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Zune forums

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May 10, 2008

Vancouver party heralds the Canadian Zune launch

by Harvey Chute

ZuneWidow and I attended the first Canadian launch party for Zune, in Vancouver last night.

We're not a natural fit for the edgy crowd that this party attracted, but we shared a Red Stripe stubby while we milled around. Some friendly spokesladies were talking up the Zune 8s and 80s, and handing out demo players for people to try.

The reps were all Canadian - I checked - so it appears that no Canadian-content rules were violated. :)

They were using a couple of "Tickle Me" Zune kiosks - which I hadn't seen before at other events. You can see more pics of those at the Comments link below.

The walls were draped with Zune art, and we picked up some limited-edition prints from Zune Original artist Meomi. We learned from a Riot publicist at the event, that different Zune Original artists will be featured at each event.

Zune becomes available in Canada on June 13. The Zune party wagon now rolls east, with launch events coming up in Edmonton and Calgary next week, followed by Winnipeg, Toronto, and Halifax.

And, we learned last night that a seventh city - Montreal - has been added to the launch party plans.

You can RSVP to attend those parties at the Canadian comingzune site.

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May 9, 2008

Use Zune 2.5 features to pack more music with you

by Harvey Chute

The spring update provides a way to have Zune software adjust the bitrate (and thus the size and quality) of music tracks that get synced to your player.

Jason Dunn of Zune Thoughts has prepared another of his excellent how-to videos, showing how this feature works.

As the video shows, you can set this option differently for each player that you own. So, for your smaller-capacity players, you can drop the bitrate of your synced music tracks to, for example, 128 Kbps - while keeping larger, higher-quality files on your larger players.

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May 8, 2008

Zune finally gets its clock

by Harvey Chute

Zunerama member Nelson has created a Zune clock - complete with user-selectable time zones and daylight savings support. He's even working on an alarm that lets you select the song to wake up to.

Nelson used this week's release of XNA Game Studio 3.0 to make the application - silencing, perhaps, the #1 item on many time-obsessed Zuner's wishlists.

Edit: another clock application also surfaced tonight over at ZuneBoards - link here. Obviously lots of techie Zuners are working to fill this need!

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May 8, 2008

Free Zune games cropping up

by Harvey Chute

Microsoft's Game Studio 3.0 was released earlier this week, in a CTP (community technology preview) for developers.

And, already, Zune games are surfacing all over. You can get links to free downloads in our forums, including Tetris, Rock Rain, Galactic Wars, and Alien Aggressors.

At this early stage, getting the games on your Zune requires some technical work - installing Game Studio and generating the Zune executable from source code. If you're up for it, we've got instructions here.

I got to play with some early Zune games at last month's MVP Summit. The Zune player actually makes for a decent gaming device - especially with the touch-sensitive Zune Pad.

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May 8, 2008

In the days ahead

by Harvey Chute

zune graphic

Zune excitement continues at Zunerama in the coming days, with:

More Zune 2.5 discovery. Our members are discovering features, providing helpful tips, and finding a glitch or two with the new Zune update. We're compiling these for an upcoming post.

Zune Canada launch party. We'll be posting pix and reports from the first Canadian Zune launch party, in Vancouver this Friday.

KICKER Zune Dock giveaway. Sign up to win the powerful ZK500 Zune stereo system! We draw a random winner on Monday.

Zune clock. Zunerama member Nelson is working on a Zune clock application, using the new Zune games capability in XNA Game Studio 3.0.

...and more... Always more Zune activities going on in our General Discussions board.

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Zune accessory giveaways


May 7, 2008

Colbert on Zune: It proves that you're crazy

by Harvey Chute

We suspected it, and now Steven Colbert has confirmed it: if you own a Zune, it's just more proof that you're crazy.

Check out the video. (The Zune comment hits at about minute 4.)

Thanks to Don and Jim, two authorities on crazy, for the tip. Also Stefan from IHAZ.

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May 7, 2008

Zune users give Big Thumbs Up to Zune 2.5

by Harvey Chute

Zune users are responding enthusiastically to yesterday's Zune update, according to our Community Reactions poll.

75% of Zune users are giving Zune 2.5 a "Big Thumbs Up", with virtually everyone else "pleased". (See results, and vote, here.)

It's easy to see why. In addition to our list of seven notable new features, our members are discovering additional goodies provided in the update.

We'll list those in an upcoming blog post; in the meantime you can browse through this thread to find some of them.

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May 6, 2008

Canadian Zune kick-off party: Vancouver, this Friday

by Harvey Chute

Where: The Sweatshop, 1945 East Hastings, Vancouver BC

When: 9:00pm Friday May 9

Who: You! (if you're in the area, and are 19+). Me! (if I get ZuneWidow's permission).

Why: Why not? Let's drink some beer for Zune, eh!

See this zunenews.ca page for an invitation.

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May 6, 2008

Zune in Canada June 13; Zune.ca now live

by Harvey Chute

Canadians will be able to buy Zune's starting June 13, according to a CBC report.

Pricing will be $249.99 for Zune 80s, $189.99 for Zune 8s, and $139.99 for Zune 4s. The first-generation Zune 30s will not be sold in Canada.

And, we see that Zune.ca is now up, in both English (where words like "colour" are spelled in the correct manner, thanks very much), and French versions.

That means that Canadians can download the free Zune software, and participate in the Zune social - including getting their Zune Card set up with all those cool new features released today.

Welcome, Canadians!

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May 6, 2008

Zune 2.5 - the community reacts

by Harvey Chute

As I write this, Zune.net is down for maintenance. In a few hours, it will re-emerge with Zune Version 2.5, and Zune owners will begin downloading this significant update.

We're collecting your thoughts and opinions about the update, in our official Zune Community Reaction thread.

So, Zuners, tell us what you think. We're already collecting some posts based on our preview.

The thread also has a poll where you can vote on whether the Zune 2.5 update gets a Big Thumbs Up, Pleased, Displeased, or Big Thumbs Down from you. Vote here!

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Zune DVD tutorial


May 5, 2008

Video downloads now on Zune Marketplace! Seven things to know about Zune 2.5

by Harvey Chute

Tomorrow morning, Microsoft will release Zune 2.5 - a spring update to Zune software, player firmware, and Zune Marketplace.

We were able to view the update ahead of time... so without making you wait any longer, here are seven things to know about Zune 2.5.

1. Video downloads. About $2 per video, there are 800 television episodes on Marketplace, from NBC, Adult Swim, Anime, Comedy Central, MTV, MTV2, VH1, BET, Nickelodeon, and Ultimate Fighting.

2. Autoplaylists. Yep, they're back by popular demand.

3. Gapless Playback. It's here!

4. Metadata editing. It's fun again, with multiple track editing, right-click edit, album art copy/paste, "find album art", drag-and-drop updating, video metadata editing, and more. See the link below for more on this.

5. Social. There are significant updates to Zune's social networking features. See the link below for a summary.

And there are more significant updates. For screen shots and much more info, see our overview of Zune 2.5.

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Zune accessories list (Amazon)

May 4, 2008

Zune in Prom Night?

by Harvey Chute

We have a report that Zune makes it to the big screen in Prom Night (now playing AATNY).

Can anyone confirm?

Thanks, Nardes.

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May 4, 2008

Review: Maximo iMetal iM-290 earphones

by Harvey Chute

We've been using Maximo's iM-290 earphones for the past few weeks.

See our take on these earphones, and a few more pics, in our photo review.

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May 3, 2008

Review: ZuneOne leather case for Zune 80GB

by Harvey Chute

Continuing our look at ZuneOne's new cases, today we review the new Leather Case for Zune 80. At $15, it's one of the less expensive leather cases available for 80GB Zune players.

See our full review for more info and pix.

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