Microsoft has recently released the new versions of their Zune media device. Their original Zune was released with mixed reviews and the size and brown color option were the two negatives I have heard the most. On the positive, the original Zune had an exceptional screen. This was pre iPhone and iPod Touch, so for once Microsoft had something first. The Zune did marginally well, but never put a dent in iPod sales.
These second generation Zunes have been very well received. They have been updated inside and out and the software that you use to sync with the Zune has also been completely re-done. There are two options for the new Zunes, as are in the iPod world. You can get a 4 or 8 GB flash based player or you can go for the 80GB hard drive based player. One feature I am particularly excited to check out is the ability to sync over WiFi. This could make updating very easy for my “always in the truck” audio player.
Check out Gizmodos mashup of comments about the new Zunes: CLICK HERE
Aside from the massive updates in the new Zunes, one of the more notable updates relates to the first generation Zune. Microsoft decided to extend the software upgrade from the second genration Zune BACKWARDS. This means you can buy a first generation Zune and upgrade it to the most current software. The only things you don’t get from this, obviously, are the hardware upgrades that the new Zunes have been given. On a budget? You can get most of the bang of a new Zune by plunking down less than a hundred dollars. Yes, the original Zune is larger and doesn’t have the sweet touch sensitive controls, but it’s enough of an incentive that I have been shopping around for a first generation Zune.
And guess what? I WANT the brown one!
I bought a brown Zune about a month back when Woot had them at $100 a pop (now I get $20 off something later, yay!) and have been pretty pleased with it so far. No real complaints other than having to marry myself to Zune’s software on the computer, but that’s the same problem with iPods and iTunes. I just upgraded so I don’t have much to say about the new software yet, but if it lives up to what others are saying, I think I’ll be impressed.
I had been using a Sansa by SanDisk for the longest time, which is a good alternative for folks looking for a budget MP3 player. The 2gig ones are pretty cheap now and since they’re flash based you can just drag and drop your music onto the think like it was a flashstick. If they made them larger I’d have stuck with it, but $100 for 30gigs was a good deal in my book.
Woot just had the Black ones yesterday. I am sure I will be able to find one when I decide to buy it. $100 for 30Gb, thats 3 cents a gig! Woot indeed.