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All posts tagged "MP3 player"

Friday, January 23, 2009

Zune Revenue Plummets

Posted by David Tucker in "Zune News" @ 03:40 PM


“Microsoft's newly-announced layoffs and declining profits aren't the only bad news in Redmond -- according to the company's quarterly statements, Zune platform revenue decreased $100 million, or 54 percent compared to the same quarter last year, due to falling device sales. Mega-ouch. Not all is doom and gloom for the Entertainment and Devices Division, which continues to be profitable with a $151m haul: Xbox 360 and PC platform revenue increased six percent to $135 million. Meanwhile, Apple saw a three percent increase in iPod sales over the same period, so we're anxious to see what Microsoft has planned for reviving the social.” (via Engadget)

Can anyone say ‘ouch’? Year over year decline in revenue of over half is terrible news. Now I realize we’re the midst of a recession but that still doesn’t soften a blow like that to a division that needs to show some progress. I’m fairly confident the Zune won’t be going anywhere anytime soon at least. I believe its too important to Microsoft’s entertainment strategy in the long term. It does need to be relevant, however. It may be time that Microsoft looks at its Zune strategy and decide if it’s time to change anything.

I think that if Microsoft could get some very tight integration with Zune and its Windows Mobile 7 platform they could have a real winner. But it has to be great. Windows Mobile is in so many hands right now that tying the Zune to that platform would be a powerful selling point for both WinMo and Zune. I’ve recently moved to Android but if WinMo 7 were to be Zune-capable then they could very well get me back.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

iFlyz: The Portable Media Holding Solution

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Digital Home Hardware & Accessories" @ 09:30 PM


"Inspired by you, the consumer, iFlyz was born after spending tireless hours traveling and watching as passengers tired to master a way to watch their media. Either you hold it, share the holding responsibilities with someone or rig it up a cup of some sort. Every option leaves you annoyed and with a slight kink in your neck, just reassuring you that flying is sheer joy. iFlyz introduces hands-free viewing while traveling, allowing you to relax and enjoy your downloadable movie or TV show while flying."

It's hard to get a handle on how compact this is, but it's a brilliant idea for anyone that travels a great deal and wants a better way to hold their media playback device. I know I could have used this product many times in the past! It would work equally well on a Zune, a Windows Mobile smartphone, or any other number of devices. The product is available for pre-order ($29.95 USD within the USA, $34.95 to Canada, and $36.95 elsewhere in the world, shipping included) and they'll be shipping them out come February.

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.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Blue Zune 120 Spotted, Still No Red Zune 120 in Sight

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Zune Hardware" @ 12:20 PM


Keen-eyed Zunerama forum member Johnny West spotted this gem amongst all the new Zunes announced last week: a blue Zune 120. I can't say I'm surprised by this, but better late than never - I was a bit irked back in September when the blue Zune was only available in the 8 GB capacity. I always think it's a bad idea to force customers to chose between aesthetics and features - soon, it seems like you won't have to...well, unless you like the colour red. You can still order a red Zune 80, but there's no sign of a red Zune 120. I have a red Zune 80, and it looks fantastic - I wonder why they're not offering this colour in a Zune 120?

Friday, November 7, 2008

Order Your Gears of War 2 Zune

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Zune Hardware" @ 02:00 AM


You want your own Gears of Wars 2 Zune, complete with 120 GB of storage, the original Gears of War soundtrack (why not the GOW2 soundtrack I wonder?), and 244 images? Sure ya' do. Order one now for $279.00 USD.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Gears of War 2 Zune Unboxing Photos

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Zune Hardware" @ 03:00 PM


"With Gears of War 2 getting ready to drop tomorrow, bringing Submergence Day to all fans of the franchise, Microsoft is also releasing a Gears of War 2 Limited Edition Zune. You might remember that they did something similar with the original Zune to coincide with the release of Halo 3. With the GOW2 Zune, Microsoft has pre-loaded a bunch of Gears content on the device itself. A bunch of images of art, the entire Gears of War soundtrack, along with quite a few pieces of video content related to both Gears of War and Gears of War 2."

Andru Edwards got his hands on the Gears of War 2 Zune, and has taken some photos of the unboxing experience. What a great looking Zune...hot damn!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

New Zune Originals Come-a-Rockin'

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Zune Hardware" @ 01:54 PM


UGO published some news today about six new Zune originals designs that are coming to the Zune Originals Web site. I'm not sure if they'll be up on the Canadian version of the Zune Originals site - I like quite a few of these designs! Check 'em all out after the break.


Monday, September 1, 2008

Spy Photos of the Zune 120 and Zune 16

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Zune Hardware" @ 12:07 PM


Mmm. Tasty! The Zune 120 and the Zune 16, in the flesh (so to speak). According to Zunited, these product shot leaks come from someone in Canada. I dig the new box for the Zune 120. And, amazingly, one of the four photos is actually not completely blurry (it seems being able to use macro mode on a camera is like being able to fold your tongue inward - some can, some can't). So I wonder what the price points will be on these new things? Will they be more expensive than the current versions on the market, or will we see Zune stick it to the iPod and offer more storage for the same price? There are lots of options here, so I'm excited to see what the next few months will bring. The Zune 120 wouldn't happen to have a VGA screen, would it? Why the new box if it's just an incremental upgrade on storage? The mystery continues...

Friday, August 22, 2008

120 GB Zune Confirmed...But You Already Knew That

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Zune Talk" @ 04:14 PM

Not much to see here, but I just got word from Zune team member Cesar Menendez (of Zune Insider fame) that the 120 GB Zune we saw in the FCC docs is official:

"You've probably all seen about 120GB @the FCC- and just wanted to send you a note to confirm that is indeed part of the plan. There's definitely more details coming in the way of new software and hardware, pricing etc."

So we know it's coming, and it's real. The mention of new software, hardware, and pricing sounds interesting! Let's see what next couple of months will bring...

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...

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