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Zune Buyer's Guide | Step 1: Say hello to Zune

Say hello to Zune.

... an introduction to Microsoft's portable media player.


Zune is Microsoft's portable media player and music download services, released in the U.S. on November 14, 2006. Zune will eventually be released worldwide, but rollout dates have not yet been announced outside the USA.

Zune is Microsoft's initiative to redefine the portable MP3 player market, dominated by Apple. Apple's product line includes its line of iPod, Nano, and Shuffle players.

Microsoft's first Zune player is an audio and video player, with a 30 gigabyte hard drive, and sporting a larger screen (3" on the diagonal) than most other players on the market.

The player also has an FM-tuner built into it - a feature not currently offered in iPod models. (FM is available only through add-on accessories to iPod.)

And notably, Zune is unlike previous media players in that it offers community features. Zune owners can use the player's wireless (or "Wi-Fi") features, to share songs with each other. In Microsoft's words: "Designed around the principles of sharing, discovery and community, Zune will create new ways for consumers to connect and share entertainment experiences. The Zune experience centers around connection — connection to your library, connection to friends, connection to community and connection to other devices".

Microsoft's music/video download service is called Zune Marketplace. Marketplace is an important part of the community nature of Zune.

To learn more about Zune players and the Zune Marketplace, go the next step in the Buyer's Guide below. You'll see a summary of Zune models, and review features and specifications - including comparisons to existing players such as iPod.

Next: See Zune models >

  • Zune Buyer's Guide introduction
  • Step 1: Say hello to Zune
  • Step 2: See Zune models
  • Step 3: Review features and specifications
  • Step 4: Get your Zune