WHAT IS ZUNE?PART II

Second generation

The second-generation Zune 4, 8, and 80 devices, manufactured by Flextronics, introduced the touch-sensitive Zune Pad, which was shaped like a squircle. The 4 and 8 GB Zune devices use flash memory and are smaller in size than the 80 GB version, which uses a hard drive. The 30 GB Zune was not redesigned, although it received a software update that brought its interface in line with the second generation models. At the same time, the Zune 2.0 software was released for Windows PCs. This version of the software was completely re-written and featured a new user interface.

Third generation

Zune 3/8/12 and Zune 4/8/16 menu system

Zune devices feature games developed using XNA. An early version of XNA Game Studio 3.0, released in May 2008, allowed developers to work on games for Zune devices.

The third-generation Zune 16 and 120 devices were released in September 2008, coinciding with the release of the Zune Software 3.0 update. The only changes to this generation of devices were to the firmware, which was made available for all previous models, and the storage capacity. Included in this firmware update was the ability to tag and later purchase songs heard on FM radio, channels which can be customized to deliver suggested songs for the user, the games Hexic and Texas Hold’ em, support for audiobooks from online stores such as Audible.com and others that support OverDrive media files, a clock, and changed quicklist functionality. The ability to purchase songs from Zune Marketplace on the device while connected to the Internet via Wi-Fi was also introduced. To help push this feature, Microsoft partnered with Wayport to allow Zune devices to access its network of over 10,000 wireless hotspots, including those at McDonald’s restaurants.

Zune Pass customers in the United States could also now download 10 tracks to keep per month in addition to the existing subscription-dependent unlimited music downloads.

 Fourth generation

The fourth-generation Zune device, the Zune HD, was released on September 15, 2009. New features included an OLED capacitative touch screen, HD video out, and HD radio. On the same day, the Zune 4.0 software was released to support the Zune HD. In addition, it became possible for Zune Pass subcribers to stream tracks through a computer’s web browser.Zune 4.0 also supports internet radio streams but this feature is disabled by default and can only be enabled by a third-party patch.This was the first firmware released for the Zune line which did not provide new features for older Zune models. These models were given a firmware update with version 3.2.

Microsoft released Zune 4.5 on April 5, 2010. This update introduced SmartDJ and codec features. A firmware update brought picks and an improved the TV-out experience to the Zune HD.

From Summer 2010, United Airlines started to offer Zune in-flight audio by means of 21 playlists that are very similar to the Zune Channels offered on the Zune Marketplace. Each channel offers up to 3 hours of unique programming ranging from classic rock, contemporary pop, opera, electronica, piano jazz, and others.

Xbox 360

In autumn 2009, movies and TV shows became available through streaming or download through Zune Video Marketplace on Xbox 360. On November 4, 2010, the music portion of the Zune Marketplace was brought to Xbox. This coincided with the launch of the Kinect and Kinect owners can navigate the application menus using hand gestures, without a controller. Users must have a Zune Pass subscription to play music in the application, and only Zune Pass content is available. Locally saved music must still be played through the Xbox’s native media library.

 Windows Phone

Microsoft announced new versions of Zune once in a year prior to 2010. On March 2011, Bloomberg.com published an article claiming that Microsoft would stop introducing new versions of the Zune music and video player. The article has been widely quoted over the internet and by news agencies. However, a Microsoft representative for Zune business development denied this rumor saying that the Windows Phone platform introduction should be considered to be the annual Zune update for 2010.

Zune-branded media playback software is a feature of Windows Phone devices. These phones sync with the Zune software and are compatible with Zune Pass.

All Windows Phone devices include capacitive multi-touch screens, FM radios, Wi-Fi, and certain other features included on the Zune HD. The user interface of the Zune devices, particularly the Zune HD, served as the inspiration for the user interface of Windows Phone. Microsoft refers to the design language of this user interface as Metro.

On October 11, 2010, Microsoft released Zune software v4.7, which supports syncing of Windows Phone devices with a Windows PC.

 Discontinuation of Zune hardware

On October 3, 2011, Microsoft announced the discontinuation of all Zune hardware, encouraging users to transition to Windows Phone. Later, the announcement was removed and a Zune Support Team member tweeted that the page was added to the website in error. Finally, despite previous denials, the original announcement of the Zune hardware’s discontinuation was restored to the Zune Support site.

Share this Post:
Digg Google Bookmarks reddit Mixx StumbleUpon Technorati Yahoo! Buzz DesignFloat Delicious BlinkList Furl

No Responses to “WHAT IS ZUNE?PART II”

Leave a Reply:

Name (required):
Mail (will not be published) (required):
Website:

Comment (required):
XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>