Zune is the latest or rather the first digital music player to be launched by Microsoft. Ofcourse Zune is also the latest one in the market amongst the music players available. Zune was launched on 14th Nov 2006 in Atlanta with a free TI concert.
The key feature of Zune is its large LCD display screen, which is close to 40 % bigger than a video ipod. This large screen makes sure that one even figures out the expressions of the people in the movie, which is not normally the case in iPod. Some of the reviews make it equivalent to a HDTV.
Coming to the user interface, its one of the sleekest in its class. With only one large center button, which can move in four different directions together with pressing straight down, anyone who knows how to use a web browser would find using Zune very easy. The menus have a sleek animation from one screen to the other that gives the Zune a really cool feeling.
One of the most striking features of Zune is its Wi-Fi functionality, which is one of the most unique features of a digital music player till date. Users can detect if there is any other Zune player in the vicinity till 50 m so that sharing of song files, albums and photos can be done. To prevent piracy and protection of copyrights, the transferred file can only be played three times, thereafter the file gets deleted.
With a matte finish, Zune spots a slippery look but actually is not. Outer shell of Zune is scratch free which makes it really good for tough usage. The scratching of screens was one of the major problems in iPod.
The sound quality of the device is 100 % connected to the headphones under usage and not really on the player itself. Better the headphones better will be the sound quality. This is really drawback for the player since iPod boasts of a superior sound quality because of the player and not really because of the headphones.
Similar to iTunes for iPod, Zune comes with Zune marketplace. It has been launched with over 2 million songs and offers 2 options for the enthusiasts: 99 cents for a single download or unlimited downloads for just 14.99. Zune will play and even share songs from other sources. The ability of Zune to fetch and album art for ripped and illegal music is nothing short of fantastic. Infact songs, which are purchased from iTunes music store, have something called, as DRM codes which does not allow them to be played on any player other than iPod.
One of the major disadvantages of Zune, which can make this product a miss in the market, is its inability to act as a memory stick or a removable hard drive. This is one of the major drawbacks keeping in mind the existing products in market all of which support the removable hard drive feature. This makes Zune useful only for listening to music and not for transferring word documents, excel files and zip files. iPod is very widely used as a storage device since it can store up to 60 GB of data.
Regarding appearance, Zune comes in three different colours – black, brown and white. Brown is catching up a lot and has maximum demand and bookings all across Wal-Mart and Amazon.com. But one thing is sure looks wise, its difficult to mistake Zune for some other player.
Finally Zune with all these features turns out to be a value for money at just $ 250. Its one the premier players available in the market, and will hit the competition with a bang with its wifi feature and large display. Zune is more like a range for Microsoft with products like Zunephone and Zunegamer in the pipeline.
Try it. You will love it.