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All posts tagged "Canada"

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Zune Originals Canada Offers New Artwork for Valentine's Day

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Zune Hardware" @ 12:35 PM


"Starting today, Zune Originals, the online design studio that lets people customize Zune players with detailed laser engraving, is launching a new collection of Valentine's Day designs. Inspired by themes of music and love, the new collection features designs from artists like Canadian Gary Fernandez, Sanna Annukka and Si Scott that will make a great personalized gift for your sweetheart. Zune will offer customers free engraving (a $15 CDN value) for any design in the Valentine's Collection between January 15 and February 14. Zune is also making the Zune 120GB device widely available in red just in time for Valentine's Day at ZuneOriginals.ca and at major retailers nationwide including Amazon.ca (www.amazon.ca/zune), Future Shop and Best Buy."

The Zune in Canada still has no Marketplace, or Zune Pass, but that isn't stopping the Zune Canada team from releasing some splashy new designs in time for Valentine's Day. Can you sense my frustration at still having a half-launched product in this market six months later? That's a topic for another time. Here are the new artists who have contributed designs:

• "Gary Fernandez - new contributing artist to Zune Originals, this Vancouver BC-based illustrator and graphic designer created a fluid and rhythmic composition that represents the idea that music and love make the world go around.

• Rubens LP - a Brazilian-born illustrator who's new to Zune Originals says this piece is about kissing. That moment when time stops and 2 lovers find each other and the world disappears.

• Sanna Annukka - also a new contributor to Zune Originals, this design by Finnish-English illustrator and printmaker depicts two song birds entwined amidst a garden of flowers which are encouraged by music to blossom into explosions of pattern.

• Si Scott - new to Zune Originals and known for his unique blend of hand-inked design mixed with modern & traditional typography, Scott uses swans (known to mate for life) in his design to convey the universal belief that there's a true soul mate for everybody.

• Tado - second-time contributors to Zune Originals, the design-duo explains that this design is a light-hearted twist on a classic romantic evening."

As we get new product photos for the designs (the above one is the only one the PR firm has) we'll post them.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Best Buy Canada Offering $40 Off Zune 4 for Trade-In of Old MP3 Player

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Zune Events" @ 12:17 PM


This offer is light on details, but the image pretty much speaks for itself: if you're in Canada and you want to save $40 off a 4 GB Zune, grab your old MP3 player and head in to any Best Buy. I wonder if this is a sign of the Zune 4 fading away, with the Zune 8 becoming the new entry-level Zune and a 16 GB Zune becoming the new high-end Zune? This is just me doing some wishful thinking of course...

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Zune Originals Canadian Artist Series: Derrick Hodgson

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Zune Talk" @ 09:09 AM

Thursday, June 12, 2008

PCworld.ca Reviews the Zune

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Zune Articles & Resources" @ 07:00 PM


"The Zune music player and brand has finally arrived onto Canadian soil almost two years after it first hit store shelves in the U.S. And yet, we are the first foreign market for the Zune, possibly affecting where and when it hits next. The first-generation Zune was an example of poor taste in colours and style. The brown one was especially my favourite to pick on because it resembled the kind of human waste that attracts large numbers of flies. The "three plays or three days" policy for sharing music on the original Zune was also laughable."

Well the first "Canadian" review of the Zune is now in, and despite the bandwagon-jumping-Microsoft-trashing quote above, reviewer Ted Kritsonis ends up liking the Zune a fair bit. He gave it an 8.5 out of 10, and that's without the inclusion of the Zune marketplace (which has yet to launch in Canada). I find it irritating when reviewers mention that the Zune can't play DRM-protected iTunes, but don't mention the reason why: Apple won't license their ironically-named "FairPlay" DRM to other companies. Place the blame in the right place Kritsonis - I'm sure the Zune team would love to license Apple's DRM because it would mean removing one more barrier to an iPod owner switching to the Zune. But, surprise surprise, Apple wouldn't allow that because they're the 900 pound gorilla in the media player market and they use their weight to do monopolistic things such as trademark the shape of their players.

All in all, the Zune fares quite well in this review - but the lack of Zune Pass being immediately available in Canada makes the Zune a cool digital media player, but ultimately not that radically different from competing products from Samsung, Creative, SanDisk, etc. The Zune desktop software is sure a lot better than having to use Windows Media Player 11 to sync though!

Tags: Zune, Canada, PC World

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Zune Originals Canadian Site to Feature Canadian Artists

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Zune News" @ 11:56 AM


"Just in case you didn't really believe Microsoft was finally bringing the Zune to Canada, along comes a release to make it doubly official. Aside from reiterating the June 13th launch date -- not to mention the $249.99 CDN (Zune 80), $189.99 CDN (Zune 8) and $139.99 CDN (Zune 4) price points -- Microsoft is also announcing seven new designs for its Zune Originals artist series. Fittingly, the mega-corp has tapped actual Canadian artists in order to find said designs, and considering that all Zune Originals artwork / engraving will be offered up gratis for three months after the launch day, you might as well indulge."

Well...darn. I knew about this a few weeks ago, but was waiting for permission from my contact at Microsoft Canada to release it. And here I go and get scooped by Microsoft releasing the news to PR Newswire. Sheesh. Stephane Dion has a great article on this topic - complete with a list of all the included artists and a couple of pictures of what the new Zunes will look like.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Green Zune Missing in Canada, But Remaining Zunes Have Smaller Screen Bevel?

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Digital Home Talk" @ 07:38 PM


Ok, so first there's the speculation that the green Zune isn't going to be a part of the Canadian launch - maybe they'll introduce a new colour, like an arctic white - and now there's even more wild speculation: that somehow the versions being launched in Canada have a bigger screen or a smaller bezel. I for one wish this were true, because I think the bezel is way too big on the Flash Zunes, but a bigger screen? No way, no how - Microsoft would not do that, nor do I think they even could do that at this point.

There's only so much speculation a guy can take, so no, I'm not even going to post on this lunacy. ;-)

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Zune Canada Launch Getting Close?

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Zune Talk" @ 12:05 PM

The Zune's Canadian launch must be getting close! Zune Thoughts reader Antoine noticed that the www.zune.net/en-CA URL no longer re-directs to the US site like it used to - it now plays a Flash animation. We're getting close people...

Tags: Canada

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Zune Broadens Marketing To Include Latino Americans

Posted by Adam Krebs in "Zune Talk" @ 06:00 PM


From Zune-Online"Javier Farfan is the Zune team's Multicultural Marketing Manager and introduces Latinos to the Zune 2 Social. Microsoft has participated in many events and sponsored many Spanish-speaking Artists in this passing year. So they ought to say a "hello" in Spanish."

Did you know the Zune had a Multicultural Marketing Manager? I didn't, though I can't say I'm entirely surprised (the US' growing Latino population is a huge target for marketers). An interesting article in the New York Times magazine section a little while ago detailed the new ways marketers are going about luring the coveted Latino demographic to their brands, through fútbol, Hispanophone celebrities, and telenovelas. Personally, I'm looking forward to watching the Zune star in a Telemundo soap opera (hey, it's happened before.) As Kostas from Zune-Online points out, the Zune has already sponsored several Hispanic artists (Zune's presence at and promotion of the Latin American Music Conference back in July comes immediately to mind.)

This raises several points: Zunes are not available outside of the United States, but already we're seeing accessory packages sporting descriptions in English as well as French (why not Spanish?). Many people are wondering if this increased cross-cultural awareness will translate to an international release. I assume it's coming eventually, but not this holiday season.

Hit the read link to see Javier in action.

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