Zune HD expected to arrive in early September

By Justin Mann on June 25, 2009, 7:04 PM
Though Apple is the undisputed king of portable media players today, we can't discount the numerous competitors that are all seeking to steal some of its glory. Microsoft is one of the biggest among them, and has for several years now been trying to make the Zune a better buy than the iPod. They haven't achieved that yet, but will be getting a leg up later on this year when they launch the Zune HD.

Redmond hasn't officially confirmed their release date for the new players, but rumors surfaced this week indicating it is on the schedule for release around September 8th. Microsoft will reportedly push out 16GB and 32GB models, being one of the first devices based around Nvidia's Tegra platform. The latter is what likely interest technophiles the most, as we'll get to see the much hyped platform in action.

That interesting tidbit aside, there’s one thing that strikes me as odd with this rumor. Though 16GB and 32GB sizes are perfectly logical for an mp3 player, the Zune HD is intended to be more than that, with Microsoft expecting people to watch HD videos on it as well. When it comes to hi-def content, even 32GB is very limiting. Is that really the top end of Zune capacity Microsoft will put out for now?




User Comments: 24

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LinkedKube LinkedKube, TechSpot Project Baby, said:

I had a 120gb zune and filled it up. I hope MS will make a larger version of the HD

Guest said:

omg please try to be a bit less biased and do a bit more reading on the subject before writing articles like this.

Many people believe the current Zune and other PMPs are already a better buy than the iPod - myself included.

Microsoft does not expect used to view HD content on the Zune itself (the 480x272 widescreen OLED display obviously wouldn't support it), the HD moniker comes from the fact that it has an included HD Radio receiver and can also output 720p video over HDMI.

Wendig0 Wendig0, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Guest said:

omg please try to be a bit less biased and do a bit more reading on the subject before writing articles like this.

Many people believe the current Zune and other PMPs are already a better buy than the iPod - myself included.

Microsoft does not expect used to view HD content on the Zune itself (the 480x272 widescreen OLED display obviously wouldn't support it), the HD moniker comes from the fact that it has an included HD Radio receiver and can also output 720p video over HDMI.

For once I totally agree with a guest. Sorry Techspot, but you dropped the ball on this one. Fail.

Staff
Julio Franco Julio Franco, TechSpot Editor, said:

LOL. I found it hilarious that we are being called Apple biased. That said, I will take the criticism due to how the story was written. I think Justin mixed two very different ideas in the intro: 1) Apple dominates the PMP market, and 2) Apple makes the better players.

The second one could go either way I guess.

Guest said:

Apple is King and so is Michael Jackson, rest in peace man! M$ and Zune step aside.

T77 T77 said:

the new zune coupled with nvidia tegra seems quite promising

Burty117 Burty117, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

Why isn't the Michael Jackson story on Techspot? it has a technical issue with his death as well, read this

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/8120324.stm

KG363 KG363 said:

any word on what kind of apps and games it will have?

Justin Justin said:

I wasn't trying to imply that the iPod is better in terms of technical prowess - I was only referring to it from a sales standpoint. I am definitely not Apple-biased, and if you look at previous things I've written, I tend not to favor Apple. I only give them credit where credit is due, and the iPod currently is the king of mp3 players.

Ultimate Load said:

More filler, please!

I should not have to read your earlier articles to figure out what you are implying here. If you mean to state it as a sales issue, say that in the article. The obvious implied thought would be technical on a site named Techspot. Not sure how you missed the correct HD usage unless you think that's what MS was implying (on a screen that small).

Justin Justin said:

Resolution aside, the Zune HD is being sold as having VD Video "Out" - implying that the content is still sourced from the device itself. 32GB is way too small for that sort of content.

This is straight from the MS ad at their own site:

Watch supported 720p HD movies, TV shows and videos in high definition on your HDTV through the Zune HD & AV Dock (sold separately). Or take them with you for premium entertainment on the go. Additional dock and HDTV are required.*

How much HD content can you lug around with sizes of 16GB or 32GB? I carry that much around in music alone, with my mp3 player (a 60GB unit) having 31GB in just music. A single 30-minute 720p TV episode will consume a lot of space on that.

Guest said:

MS fanboys/girls:

Please, please, please stop making the Apple fanboys/girls look good. You owe to us (for listening to you rant) and to yourselves (self respect). Justin said the ipod is the top seller in portable music players. and...?

Windows is the top selling OS. and...? The Zune HD has an iddy biddy hard drive. This should be pointed out, like every time Apple short changes the specs on their computers without just cause. If you don't like MS acting like Apple, grow some and tell Microsoft. Justin let you know what they plan to do wrong. Tell MS to show some fan loyalty and stop shooting the messenger. He has the right to say what people are donig without everything being taken so far out of context.

-Him ThatIs

gobbybobby said:

I wish HD files where not too big, and HD tvs did not cost so much. But who cares what I think.

I watched the tennis today on the BBC HD channel on a 1080P TV. SAW no difference even when it was switched to the SD bbc channel and back again.

asreall said:

Zune Fail

I bought a zune player a couple years back so can't remember which one I'm sorry. But it failed spectacularly I have to have it change 3 times in the end I gave up on it and joined Sony Ericson they are uber reliable and amazing I never will touch iPod (as I fix them for people) so I know who UNRELIABLE they are.

LinkedKube LinkedKube, TechSpot Project Baby, said:

gobbybobby said:

I wish HD files where not too big, and HD tvs did not cost so much. But who cares what I think.

I watched the tennis today on the BBC HD channel on a 1080P TV. SAW no difference even when it was switched to the SD bbc channel and back again.

Maybe its your service or the quality of the tv, I also watched wimbledon on my 1080p, my friends did as well as we talk about the matches afterwards. There's definately a difference, if there wasnt, why would so many hdtv's be flying off the shelves in the last 5 years, and still increasing.

KG363 KG363 said:

There is a huge difference in SD and HD. I just got a 1680 x 1050 monitor and the difference is astounding.

Relic Relic, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

I have both and my personal choice is the Zune of the two. And I for one am looking forward to the new Zune, better competition is always nice. But I do agree that those sizes are rather limiting especially for HD content. We can only hope they will have larger sizes in the future. Maybe even some XBLA content :-) .

Guest said:

perhaps Microsoft is leaning more towards online streaming rather than having to store such large files on such a small device. or perhaps they will have an external wireless hardrive device that you can keep on your home network and access through the internet. with the 360 having access to netflix i wouldn't be surprised to see it also on the zune.

KG363 KG363 said:

I've had both the zune 30 and the zune 80 and they are awesome. I've also had some early RIO models and an ipod. the zunes have yet to break. The problem is that no one owns one.

LinkedKube LinkedKube, TechSpot Project Baby, said:

perhaps Microsoft is leaning more towards online streaming rather than having to store such large files on such a small device. or perhaps they will have an external wireless hardrive device that you can keep on your home network and access through the internet. with the 360 having access to netflix i wouldn't be surprised to see it also on the zune.

so you mean like 3g or something, and wifi capabilities?

LinkedKube LinkedKube, TechSpot Project Baby, said:

I've had both the zune 30 and the zune 80 and they are awesome. I've also had some early RIO models and an ipod. the zunes have yet to break. The problem is that no one owns one.

I do

redwallo1 redwallo1 said:

if the rumors i am hearing are correct the reason for the size limitations is because they are using a solid state drive.. and i dont mean like flash but like a SSHDD(Solid State Hard Drive)

this is only rumor however, and ill leave the rumor telling to the pros

KG363 KG363 said:

if the rumors i am hearing are correct the reason for the size limitations is because they are using a solid state drive.. and i dont mean like flash but like a SSHDD(Solid State Hard Drive)

this is only rumor however, and ill leave the rumor telling to the pros

That would be awesome. However, even then i am going to wait until the 64GB comes out

Guest said:

The fact you all miss is this is a mini HTPC, you can stream over wifi 720 content from the BBC and others and stream over wifi legal music 3+ millions tracks in the UK on spotify. Add a bluetooth-wifi headset for VOIP and you have a £249 product that can do what a Mac Mini or ION PC does but then pick it up and use the 32 GB storage and carry it about.

It can output to the new 720p DLP LED projectors which means a 100" 720 tv-media player is lighter than most current netbooks.

Nvidia Tegra+ Zune hd means HD content anywhere with the same features as other MIDS or netbooks and sues even less power.

It's a portable HTPC not MP3 player.

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