New Zune software makes you “wanna”

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A couple hours ago the Zune HD was officially launched and came with it was a new version of the Zune desktop software, version 4.0.740 for those of you playing along. If you’ve already updated, you might have seen this fancy 30-seconds introduction video teasing some of the new functionality in the v4 software. If you haven’t, well here it is.

Be careful though, the video might make you “wanna” and if you don’t live in the one and only country recognized by Microsoft worthy enough for such advanced and groundbreaking technologies like a multi-touch portable media device and an online music/video store, you’ll be in a bit of a pickle because its not like there’s any comparable product and service out in the marketplace that can satisfy that need.

35 insightful thoughts

  1. I can’t understand Microsoft’s policy of not selling the Zune outside of the US. Is the rest of the world really so inconsequential? I had hoped they might make a change to that policy with the new model…

  2. I’m a current Zune 80 users in the UK and I’ve had no issues accessing the current software in the UK via the work around all users outside the US use.

    I’ll definitely be getting a Zune HD if the same work arounds work.

  3. I too live in the UK and also am unworthy! *sob* Funnily enough, I just received a promotional e-mail from Apple showing their iPod Touch. Hmm. Think fate is trying to tell me something? Damn you Microsoft!

  4. Isn’t it ironic that the first thing you see in the video is the words Missy Higgins and AUSTRALIAN singer-songwriter. Of all the band and artists in the US they pick an aussie. Are MS just rubbing our noses in it. Sorry gotta go my episode of Heroes just finished downloading from the iTunes store.

  5. I love how Spongebob is all over these Zune promo videos.

    Do other commenters realise this post is about the PC software, this is international and a great replacement to WMP12

  6. I live in Italy but I use Windows 7 in English, so no problem to update to 4.0 :)
    Anyway big time mess from MS leaving the 3.1 installer on zune.net, since it says “Download 4.0” and then you launch it and the installer says 3.1 and then connects to the server to download the 4.0… MS when are you going to learn? Never I guess… :(

  7. Zune software still missing some features it should have like UPnP/DLNA media server – streaming to the 360 alone is pretty poor.

    Media codec support is now more limited than WMP12 under Win7 which has AAC-LC-HE-5.1, H.264 High profile, XviD support the Zune software is still stuck in Apple clone mode of AAC-LC 2ch and main profile H.264 – very disappointing. Okay the Zune itself doesn’t support high profile but they could have at least transcoded the videos into WMV or something.

  8. Don’t forget to set your Regional Settings to USA, if you want to have all functionnalities of Zune Software 4.0

    Someone could hack and patch Zune.exe to bypass Regional Settings check ?
    I want to keep my original settings and have a full Zune Software :)

  9. I believe one of the issues with the Zune HD is that the build in digital radio tuner only works with the digital radio standard used in North America.

    Another issue could be the supply of NAND memory. It looks like Apple has actually bought up most of what was available on the world market.

    And lastly, it took Apple several years to bring the iTunes store to Australia. Why would Microsoft be any different?

    Overall the Zune looks interesting but I already have all the functionality of the Zune HD sans the radio (which I don’t need) and the HD video out (which actually requires the dock to work) in my 32 Gbyte 3Gs iPhone.

    Microsoft could have had a game changer if they released the Zune with 128 Gbyte of Ram. In it’s current state it only looks like Microsoft is playing catch up once again.

  10. Hey Long,

    Love the sarcasm (I’m one of the heathens too) but you may want to point out the Zune Software doesn’t really require the device. I’ve been using it since 3.0 and it has been my only media browser to this day. The new Windows 7 features of the 4.0 version (mini player, superbar hover, aero-snap, jumplists, etc.) completely obliterate the small advantage WMP had in this regard. Speaking of which, Microsoft should just ditch WMP altogether and add the Zune Software in the Windows Live Essential bundle.

  11. “A Message from the future”
    ( whats a zune? oh oh your mean that thing Microsoft made the other year, called a Zune HD then after a year or two shipped it to other countries but they ended up shutting down the zune hardware department cause of the new ______ ______ multi touch____ __ with over 500__ of ____ _____ by _______ which completely destroys all other players. hmm too bad zune wasn’t smart enough to launch before it came out so they could actually make their mark on the world, instead of an idiot badge. the States is not the center of the world, & every other country is not a 3rd world country, all well. )
    “End of Message”

    *sigh*
    By the time ZHD comes to any other country there will be no point in getting one, we will have several other much nicer devices available, mostly cause they will copy itouch & zhd and make it better & launch worldwide.
    Here’s how I look at it :)
    “Which would you want, next year”: :
    Natal for Xbox360, New Flat Panel surface computer & some killer new Phones that interact with all of them.
    : or :
    A Zune HD that has 4 or 5 games, twitter facebook and maybe a msn app –
    – oh & the marketplace which will already be on Xbox360’s in 18 different countries around the world.

    lawl

  12. Well,i’d buy a Zune in a heartbeat if they sold them in New Z(une)ealand. C’mon Microsoft,how do you expect to make a dent in the market if you only sell to a limited number or countries?

    The software rocks though.

  13. Long

    Just wondering if Microsoft has plans to sell the Zune in Australia as I really would like to get my hands on one. I updated the software and it runs great, I am also of the opinion that the Zune software should replace WMP.

  14. The Zune software is bloated as hell (though responsive). Why should I have to download 464 MB to transfer content to my portable player? I believe the size can be brought down by 92 MB by removing the .NET redistributable and WMFormat runtime plus another 128 MB by not storing the same firmware file twice for both x86 and x64. Still 244 MB is unacceptable. Maybe the video is bloating its size?

    And the Zune media format support still sucks to the extreme as neither the player nor the software supports popular formats like DivX/Xvid/MPEG-4 Advanced Simple Profile, MPEG-1/2, H.264 main/high profile and containers like AVI/MPG/MKV/FLV. That makes the player useless because all of my content is in these formats and I don’t want to pay for crap quality shareware converters which are available by the dozen but which all do a lousy job and don’t allow to customize encoding settings the exact way I want it. Currently, my hope is in Expression Encoder 3.0 which Microsoft made free for encoding WMV (and paid for other formats).

  15. zune software.. looks like dolled up noob junk to me.. winshi7e integration pfff..

    “Zune Software doesn’t really require the device. I’ve been using it since 3.0 and it has been my only media browser to this day. The new Windows 7 features of the 4.0 version (mini player, superbar hover, aero-snap, jumplists, etc.) completely obliterate the small advantage WMP had in this regard.”

    lol..WMP is super shite… Winamp+ obliterates both those MS crap apps… perhaps you should stop using shi7e

    “Anyway big time mess from MS leaving the 3.1 installer on zune.net, since it says “Download 4.0″ and then you launch it and the installer says 3.1 and then connects to the server to download the 4.0… MS when are you going to learn? Never I guess… :(”

    Never expect MS to get fuck all right.. infact don’t even expect them to come close, if they do its purely by accident.. which means they could very well fuck it up in the next update with some other noobshit idea.

    Anyway not impressed with the zune device.. I can wait for something that actually does get close to providing everything I want in a powerful portable device.

  16. Zuner,

    The 64-bit download is only 55Mb, including the 20Mb intro movie. I don’t know if you need an extra download in case you have to upgrade the firmware of a Zune device but the installation ought do that for you. For comparison the 3.1 version was a 133mb download for the 64-bit version though it did include the firmware for all Zune device generations.

    On your other point, I would recommend VLC for all other codecs the Zune4 doesn’t support (no need to install codecs). But I agree with you that Zune4 should support more formats, even though most of my videos are in WMV/MP4.

  17. I really hope there is a Region work around for 4.0 because I really want to be able to log into my old account. Not make a new one. Any takers

  18. Hey guys. For those still looking for the song in this clip, i found it, i came across it Forza Motorsport 3, then looked up the soundtack. Microsoft must like it. Anyways,

    Artist: The Whip
    Track Title: Trash
    Album: X Marks The Spot
    Year: 2008

    Enjoy.

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