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Zune Wi-Fi

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.


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Official: Zune 80 Battery Results

Zune_vs_ipod_battery I have some special facts for you tech hungry people out there on the Zune 80, straight from the horses mouth. Okay, maybe not straight from Microsoft, but it's the best I found. Donald Bell, over at CNET, has just announced that their CNET Labs have undergone a battery test for the new Zune 80 and have compared it to the first-gen Zune and the new 80GB iPod Classic.

The results. While it seems that it has been given a huge improvement from the first-generation of Zunes, which only had 13 hours of battery, it is still trailing behind the 80GB iPod Classic by about 23 hours, rounding the final number to be about 22 hours of battery life. Microsoft stated that the new Zune would be able to have 30 hours of battery with WiFi turned off, however this isn't the case. And even with WiFi turned on, it only gave out roughly 18 hours of battery.(It should be noted here that these tests done by CNET, were done with audio-only and with both WiFi on and off. Results will differ when using video and WiFi)

Is this because the Zune screen is bigger than the iPod Classic screen? Or maybe that WiFi uses up more battery than what Microsoft initially intended the feature to use up? What are your thoughts? Post them in the comments.

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Flash Zune and 80Gb Zune Available Next November!


Journalists were invited to a press event today at the Zune Team campus in Redmond. The new Zune players we’re revealed to the attendees, but an embargo stops them from publishing the information until midnight, tonight. Nevertheless, King 5 station in Seattle leaked some (unconfirmed) precious information ahead of time. According to the station, Microsoft will release a new Flash based Zune player (4Gb and 8GB) available in black, pink, green and red. A new black 80GB Zune player (hard disc based), thinner than the 30GB Zune player and equipped with a 3.2 LCD screen, will also be released by the same token. All models will carry an FM radio tuner.

And guys, we’ve been expecting new Wi-Fi scenarios and they're on their way! The new Zune 2 firmware will sync music, videos and photos wirelessly from with your computer! Pretty cool! Isn’t it?


Prices? These are easy to guess as they match iPod prices… Flash Zune models will be priced at $149 and $199 for the 4GB and 8Gb respectively. The new 80GB Zune player will carry a retail price of $249. The new devices will be available mid-November. We still don’t know if the 30GB Zune player will be retired or if it will still be available and compatible with the Zune 2 firmware.

The Zune firmware has been redesigned from scratch, and that’s why no substantial Zune Firmware update has been released since the first generation Zune was released last year. Life is sweet, isn't it?

Silicon Alley Insider says that the Zune marketplace will have DRM free music. The Zune to Zune sharing would be totally or partially released from its DRM prison (still to be confirmed though).


We should also expect videos and podcasts from the Zune marketplace.

The Zune Squircle is apparently called the Zune pad...

More details later! images from rompres

[Thanks to everyone who sent this in]


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First Generation Zune Loaded with Second Generation Zune Firmware?


Engadget published a picture of the First generation Zune, clearly running a 2.1 Zune firmware version. What is less clear though, is when the firmware will be released. But expect it to be available when the Zune 2 and Flash Zune hit the market later this month or at the beginning of November.

Microsoft said all along that First Generation Zunes would not be outdated with the release of new Zune models. Good News!

Can’t wait to have this new firmware on my First Gen Zune. Let's now hope for new Wi-Fi Scenarios!


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Zune Wi-Fi Games? Why Not!


Have you ever dreamed of playing Rock-Paper-Scissor or Tic-Tac-Toe on your Zune? Not me, but the idea is not that stupid at all.

Until the Zune community grows much bigger than it is right now (have we reach the 1 Million target on June 30th? I haven’t heard about it…), the Wi-Fi feature is not really useful. But a Zunerama member, sketchy62, worked on developing games the uses the Zune Wi-Fi feature. We still don’t know if his games are going to be a success or not, but the idea isn’t bad at all. The bidirectional Wi-Fi communication between Zune players is already in place. It would be easy to develop all sorts of games that would use the benefits of that connectivity.

Here’s how sketchy62 describes his games:

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Zune Wi-Fi Downloading to be Released Soon?

ZunewirelessdownloadMicrosoft said all along that Wi-Fi scenarios would be released in the future. A few weeks ago, we even had the confirmation that at least one new scenario was going to be available soon.

Engadget seems to think that Zune Wi-Fi Dowloading from the Zune Marketplace could be the next thing we should see coming out. They have a picture of a Zune screen showing "American Idiot" from Green Day being downloaded.

I don't know if this picture is real or not but I certainly hope we are going to have something exciting like this in the near future.

However, there are a few things that make me believe that the picture we have does not represent what Engadget is claiming. First why do we have a "2.1.4" instead of "1.4" and why is it standing in the middle of nowhere on the screen, just besides the song oh St. Jimmy? That could be easily done with a background picture on the Zune. Right?

Continue reading "Zune Wi-Fi Downloading to be Released Soon?" »

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