Zune HD to be released on 5th September?


The Zune HD will be launched in the US on 5th September according to Microsoft guru Paul Thurott.

But as the American launch edges palpably closer a UK launch is beginning to seem more like an impossibility than a improbability.

The Zune’s HD radio wouldn’t work in the UK where we use DAB and the ZunePass music subscription service used in the US is none-existent in Europe.

Pipe smoking, tech high-brow, Jack Schofield writes on Guardian.co.uk, “Sony is already offering much better sound quality than Apple, OLED screens, built in FM radio and better file support at reasonable prices. Admittedly it still has to re-educate a market that still thinks Sony supports ATRAC and requires horrible SonicStage software, but that’s probably an easier job than establishing the Zune brand from scratch.”

Which he’s right about. Well, the Zune thing, not the iPod thing: The sound quality on Sony Mp3 players is simply not any better than the iPod’s. That’s just not true. The thing that has made the iPod successful is how seamless it is. From it’s beautiful design, across every device and generation, to its amazingly simple and balanced UIs and a sound quality that’s as good as any personal media player out there.

That’s what has made the iPod ubiquitous, it’s simplicity. And that simplicity isn’t something Microsoft has ever been good at (ie… Vista). That being said, I’d be sad not to see the Zune HD launched here in some form, purely because it looks like a good product. I’m sick of these US only products. What have they done to deserve them? I want the Kindle and Zune HD on these shores by the end of the year – got it.

(Via SlashGear)

Microsoft unveil Zune HD – still not sexy


Microsoft has announced the arrival of the Zune HD, portable media player. The new Zune will aim to be a web surfing, digital radioing, multi-touch screened thorn in the side of the smug iPod touch.

Boasting a yummy 3.3 inch OLED screen (with 16:9 ratio) and HDMI output it looks like Microsoft are finally getting serious about taking on Apple’s iPod, although no comment was made as to the capacity or pricing of the new Zune.

You’ll be able to use the Zune to watch 720p HD video on your HDTV too, which is pretty neat. But looking at the release pictures, it doesn’t look like the Zune is going to rival the iPod in the sexyness stakes. Although an improvement on the original Zune which was undeniably hideously proportioned, the new Zune is still far from sexy.

Think of it as going from Nora Battie to Sonia Jackson – it’s only a bit better.

Microsoft might have done better to spend all the money they’ve spent on developing the Zune trying to tempt Jonathan Ive to come over to the dark side. Sorry, did I say dark side, I meant Microsoft, easy mistake to make.

(Via TechTree)