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Cliczune Archives: September 2008


Zune service down for maintenance

Zunelogo_2 Just sending out a friendly reminder, or potentially a first notification if you did not receive the email alert that the Zune Team had sent out over the weekend.

Currently the Zune service has been taken offline for maintenance reasons and could be offline for as long as 48 hours. Of course, personally I am hoping it comes back sooner than that. Below is a copy of the original notification email...

The Zune service will be down for scheduled maintenance on Monday, September 29, 2008 from 12:01am Pacific Time, for up to 48 hours. During the downtime, Zune Social, the forums on Zune.net, and all of Zune Marketplace will be offline.

We apologize for any inconvenience this might cause you.

Please check back soon. We look forward to sharing our picks, plays, and recommendations with you in the Zune Social and in Zune Marketplace shortly!

Sincerely,

Your Friends at Zune

Zune 3.0, now with Audible.com support, free book and 30-day trial available

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Another feature that came along with the Zune 3.0 software update was the addition of Audible.com support. While maybe not the most advanced of the new features, its one that I am personally excited to see, in fact I would say that this addition was long overdue.

Aside from the support, Audible is also offering a few freebies. The first is a 30-day trial to test out the Audible service, of course this offer is valid only for new customers. The second offer is a free book, and this one is available for everyone. The freebie book is Black River by Dean Koontz and can be downloaded by any Zune owner.

To claim your 30-day free trial or your copy of Black River just head on over to www.audible.com/zune.

[MSN Money via Zune Insider]

Zune Originals adds new artwork, online exclusive colors

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In addition to the new software and free Wi-Fi, Zune Originals has also received an little refresh with the introduction of the new Zune hardware. We have already seen the new Zune 120 and Zune 16 hit the retail stores in black, and now Zune Originals has also announced that the Zune 16 will be available in blue, red, pink and green as an online exclusive. Finally, customers will also have the option of choosing some new artwork as Zune Originals has added 14 new designs to give your Zune a little more of a personal feel.

[ZuneOriginals]

Microsoft offering free McDonalds Wi-Fi for Zune owners

Mcdonalds_logo_250 In addition to the recently released Zune 3.0 software, Microsoft has announced that Zune owners will also be able to get free Wi-Fi at McDonalds restaurants across the US.

“Wayport is pleased to be working with Microsoft to make it easier for Zune users to access music on the go,” said Dan Lowden, vice president of business development and marketing for Wayport.

Now, assuming you have already updated to the latest software you will be able to take advantage of all the new features the next time you get that fast food craving. Which means that in addition to downloading music from the Marketplace you can also tag and purchase from the FM radio, and also take advantage of the recommendations and programming features. As of the current announcement, the wireless access is available at more than 9,800 McDonalds locations.

[Microsoft]

Zune 3.0 software now available

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In short...the Zune 3.0 software update is now available. You can grab the new software by launching your current version and heading to Settings -> Software -> General -> Check for update. Also if you do not already have the Zune software installed you can download it directly by clicking here. Mine is downloading as I write this post, can't wait to begin playing.

Wal-Mart offering the new Zune 120, lower priced Zune 80 a little early

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The official release date was supposed to be the 16th, but it seems that at least one Wal-Mart in Harborcreek, PA has decided to add them to their show floor cabinets for everyone to see. Of course seeming how everything else detail wise managed to leak out a little early with the Zune lately, I suppose we should not see this as any real surprise.

While the pricing had already been confirmed by Microsoft, we can see from the image that Wal-Mart will sell off their remaining inventory of Zune 80's for a nice $198, which sounds like a good time for anyone looking to make a purchase. Of course if you wanted the biggest storage option to date, you would have to shell out the $50 extra for the Zune 120.

Personally I have a Zune 80 that is in excellent condition so its kind of a mute point for me, but I am a sucker for a bargain and had I been looking I think I would be more than tempted to go for the Zune 80 and save a few bucks, after all, all models of the Zune will be able to get the new firmware for free anyway and aside from storage that is where most of the cool features are anyway.

Has anyone else able to find one of the new, or discounted old Zunes in a local store yet? If not don't worry much as they should be everywhere tomorrow.

[Engadget]

Microsoft officially lets the new Zune details out

Blue_zune_8_125_2 I suppose this post comes as a little bit of bittersweet news considering we have already seen the details, but that said, Microsoft has chosen to officially unveil the details for the new Zune hardware and software.

So just for a quick recap, the new model of the Zune will be the black 120GB hard drive based model which will retail for $249 along with a 16GB flash based model which will retail for $199. Additionally the Zune 16 will also be available in blue. The Zune 8 will be priced at $149, and Microsoft also plans to lower the prices on some of the older models.

As for the software side, it looks like software version 3 will be available with those features that we mentioned earlier, which include Buy from FM, Device to Cloud, Channels and Games. Currently nothing was mentioned about when the new software will be made available for current Zune owners. Personally although I like the blue Zune 16 and the black backing on the Zune 120 I am more excited by the new software features and hope that will be ready soon.

If nothing else, I guess Amazon can go ahead and add that Zune 120 listing back to their website now.

[CNET]

Zune 120: The unofficial roll-out continues...or does it?

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In addition to the listings over on Frys, another online retailer (Amazon) had ever so briefly list the Zune 120 for sale. Currently I have not seen any confirmed purchases through the Amazon store listing, but they have since removed it from the store, with the URL now going to a big'ol 404.

With just one day before Microsoft is expected to officially make the announcements, it seems Amazon has had a change of heart, one can only wonder whether Frys will do the same. Of course it seems that Frys is already in a little deeper with between their multiple leaks and at least one confirmed sale.

Funny thing is that when this listing was available on Amazon, there were eight vendors listed, of which seven was showing the Zune 120 as in-stock and even had expedited shipping available, and strangely the only one of the eight that was showing a "temporarily out of stock" notice was Amazon themselves.

At this point we can only hope the announcements come tomorrow, and put an end to this mess. Anyone interested in the larger capacity Zune, or what about the blue Zune 8, its pretty sharp looking.

[Amazon via Pocketables]

Frys leaks new Blue Zune 8 along with new features

Blue_zune_8_125 Well, one can only speculate that Frys will either be in some big trouble with Microsoft, or perhaps Microsoft is trying something new to get a little attention and decided to allow them to intentionally leak, and in at least one instance sell the new Zunes to built up some excitement prior to the official release.

Of course the model that we saw sold, and later unboxed was the Zune 120, however the latest Frys leaks comes in the form of that rumored Zune 8 in Blue along with some previously unannounced new features. At least we can confirm that the Blue Zune rumor was indeed accurate, and furthermore its retailing for the $149.99 that we expected.

But perhaps a little more exciting than the Zune 8 in Blue, which personally I am digging the color is the newly listed features that it will come along with. Some of the leaked features include:

 

  • Buy from FM which allows you to mark a song that you hear on the regular radio for later purchase.
  • Device to Cloud which lets you use wireless hotspots to "update your collection, browse Zune Marketplace, refresh Channels, exchange favorites with friends, or buy songs you've tagged from your FM radio."
  • Channels which allows you to create "custom programming stations that deliver personalized playlists to your Zune from a variety of sources."
  • Games which seems to have come out of beta and become official. So far they have listed Texas Hold'em, Hexic as pre-loaded titles.

Now its seems we are just waiting for Microsoft to make this all 'official' but judging from what we have already seen I am not sure what else they could have in store for us.

[Frys] via Zunerama

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Zune Bug; A Zune compatible MP3 playing nightlight

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Ashley Payne has unveiled a concept nightlight, which normally I would not be getting very excited about, but in this case it offers compatibility with the Microsoft Zune, which in my opinion makes it very cool. Simply being called the Zune Bug, the nightlight looks like a fancy plug-in air freshener, but is really much cooler.

Just plug the little device in and it will automatically play the audio content from your Zune over your home networks connection. It even has the ability to change color based on the tempo of the music, which may possibly make it hard to sleep depending on your playlist of choice...better choice wisely.

Sadly the Zune Bug is just a concept at this point, and as much as I think it makes total sense and would probably purchase one, these items often never see the light of day and never make it to market. Of course if it were to come to market the big question would most likely come down to just how much it will retail for.

[yanko design via DVICE]