you want for a flat fee.

To get started with great music and videos out of the box, every Zune device is preloaded with content from record labels such as DTS, EMI Music's Astralwerks Records and Virgin Records, Ninja Tune, Playlouderecordings, Quango Music Group, Sub Pop Records, and V2/Artemis Records.

Zune Accessories

To enhance the Zune experience, three accessory packs help Zune users enjoy their music where they want to, at home or on the road. The packs and the individual accessories, all designed exclusively for Zune, will be available at launch:

  • The Zune Car Pack includes everything needed to hit the road with a Zune device, such as the built-in FM tuner with AutoSeek and the Zune Car Charger.
  • The Zune Home A/V Pack enhances your experience in the home through five products that integrate Zune with the TV and music speakers: Zune AV Output Cable, Zune Dock, Zune Sync Cable, Zune AC Adapter and the Zune Wireless Remote for Zune Dock.
  • Zune Travel Pack is a set of five products designed to keep friends and family entertained on the road: Zune Premium Earphones, Zune Dual Connect Remote, Zune Gear Bag, Zune Sync Cable and the Zune AC Adapter.

Providing consumers with additional options to customize and personalize their Zune experience, Microsoft is also working with leading accessory manufacturers Altec Lansing, Belkin Corp., Digital Lifestyle Outfitters (DLO), Dual Electronics, Griffin Technology, Harman Kardon and JBL, Integrated Mobile Electronics, Jamo International, Klipsch Audio Technologies, Logitech, Monster Cable Products Inc., Speck, Targus Group International Inc. and VAF Research

The Future is Bright

In addition to the features available at launch, built-in wireless technology and powerful software provide a strong foundation to continue to build new shared experiences around music and video. As Zune evolves, the device can be easily updated. The Zune software on your PC will let you know when these updates are available for download.

About Zune

Zune is Microsoft's music and entertainment platform that provides an end-to-end solution for Connected Entertainment. The Zune experience includes a 30GB digital media player, the Zune Marketplace music service, and a foundation for an online community that will enable music fans to discover new music. Inspired by the vast and varied community of music fans, Zune focuses on helping emerging artists shape the digital canvas. Zune is part of Microsoft's Entertainment and Devices division and supports the company's software-based services vision to help drive innovation in the digital entertainment space.

by MacNN Staff




  1. jedi2187

    Joined: Dec 1969



    What's brown, black, white and bland all over?

    How 'bout we take a look at the battery life on th--- whoops! sorry, gotta charge it up again.

    and one can only imagine what the packaging for these things will look like.

  1. neocyberdude

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Link at the bottom

    I'm getting a kick out of the "buy it from the apple store!" link at the bottom of the story...

  1. apple4ever

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Even Microsoft can't battle the iPod, especially with that ugly and complicated looking thing. I mean come on, BROWN???

  1. lemuel777

    Joined: Dec 1969



    The ugly brown Zunes are for UPS employees. What has Brown done for you lately?

  1. ronjamin

    Joined: Dec 1969


    The color of poo

    Isnt brown the color of p***?

  1. SwissMac

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Brown, with grey trim

    How cool can that be? Brown - with grey trimmings! Good colours for brown nosers with grey faces... no colour, no character. Great copy cat product. Like Bizarro from the Superman comics... no style and not really quite there. And way over-hyped, as usual from M$.

  1. lamewing

    Joined: Dec 1969


    what is wrong with brown

    Hey, I may be an old f***, but I grew up in the 70's and 80's and that brown Zune really gives off a feeling of nostalia. I see many naysayers here blasting the zune, but I wonder how people would react if Apple had used that color. For the record, no I am not going to buy a (Toshiba) Zune.

  1. pmenadue

    Joined: Dec 1969


    The history of being smug


    All the smug comments above remind me of comments made by:

    Novell users about Windows NT Notes users about Microsoft Mail WordPerfect users about MS Word Ingres users about SQL Server Netscape users about Internet Explorer Mac users about DOS and Intel PCs

    See you in a few years. :-)

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