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October 5, 2007

Zune team gets a heavy hitter

by Harvey Chute

zune graphic

Microsoft has moved a company top gun into the Zune team, Business Week reported this morning.

Company veteran Rick Thompson will become Zune vice-president, overseeing business ops for the Zune team. A Microsoftee since '87, Thompson oversaw the growth of the company's hardware business from $30M to $600M in annual sales.

He will report to J Allard on the Zune team. The two worked together previously on Xbox.

It's another signal of Microsoft's commitment to investing in Zune. As Allard says, "We're anteing in."

Don't bet against him.

Thanks to JIGGY for the tip.

Comments | Permalink


October 5, 2007

Golden Zune awards: the people choose their favorite Zune sites

by Harvey Chute

zune graphic

Polls have now closed on our second annual Golden Zune awards... in which our members submit candidates for their favorite Zune sites in various categories.

Caveat: We acknowledge that we have a significant homefield advantage in these nominations, and appreciate the members who kindly submitted Zunerama in various categories. Next year we'll see if we can get a "neutral" site to volunteer to host these awards, to even the playing field for all.

And the winners are:

Zune forum: ZuneScene | See voting results

Zune blog: Zunerama | See voting results

Technical Zune site: Zunerama | See voting results

International site: mszune.nl | See voting results

Site for Zune hacks and mods: ZuneMods | See voting results

Zune humor: ZuneScene | See voting results


Congratulations to the awardees and to all of the happenin' Zune sites out there!

Thanks to Rom for our new and improved trophy.

Comments | Permalink



October 4, 2007

J speaks

by Harvey Chute

zune graphic

J Allard, Zune team overlord, spoke with Reuters today about Zune's present and future, including:

Wireless features. Allard makes a good case for why wireless sync is a more compelling feature than wireless song buying. Nonetheless, Zune wireless song buying is coming and is just "a matter of when".

iPhone. Allard points out why, for him, iPhone is not the best iPod ever. Excerpt: "Not if I can’t skip without taking it out of my pocket. Not if I can’t mute it without taking it out of my pocket."

Zune Phone? The Zune team's focus is on music, and sees "a lot of runway" in redefining the music experience. He implies, though, that phone functionality is on his mind, at least in a long-term way.

Games. He notes platform challenges, and low customer satisfaction with how games have so far been implemented. The Zune "isn't playing Halo 3 anytime soon", but he points out how the XNA gaming architecture offers potential for implementing games that are portable across various hardware form factors.

It's safe to say, I think, that Microsoft is going to push hard on expanding the music experience before broadening into phone or game functionality.

Who knows though? Microsoft surprised us this week. It might surprise us again.

Comments | Permalink


October 4, 2007

$99 Zunes at woot!

by Harvey Chute

zune graphic

We are in danger of becoming a full-time promotion for woot.com. But we can't help it as long as they keep offering these amazing deals.

Today's is available only to buyers of previous Zunes from woot, and their friends. So, my Zunerama friends, here's the link where you can get a black Zune 30GB refurb, with full warranty, from Woot for $99.99.

Trust me - it's a steal.

Comments | Permalink


October 4, 2007

Hard drive players: Zune 30 GB tops* Amazon's bestseller list

by Harvey Chute

An interesting phenomenon is taking place... as a result of the Zune team's announcement this week, sales of the Zune 30GB player are rising sharply, according to Amazon's list of best-selling hard drive players list.

The white Zune is currently the #1 hard drive player on Amazon, the black Zune 30 is #3, and brown Zune 30 is #5. I don't recall Zune ever dominating that list to that degree.

Evidently the lowered prices combined with the prospect of November's firmware upgrade, are spurring sales.

Welcome to the Social, new people.

*Edit - the Amazon list is, for mysterious reasons, not including Apple's newer hard drive models. Thanks to all who advised me about that. Arrgh!

Comments | Permalink


October 4, 2007

Zune 80, Zune 8 giveaways

by Harvey Chute

zune graphic

We'll be drawing to give away a Zune 80 and a Zune 8 (flash player) to two lucky Zunerama members. You can enter here and see a rundown of our other giveaways. Those include:

  • Griffin Centerstage case - #9, #10 coming up.
  • Case-Mate Signature Leather case - 20 more to be given away in the coming days!
  • M2Convert for Zune (DVD conversion software) - 4 more licensed copies to be given away in the next week
  • Proporta Alu-Leather case, earphones, and cable tidy kit - drawing today
  • Incipio starter kit - drawing today
  • Zune For Dummies (*signed by yours truly!*) - drawing today
  • V-Moda VIBE earphones - drawing on Oct 11 (for Woot Zuners)
  • Zune 80GB - drawing Nov 13..!!
  • Zune 8GB - drawing Nov 13..!!
  • Check 'em out in our Giveaway Board. Good luck!

    Comments | Permalink


    October 3, 2007

    November 13 release date confirmed for new Zunes

    by Harvey Chute

    zune graphic

    Amazon has been reporting November 13 as the release date for all 3 new Zune players. Now, Microsoft has apparently confirmed that date with Gizmodo.

    Comments | Permalink


    October 3, 2007

    New Zune in action

    by Harvey Chute

    The Seattle Post-Intelligencer has the best video yet of the redesigned Zune interface. See the Zune Pad in action:

    Comments | Permalink


    October 3, 2007

    New paradigm - Part 2

    by Jander

    zune graphic

    For this post we welcome Zunerama member (and moderator) Jander. - Ed.

    Beyond what is happening at Microsoft, what's even more satisfying is how the media and public is chewing on the news. This is the same peanut gallery that lambasted the original Zune from the outset and continued laughing.

    What they are saying now about the Zune Team's decision to upgrade all Zunes is very telling. Huge decision on Microsoft's part. They just gained some very hard won geek cred because the dominant player has gone the opposite way since the beginning. And it's that type of move that changes minds about all the laughing that went on last November.

    One comment I read at Engadget, a place fairly entrenched by iPod users, I especially liked:

    I almost can't believe I'm saying this, but Microsoft did something very uncommon and *very* admirable here.
    It seems like dedication to the customer is inversely related to popularity - Microsoft with the Zune, just like Apple with Macs (but definitely not iPods!) I kinda wish Apple hadn't gotten so big in that area... then I could buy an iPod and feel loved by the company AND feel like I was stickin' it to the Man at the same time. That doesn't seem to be the case anymore... hopefully I'll still be able to rave about their computers for a while before they get too popular and not-consumer-friendly too.
    And all this time I thought it was just Microsoft. ;-) Dare I say: kudos to them.

    There really is something to being the underdog that drives determination and creativity. I've read quite a bit of comments from the Apple faithful who would love to buy a new Zune, and mentioned the only thing that stopped them was the lack of Mac compatibility. I read far more comments like that than I would have thought.

    With the Zune80 the Zune team hit a sweet spot. The iPod classic has massive amounts of storage, which is perfect for video, yet has a smaller screen. The touch has a beautiful screen, yet nowhere near enough storage room for video.

    Zune 80 is in the middle of the two. And that is what I'm getting from the DAP community at large. It's not too fringe, making it overly expensive, and it's advanced enough to be tempting for a ton of people who want to jump from 30 gigs up. Kinda reminds me of the course Nintendo took with the Wii.

    I think we'll be meeting many more friends next month, and more to come as the years past. The brand Zune isn't a joke anymore, and finally feels like a legitimate contender.

    All hail competition.

    Comments | Permalink


    October 3, 2007

    New paradigm - Part 1

    by Jander

    For this post we welcome Zunerama member (and moderator) Jander. - Ed.

    Cool stuff just happened. I've been all over the place doing some reading - and up way later than I should - getting the general consensus of how the public is taking the Zune unveiling.

    There wasn't laughing this time. I didn't read one poop joke. Not one. And after all the reading, press releases, comments galore, I see something happening to Microsoft itself as a company, something that hadn't hit me until today. They are shifting their business. There was a couple comments from Gates and Allard made in the official press release that got the ole noodle moving:

    “Twenty years ago we bet the company on an integrated productivity suite of word processing, spreadsheets and presentations, and we changed the way people work,” Gates said. “Today we’re making big bets on games, music, video and connecting these entertainment experiences to help change the way people play.

    "By tapping into customers’ passion for music with Zune Social, we’re starting to change the game,” Allard said. “This lets us start building a new, more valuable kind of relationship with consumers that, combined with other Zune innovations, will start to drive the entire music industry forward.”

    What is going on here? They are saying things that make people like me do a double take. With a company image that isn't exactly "hip", can it be possible that ole McSofty is shifting from work to play? Can they change the music industry? Seriously, pioneering?

    One sign: with big players in music industry change like Terry McBride being quoted in a press release for a new DAP update, something is actually up:

    “The time is right to let go of the older business models and recognize that consumers want something different when it comes to music today,” said Terry McBride, CEO of Nettwerk Music Group. “People are looking for simple ways to find great music and easily take it with them wherever they want to go, and Microsoft is not afraid of doing things differently to deliver on this vision.”

    McBride is turning how labels do business on the industry end by giving artists full proceeds to CD profits. In other words, the guy's a maverick as far as how he's handling the business, and well as totally changing how users can get music, and having a guy like that support ole Microsoft was sorta a curve ball for me. Didn't expect that.

    Continue reading New Paradigm...

    Comments | Permalink


    October 3, 2007

    Some questions, answered

    by Harvey Chute

    I just got off the phone with the Microsoft Zune team, including James Boldman (Zune release manager), Terry Ferrell (senior product manager for the Zune marketing team), Tyler Welch (Zune MVP coordinator), Cesar (ZuneInsider), and Hillary (a rep from Edelman).

    Joining me on the call were fellow bloggers and Zune MVPs Stefan (IWAPZ), Drea (GenerationZune.net), Paul (ZuneLuv), Jason (ZuneThoughts), and Grahm (AnythingButIPod).

    General: We got an overview of the Zune hardware changes, and gave our feedback on how our respective communities were responding to last night's announcement. Both Zune Software (previously based on WMP) and Zune Marketplace (previously based on Urge) have been completely rebuilt from the ground up.

    The focus of this redeployment was to tailor the experience for Zune. A driving factor was providing simplicity and a clean interface. Terry gave a rundown of the software features... a lot of it I will have to see firsthand, but it sounds like a major advancement.

    The Zune team described Zune Social. It sounds intriguing and a bold experiment that makes sense. I think it will be pivotal to the future of Zune.

    Here are some notes I captured on our questions and answers:

  • Paul: (Podcast discussion) Over 1,000 podcasts will be available at launch, and new podcasts can be submitted to editorial team via Zune Software. The podcasts include video as well as audio podcasts.

  • Harvey: What's the screen resolution of the new players? Zune 4/8: 320x240. Zune 80: 320x240. That's a 4:3 aspect ratio.
  • Harvey: What's the resolution of TV-Out signals? 640x480 for the Zune 80. The impression I got is that transcoding will differ for the different players - i.e. Zune 80 will output 640x480 TV-Out signals, but Zune 30 will continue with its 320x240 signals.
  • Harvey: Battery life - when will we know test results? Possibly, by early next week.
  • Harvey: Scratch-resistancy of body and screen? Confirm that it's now a glass screen? Yes, the V1 was a plastic screen and V2 is glass. The screen and body resist smudges and fingerprints well. The body is brushed metal and has a matte finish. The red model is a glossy finish but seems to resist smudging well.
  • Harvey: Wireless sync: does Zune Software need to be running on PC? No - as long as its installed, the wireless sync will initiate the Zune Software if its not already running on your PC.
  • Harvey: Wireless sync: does automatic sync have to be activated in Zune software for this to occur? Yes.
  • Drea: Why leave out brown as a color option? Terry gave some background on this and essentially indicated that, this year, "green is the new brown".
  • Jason: Support for Media Center files - are these transcoded by Zune Software from DVR to WMV? MS-DVR will be transcoded into native .wmv format.
  • Jason: Will all players support same audio/video formats? No, one of the few limitations in Zune 30 is that, unlike the flash Zunes and Zune 80, it won't support H.264 natively. So H.264 video will automatically be transcoded before it's synced to the Zune 30. (My notes also indicate that this is true for Lossless audio - I need to confirm that.) Update: Good news - all Zune models will indeed support WMA Lossless.
  • Paul: MP3s - no DRM at all? No DRM, in fact they don't even contain embedded consumer info in them. They're "clean" MP3 files.
  • Drea: In Zune Social, is there an opportunity to subscribe to artist of interest? Not in the beta, but a likely path for the Social will include the ability to subscribe to friends or artists, or other Zune Social members.
  • Jason: Any closer to releasing outside the U.S.? International release is definitely in the plans but no timeframes to announce.
  • Stefan: Any changes planned in marketing campaign? Yes, the prior marketing campaign was about launching the whole Zune brand, and the upcoming marketing campaign will be more explicit about device functionalities and Zune services. Previews of print and TV ads - they have creative punch while getting a clear message across.

    Questions we didn't get to because of time constraints, that I'll keep working on:

  • Do new Zunes come with preloaded content?
  • What's the stated capacity in terms of songs/video/pix?
  • Any changes in wireless hardware in new players? Or same as Zune 30?
  • No doubleshot on the new players?
  • What comes in the box?
  • Will Zune Pass free trials be made available?
  • Any hints on release date, beyond "November"?
  • Any changes in handling of album art? Embedded in track, resolution, etc.
  • Editing of video metadata now possible through ZSW?
  • How much will music videos sell for?
  • MP3s - what subset of tracks is available in MP3?
  • Some accessory packaging shows bilingual (English-French) wording. Is this a sign of a Canadian release?
  • How many Zune 4/8/80 players are being made for 2007?
  • DRM-free MP3s - same price as other tracks?
  • Support for video playlists?
  • Gapless playback?
  • Clock?
  • Unicode support?
  • Video playlist support?
  • Delete songs from player?
  • Games coming at some point?
  • Playlist management on player?
  • Equalizer settings - any changes?
  • Any features from current firmware not continued? e.g. reverse sync
  • Resolution and Bitrate Limits on MP4, H264 and WMV?


  • In the meantime, we're updating our Zune spec sheet, as well as our Zune 80 vs iPod Classic and Zune 4/8 vs Nano side-by-side tables.

    Comments | Permalink



    October 3, 2007

    Breakthrough syncing

    by Harvey Chute

    zune graphic

    Wireless sync is one of the most exciting new Zune features. An industry first, wireless sync allows Zune players to, well, sync wirelessly with your host PC.

    Over your home wireless network, you can sync your Zune whenever you wish.

    Your Zune player will also sync automatically whenever it's plugged in - either through a dock, an AC adapter, or a USB cable.

    The convenience of wireless sync is even more evident when you consider Zune's new support for podcasts. Wireless sync will make it easier to keep your frequently-updated podcasts, as well as your playlists, pictures, and videos, synced with your PC.

    What's more, this new wireless sync will be available not just for new Zune players, but for all of us who bought first-gen Zunes. The capability will be delivered through a firmware upgrade in November.

    Thanks, Microsoft, for not leaving us early adopters behind!

    Comments | Permalink


    October 2, 2007

    One day in Redmond

    by Harvey Chute

    Click on the video to see a recap of this fine, fine day in Redmond.

    Some familiar faces: Bill and J in the opening scenes! ZuneInsider Cesar appears at 01:53 - hey, Cesar! And you can see the Zune Pad action at about 01:26.

    Thanks to CrunchGear for sharing.

    Permalink


    See Zune Players on Amazon: Black, White, Brown

    October 2, 2007

    More on "Zune Social" from Microsoft announcement

    by Harvey Chute

    zune graphic

    Tonight, as Bill Gates and J Allard introduced the new Zune line-up, they revealed some details about Zune Social - an online community site, currently in beta, "built around and powered by people’s passion for music".

    What does this mean? Well, the Zune Social experience centers around use of a Zune Card, which automatically updates to reflect music you're listening to. The card displays most recently played tracks and highlights that person’s all-time music favorites.

    Other members of Zune Social can play samples of the songs a user has been playing directly from a friend’s Zune Card or link to Zune Marketplace, where they can buy or download the music.

    Members of Zune Social can create a friends list, send song links and messages to each other, and post comments on a friend’s profile page or on their favorite artist pages.

    Microsoft's press release states that users can "discover new music by seeing what their friends are listening to, receiving recommendations from others in the community or by seeing what the top fans of artists they’re interested in are listening to."

    Artist pages list the Zune Cards of the people who listen to that artist the most. Other Zune Social members can then browse their recent playlists and discover new content - which they can sample, purchase or download with a Zune Pass.

    In the words of J Allard: “By tapping into customers’ passion for music with Zune Social, we’re starting to change the game" in the music industry.

    Comments | Permalink


    October 2, 2007

    It's official: new Zune players, features

    by Harvey Chute

    zune graphic

    The official announcement is out, and there's much to like in the new Zune players and software.

    As rumored, the new hard drive Zune is a black 80GB model, smaller overall than its predecessor, but with a larger 3.2-inch screen. The control pad has been replaced with a "Zunepad", which is a touch-sensitive controller. Price: $249. This price matches the 80GB iPod - competitive indeed given that the Zune has a much larger screen, built-in FM, and wireless capabilities. (More on the new wireless features below!)

    The flash Zunes are 8GB or 16GB, for $149 or $199. Those prices match the nano 8GB/16GB prices.

    Nice, but the true excitement comes with the wireless capabilities. The new players - and the original Zune, once a firmware upgrade is released - will allow wireless Zune-to-PC sync!! Beyond that, song sharing between Zunes will be possible through a new social networking site. No longer is song-sharing limited to nearby Zunes.

    Thanks to CrunchGear for its coverage of this announcement.

    Comments | Permalink


    Zune DVD tutorial


    October 2, 2007

    Comparison tables of new Zune players and latest iPods

    by Harvey Chute

    zune ipod side by side

    As the new Zune story continues to break tonight, we'll blog away as details and specs get confirmed.

    We'll also update our side-by-side tables for Zune flash vs nano, and Zune 2 vs iPod Classic.

    Comments | Permalink


    October 2, 2007

    Pricing, features confirmed

    by Harvey Chute

    My local (Seattle) station King 5 just released this info, after attending a Microsoft briefing at the Redmond campus:

    New hard-drive Zunes are confirmed to be a black 80-gigabyte model, slimmer than the current 30GB model, and with a larger (3.2-inch) screen.

    New flash memory Zune players will be available in 4GB and 8GB models, and in pink, green, black and red.

    All models include an FM radio tuner and the ability to share songs with other Zune owners wirelessly.

    What's more, all can use Wi-Fi to "sync music, movies and photos wirelessly and automatically with users' home computers"..!

    The players will be available mid-November, at $149 for the 4GB, $199 for the 8GB, and $249 for the 80GB.

    Comments | Permalink


    Zune accessory giveaways


    October 1, 2007

    You knew this was coming...

    by Harvey Chute

    We want to give one of you a flash Zune player.

    It hasn't been launched yet, of course, or even officially announced.

    But if the rumors are half-true... we want one.

    If you do too, head to our giveaway thread.

    Comments | Permalink


    Find Zune accessories on Amazon

    October 1, 2007

    All this and firmware too

    by Harvey Chute

    zune graphic

    If the rumored announcement of new Zune players isn't enough to get your pulse pounding, the Zune may also unveil this week a new firmware upgrade for the current Zune player.

    According to Engadget, the upgrade will offer the new Zune 2 functionality for the current player.

    Just in case you early-adopters were feeling left out.

    Comments | Permalink


    October 1, 2007

    Sneak peek at new Zunes?

    by Harvey Chute

    zune graphic

    Breaking posts from Engadget and Gizmodo show a leaked photo of the upcoming Zunes.

    Apparently from a display unit for a "large retailer", the pic shows two flash-based Zune players - pink and brown - and a black hard-drive based Zune.

    You can see the word "video" on the flash-based player screens.

    You can click on the pic for a slightly larger version.

    All signs are that we'll know a lot more about the new generation in a matter of hours.

    Comments | Permalink


    October 1, 2007

    New Zune players... announcement imminent?

    by Harvey Chute

    We can't vouch for the accuracy of this, but Ed Oswald from BetaNews is reporting that Microsoft will announce the next-gen Zune players tomorrow.

    BetaNews reports the new models will include a 3-inch by 1.25-inch flash Zune, with video capability, wireless, and "higher storage than competing products". The new hard-drive models will be "similar but thinner" to the current Zune model.

    Stay very tuned.

    Comments | Permalink


    September 30, 2007

    Zune going for $149.99 at CostCo

    by Harvey Chute

    zune graphic

    Price-slashing continues on the Zune first-generation player, with CostCo now dishing it out for $149.99.

    It's a time-limited offer, through November 15 while supplies last. It's a nice discount from Zune's recently-reduced MSRP of $199... and undercuts Amazon's price for Zune, which (this hour) ranges from $165.95 for brown to $189.99 for pink.

    The shelf-clearing continues. Let's bring on Generation 2!

    Thanks to Armond for the tip.

    Comments | Permalink


    September 29, 2007

    Zunerama goes to EMP

    by Harvey Chute

    zune graphic

    I live about 100 miles north of Seattle Center, home of the Experience Music Project - Paul Allen's homage to popular music. I've had it earmarked as a destination for several years.

    So ZuneWidow, gotta love 'er, surprised me with tickets on my birthday a couple of weeks ago. We motored south this morning, stopped for brunch at Bennett's on Mercer Island, and spent the afternoon at EMP.

    My Zune never felt quite so at home! Throughout the museum are Zune stations, where you can listen to music or watch video interviews of artists and legends in popular music. Zune also sponsors some of the galleries and exhibits.

    For my ten-year-olds, the exhibits were only mildly interesting, but for ZuneWidow and I - both followers of 60s, 70s, and 80s music - it was good fun. We enjoyed the comprehensive electric guitar gallery, and the history of northwest rockers. One of the current exhibits was on the history of hip-hop. Although we're not big on it, it was fascinating to see how that music started and evolved.

    Highlight for all four of us: the Sound Lab, where you can play instruments and sing using professional equipment.

    We also toured through the adjoining Science Fiction Museum. That's a smaller set of exhibits, with some fun props and replicas from Star Trek, Star Wars, Blade Runner, and many more. A lot of the items came from Paul Allen's personal collection.

    Comments | Permalink


    September 28, 2007

    Get discount on IME Dock pre-orders

    by Harvey Chute

    zune graphic

    The IME Dock is shipping soon... and Integrated Mobile Electronics is offering Zunerama members a 15% discount on pre-orders.

    You can view the coupon code in this forum post. Enter the code on the IME Dock site and you're golden, baby.

    Comments | Permalink


    September 27, 2007

    Zune team hiring

    by Harvey Chute

    zune graphic

    If anyone thought that the announcement of Apple's new iPods would make the Zune team give up in despair... someone forgot to tell Microsoft.

    The company shows no signs of waivering in its commitment to a long-term digital media strategy. In fact, it seems to be redoubling its efforts, and investments, in Zune.

    As of today, the company is hiring to fill 43 positions on the Zune team. The openings include slots in hardware engineering, product design, software development, program management, and marketing.

    Looks like the Zune team's gearing up for a fight.

    Comments | Permalink


    September 25, 2007

    And the nominees are...

    by Harvey Chute

    zune graphic

    Nominations closed last night for the second annual Golden Zune awards... in which our members submit candidates for their favorite Zune sites in various categories.

    We acknowledge that we have a significant homefield advantage in these nominations, and appreciate the members who kindly submitted Zunerama in various categories. Next year we'll see if we can get a "neutral" site to volunteer to host these awards, to even the playing field to all.

    Even so, we got some good nominations in our various categories, listed below. Cast your vote for your favorites - polls are open in our General Discussions thread until Oct 2.

    Best Zune forum

    - DarkZune
    - ZuneBoards
    - Zunerama
    - ZuneScene

    Best Zune blog

    - ZuneInsider
    - Zunerama

    Best technical Zune site

    - Zune.net
    - ZuneBoards
    - Zunerama

    Best international site

    - mszune.nl
    - xbox666.com/category/zune/
    - zuneph.blogspot
    - zunetotal

    Best site for Zune hacks and mods

    - ZuneBoards
    - ZuneMods

    Best site for Zune humor

    - IWantAPinkZune
    - ZuneScene
    - ZuneInfo

    Thanks to Rom for the trophy!

    Comments | Permalink


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

    September 24, 2007

    Zune to the rescue

    by Harvey Chute

    Let's start the week with the latest exploits of longtime Zunerama member Jander.

    Jander - who is a mobile DJ - relates a story in our forums of technical havoc from his Homecoming Dance gig this past weekend.

    Plagued by gremlins affecting his CDs and DJ equipment - and a crowd of teenagers calling out for Soulja Boy's Crank Dat - Jander's gig is going down in flames.

    Until, that is, he gets saved by a girl who walks up with the Crank Dat track on her Zune. Jander connects the Zune to his stereo equipment, the dance goes on, and Jander lives to tell the story.

    Zune girl, whoever you are, consider yourself an honorary member of the Zune hall of fame. Read the whole story.

    Comments | Permalink


    Turn your 
desktop into a beautiful aquarium!

    Elegant fish, swaying plants, rising bubbles, full stereo music...
    Get 3D Aquarium


    September 20, 2007

    Woot does it again: $129.99 Zune

    by Harvey Chute

    zune graphic

    Those imps at woot are offering white 30GB Zune players for $129.99, plus $5 shipping. That is almost 50% off the original MSRP for Zune - wow!

    This deal will disappear in 24 hours, or when their lot sells out. And, true to the woot model, no one knows how many they have, until the last one sells.

    For those of us who bought Zunes previously on woot, they're offering $10 off on future woot purchases - to mollify us for now offering their even deeper price discount.

    I love woot!

    Did you buy your Zune on woot? If so, you're eligible for our giveaway of a pair of V-Moda's VIBE headphones - a $100 value! Check it out.

    Comments | Permalink


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

    September 17, 2007

    2nd annual Golden Zune awards

    by Harvey Chute

    zune graphic

    We're now accepting nominations for our 2nd annual Golden Zune awards. This is an award that we started last year, to allow the public to nominate and recognize useful Zune websites. Categories are:

  • Best Zune forum
  • Best Zune blog
  • Best technical Zune site
  • Best international (non-English) site
  • Best site for Zune hacks and mods
  • Best site for Zune humor
  • A lot has changed since we held the first Golden Zune awards last year. At that time, there were about fifty Zune sites. (There are now over 200, although only a couple of dozen are actively updated.)

    Last year's winners? The categories were slightly different: Best Zune News site (Zunerama); Best Use of Gaudy Website Colors (ZunePatrol); Best Coverage of Zune Leaks (Engadget); Best Technical Zune Site (Zunerama); Best Zune Blog (Zunerama); Best Zune Forum (tie: ZuneScene and Zunerama).

    Obviously we have a distinct home field advantage, but I hope we get a good representation of Zune sites nominated.

    We'll accept nominations up until Monday September 24. After that, we'll open up voting for a one-week period. Nominate away!

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