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Cliczune Archives: June 2009

ZuneHD Details Firm Up

163153-Zune_hd_image_original After much speculation, some details are coming out about the ZuneHD.  The initial capacity for the ZuneHD will be 16 GB's.  This is expected to go for somewhere between $249 and $279.  A 32 GB, and even a 64 GB model are both possibilites, but launch dates and prices have not been decided on either capacity.  The ZuneHD will use the Tegra chip, which will supoort 720p video.  Such video content is expected to be available from the Zune Marketplace in the next revision.  An HDMI output will make the content viewable in HD.  The new Zune is expected for this September, hopefully just in time to ruin Apple's party for returning students.  And no, there does not appear to be any ZunePhone anywhere in the works- just for the record.


ZuneHD Video on Engadget

The ZuneHD is seen in this video.  Note how the touchscreen makes the squircle look clumsy.  The processor looks responsive, and quite fluid as they navigate around.  The OLED screen also appears quite slick, although the quality of the video is not spectacular so we'll have to reserve final judgement on that for now.  If Microsoft can price this right, they could finally have the iTouch fighter to take the Zune platform to the next level.  Ok, without further delay, let's roll the video....

Inside ZuneHD: Tegra

NVIDIA_Tegra Details are still emerging on the latest Zune, the ZuneHD.  While it will be flash based, and have an HD radio built in, little is known about the actual capacity, or the pricing.  One thing is for sure is that it will have the iPod Touch squarely in its crosshairs.

One thing that is coming out is that the ZuneHD uses the Nvidia Tegra "System-on-a-chip" to give it some processing muscle.  This is a ARM based processor, that is ultra low power, and was developed specifically for handhelds, smartphones, and portable devices.  Despite the attractiveness of such a chip, other manufacturers have not used it, and in fact the Zune will be the first device to use this Tegra chip.  Built by Nvidia, it has Geforce processing built in, and should be ideal for video, including 1080P and 720P hi def, a traditional weakness of handheld devices.  Perhaps if it performs well here, it will be a boost to the entire Windows Mobile platform.

[X-bit Labs]

ZuneHD will be sporting an Nvidia Tegra processor


Some good news has recently been unveiled in terms of the ZuneHD -- it will be powered by an Nvidia Tegra processor. In short, this is good news because that processor is designed to handle high-definition video and at the same time use less power. In other words, it will allow for nice and smooth video while at the same time offering a nice overall battery life.

Of course, the source of this information has claimed that it was confirmed, but unfortunately we have not yet seen anything official coming from Microsoft. Bottom line, it sounds like this is something that we can expect to see come true, but we are still waiting on an announcement from Microsoft before we get super excited.

[PC Perspective via Gizmodo]

Zune System Maintenance, Again

Men_working_0801 In what is becoming a weekly event, the Zune system is again down for some maintenance issues.  I guess even "the social" needs to take a break now and again.  No word on what features are to added this time around.

The Zune service will be down for scheduled maintenance on Tuesday, June 16, starting at 12:01a.m. PDT (2009-06-16 0701 UTC) for up to 24 hours. During the downtime, Zune Social, the forums on, 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!


Your Friends at Zune

Rumor: Zune HD to be released with 16GB and 32GB storage capacities

I should make it clear that this is not yet confirmed by Microsoft. Anyway, as I am sure anyone who has been following the Zune HD related news can tell you is that the storage capacity options are still unannounced. Given that, there is bound to be speculation, especially considering we know that it will be flash based.

According to a post over at Crave Online the "Zune HD is available with either 16GB or 32GB."

Honestly, even without any official confirmation this seems to make sense. It would be safe to assume that 8GB would not be enough storage and that a 64GB option would be on the expensive side. Given that, 16GB and 32GB capacities seem to fit. Either way, even with my thoughts, we are still going to have to wait until we see something official come from Microsoft.

[ZuneThoughts] going down tonight (June 8, 2009) at 10pm, new features being added

Just a quick heads up, according to a recent post over on Zune Insider, will be going down tonight (June 8, 2009) beginning at 10pm. Unfortunately, the ending time was not given, other than that the downtime would last "for a bit." That said, I think the downtime can be forgiven because some new features are being added. According to ZuneLuv, here is what we can expect to see:

  • Follow an artist - get news and updates about the artists your care about.
  • RSS integration and aggregation – add links (blogs, twitter, etc.) to an artists’ page.
  • Outside content - concert dates and music video preview.
  • More "Social" data - from "The Social" additional recommended content with an interesting “listening now” module.
  • Additional performance improvements (including distributed caching).

Zune HD question: Playing HD quality content and the (possible) lack of storage

6a00d8341c505253ef011570a8cd56970b-800wi I have been putting quite a bit of thought into the upcoming Zune HD lately and cannot help but wonder something. Granted there are plenty of details that have yet to be announced so this may end up not being an issue. Anyway...

I was happy to hear that the Zune HD will be able to play HD quality content via the AV dock but that is leaving me worried about storage capacity issues. This is going on the assumption that the Zune HD is having flash-based storage, which currently is settled (in terms of a reasonable price) at 32GB.

Now, here I go assuming, but if I have a fair amount of music on my Zune HD and want to add an HD (720p) quality movie that is going to take up a decent amount of space.

Basically, it sounds like the HD part of the Zune HD is not going to be as nice as it initially sounded. To begin with you will need the AV dock because you cannot play it directly on the Zune, but more annoying is the storage limitations.


Amazon listing for the Zune HD hints at games and apps


Now that we know the Zune HD is official, and we even have a good idea of when we can expect to see it become available there are still plenty of details that we are waiting to learn. What does that mean? Well, unfortunately it looks like we are back into playing the rumor and speculation game.

Anyway, the latest speculation is coming courtesy of the product listing for the Zune HD. If you read down into the product description section it highlights features such as the "brilliant OLED touchscreen," the "better sound from HD radio" as well as the ability to watch your Zune content on your HDTV, surf the web and the Xbox Live integration.

Overall, this is all stuff that we have seen before, however...

If you read the section titled "surf the web on your Zune" you will see an interesting tidbit.

"The device also has a built-in accelerometer, so it senses when it is moving. This lets you play games and use apps that are controlled by moving the device."

Yup, the accelerometer will benefit the games and apps. Unfortunately that is all there is, but still it gives us something to (hopefully) look forward to. It would appear as if the Zune will be getting an app store of its own. Of course, this could be nothing more than just the preloaded items.

[Amazon and ZuneSpring via Gizmodo]

Zune Marketplace videos coming to the Xbox

6a00d8341c505253ef01156fb18e14970c-800wi This bit is a little more in the gaming side, however it is still Zune related so here goes...

It looks like the videos from the Zune Marketplace are going to be available to watch on the Xbox. The service is expected to be available sometime in the Fall, however an exact release date was not announced.

According to Microsoft, the playback will be using something called "Smooth Streaming" which means they playback should be free from any buffering messages. Of course, on the flip side, this also means that you are going to see a lower video quality in the beginning of your selection. As far as the top quality level, ultimately it will be 1080p with 5.1 surround sound.

The strange (and annoying for some) part with this announcement is that it will be launched in 18 countries including US, Canada, UK, France, Ireland, Italy, Germany, Spain, Austria, Australia, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Sweden, and Switzerland. Getting to the strange/annoying portion, it is being launched in 18 countries, which means that many of those users will be able to enjoy Zune Marketplace videos on their Xbox but not on their Zune player. Of course, many still cannot even get music from the Zune Marketplace either.

Anyway, maybe this launch will help to pave the way for a proper Zune Marketplace in many countries, aside from the US.