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All posts tagged "features"

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Unsubscribe From Podcasts, Right On Your Zune!

Posted by Adam Krebs in "Zune Talk" @ 10:00 PM


I guess bufixes weren't all yesterday's firmware update included; reader Nick points out and Zune Boards confirms that a certain oft-requested feature has finally been added—you can now unsubscribe from podcasts right from your device. This is great for discovering podcasts and getting rid of the ones you don't like. Users with the 2.3 firmware update can check it out by playing a podcast and bringing up the menu by pressing the center button on the Zune30 or pressing down on the Zune Pad on the 4, 8, or 80. To unsubscribe, simply select "unsubscribe." Nice, right?

EDIT (12/20/07): A ZuneBoards commenter noticed that using "play all" while looking at an artist no longer sorts the list alphabetically by song title. Now, songs are played in alphabetical order by album title, then track number. Neat.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

New Zune Features Announced on May 1st?

Posted by Damion Chaplin in "Zune Talk" @ 12:00 PM


"We know that May 1st was the targeted date for the Pink Zune. For some unknown reason, the date was preceded by two weeks. We also learn from Jason Reindorp that a new marketing campaign was going to be launch in May and a watermelon red Zune should be expected a few weeks after the launch of the light-pink Zune. David Caulton (Zunester.com) said that new features should be expected during spring 2007 and that podcasts are a top priority. What we didn't know is that Christina Calio, Director of Music Marketing for Zune, is going to make an important speech at the Digital NARM on May 1st at 5pm. Digital NARM is a two-day event to be held as part of InSights & Sounds.07 in Chicago on May 1st and 2nd. What is even more important is that her speech's title says: "Attendees will hear exciting updates on developments in Microsoft's new innovative device." Exciting? What could be considered exciting? Podcast support? New content on the Zune Marketplace? Videos and Movies? Microsoft points rewards for sharing?"

"Exciting updates on developments"? Now why doesn't that inspire confidence? They're not even saying a new feature will be announced, just a progress report on their progress. But maybe I'm just being cynical. So, let the speculation begin! What features do you think they'll announce? Wi-Fi implementation that temps me to actually turn the wireless radio on? One can only hope...

Tags: features, new, narm

Friday, March 30, 2007

Five Ways to Make the Zune a Success

Posted by Damion Chaplin in "Zune Talk" @ 12:00 PM


"Five months after its introduction, industry experts give Microsoft Corp.'s Zune media player barely passing grades in terms of its marketplace success while Microsoft insists the device is on course... So far, Microsoft has failed in one of their market goals -- to take market share from Apple Inc.'s iPods, Rubin and Chen agreed. Rather, it has taken sales away from smaller vendors, most notably Creative Labs, which previously was in second place behind Apple... To put the hurt on iPod, Microsoft must deal with some serious issues, the analysts agreed. Here are five steps they said Microsoft must take to get itself into the game."

An interesting article over at Computerworld listing five thing that Microsoft should do if they want to ensure the Zune's success. I won't list the five things here (you'll have to read the article ;-) ), but I agree with every one or them (though I think the last one should really be two different items). What things do you think Microsoft needs to do with the Zune in order to make it truly competitive? Personally I think if they just made sure the Zune could do everything the iPod does that would be a giant step in the right direction.

Thursday, February 8, 2007

What the Zune Phone Needs to Beat the iPhone

Posted by Damion Chaplin in "Zune Talk" @ 09:00 PM


"Now that we're pretty sure the Zune Phone is coming, what do we want to see in it? Well, even though Microsoft's been leaving a lot of features out of first-generation products—especially when compared to Apple's feature-rich phone—here's a list of stuff that we think the Zune Phone needs to have to beat the iPhone... Of course, we'll be lucky if we see even a quarter of these features implemented on the first Zune Phone, but if we had to design one, this is what we'd want to see."

The features in question include: a Touchscreen, Wi-Fi and 3G Synching, OSX Compatibility and and Open Application Interface to name a few. Personally, I think the 'Streaming media from MCE or Xbox 360' would be the killer app here and would likely sway many Zune owners to buy an Xbox and Xbox owners to buy a Zune. What features do you think are must-haves for the Zune Phone?

Thursday, February 1, 2007

O'Reilly: Half a Dozen Lessons Apple Should Take From the Zune

Posted by Darius Wey in "Zune Talk" @ 09:00 AM


"Yeah, yeah. The Zune may be a miserable failure according to some, but there are definitely some positive points about the Zune that Apple should take note of and consider emulating. Here is my list of six lessons Apple might consider learning from the Zune and implementing in their iPod line."

Some of Erica Sadun's points are valid. Fingerprint and scratch-resistant? That's a big one. One thing I love about the Zune is its hardiness, though to Apple's credit, the current generation iPod nano and iPod shuffle deserve some of the limelight because they do not share the same scratch-happy characteristics of the hard disk-based iPods. And what about the not-so-valid points? All the chatter about improved menus and a bigger screen had merit prior to the start of the new year, though with Apple's iPhone set to hit us in a few months time, said points are effectively nullified.

Can you think of any to add to Erica's list?

Friday, January 19, 2007

What the Zune Got Right

Posted by Aaron Roma in "Zune Talk" @ 06:48 AM


"I have read some crazy stuff in reviews for the Zune (like taking a hit for not offering engraving), and a lot of the griping seems to amount to “It’s not an iPod.” Here are ten things you don’t see mentioned frequently enough in reviews, which I think are some of the greatest points about the zune. Read on and imagine me morphing into a big geek the further along I get."

Here's a nice top 10 list of features the Zune did right. I agree with most of this list, especially the screen, FM tuner, customizable interface, and Zune pass. Some of the items on the list, especially Wi-Fi, is a little questionable. Sure, it’s a great idea, just not realized yet. If I could already sync wirelessly, sure, it would be right there on the list. One feature I found missing on the list that I would have included is Zune's durable finish. What are your favorite Zune features?

Tags: features

Friday, November 17, 2006

New Features Iced Until Spring

Posted by Aaron Roma in "Thoughts Media Off Topic" @ 08:30 AM


"In this interview, we learned that we are not going to see new features for the 30Gb Zune player before spring. We might have a firmware update in January but only for small adjustments."

We all know that the Zune has the hardware to potentially do much more than it is currently limited to, particularly where wireless connectivity is concerned. All that is need is some tweaking from Microsoft in the form of firmware updates. Interestingly enough, the initial shipping firmware on the Zune didn't even have wireless functionality. So right out of the box, my Zune required an update to version 1.1 firmware to enabled wireless sharing. (This firmware update did ship with the Zune on the companion CD.) So what new features do we have to look forward to? Well, as ClicZune found out from Zune team member David Caulton, it will be next spring before we find out. According the David, for now the Zune team is focused on responding to issues that arise from mass deployment over the holidays, and any firmware releases before spring will in all likelihood be bug fixes. ClicZune also discusses David some of the features and future directions of the Zune team. Check out the whole interview here.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Support for Vista, Podcasts, and Device-Based Marketplace Access

Posted by Darius Wey in "Zune Talk" @ 10:00 AM


"And although Microsoft is starting with a small feature list, Erickson said the company will be able to make additions fairly quickly through software updates. First on that list is compatibility with Windows Vista."

Yes, we all know that the Zune is a little crippled in its current form. First, the lack of Windows Vista support, but they're working on that (expect an update by November 30; if not, well before January 30). The lack of support for podcasts is a deal breaker for some, but that's going to be amended in the short term too. You can also expect a new and easy way to get videos on to the device (cryptic, I have to admit). In the long term, Microsoft is hoping to open up the Wi-Fi and perhaps reach out to enemy territory. Flagging and purchasing songs direct from the device? Mac support? It's all under consideration. The Zune team at Microsoft has ideas and wants the consumers to tell them what's hot and what's not, so go on, post 'em in this thread and we'll do our best to ensure they read it. ;-)

Wednesday, November 8, 2006

Wired Talks About the Zune

Posted by Darius Wey in "Zune Talk" @ 10:30 AM


"I got my hands on a Microsoft Zune portable media player for the first time today at a press event in an industrial part of Manhattan's Chelsea district (the same location where the Zune launch party will be tonight). I'm not going summarize what's already been said, having already posted about the Zune (the summary of another hands-on test, how it doesn't support PlaysforSure, MSN Music's 11/14-starting redirection of sales to the Zune store, speculation about a referral bonus [still unconfirmed although strongly hinted at today], and even a reference to the alleged similarity of the word Zune to a Hebrew swear word). Instead, the focus here is on new aspects of the service, device, and accessories that I noticed today while seeing them in action."

has joined the fortunate few who have managed to get some hands-on time with the Zune. Thankfully, most of their post isn't a re-hash of the points we've heard over and over again. They talk a bit about privacy settings (which is a nice touch for those of you who prefer not to let others know what you're listening to / watching), the time it takes for a transfer (10-15 seconds), streaming content from the Zune software to an Xbox 360 (something we'll definitely be showing the moment we get our hands on a Zune), and what's on the Zune Marketplace (over two million tracks and editorially-featured content). Overall, they were pretty impressed with what they saw, and think that given enough time, iPod sales will suffer.

Saturday, November 4, 2006

Engadget's Video Walkthrough of the Zune

Posted by Darius Wey in "Zune Talk" @ 12:05 AM


Good ol' Engadget has posted a video walkthrough of the Zune - covering just about every feature that you could poke a stick at. Seeing all this in action makes me want to play with a Zune now. Oh, the agonizing wait. ;-)

Figure 1: Large album art with zero whitespace. Yeah!


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