Zune, Zune, Zune -- Microsoft Profiles Would-Be iPod Killer
In the wake of a slew of iPod releases Tuesday, Microsoft announced details Thursday of its foray into the music player wars, the Zune. The first product to be released under the brand, the Zune player boasts a 30GB hard drive, its own online music service (Zune Marketplace), a 3-inch screen (a half inch larger than the iPod screen) and, perhaps its two biggest edges, Wi-Fi capability and an FM tuner. Not to be outdone in the diversity department, the player comes in black, white and brown.
The player takes advantage of its wireless capability via Wireless Zune-to-Zune sharing, which allows users to transfer songs from one player to another. Once the song is transferred, the receiver has three days to hear the song as many as three times before deciding whether or not to tag it for purchase from the Zune Marketplace. The Marketplace operates like a hybrid of the iTunes store and subscription services like Rhapsody, allowing for both individual purchases of music as well as a Zune Pass that allows unlimited downloads for a flat fee.
The player comes with pre-loaded music from numerous record companies including Sub Pop, Astralwerks and Virgin Records.
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