Microsoft Zune Update

This image was lost some time after publication, but you can still view it here.
This image was lost some time after publication, but you can still view it here.

More Zune news courtesy of various people in various places of product development. This time our tipster says the Zune is only the flagship product of a new line of portable devices. Think the iPod Video in relation to the iPod Nano and the iPod Shuffle. Important, but not the only kid on the block.


Microsoft's concentrating on features the iPod doesn't have, instead of trying to beat Apple at their own game. The tipmeister reiterates that ad-hoc networking feature will be there, as well as a possible buffered internet radio streaming feature. If you're within range of a WiFi signal and you're listening to a station, the device will snatch as much of the feed as it can so when you wander out of WiFi signal, it'll keep playing the stream as if you were in range. This might not make its way into the final product, so don't get your hopes up too high.

More on games, Xbox integration, and possible other devices after the jump.

Image courtesy our hombres at Engadget

The Zune is going to have some gaming, but it's not going to be nearly as powerful as an "Xbox portable" would be. Crecente over at Kotaku ponders the idea of having a device that can actually play all the Xbox Live Arcade games in full detail, and not some dumbed down version. This may be possible in the Xbox portable, but not in the Zune.

There probably is going to be Xbox 360 integration though, as your "music subscription authorization" is held on the device itself. This means if you take your Zune to your friend's place, plug it into his 360, the console will automatically have access to your Zune music. The iPod does this already, but not with iTunes downloaded music.


There's also going to be a next generation PlaysForSure starting with this player, with a better name than "PlaysForSure 2". Oh, and that rumor about being able to import all your iTunes tracks automatically? That's probably not true. The tipster speculates that you may be able to convert your iTunes songs into DRM WMA files, but that opens up a whole new can of worms with Apple and the record labels. We'll wait and see on that one.

Lastly, there's going to be an iPod Nano competitor called, tentatively and possibly, the Pixas. The tipster's only around 20% sure about the name, but 100% sure of the player's existence. Oh, and it will support video.


As always, we'll post more stuff as it comes in. Thanks to all our tipsters!



The iPod's 2.5" display is smaller, but the 3" Zune offer the same resolution. The Zune's slightly larger display is still showing the same number of dots; they'll just be more obviously pixelated because each dot is larger. The lower pixel density of the Zune's screen means its display can only be less sharp.

This flaw is exaggerated by Microsoft's Vista-esque choice of using soft alpha transparency throughout the Zune interface. This makes for nice marketing photos, but makes it harder to navigate through screens when focusing on other things: walking, driving, exercising, riding a bike, or other things iPod users do.

While neither the iPod nor the Zune provide a cinematic movie experience, there is no benefit to having a slightly larger screen at the same resolution in a handheld device, apart from possibly lower battery life.

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