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.