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All posts tagged "content"

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Zune, Mean Mag Team Up In New Content Deal

Posted by Adam Krebs in "Zune Media" @ 11:30 PM


"Microsoft is gearing up to give Zune owners something to watch. The tech giant has created a shingle that will produce a slate of video programming exclusively for the portable device, its answer to Apple's iPod. The move into production is being eyed as a way to help sell more Zune players, but the effort will also create another distribution platform for Hollywood's creative community. The first project will be "Cinemash" -- a comedy series it has created with arts and entertainment mag Mean -- which bows by May. The eight-episode series, unspooling in three- to five-minute installments, will feature celebs playing the roles in movies they wish they'd landed. Mean mag had already produced a series of shorts starring James McAvoy, Elizabeth Banks, Kate Beckinsale, Ben Kingsley and Seth Rogen that appeared on its website before pairing with Microsoft. Like all the Zune shows, "Cinemash" will be ad-supported and free for download."

If you're having a hard time reading through the Hollywood language (seriously, what does "bows by May" even mean?!), here's what's basically happening: Microsoft is teaming up with a magazine called Mean which has produced some pretty cool web shorts with some famous people in the past. The shows will range in content from live-action to animated, and from comedy to urban and music. They'll initially only be available to Zune, but will eventually trickle out to Xbox Live and MSN, and then the internets as a whole. Sounds pretty cool, and I remember there being talk of this a while back, but we'll have to wait and see how it pans out when the episodes bow out (hehe) in May.

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

More Free Content For Zune

Posted by Aaron Roma in "Zune Talk" @ 05:58 AM


"Microsoft is introducing an initiative on Monday to promote emerging music acts across its entire digital footprint, Billboard has learned. Called Ignition, the program is designed to expose new artists and their music to consumers for an entire month by featuring exclusive content through Microsoft's multiple services -- including MSN, Xbox Live and Zune."

Exposure to new music and artists AND more free content for my Zune? Microsoft has started up a new program this week, Ignition, to promote new artists on the scene. What does this mean for you? More free downloads from Zune Marketplace! Hooray, I say. I usually try to download most of the free content I can get my hands on. Sure, 99% of the time, after a quick listen, it hits the recycle bin, but I have been able to discover a few new artists that I would have never known about otherwise. What about you? Do you give the free songs a listen?

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Microsoft Introduces Surface Computing and a New Way to Share Content

Posted by Darius Wey in "Zune Hardware" @ 11:10 PM


"Picture a surface that can recognize physical objects from a paintbrush to a cell phone and allows hands-on, direct control of content such as photos, music and maps. Today at the Wall Street Journal’s D: All Things Digital conference, Microsoft Corp. CEO Steve Ballmer will unveil Microsoft Surface™, the first in a new category of surface computing products from Microsoft that breaks down traditional barriers between people and technology. Surface turns an ordinary tabletop into a vibrant, dynamic surface that provides effortless interaction with all forms of digital content through natural gestures, touch and physical objects. Beginning at the end of this year, consumers will be able to interact with Surface in hotels, retail establishments, restaurants and public entertainment venues. The intuitive user interface works without a traditional mouse or keyboard, allowing people to interact with content and information on their own or collaboratively with their friends and families, just like in the real world. Surface is a 30-inch display in a table-like form factor that small groups can use at the same time. From digital finger painting to a virtual concierge, Surface brings natural interaction to the digital world in a new and exciting way."

Click here for a high-resolution version (544KB).

Okay, I admit to being intrigued by Microsoft Surface. You could dismiss this as just another bit of vapourware being shown off by Microsoft Research, but (and might I add - unsurprisingly, considering Microsoft has dropped hints of touch-based computing over the past few years) it turns out that this product is very real and will be deployed by a number of partners by the end of the year (for example, "customers in T-Mobile retail stores might place different cell phones on Surface's interactive surface where product features, prices and phone plans would appear so they could be easily compared"). As far as Zune Thoughts is concerned, Microsoft Surface could offer new ways for your Zune to interact with itself and other neighbouring Zune devices, as well as help the Zune's ailing Wi-Fi. ;)

Check out the press images and screen grabs above and below, and do stop by the Microsoft Surface web site and Channel 10 to see what all the fuss is about. Direct interaction, multi-touch, multi-user, and object recognition? I'd say the real "wow" starts now.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Tips and Tricks: Organizing Video Content on the Zune

Posted by Darius Wey in "Zune Talk" @ 12:00 PM


If you've ever dabbled with video content on the Zune, you know that as far as organization is concerned, there's plenty of room for improvement. This Zune.net How-To page and Zunerama's accompanying article offer some tips and tricks on arduously setting metadata attributes for video content, although what would really help is refined Zune software that handled it all with no additional requirements. Maybe next update.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Free Content For Your Zune

Posted by Aaron Roma in "Zune Content Creation & Management" @ 06:00 PM


If you are craving some unique content for your Zune, then Perooz may be the answer. Perooz has a growing selection of mobile magazines and movie trailers formatted for mobile devices, including your Zune! The magazines are basically a collection of formatted images that you "flip" through just as you would magazine pages. You simply select the content and target device. The content downloads in a zip file; unzip to a Zune monitored folder, sync, and away you go.

On a related note, in an effort to help promote Zune, ARTISTdirect is offering up a selection of free MP3s for you listening enjoyment. I've not heard of most of the selected artists myself, but I'm downloading now to check them out. You can't beat the price of free, right?

Friday, January 19, 2007

Passing It On: Zune Content Providers Grow

Posted by Darius Wey in "Zune Media" @ 09:15 PM


"You're a Zune owner and an electronic music lover? SectionZ may be for you! Download music directly to you Zune with the "download to Zune" button available on the site. SectionZ is a comprehensive portal for electronic musicians and an ever-evolving online community. SectionZ provides a supportive online forum in which electronica artists can hone their talents through ongoing feedback from peers, enabling them to achieve their musical aspirations. SectionZ Music takes the cream of the crop and provides marketing services to publish the talent."

It's great seeing so many content providers open their doors to the Zune community. While it's not uncommon to see content made available for generic media players, the extra element of brand recognition that we're seeing here is what will make Zune more visible to the average Joe and undoubtedly help it grow in the months and years to come. Check out SectionZ and a few others, and pass it on.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Pre-Loaded Content: What's Coming?

Posted by Darius Wey in "Zune Media" @ 09:14 AM


Included in today's press release are details on the Zune's swag of pre-loaded content. We have nine audio tracks, twelve music videos, three short films, and a variety of images. Obviously, tastes differ among us, but what do you think of the collection? Also, do you think its inclusion will help drive Zune sales?

Audio Tracks
• Band of Horses, “Wicked Gil” (Sub Pop Records)
• Bitter:Sweet, “The Mating Game” (Quango Music Group)
• CSS, “Alala (Microsoft edit)” (Sub Pop Records)
• Darkel, “At The End of The Sky (edit)” (Astralwerks)
• Every Move a Picture, “Signs of Life” (V2)
• Small Sins, “Stay” (Astralwerks)
• The Adored, “Tell Me Tell Me” (V2)
• The Rakes, “Open Book” (V2)
• The Thermals, “A Pillar of Salt” (Sub Pop Records)

Music Video
• 30 Seconds to Mars, “The Kill” (Virgin Records)
• BT, “1.618” (DTS Entertainment)
• Chad VanGaalen, “Red Hot Drops” (Sub Pop Records)
• Coldcut featuring Roots Manuva, “True Skool” (Ninja Tune)
• CSS, “Let’s Make Love and Listen to Death From Above” (Sub Pop Records)
• Fruit Bats, “Live: The Wind That Blew My Heart Away” (Sub Pop Records)
• Grandaddy, “Elevate Myself” (V2)
• Hot Chip, “Over and Over” (Astralwerks Records)
• Kraak & Smaak featuring Dez., “Keep Me Home” (Quango Music Group)
• Kinski, “Live: The Snowy Parts of Scandinavia” (Sub Pop Records)
• Paul Oakenfold, “Faster Kill Pussycat (Featuring Brittany Murphy)” (Maverick Records)
• Serena-Maneesh, “Drain Cosmetics” (Playlouderecordings)

Film Shorts
• 5 Boro: “A New York Skateboarding Minute” (Skateboarding)
• Radical Films: “Kranked — Progression” (Mountain Biking)
• TGRTV The North Face (Skiing/Snowboarding)

• A variety of images to personalize a Zune device, including 12 classic rock posters from “Art of Modern Rock”

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Preloaded Zune Tunes

Posted by Darius Wey in "Zune Media" @ 01:39 AM

Those of you with an Xbox 360 will know that Microsoft isn't new to the preloaded content game. Earlier in the month, our friends at Zune Insider and Madison and Pine revealed that the Zune would ship with some audio and video from a number of artists. While the final list is still under revision, we do have confirmed reports on four artists, and you can expect many more to be announced shortly. Bookmark this thread if you wish to stay updated!

Cansei de Ser Sexy (CSS) - a Brazilian fusion of pop, rock, and electronica.
Hot Chip - an electro-pop band well-known to the UK.
30 Seconds to Mars - an alternative rock band that recently received an MTV nomination for the song, "The Kill".
Serena-Maneesh - a Norwegian indie group that has reached out to all corners of the globe.

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