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June 29, 2007

Forum round-up!

by Harvey Chute

zune graphic

Overheard in the Zune forums:

  • In celebration of Zunerama's first birthday, we announced thirty giveaways - including a 30GB Zune - in our giveaway board
  • Apple's iPhone launch spurred much debate in the boards
  • We noted bemusedly that Zune's headphonesare one of the few that actually work with iPhone
  • Our members vent that it's time for some Zune feature updates
  • ...and, we speculate on essential features for Zune 2.
  • Zune on, folks...

    Comments | Permalink


    June 29, 2007

    Big day

    by Harvey Chute

    It's a common sight every June. Auditoriums, gymnasiums, city centers, and hockey arenas everywhere fill up for countless cap-and-gown ceremonies.

    I don't think much about it. Even my own graduation didn't leave a particularly strong impression with me.

    But last night, I see my little girl walk alone down the runway. Eyes shining, diploma in hand. Amidst the frenzy of my shutter, I hear the proud applause, the cheering of her classmates.

    And I know I'm witness to a cleaving. With every step, her high school life - her life with us - retreats ever so slightly behind her.

    I think briefly of all those steps, from her very first uncertain ones, to today. She embraces her teary Mom. In a moment, her little sisters run up to give her congratulatory hugs.

    While she leaves high school with awards and accolades, I'm most thankful for less showy things. Her kindness to people and animals. How she calls me "Papa". Her beautiful smile, and loud laugh. The respect she shows me and her mother. Her ability to make jokes at her own expense. The way she charts her life, unapologetically and head-on. I describe her as fearless, but I know that's not true. She does have courage, and determination well beyond her years.

    So now she has graduated. I will never hear the horns of "Pomp and Circumstance" in the same way; it's burned into the soundtrack of my life's memories.

    In a few weeks, she'll be off for the big city. More "big girl" steps. Moving her into her dorm. Watching as she meets the new people entering her life. Driving away.

    Sometimes life comes at you gently and lazily. Other times, like this week, it leaps at you and pulls you hungrily into new places.

    Congratulations, Celeste. May you always walk with angels overhead.

    Comments | Permalink


    June 28, 2007

    Griffin gives 10 CenterStage cases to Zunerama members

    by Harvey Chute

    zune graphic

    Today, Griffin joins our birthday celebration, with CenterStage cases to give out to ten lucky Zunerama members. Thanks, Griffin!

    Griffin's CenterStage is one of our favorite cases - you can see our video review in our accessory reviews page. You can also check out Griffin's Zune products page.

    With its fold-out kickstand, and colorful design, the CenterStage is as elegant and thoughtfully-constructed as a poem. In fact, we hope it inspires the poet in you, because that's what it's going to take to win this.

    To enter for this, reply to our giveaway post, in poetry form. Any rhyming post will do - two simple lines, or an entire sonnet.

    We'll start randomly drawing winners on July 23. Good luck!

    Comments | Permalink



    June 27, 2007

    Speck cases for Zune - win one of fourteen!

    by Harvey Chute

    Speck case for Zune

    Zunerama's birthday celebration continues! Speck joins us today, and - what's this! They're bearing armloads of gifts for Zunerama members!

    Speck has a great lineup of Zune cases, including its Active Sport, Active Sport Lite, Canvas Sport, Executive, and its renowned ToughSkin case.

    You can see pictures and videos of these cases in our accessory reviews.

    Speck is a worldwide company, and with this giveaway we're giving a nod to the worldwide nature of our Zunerama community.

    To enter, add a pin for your location on our Zunerama Zuners map, and post about it in our Speck giveaway thread.

    We'll randomly draw fourteen winners, starting on July 12. Good luck, Zuners!

    Comments | Permalink


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    June 26, 2007

    Another Zune LE player detected

    by Harvey Chute

    zune graphic

    Our Zunerama street team has unearthed another Zune limited edition player.

    This one appeared in B.C.'s Whistler ski resort in April, at a Trouble Andrew performance. Trouble Andrew is the name of a snowboarding band led by pro snowboarder frontman Trevor Andrew.

    Wow, how many of these mini-editions of Zune are out there?

    We have dutifully added it to our gallery of Zune player versions.

    Thanks to Aaron94 for the tip!

    Comments | Permalink


    Zune accessory giveaways


    June 26, 2007

    DLO Home Dock for Zune - win one of five!

    by Harvey Chute

    DLO Home Dock for Zune

    Our Birthday Bash continues as we celebrate Zunerama's first year!

    Today, DLO joins the party and is offering its snazzy Home Dock for Zune for five lucky Zunerama members. Wow... thanks, DLO!

    The DLO Home Dock for Zune integrates your Zune with your home stereo and TV. Its full-size, 18-button remote puts you in complete control of your Zune from the comfort of your couch. It comes with all necessary cables, and the clever stand even accepts your player when it's in a case!

    To enter to win, post a picture of you (or a friend) with your Zune in our Zune Photo Gallery, and let us know about it in our giveaway thread.

    The first of the five drawings is on July 10. Enter now!

    Comments | Permalink


    See Zune accessories on Amazon:
    Zune Travel Pack   |   Zune Car Pack   |   Zune Home A/V Pack   |   Zune Tough Skin

    June 25, 2007

    Zune versions - another limited edition Zune found

    by Harvey Chute

    zune graphic

    Since our All Those Many Zune Versions post, we've received a few tips on rare Zune versions out there. Thanks for helping us make that page the most comprehensive gallery of Zune versions on the web.

    The pictured version was produced for New York City's Dave's Quality Meat (they sell sneakers, not sirloin). A handful of these were made, with DQM logo on the players, DQM background image, and slideshow content.

    More info and pics are available in our Zune Versions gallery.

    Thanks to theorie - a Zunerama member who attended the DQM party earlier this year - for the tip!

    Comments | Permalink



    June 25, 2007

    Zunerama's Birthday Bash - we want to give you a Zune!

    by Harvey Chute

    zune graphic

    Zunerama turns one year old next month, and we're having a party!

    Better yet, it's a party where *you* get the gifts.

    Over the next few days, we'll be announcing significant giveaways, courtesy of Zunerama and some fine Zune accessory-makers.

    So let's kick things off in a big way. We want to give you a brand new 30GB Zune player of your choice. Choose from pink, red, black, brown, or white. We'll ship it directly to you.

    You can enter to win here!

    And stay tuned for more giveaway announcements over the coming days!!

    Comments | Permalink


    Find Zune accessories on Amazon

    June 23, 2007

    My cup runneth over

    by Harvey Chute

    zune graphic

    As this pile in my office indicates, I've had a nice incoming stream of packages from Zune accessory makers.

    Some of these have already been reviewed - you can see our accessory photo-reviews here.

    For the others... looks like a full weekend ahead of playtime with these accessories. Look for more photo reviews comin' up!

    Comments | Permalink


    Zune DVD tutorial


    June 22, 2007

    Forum round-up!

    by Harvey Chute

    zune graphic

    Overheard in the Zune forums:

  • We help a member who left his Zune out in the rain,
  • We seek evidence that Pam Anderson is a Zuner,
  • I get accused of holding out on Zune secrets,
  • We make progress in our Zune Hacker Challenge,
  • lilsalmon gives us a primer on bulding a custom car dock,
  • ... and we give a teaser about our plans for Zunerama's 1st birthday, coming up next month!
  • Zune on, folks...

    Comments | Permalink


    See Zune Players on Amazon: Black, White, Brown

    June 21, 2007

    YAZG! (Yet Another Zunerama Giveaway)

    by Harvey Chute

    We have more Zune goodies to go out to our members. This one's open to any Zunerama members worldwide. Yes, we will ship!

    If you're already a member, you can see this week's giveaway here.

    Not a member? We can fix that real quick.

    Comments | Permalink


    June 21, 2007

    Zune celebrity sightings

    by Harvey Chute

    zune graphic

    I am, I have been told, annoyingly optimistic. And so it may come as no surprise that I've created a page to track Zune celebrity sightings.

    Yes, we're only a few months into this crazy Social experiment called Zune. And, indeed, celebrity sightings are few and far between.

    In fact, our celeb-o-meter is currently at 4. And, um, one of those is a Microsoft employee.

    I'm pretty sure we're going to break 5, any day now, and from then... yes, you can see where I'm going here! Six! And beyond!

    Our Zune Celebrity Sightings page, then, salutes those courageous and individualistic celebs that, defying peer pressure and the advice of their agents, choose to choose Zune.

    Comments | Permalink


    June 20, 2007

    Winner of this week's Members-Only Giveaway

    by Harvey Chute

    zune graphic

    Congratulations to Zunerama member Aerothorn, who bagged this week's Zune accessory giveaway - DLO's Power Pack for Zune.

    Zunerama members can see which useful Zune accessory is up for grabs next in our members-only giveaway board.

    Not a member? You can register here.

    Comments | Permalink


    Zune accessory giveaways


    June 20, 2007

    Zune Hacker Challenge

    by Harvey Chute

    Today we launch Zunerama's first Zune Hacker Challenge.

    The first person to post a solution to the challenge below, will win our warm accolades, and a Zune T-Shirt. (This shirt is in classic Zune brown/orange motif, and is a somewhat rare pre-release item.)

    So here's the challenge:

    Give me step-by-step instructions on how to extract the entire Zune Marketplace catalog into a file.

    I don't need the content - just the album/artist/track info. So the file would essentially contain a list of all the content in ZMP.

    From what I understand, if you have Zune software installed, the ZMP catalog is downloaded and is hidden somewhere on your local PC.

    The question is, where? and how to extract that info?

    This challenge will remain open until I get a winner, or choose to admit defeat. Good luck, hackerz!!

    Comments | Permalink


    Find Zune accessories on Amazon

    June 19, 2007

    All those many Zune versions

    by Harvey Chute

    zune graphic

    There are a lot of versions of Zune players out there.

    There are the different colors, of course, now numbering five.

    Beyond that, there are limited edition Zunes, small production runs for charity, special Zunes given to the Zune team as launch gifts, and pre-release beta versions.

    Wanna see them all? We've prepared a page to capture every version of Zune ever created. The page provides a pic and a little background on each Zune variation. Check'em all out here.

    Have we missed any? Let us know!

    Comments | Permalink



    June 18, 2007

    Custom Zune dock integrated into Dodge Nitro

    by Harvey Chute

    Check out this custom-made Zune car dock, fabricated by Zunerama member lilsalmon.

    The finished dock looks totally "factory" on this 2007 Dodge Nitro. He started with a DLO Home Dock, and mod'ed it to integrate seamlessly into his console. The player can be controlled either through the player controls or, cleverly, through an infrared remote control.

    Sound is routed through his car sound system, naturally. What impressed me the most, though, was seeing the Zune's video output appear on his in-dash video screen, and simultaneously on his 10.4" rear video screen. Click on the graphic above to see that.

    A couple more pics are below, and you can see more at the Comments link. Sweet, sweet work.

    zune graphic zune graphic

    Comments | Permalink


    Zune DVD tutorial


    June 18, 2007

    MTV, VH1, CMT... coming to Zune Marketplace?

    by Harvey Chute

    zune graphic

    I was doing some spelunking through some Zune software executables this weekend, and stumbled across some interesting internal code in ZuneMarketplace.dll.

    The DLL's resource area contains text strings - apparently unused at present - for "MTV on Zune", "VH1 on Zune", and "CMT on Zune", along with references to related help text. (You can click on the graphic for a shot of the full screen grab.)

    Now all this, of course, is distinctly reminiscent of URGE - the music offering integrated into Windows Media Player 11. With URGE, Microsoft partnered up with MTV, VH1, and CMT for music downloads and for related content such as playlists and recommendations.

    Given the URGE partnership, it seems that music videos from MTV et al would be a natural offering for the much-anticipated video portion of Zune Marketplace.

    So I'm wondering... is this Marketplace DLL snippet just a vestige from WMP 11 and its URGE integration... that accidentally got carried over into the internals of Zune software?

    Or is this a sign of things to come in Zune Marketplace?

    Comments | Permalink


    June 16, 2007

    My wardrobe is ready for Zune 2

    by Harvey Chute

    zune graphic

    It must be nearly Father's Day, because I find myself owning a new tie. Carrie and I stopped by Nordstrom Rack on the way back from Seattle this morning.

    I'm fortunate to have a job where I don't always need to wear these! But when I do, I like those Jerry Garcia-inspired designs. And this one - I am serious - has a little pocket sewn into it to hold an MP3 player. The pocket even has a corner opening to thread the headphone cord through.

    It's obviously designed for a Nano or similar device, but I'm holding out for the flash Zune. Okay, Microsoft, my wardrobe is officially ready for Zune 2!

    Comments | Permalink

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