Yesterday was an exciting day for the Zune Team. Their new Zune devices – the Zune 4, Zune 8, and Zune 80 – hit store shelves and they launched a brand new version of Zune.net now with your very own Social Profile (your Zune Card). The Zune Team also launched a new version of the Zune software – completely re-done and much improved. There is quite a bit of reviews on both the new devices and Zune software all over the web today. I’d like to call out the reviews by Featured Community member Jason Dunn over at Zune Thoughts. He’s got some fantastic videos up on the new devices and software worth checking out.
I’d like to share a few things myself on the Zune software, the Zune 8, and the Zune Social web service.
First off, yesterday I created a video demo of the Zune software designed to give you a quick overview of what the Zune software offers. I shot the video yesterday hoping to get it up yesterday so when I say “today” I really mean yesterday. Take a look at the video:
That was just a quick overview. The Zune software is about you and your collection of music, videos, and photos. The new software also now supports the ability to subscribe to podcasts as well. For folks who record TV shows with Windows Media Center on Windows Vista (such as myself), the Zune software is able to take those videos and put them on your Zune device. One thing I’d like to stress is that even if you don’t own a Zune device, you can still download the Zune software to use with your music collection. You really need to check out the Now Playing screen 😉
In conjunction with the release of the new software, I went out and bought myself a Zune 8. The Zune 8 is the 8GB flash memory model. I was originally intending to buy a Zune 80 (the 80GB harddrive model) but I already own a brown Zune 30 and really wanted to try a smaller flash device.
I was amazed at how small the device is. And the new Zune Pad makes a huge different in navigating the device – by the touch of my finger. And the new glass screen makes watching videos and looking at pictures crystal clear on the device. Yes – the Zune 8 supports video (including my recorded Windows Media Center TV shows!).
To go with my Zune 8, I also picked up the Zune Dock. The new Zune Dock supports the new Zune devices (the Zune 4, 8, and 80) as well as the Zune 30. It comes with interchangeable “seats” for the devices. The Zune Dock also has video out capabilities.
It also comes with a power adapter. If my Zune 8 is plugged in to the wall to charge – if I’ve set up wireless syncing, my Zune 8 will automatically sync to my PC as I add music throughout the day.
The next thing I’d like to talk about is the new Zune Social features on Zune.net. When you login to Zune.net with your Windows Live ID that is your Zune/Xbox account – you now have a Zune Profile on Zune.net. This Zune Profile consists of your played music as well as your Friends List (same Friends you have from Xbox Live). You can also browse the Zune music catalog via Zune.net and send songs to your friends which will then show up under the “social” of the Zune software. This is becoming one of my most favorite features of the new Zune releases as not only can I share my music tastes with my friends, I can also see what my friends are listening. Because of this – I’ve discovered many new artists I’ve never heard before as well as rediscovered a few I’ve not heard in ages.
Feel free to check out my Zune Profile and my Zune Card here.
Music is very important to me and being able to play my music and mange my digital media in such a unique way, sync to a really cool device and then share my music listening habits with friends makes for an incredible experience.
Photos of the Zune and Zune Dock uploaded to Flickr using Windows Live Photo Gallery.