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]