After the endless speculation comes the facts – Microsoft’s Zune digital music player has been unveiled, along with details of its specification and the accompanying music service.
The Zune player comes in one size – 30GB – but in a choice of colours. Those being black, white and brown. It’s got a 3-inch screen, built-in FM tuner and will be launched alongside Zune Marketplace, Microsoft’s equivalent of iTunes. The Zune Marketplace will support both the pay-per-download or monthly subscriptions.
Zune does have one thing the iPod hasn’t got – 802.11b/g Wi-Fi on board. Zune users will be able to user their Wi-Fi connection to transfer full-length song samples, which can be listened for a limited time before becoming unplayable. I’ll believe that bit of functionality when I see it. It will also ship with pre-loaded video and music content andf there will also be car, home and travel accessory packs for Zune at launch – many by third parties who have signed up to provide "made for Zune" add-ons.
The price is still not clear – or indeed a UK release date. But I’m guessing we’ll be hearing more on the Zune on an almost weekly basis until it finally does launch.