In Non-Apple MP3 Player News Today…

Sep 9th, 2008 // 5 Comments

Given that there’s some sort of big iPod-related announcement scheduled for about 90 minutes from now and causing much speculation among the fanboys, the Microsoft people picked an odd time to announce new product features for their still-chugging-along portable-music player the Zune. But it’s nice to see that they’re still trying, even if they’ve lost their biggest fan. It might be worth noting that even the Zune press release page doesn’t have even a whisper about this allegedly big news.

So, what will you be able to do with the new Zune?

These include the ability to buy music over wi-fi, a new feature that lets you buy songs you hear on FM radio, casual games, and some music recommendation features — which Apple’s iTunes/iPods could also be getting tomorrow. We also hear that Microsoft will be lowering the price of its Zune Pass subscription service — from $14.99/month — sooner than later.

There’s some appeal to those features, although if Apple announces a Pandora-killing music recommendation service of its own at 1 ET, Zune’s take on the service will seem less interesting for sure. The ability to buy songs from the radio seems to fit well with the player’s built-in tuner, but one wonders just how many people actually use that function of the player, and whether or not this new feature will result in some heretofore-unseen market being tapped in a big way. Seeing how well the whole Zune campaign has gone so far, there’s really no reason to doubt their business model.

Zune Gets New Features That Won’t Help Sell Zunes [Silicon Valley Insider]


  1. loudersoft

    Now if only anyone had any money to be able to afford either of these puppies….

  2. Mick Kraut

    My 3 year old 60GB iPod Photo is still going strong 10 hours a day, 5 days a week…but I might be looking to upgrade soon…

    Lets hope for some decent upgrades.

  3. Marth

    After I had 3 iPods die on me in one way or another, I was this close to getting a Zune. But my newest(1) iPod has held together and not catastrophically(2) failed on me yet.

    (1) Thank you very much, Apple warranty iPod replacement service.
    (2) It would be really nice to see something other than Antony And The Johnsons’ cover art on 70% of my albums. But otherwise it still works like a champ.

  4. silkyjumbo

    i LOVE the tuner feature on my zune (what? it was a gift!) – NPR can be very soothing on a packed train ride.

  5. DeeW

    I guess the big plus is that, unlike the new iPods, every single previous Zune gets these features for free with a software update. I think they did this last year, too. It’s becoming a trend – a nice trend that I wish Apple would adopt (along with the wifi in every device trend, ya know).

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