Zune HD heads to UK, Apple contrarians rejoice

iPod, Microsoft, MP3 players, PMP

zunehd.jpgMicrosoft’s much-lauded Zune HD is finally officially coming the UK.

The Zune has had a turblent life so far but has still managed to gain a loyal following, and not without reason the Zune HD is to come sporting a few key features certain other i-prefixed portable media players do not, chief among which is its ability to play 720p HD video over HDMI. Which, as your gasps correctly point out, is awesome.

But the hardware is only as good as the software that’s supporting it. And the last Zune desktop software was crap, and it was released on Windows Vista, which was crap, and Marketplace, Microsoft’s iTune equivilent was a lumpy over-priced experience, at best you’d probably call it crap.

But we have hope. With Marketplace debuting on Xbox Live this autumn Microsoft look set for a Christmas release, which would be nice.

But here’s the most important thing: Will it ever out-sexy the iPod touch? Will Microsoft ever be able to make Marketplace as appealing an ecosystem for app developers? The big thing the iPod touch has going for it is iOS, and Microsoft isn’t so much behind in its mobile OS development, rather it’s in another era.

Apple is flying around in hover boots and Microsoft is still fiddling around with a bleeding harpsichords. And are Apple going to let their momentum slip? No. You’re right, the answer is absolutely not.

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  • @Synthmeister, but the Zune HD still has one advantage over the iPod Touch 4: FM and HD radio.

  • Hmmm, so I would have to pay an additional 99 bucks to port video? doesn’t sound very portable oh “4th gen ipud user”. I noticed the one thing you didn’t say your mp3 player does is play music. I guess if I was stuck with an iPud downloading songs that are not CD quality to a device that is bass loaded to compensate for the lame “earbuds” they give you, I wouldn’t mention music either. Fortunately Zune is all about Music and Video. Hence the audiophile components, HDMI out and HD Radio. but I’m sure you’d rather find a wifi connection to look at your girlfriend while you play John Carmack demo’ing Rage (whatever that is) and I’m sure the PSP kid is laughing at you too.

  • Um, where and when was the Zune HD confirmed for the UK? I believe you meant the Zune Marketplace is coming to the UK.

  • The current 4th Generation iPod touch is so far beyond this device, it is silly to even compare them.
    1. >300 ppi screen resolution
    2. HD video camera
    3. HD video editing on the device
    4. Epic UDK
    5. John Carmack demo’ing Rage
    6. Real world VOIP options
    7. Facetime
    8. World’s largest online media library
    9. Kindle and Netflix software

    Oh yea, almost forgot the 250 k apps.

    And if spitting out 720p content is that important, do it wirelessly with the $99 AppleTV. Try that with your Zune or WinMo phone.

    • HeZune HD is still a far superior MEDIA device. It beats ANY iPod touch in it’s media experience. Even Apple-biased places like Gizmodo have applauded the media experience on the Zune HD. The only reason Apple is adding a camera is to reconcil for the crappy media experence on it’s MEDIA player. Think about it, Apple is adding a CAMERA to a PMP. Most people crack or break their iPods within 2 months of getting it. Imagine how fast on with a camera will break. Plus an iPod nano with a touchscreen that’s too small to even get two fingers on it. No one will ever be able to test the multitouch because it’s too small to even get the fingers on it! Come on people! When did a media player become about how many APPLICATIONS you could run on it. I mean how is that enriching your MEDIA experience. A camera? I mean really. I remember a time where the only place you could find a camera was on a OH MY GOD CAMERA! If you wanted an app platform with a camera why not just by a phone!

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