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Details of Next Gen Zune Surface

CmdrTaco posted more than 7 years ago | from the better-luck-next-time dept.

308

KMG writes "Zune Scene has got a scoop about the next generation Microsoft Zune. There will be two new models; a flash memory based and a hard drive based. Zune with HDD will be thinner and have larger storage capacity while the flash based will feature Wi-fi, video playback. So will we see another try from Microsoft to beat Apple's iPod or it will be another vain attempt from the Redmond guys."

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Yes, but... (5, Funny)

Trivial_Zeros (1058508) | more than 7 years ago | (#18688729)

Will it come in brown?

Re:Yes, but... (1)

kannibal_klown (531544) | more than 7 years ago | (#18689335)

Personally I like it in brown. I happen to like brown as a color but it's also a refreshing change to the common colors we associate with electronics.

However that is quite literally the only thing that makes me want to purchase a Zune, I'd rather get an iPod or something from iRiver.

And watermelon (1)

iago-vL (760581) | more than 7 years ago | (#18689679)

Don't forget watermelon-colored [zunescene.com] !

Free Tibet !! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18688731)

Free Tibet !!!

"Zune Scene"? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18688745)

Someone actually bothered to put up a fan site for it?

Re:"Zune Scene"? (2, Informative)

lubricated (49106) | more than 7 years ago | (#18688999)

way to notice. Blatant astroturfing.

Re:"Zune Scene"? (3, Insightful)

geeber (520231) | more than 7 years ago | (#18689535)

way to notice. Blatant astroturfing.

I especially like how the article claims the Zune scene editor just happened to conveniently bump into a MS Zune employee on a business trip and then proceeded to pump him for information...

Yeah, right. And then monkeys flew out of his butt.

Flash seems to be the way to go.... (1, Interesting)

ruffnsc (895839) | more than 7 years ago | (#18688779)

I don't understand why the hard drive is so popular in these devices. SD cards can withstand up to a 1000 Gs and still operate. I don't think you can say that for a hard drive without some sort of catastrophic head crash or something.

Re:Flash seems to be the way to go.... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18688837)

Sure my flash drive can stand 1000 Gs, but since I can't even stand 10, I doubt I'll be taking advantage of that feature.

Re:Flash seems to be the way to go.... (1)

beckerist (985855) | more than 7 years ago | (#18689613)

Unless you're being dropped yourself, I doubt you'd have to worry about it too! I had a 30 gb Creative Xen MP3 player that, after having dropped it from my lap to the ground ONCE (getting out of my car), busted it. (It now rattles and won't boot...) So personally I've had to use flash drive mp3 players, I can't afford to bust another one!

Re:Flash seems to be the way to go.... (4, Informative)

MaestroRC (190789) | more than 7 years ago | (#18688851)

Because umm... flash is OUTRAGEOUSLY EXPENSIVE? Hard drives let manufacturers sell these things for $3-400 with 30-80GB of storage, a 64GB flash drive is still in the $6-800 range in and of itself. Granted, prices will go down, but people want their storage now, and don't care so much about having to replace the thing every couple of years.

Re:Flash seems to be the way to go.... (1)

ruffnsc (895839) | more than 7 years ago | (#18689037)

I don't think they are too expensive. You can buy 4GB flash cards for around $50.00-$75.00 Also the benefit of Flash is that you can take it out and put in larger flash as long as the device can handle it. Its portable so you can transfer flash into a friends device or whatever cool idea of portability you want to think up. Upgrading over time is also a pretty nice feature IMO.

Re:Flash seems to be the way to go.... (2, Interesting)

MaestroRC (190789) | more than 7 years ago | (#18689293)

You're confusing flash memory with flash memory cards (such as SD, MMC, CF, xD, someonepleasestopitwiththeformats). iPod nanos and shuffles as well as many other players have flash memory in them, not hard drives. the iPod video and Zune have hard drives, but it's not feasible because the flash *is* too expensive for these players for the capacity they need (movies take up a lot of space, and replacing a 80GB with an 8GB device isn't feasible, which is why they have different lines of players). Just because YOU only need 2-8GB of storage doesn't mean everyone is the same, and that is also why Apple's iPod nano is the top selling player.

Re:Flash seems to be the way to go.... (1)

MBGMorden (803437) | more than 7 years ago | (#18689115)

With music though, I think there is a point well below 64GB where "enough is enough". My entire music library on my computer *MIGHT* reach 12GB tops; it's probably closer to 8GB, and that's with 2000-3000 songs. Now I realize that many people have collections that dwarf that in size, but honestly, do you really need to tote around your ENTIRE collection in your pocket? Just seems like a 2GB flash card holding a couple hundred songs that you feel like listening to at the time would be just fine.\

Of course video is a whole different matter. Even the low-quality stuff on iTunes takes a few hundred megs, and decent quality TV episodes are gonna run 0.5 to 1GB each. For those I can see using the hard drive for the extra space.

Re:Flash seems to be the way to go.... (2, Informative)

Moofie (22272) | more than 7 years ago | (#18689313)

My music library is 60gb. My wife's music library is upwards of 200gb.

There is still a place for high-capacity portable players. We may not be typical, but we definitely exist.

60GB is just not enough (1)

Keeper Of Keys (928206) | more than 7 years ago | (#18689547)

Seconded. I won't touch an iPod, but I have a Creative Zen Xtra which came with a 60GB laptop hard drive inside it. It's full, and has been for some time. Every time I want to add some more music, I have to agonize over what to delete. Planning to swap the drive for a bigger one in the near future.

Re:Flash seems to be the way to go.... (1)

MaestroRC (190789) | more than 7 years ago | (#18689355)

Remember the flash they're talking about here for the Zune is an iPod nano-like device, and similarly there is the iPod nano from Apple. These are the devices that you guys really are targeted at. Really the only thing that I can see that might be different is putting in a CF, SD or other kind of card slot so that you can upgrade the capacity if you want, but I guarantee you most people wouldn't upgrade it at all, they'd just get a new player when they wanted more space (remember that a large portion of the public have a 4-6MP digital camera and still use the 16MB card that came with it, and change the resolution down to 640x480 or 1600x1200 to be able to take more pictures, thus negating the fact that they chose a 6MP camera instead of a 1-2MP camera).

Re:Flash seems to be the way to go.... (2, Insightful)

Silver Sloth (770927) | more than 7 years ago | (#18689399)

In many ways I agree with you - my extensive collection built up over 35 years or so has ~25Gb of music but...

The lads I play poker with on a Monday night who are not technical are, in the main, the target audience and for them bigger is better. Their phones have to have the latest gadgets and they can tell you the number of pixels in their cameras without having to think about it, despite the fact that I pretty sure none of them would know a pixel if they met one in the street. I'm in a desparate battle to stop them all upgrading to Vista 'because it's new'

It all really dates back to the playground and a 'my mp3 player has more storage than your mp3 player' attitude. That's what the purchasing public wants.

Re:Flash seems to be the way to go.... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18689495)

With music though, I think there is a point well below 64GB where "enough is enough". My entire music library on my computer *MIGHT* reach 12GB tops; it's probably closer to 8GB, and that's with 2000-3000 songs. Now I realize that many people have collections that dwarf that in size, but honestly, do you really need to tote around your ENTIRE collection in your pocket? Just seems like a 2GB flash card holding a couple hundred songs that you feel like listening to at the time would be just fine.

If I didn't want the spontaneity of being able to instantly pull up and play Cream's albums, followed by mid-career Madonna, then Korn, then Tangerine Dream, some Isaac Hayes, some classic Who, then Enya's latest, I wouldn't even buy music, I'd just listen to the radio.

I buy music to have convenient, rapid access to what I want to hear. I don't buy music to have it sit on some distant shelf; if that was the utility of it, there's a library just down the street with a fairly good collection.

Why shouldn't I want a copy of my whole collection in my pocket? At least I'm realistic enough to know that given the size of my collection, it's not going to happen soon, though.

Re:Flash seems to be the way to go.... (1)

kupan787 (916252) | more than 7 years ago | (#18689523)

With music though, I think there is a point well below 64GB where "enough is enough". My entire music library on my computer *MIGHT* reach 12GB tops; it's probably closer to 8GB, and that's with 2000-3000 songs. Now I realize that many people have collections that dwarf that in size, but honestly, do you really need to tote around your ENTIRE collection in your pocket? Just seems like a 2GB flash card holding a couple hundred songs that you feel like listening to at the time would be just fine.

Ya, I agree. Someone should come out with a flash [apple.com] based [apple.com] music [iriveramerica.com] player [sandisk.com] .

Re:Flash seems to be the way to go.... (1)

simm1701 (835424) | more than 7 years ago | (#18689533)

You'd be surprised - I got an 8Gb nano just as they game out figuring that my music collection was unlikely to beat that size

Turned out it already filled it - actually had to cut some out.

Now I have about 14Gb and have to pick and choose play lists....

I'll admit there are tracks I haven't even listened to yet in there but I really don't have the time to trim it all down more neatly

what I'd love is a 8Gb nano with a microSD or similar slot on the side - especially one capabele of taking 4 or 8gb cards

Re:Flash seems to be the way to go.... (5, Insightful)

soft_guy (534437) | more than 7 years ago | (#18689663)

do you really need to tote around your ENTIRE collection in your pocke
For the last time .. YES I FUCKING DO!!!!!!

The reason is that with a larger collection, lets say 12,000 songs, who wants to spend the time to pick which 8,000 song to sync to the device?????

And when I want to hear something, I want to hear it!

So, I will not buy an MP3 player that doesn't hold my entire collection of music. I also want TV shows and movies. Eventually I plan to put every movie and TV show I own on DVD onto my computer and sync it to my iPod.

I like hard drives. I'm not a child - I can carry around an iPod without dropping it.

Re:Flash seems to be the way to go.... (1)

valkr1e (565562) | more than 7 years ago | (#18689327)

not just that, but you also have to consider that flash memory also has a smaller number of reads and writes before failure. the industrial grade units tend to be higher but are extremely cost inhibitive for this application. given, if you do hit the limit, it's probably time for a new player, but it's a better argument against flash than claiming flash's 1000G as an argument for it. modern hard drives are a great deal more robust than their older counterparts, I still wouldn't go tossing them into walls, but if you plan on dropping and trowing your player then you probably should get a cheap flash one anyway as the housing, screen and connectors will most likely be destroyed in the types of impacts that modern hard drives need to fail. and before someone pipes up with random hard drive crashes, flash is just as, if not more prone to crashes as hard drives, I've seen a large number of flash drive that are simply no longer readable.

Re:Flash seems to be the way to go.... (1)

mwvdlee (775178) | more than 7 years ago | (#18688991)

How were you planning to get your harddrive up to 1000 G's? You'd have to launch it at a speeding train.

1000 GS (1)

ruffnsc (895839) | more than 7 years ago | (#18689131)

I am just stating the manufacture specs for failure. (SanDisk)

More the Merrier (4, Insightful)

p0tat03 (985078) | more than 7 years ago | (#18688785)

Bring it on I say. MS has shown that they can learn from their mistakes. The difference between the Xbox and 360 being a prime example. MS has the money to burn to keep making mistakes and learning from them. If that means they *eventually* make an iPod killer, so be it. The market needs more competing products, not less.

Re:More the Merrier (3, Insightful)

LandoCalrizzian (887264) | more than 7 years ago | (#18688953)

Microsoft has yet to show that they learn from their mistakes. The keep making mistakes only to see someone else get it right then they either:
a) Buy out the competition
b) Copy the competition
c) Throw more money at the mistake and wait until next-gen to re-try A and B

Re:More the Merrier (3, Interesting)

Luscious868 (679143) | more than 7 years ago | (#18689053)

If that means they *eventually* make an iPod killer, so be it. The market needs more competing products, not less.

There will never be an iPod killer. What you'll see is the iPod's market share steadily eaten away by a large number of other players. The iPod was a once in a decade phenomena like the Walkman before it. There's was and still is a lot of hype surrounding the iPod and it is a great product but other players have caught up in terms of functionality and are able to compete on price. What currently still gives the iPod the edge is the integration with the iTMS.

Given the recent announcement that EMI will be offering DRM free music and Steve Job's statement that more than half of the music in the iTMS will be DRM free by the end of the year (suggesting that more deals are imminent), I'd argue that it is much more likely that people will begin buying DRM free music that they can use with the player of their choice and that will slowly but surely eat away at the iPod's market share as people chose to replace their iPods with lower cost alternatives without worrying about losing their investment in the music they've already purchased from the iTMS.

That scenario is a lot easier to envision than some company producing the next big thing and having consumers dumping their iPods in droves for it. What is there really left for a portable mp3 player to do? Current iPods let you watch videos, listen to music, play games, store photo's and contact and the list goes on. I think the iPhone may be more popular than some people think but the concept will take a while to catch on and that's if Apple can deliver on it's promises. I'd love to have my phone and iPod in a single device that also gives me easy access to the web and e-mail. The price and the fact that it's currently tied to a single wireless provider are what will hold it back. Although both of those things will probably change in the future.

If i was a betting man I'd say the 2nd or 3rd generation iPhone will be the closest thing that comes to an iPod killer provided Apple can increase the storage space, reduce the price and offer versions of the phone that can work with additional providers.

Re:More the Merrier (1)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 7 years ago | (#18689117)

no they wont. the DRM is what is killing the Zune. remove ALL DRM and let the user put on it what they want in the format they want (I.E. make it play all video and audio formats) and call it good.

they can make the thing order pizza and it still will not sell because of the DRM.

Re:More the Merrier (1)

*weasel (174362) | more than 7 years ago | (#18689243)

MS has shown that they can learn from their mistakes.

Their Zune 2.0 still has the worthless wifi 'functionality' and puts DRM on mp3s? Yes?

I fail to see where they learned anything from the Zune debacle.

Learning from their mistakes would look more like this [slashdot.org] .

Re:More the Merrier (1)

cptgrudge (177113) | more than 7 years ago | (#18689285)

Microsoft may learn from its mistakes, but sometimes it seems that it is somewhat zealous in identifying what things it actually perceives as them. For example, take the XBMC situation on the Xbox. Instead of identifying that they could simply build the functionality into the 360, they tack on additional hardware with all sorts of gotchas.

There is no reason for it besides making money, which is fine for the shareholders, but bad for the consumers. If not for this unnecessary complexity and expense, I'd have gotten a 360 already to replace my Xbox. Perhaps there are more consumers out there that will pay for this feature (and deal with the extra setup) than there are consumers, like me, for which its exclusion would preclude them from buying the system. But it's not in the interest of the consumer.

Now, you've got things like this [tvix.co.kr] , and I'm considering replacing my Xbox (running XBMC) with one of those. Microsoft may have lost a potential sale of both a 360 system and multiple games, since playing video from my media server is more important to me nowadays than video games.

Xbox 360 is a flop (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18689345)

It never even overtook the PS2 monthly sales.
Smartphone is a flop too.
But at least their search engine is doing well, just kidding, that's a flop too.
Still there's always Vista.

Re:Xbox 360 is a flop (2, Insightful)

p0tat03 (985078) | more than 7 years ago | (#18689515)

360 is still has, by leaps and bounds, a far larger installed base than any of the other next-gen consoles. Discounting the Wii (which services a different market entirely), the 360 is selling like hotcakes in comparison to the other major competing next-gen console.

Smartphones are far from flops. Blackberry's market share is being eaten away ever so steadily by Win-Mobile devices. It's not an avalanche victory, but it is going well for MS nonetheless.

For MS's failures, they are getting quite a few things right. And this is coming from me, a die-hard Apple user.

Re:More the Merrier (1)

balor (205103) | more than 7 years ago | (#18689367)

I think the success of the 360 had a lot to do with Sonys failures. For Zune-NG to beat the iPod, Apple would seriously have to drop the ball. Though that isn't without precendent either.

video playback from a flash-based unit (1)

MyDixieWrecked (548719) | more than 7 years ago | (#18688789)

Zune with HDD will be thinner and have larger storage capacity while the flash based will feature Wi-fi, video playback.

that's a pretty great feature. While I'm not fond [at all] of the zune, that is a welcome addition. I'm just curious how much smaller the flash-based unit will be, if smaller at all. It would be interesting if they offered a smaller capacity, same-size unit with flash for the same price.

Are there any other flash-based portable devices like this that play video out of the box?

when is someone going to release a device like this that allows for auxiliary storage media? like with a USB port on the side to plug in a drive?

Re:video playback from a flash-based unit (1)

LMacG (118321) | more than 7 years ago | (#18689205)

Perhaps this is not the auxiliary storage you're looking for, but Samsung offers a few models of the Sansa, e.g. the e280, which have SD card slots. The e280 is flash-based and does play video OOTB.

Re:video playback from a flash-based unit (1)

clonmult (586283) | more than 7 years ago | (#18689429)

The creative Zen V+ also offers video playback, although it does it in some relatively nasty low compression method.

Why should it beat the ipod? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18688811)

Why is every new mp3 player hyped as the next "iPod killer" by every hack blog writer and fanboy? Why can't they coexist peacfully? Afterall, more choice is good for the consumer, right?

Re:Why should it beat the ipod? (1)

Rob T Firefly (844560) | more than 7 years ago | (#18689199)

Because the ultimate goal of most new commercial product releases is to beat out the competition and make itself the ubiquitous choice in its category. iPod is the most popular digital music player gadget, so if you want to throw in on that market you have to aim to beat iPod.

Re:Why should it beat the ipod? (1)

GundamFan (848341) | more than 7 years ago | (#18689201)

I think that is exactly why they can't coexist. In Microsoft's (and Apple's for that matter) dream land the consumer will buy what they are told to and at a hefty margin.

The Microsoft Track Record (1)

Alien54 (180860) | more than 7 years ago | (#18688833)

Microsoft has a history of getting things sort of right eventually, usually around version 5.0 of something. Zune 1.0 was like Windows 1.0. Zune 2.0 will be like Windows 2.0

A viable variant in this line of work will probably hit the market in time for the Christmas shopping season of the year 2012, long rumored to be the next season of the Apocalypse by the tin foil hat types, in cahoots with the Maya calendar freaks. Give my regards to Zule.

Re:The Microsoft Track Record (1)

mwvdlee (775178) | more than 7 years ago | (#18689033)

So at about version 3.0 we'll all be buying Zune's and about 10 years later we'll all be wishing we'd have stuck with iPod?

Re:The Microsoft Track Record (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18689111)

Microsoft has a history of getting things sort of right eventually, usually around version 5.0 of something. Zune 1.0 was like Windows 1.0. Zune 2.0 will be like Windows 2.0
So Zune 6.0 == Vista? So it will be a promised revelation to computing that copies what Apple already succeded with and will inevitably find a way to destroy it by making it a nuisance to use.

Zune: You have chosen to play: 'Hip New Song #342', would you like to allow?
You: Allow
Zune: 'Hip New Song #342' does not have verified signature (READ: DRM), would you like to allow?
You: Allow
Zune: Would you like me to add verified signature (READ: DRM) to 'Hip New Song #342'?
You: No.
Zune: Could not play 'Hip New Song #342'.
(Rinse and re-peat)
*You chuck Zune off a high building, into a large body of water, or at the head of a Microsoft exec*

Re:The Microsoft Track Record (1)

rucs_hack (784150) | more than 7 years ago | (#18689229)

So all that marketing to get people to buy the Zune has just resulted in lots of people owning a device that will shortly be obsolete/badly out of date (by artificial product ageing through new releases).

Is it that media device owners replace their players often? Or is it that Microsoft want them to start doing it. Is this a trend likely to extend to other manufacturers?

This is something I'd actually like to get a handle on, since my battered and well used ipod is a few years old now, and I'm pondering a new device (not being locked into Apple, I'm willing to shop around). I don't much like the idea of buying a device that will be obsoleted deliberately in a few years.

Re:The Microsoft Track Record (1)

itzdandy (183397) | more than 7 years ago | (#18689375)

not true. microsoft gets stuff right at version 3 and then goes down hill from there. windows 3(3.11 actually) we the best, most stable version of windows. from then on windows got more unstable, heavier, and buggier. zune 3.0 and xbox 3 will rock but zune 4 and 5 with suck hind tit and xbox 3 will get destroyed by wii2!

Re:The Microsoft Track Record (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18689401)

Except that Windows 2.0 will be out when Mac OS X (iPod) is already out...

Re:The Microsoft Track Record (1)

Alien54 (180860) | more than 7 years ago | (#18689603)

Except that Windows 2.0 will be out when Mac OS X (iPod) is already out...

I guess they'll have to play catch up just a little bit longer

Is it worth it? (2, Insightful)

timeOday (582209) | more than 7 years ago | (#18688843)

With enough retries, Microsoft usually gets it about right and succeeds in the end. (Deep pockets are a huge advantage). But my crystal ball says portable music will increasingly just be an expected feature of other devices, mainly cell phones. I think Apple may have milked the standalone music player fad dry by the time Microsoft gets out a good product.

Re:Is it worth it? (1)

afidel (530433) | more than 7 years ago | (#18689137)

The problem is battery life. Smartphones like those based on Windows Mobile 5 already have a hard time lasting through the day with heavy use, constant decoding of compressed audio, feeding the phono output, and reading from flash/HDD is going to almost guarantee it dies before the end of a long day, so I don't see it being an option. All of my friends who have tried it have gone back to carrying two devices if they want to use the music function for more than a morning jog.

Re:Is it worth it? (1)

toleraen (831634) | more than 7 years ago | (#18689427)

Dead on with Windows Mobile 5. However, Windows Mobile 6 does a pretty fantastic job with battery life compared to WM5 (WM5 with AKU3.3+ isn't too bad either). A full day of listening to MP3s, pulling email every 15 minutes, some web browsing, and an occasional game of tetris generally brings my battery to ~30/40% by the time I go to bed. Doing the same with WM5 would have my battery dead by lunch.

The GSM radio stack you use has a big impact on battery as well, but that's a whole other story.

Re:Is it worth it? (3, Interesting)

Andy_R (114137) | more than 7 years ago | (#18689143)

Does Microsoft really get things right with enough retries? It's a common misconception that Windows 3 'got it right' and took over the world, but I think that was actually down to luck, when Windows 3.1 for Workgroups cashed in on the coincidental boom in office networking. Recent versions Office and Windows don't seem to be any more 'right' than before, they still sell because they are de-facto standards rather than actually 'good'.

Re:Is it worth it? (1)

je ne sais quoi (987177) | more than 7 years ago | (#18689353)

With enough retries, Microsoft usually gets it about right and succeeds in the end.
I don't know where this piece of "conventional wisdom" came from, but my impression is that microsoft doesn't get it right the first time and then keeps screwing up repeatedly. Sure, they may fix the original problems, but it seems like they introduce so many other problems in later versions that IMO there is no net improvement. But hey, I avoid microsoft products wherever possible, for this reason and the fact that they write software for the lowest common denominator so I might not be a good person to talk to.

Re:Is it worth it? (1)

Fross (83754) | more than 7 years ago | (#18689433)

But my crystal ball says...

Doesn't that jingle against your keys when you walk?

ZunePhone (3, Funny)

donstenk72 (593985) | more than 7 years ago | (#18688849)

This is a halfarsed attempt to get some hype going in the way Apple does. Hint, hint, hint, but no clear release schedule. Zune Scene editors are very hard to spot in the wild - you are more likely to meet them at Ms campus. What a joke.

Re:ZunePhone (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18689493)

A kid in my one CS class has a Zune...but he's also the president of some lame-ass C# programming club, and he's actually used the term "just livesearch it" (as opposed to "google it") so I think it's safe to say he's freebasing the kool-aid at this point.

Real world features, plz (4, Interesting)

glavenoid (636808) | more than 7 years ago | (#18688893)

If they can get the Wi-fi to do something, you know, useful, then the Zune 2 might be a neat little device.

Re:Real world features, plz (1)

carpe_noctem (457178) | more than 7 years ago | (#18689311)

Maybe it'll squirt twice as far as the original Zune...

Vain attempt (0)

Shotgun (30919) | more than 7 years ago | (#18688897)

Everyone know Microsoft can't get anything right until the third attempt. This is only the second.

Re:Vain attempt (1)

Schnoogs (1087081) | more than 7 years ago | (#18688985)

Then how do you account for the XBox 360 which is a superb console?

Re:Vain attempt (1)

bestinshow (985111) | more than 7 years ago | (#18689187)

You could either count the first console as being the Windows CE capable Dreamcast, or go back further in time and consider the MSX.

Re:Vain attempt (1)

Schnoogs (1087081) | more than 7 years ago | (#18689357)

You could if it wasn't for the small fact that the Dreamcast was Sega's console. Designing the OS for a console and the overall console itself are two totally different things.

Re:Vain attempt (1)

Rik Sweeney (471717) | more than 7 years ago | (#18689363)

Then how do you account for the XBox 360 which is a superb console?

Do you mean the Xbox 360 Elite?

Re:Vain attempt (0, Flamebait)

Schnoogs (1087081) | more than 7 years ago | (#18689451)

Instead of replying with comments like that why not just cut to the chase and indicate that you're an anti-ms troll. The 360 has been doing just fine without the release of the Elite. You'd know that if you actually knew a thing or two about the current generation and weren't just another ./ anti-ms troll looking for any opportunity to come off looking knowledgeable because you've taken a cheap and in this case unfounded dig at ms. Other than manufacturing issues the 360 has been a fantastically designed system in terms of features, peripherals and online support. The Elite caters to that very small niche who need HDMI. The HD can be purchased externally and will most likely drop significantly in price.

Great move for both iPod users and other users (3, Insightful)

thecalster (1081075) | more than 7 years ago | (#18688907)

Microsoft Zune may not be quite up to the iPod standard but it's getting there. One of the good things about having microsoft join the mp3 player wars is that it will make iPod come out with better updates to their ipod (the 5.5gen ipod was a little weak in the upgrade features). That and with the music copyprotecting systems getting lifted off itunes there is going to be some big changes happening with mp3 players in the future. The competition will make both of their products better.

market share (0, Flamebait)

RocketRay (13092) | more than 7 years ago | (#18688913)

I'm sure they'll have tens of customers.

Nice summary. (3, Funny)

rholliday (754515) | more than 7 years ago | (#18688929)

So will we see another try from Microsoft to beat Apple's iPod or it will be another vain attempt from the Redmond guys.
So will we see snide comments from Apple fanboys or it will be snide comments from Apple fanboys.

Come on guys, you can do better than that! Poor grammar, incorrect punctuation, and the two options don't contradict each other. It's not even a humorous or ironic "there is one option but we're pretending there are two" setup, it's just confusing. :)

</troll>

Will it reduce iPod prices (2, Insightful)

beerdini (1051422) | more than 7 years ago | (#18688965)

I don't really think Zune will stand up to the iPod for a few generations of the device, even if that. But lets pretend that they do come out with a competitive alternative...will it create a price war between MS and Apple? Judging from the pricing of PC's vs Macs I'd say no, it might be a $50-100 drop in prices but there is something about the iPod, call it social acceptance or prestige of owning one, its kind of a status symbol to own an iPod. Unless Zune can get to that level as whatever you want to call it they won't be much of a competitor. Just look at how many other MP3 players are out on the market, but the first one anyone will mention is always the iPod.

Apple Lock-In (2, Interesting)

Zobeid (314469) | more than 7 years ago | (#18688983)

It's about time to replace my ancient (1st gen) iPod, which has given heroic service. What would it take for me to consider another brand, any other brand, beside Apple?

1. must play MP3 and M4A (AAC)

2. must play nice with my Power Mac

3. must sync with iTunes (practically my entire music collection is in iTunes)

4. must work with the iPod dock connector in my car

Zune should have no problem with 1, might possibly be okay with 2, but is locked out of 3 & 4 -- along with every other non-Apple player on the market, thus far, to the best of my knowledge. If anyone knows differently, please correct me!

(And before anyone says anything. . . . No, my 1st gen iPod doesn't have a dock connector. In fact, my car stereo has only an aux input, it doesn't yet have an iPod dock connector either. My next one will. I'm looking to the future here.)

No, DRM Lock-In (-1, Flamebait)

w.p.richardson (218394) | more than 7 years ago | (#18689101)

So sorry that you drank the DRM Kool-Aid from Apple. Now you are stuck - stick with Apple or lose your DRM'ed tunes.

Really a shame.

Re:No, DRM Lock-In (2, Insightful)

enigma9 (812497) | more than 7 years ago | (#18689303)

You assume that he purchased all of his songs from the iTunes Music Store, rather than having just ripped them from CDs into iTunes (the software program). No Kool-Aid necessary.

Re:No, DRM Lock-In (1)

linuxci (3530) | more than 7 years ago | (#18689305)

There was no mention of DRM there whatsoever. AAC is an open format, it doesn't necessarily have Apple's proprietary DRM applied.

It sounds more like a convenience thing than anything else, they want to keep using iTunes and of course they don't want to have problems with it working with their mac. If they really wanted to they could switch away from iTunes and use another player without losing their music.

Re:No, DRM Lock-In (1)

Zixia (534893) | more than 7 years ago | (#18689337)

He didn't mention that his music collection was bought from the iTunes Music Store, just that his entire collection is in iTunes, the application. He may not have any issue with losing music because of DRM restrictions.

My entire music collection is in iTunes, but none of it is encumbered with DRM, as I ripped it from my own CDs.

Re:No, DRM Lock-In (1)

Moofie (22272) | more than 7 years ago | (#18689513)

What DRM lock-in? I'm not the original poster, but my requirements are the same. I've got a few DRM tracks (most I got for free), but not enough to worry about. And I can easily un-DRM them.

But those are my requirements, and there's only one device that fits them all.

No DRM Lock-In (1)

Zobeid (314469) | more than 7 years ago | (#18689655)

Others have already jumped to answer this, but just to make it official. . .

When I wrote that my whole music collect is in iTunes, I'm talking about stuff ripped from CDs and acquired from. . . ah, other sources. I haven't bought music from ITMS thus far because I didn't want my music collection contaminated with DRM. When the non-DRM tracks become available, then I plan to give ITMS a spin.

And yeah. . . It's a convenience thing. I could live without a dock connector for my car, but I would be missing something highly convenient. I could live with a player that doesn't sync with iTunes, but it would be a pain in the neck. Why should I subject myself to a pain in the neck rather than simply buy an iPod?

Using iTunes to store and organize my whole music collection was a revelation to me. I can't imagine going back to the multiple shelves of CDs that I used to have stacked here.

Yes, Apple's got you by the short-and-curlies (-1, Troll)

xxxJonBoyxxx (565205) | more than 7 years ago | (#18689241)

Yes, Apple's got you by the short-and-curlies. That's the beauty of Apple's business model: they get you (and millions of other well-trained consumers like you) to go proprietary all the way by convincing you that stylish components are cool. Just like in the computer world, you're starting to wake up and realize that an all-proprietary solution has disadvantages, which is why it's fun to see second- (or third-) generation competitors trying to open the field.

I still think a Holy Grail for desktops would be an open-source iTunes replacement that snaps off the Apple DRM...anyone know of such a thing yet?

Re:Apple Lock-In (1)

AikonMGB (1013995) | more than 7 years ago | (#18689361)

O_o....... If you despise vendor lock-in, then don't get locked in; if you choose to buy a car stereo with an iPod dock connector, that's your prerogative. If the Zune could overcome 1, 2 and 3, wouldn't you consider buying a car stereo with a Zune dock connector instead? Imaginary lock-ins that don't yet exist and are up to consumer choice cannot be touted as requirements for competing products.

I'm not going to run around complaining that I'm not going to buy Windows Vista because it doesn't work on my PPC Macbook; what you're proposing is that everyone lie down and accept Apple's lock-in, instead of fighting back and getting NO lock-in.. there is a big difference.

Aikon-

Re:Apple Lock-In (1)

tijmentiming (813664) | more than 7 years ago | (#18689503)

I would go for the Cowon iAudio X5L Or iPod with rockbox/iPod Linux

You aren't locked to iPod if you use iTunes (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18689571)

http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?artnum=935 48 [apple.com]

I don't know if these players are any good, but they are compatible with iTunes and they aren't made by Apple.

Frist st0p (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18688987)

move any equipment I read the late5t You get distracted conflicts that and promotes our EFNet servers. are allowed to play Election to the and was taken over IT A BREAK, IF area. It is the words, don't get the project How is the GNAA of challenges that charnel house. in jocks or chaps or mislead the correct network a losing battle; forwards we must PRIMA DONNAS, AND are inherently posts. Therefore of the warring the future of the minutes. If that.

they'll lose billions but they'll keep at it (2, Informative)

Locutus (9039) | more than 7 years ago | (#18689003)

They'll keep at it no matter how bad their device is and eventually, people will accept them. BUT, it'll cost Microsoft 10's of billions and 10's of billions in losses. Does anybody remember the first Microsoft WindowsCE based handhelds over 10 years ago? I think they were clamshell versions and after about 3 years on the market, most of those vendors quit selling the WinCE devices for lack of interest/sales. Microsoft then renamed the product to MS PocketPC after the courts said they could use PalmPC and also allowed vendors to build portrait based versions. Another 7+ years passed and billions in losses but today, people accept the product.

So it really doesn't matter what they put out, they'll just keep doing it, paying billions in marketing, discounts, and other incentives to vendors to keep pushing the product. The ONLY way this would not happen is if the press( hello /. ) stopped giving them any air time. Atleast make em pay you for it. IMO.

LoB

Specs are meaningless. Wifi? Yeah, right. (1)

Weaselmancer (533834) | more than 7 years ago | (#18689009)

The first Zune boasted Wifi too. Misleading as hell. [msn.com]

Look. (2, Insightful)

Z0mb1eman (629653) | more than 7 years ago | (#18689025)

So will we see another try from Microsoft to beat Apple's iPod or it will be another vain attempt from the Redmond guys.

Just because you don't put a question mark at the end of your badly phrased attempt to stir up the flames doesn't mean it's any less of an annoying and pointless question.

PLEASE stop with the inane, pointless, content-free rhetorical questions at the end of submissions. They're annoying, biased, and make Slashdot look like amateur hour. The conversations would flow just as well, if not better, without the obvious "here's what you should think about this story" cues. Too bad the editors keep falling for them.

SlashDot used to be amateur hour, now it's just PR (1)

xxxJonBoyxxx (565205) | more than 7 years ago | (#18689343)

PLEASE stop with the inane, pointless, content-free rhetorical questions at the end of submissions. They're annoying, biased, and make Slashdot look like amateur hour. The conversations would flow just as well, if not better, without the obvious "here's what you should think about this story" cues. Too bad the editors keep falling for them


SlashDot used to be amateur hour, but these days it's mostly warmed over PR pieces from large "tech" corporations. (30% Google PR pieces, 15% Apple PR pieces, 15% game company PR pieces, 10% Microsoft FUD pieces, etc.)

If you're depending on SlashDot for anything more than entertainment value, you're probably getting duped right now.

The annoying questions at the end are basically added at the end of each PR piece to make it sound like each piece wasn't just copied straight from the related company's (or competitor's) PR department.

Re:Look. (1)

Falladir (1026636) | more than 7 years ago | (#18689443)

I was thinking "how are those exclusive of each other?" This will *obviously* be another try from Microsoft to beat Apple's iPod, regardless of whether it succeeds. Is there something like slashdot, but with better English? This is getting tiresome.

Why beat apple? (1)

TinBromide (921574) | more than 7 years ago | (#18689047)

Maybe microsoft is trying to put out the best product it can without having to one-up other companies?

In all seriousness, perhaps they should wait until apple is forced to open up their drm scheme so that they can compete in the installed market. Everyone knows that ipods have a life span of anywhere between 6 months and 2 years before either being dropped, over used, or just used (anyone remember the battery issue?). If microsoft could come out with a cheaper substitute that worked with itunes, they'd probably replace people's 3rd or 4th ipod.

Re:Why beat apple? (2, Interesting)

Serious Callers Only (1022605) | more than 7 years ago | (#18689619)

Everyone knows that ipods have a life span of anywhere between 6 months and 2 years before either being dropped, over used, or just used (anyone remember the battery issue?)


I beg to differ. I have a 1G iPod bought around 5 years ago which still works fine, though it's been dropped innumerable times, the battery doesn't charge so well now as it only lasts an hour or so (after 5 years of use) but it works fine. I could replace the battery (doesn't look hard), but haven't bothered because I got a 4G a couple of years ago (to get more space) and use that mostly now instead. Battery life is as new. Same goes for all the other people I know who have iPods - none have stopped working, save one which took a dip in some water. So much for your 'everyone knows' lifespan of between 6 months and 2 years.

Though we'll have to wait till it comes out, the new Zune sounds very much like they've moved on to copying the Nano, which is great, but doesn't really address the fact they're 2 years behind all their competitors. They need to stop, take stock, and address the faults and short-comings of Zune - both software and player, instead of playing catch-up. Portable video doesn't really it to me, right now it's just another bullet point on the feature list (cost, storage, screen size all need to be addressed). By the time MS produce something worth buying with the Zune, Apple will be selling internet connected devices by the million instead, and even more people will be using iTunes to sync up everything on their computer with those devices, leaving the Zune as a copycat product in a shrinking market.

There are so many things they could have added - address book, camera support for image import, clock, calendar, data entry, internet, real content sharing via wifi (other than music), real ebook support etc etc. This hack for reading text on a Zune sums things up really :

http://lifehacker.com/software/zune/read-a-book-on -your-zune-247390.php [lifehacker.com]

Given the platform they already had with Pocket PC, why they even bothered producing something entirely different for the Zune astounds me. The convergence with PocketPC devices is only a few years away, and yet they throw out all the ground-work they have in-house and start again with a device that's so limited it's painful. If Pocket PC (or whatever they call it now) needs improved to handle playing music, improve it! The whole thing stinks of a directive from on-high to combat the iPod, which resulted in a quick buy-in and rebranding of an existing player then a rushed launch. V2 is more of the same.

Deja-vu... (1)

F-3582 (996772) | more than 7 years ago | (#18689085)

This one somehow reminds me of the futile attempts Nokia made to get into video gaming market. Some people might remember this as the NGage.

Re:Deja-vu... (1)

mwvdlee (775178) | more than 7 years ago | (#18689177)

Last I heard, they stuffed the same capabilities in another form factor, and it's selling pretty well.

Thinner AND more storage? Be still, my heart! (4, Funny)

dpbsmith (263124) | more than 7 years ago | (#18689119)

WOW! This is IT! Thinner and larger storage capacity both? This is the breakthrough! However did those Microsoft boys do it?

I'm buying one for my granddaughter. True, she already has two iPods (don't ask), but she won't want them once she hears about this! I sure hope Microsoft can meet the demand. I wonder if any of the stores are taking pre-orders now? I wouldn't want to pay $800 to get one on eBay, but, gosh, when all of her friends have them and are squirting songs to each other, I can't let her be the one to be left out.

Actually, if she has two iPods I'd better get her two Zunes.

And just the other day, my wife was saying to me "If Microsoft ever makes a Zune that is thinner and has a larger storage capacity I'd like you to get one for me."

It really sounds almost perfect, but I wonder... do you suppose... there will be new colors, too? Maybe a triple-shot!

This certainly puts the lie to all those rumor sites that were saying the next Zune would be thicker and have less storage.

Re:Thinner AND more storage? Be still, my heart! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18689397)

I really don't know how your post be any less funny. Maybe if you had posted a goatse link.

Being cynical and sarcastic is so EDGY!

Re:Thinner AND more storage? Be still, my heart! (1)

Drizzt Do'Urden (226671) | more than 7 years ago | (#18689601)

I wouldn't want any kid near a Zune, squirting sounds pornographic!

Another attempt from Redmond guys (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18689153)

Their failure in creating new market hits is so constant, it doesn't even excite me anymore.

iPod's design is dated anyway (1)

jonnythan (79727) | more than 7 years ago | (#18689185)

Just when Microsoft manages to catch up to the iPod's current 2-year-old design, the iPod is going to move to something totally new. I'm sure the iPod will be updated sometime this year to look much more like the iPhone with a large, wide screen.

Re:iPod's design is dated anyway (1)

Jaktar (975138) | more than 7 years ago | (#18689329)

Yes I hear that the new iPod will be based on an anal implant and you won't need earbuds anymore. They'll simply replace one of your molars with a vibration device that will simply vibrate your head to reproduce the sound.

Seriously though, of course things will get smaller, but iPod is already weak enough. Perhaps they should work on making them more rotund?

I personally don't own an iPod, I went for Creative Labs Zen Vision:M. Far superior imho. Anything that's not Apple is welcome.

Microsoft ALWAYS gets it right, eventually. (4, Funny)

dpbsmith (263124) | more than 7 years ago | (#18689235)

They always get it right by version 3.0.

They scoffed at Microsoft Bob, but look what happened with Microsoft Bob 3.0.

They laughed at PlaysForSure, but where are all the skeptics now?

They winced at WinCE, but can you name a single cell phone that doesn't use it today?

good money after bad (1)

TheSHAD0W (258774) | more than 7 years ago | (#18689273)

Microsoft's being rather ambitious if they're going to be manufacturing these things by the millions, considering the poor reception v.1.0 got.

My biggest gripe with the Zune is that their most touted feature, the ability to throw songs at other people. My gripe is that it wasn't implemented properly. People should be able to stream the songs as soon as they start receiving them. (And kill the receive if the song is crap. ;-)

Hey Microsoft! (1)

Rik Sweeney (471717) | more than 7 years ago | (#18689289)

Where's the Gapless Playback?

Scene from a store on Zune Sharing... (2, Insightful)

nweaver (113078) | more than 7 years ago | (#18689323)

Salesman: The Zune allows you to wirelessly share songs with friends...

Customer: That sounds cool.

Me: But you can only play the shared song 3 times and it deletes itself after 3 days.

Customer: Thats lame and pointless then.

Zune 360 (1)

linuxci (3530) | more than 7 years ago | (#18689517)

This has less details than the April 1st Zune 360 [slashdot.org] article. But instead a nice big Google adwords banner running down the right hand side of the page. As for someone writing an unoffical Zune fansite running into an MS employee by accident, how likely is that? It looks like astroturf to me.

Anyway the Zune 360 in the April fools post sounds a lot better than the Zune announced on Zune Scene.

Both! (1)

asninn (1071320) | more than 7 years ago | (#18689685)

So will we see another try from Microsoft to beat Apple's iPod or it will be another vain attempt from the Redmond guys.

Both: we will see another try, and it will turn out to be a vain attempt. Oh yeah, and here's a question mark for you:

"?"

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