more about the zune? you bet

(c) microsoftWell now we have a few more details on Microsoft’s new Zune portable media player. Its dimensions were released, and it’s 4.4″ tall by 2.4″ wide, and it’s 0.58″ thick. For comparison, the 30 GB 5G iPod is 4.1″ tall by 2.4″ wide, and it’s 0.4″ thick. The iPod weighs 4.8 ounces to the Zune’s 5.6 ounces. So they’re pretty similar, but the Zune is thicker, taller, and heavier. :/

Zune Marketplace can apparently use the “Microsoft Points” originally designed for Xbox Live Marketplace. The same points can be transferred from the Zune store to the Xbox store – that’s pretty cool, but I still don’t think I’d ever buy anything.

The maximum video resolution Zune is capable of playing is 320×240, which isn’t going to look too good on a 65″ TV. It’s possible that this will be expanded in the future. The battery is only 700 mAh, and (go figure) it’s not user-replaceable (sigh). It’s supposed to have “very comparable” video playback battery life to the iPod, which could mean as much as 6 hours. The WiFi isn’t just 802.11b though – it’s 802.11b/g.

5 thoughts on “more about the zune? you bet

  1. With that wireless on, and even moreso when its connected, you know the battery life is going to plummet. At least for this reason, they should make the battery user-replaceable, so you can actually use the connectivity functions away from your home or in any public place that doesnt have power outlets.

  2. Harvey: There’s a lot of speculation out there about the effects of Wi-Fi on the battery. Can you tell us how you’re testing it?
    Chris:
    To get a detailed response on that, I’m not the right guy to talk to. That would be more like a Greg Gibson question. He’s our head of engineering. The basic principle is that the way the software and the firmware is being created is to maximize the… basically, you’re only utilizing Wi-Fi when you’re utilizing Wi-Fi. That’s the very simple way of looking at it. When you’re sending, it’s only Wi-Fi. It’s not like Wi-Fi is on permanently – sort of burning down the battery. When we launch, that’s what you’re going to have. You’re going to have a system that’s Wi-Fi when you want it to be Wi-Fi, and otherwise it’s not. Effectively, the headline on that is Wi-Fi is not a significant limiter of battery life, based on the way we’ve written the engineering specifications.
    (Interview here.)

  3. I’ve always wanted my devices to have user-replaceable batteries. My Archos Jukebox is two years old and its “fully-charged” battery can’t keep the unit alive for fifteen minutes of data transfer. It’s pretty useless to me now. :(

    This part of that interview is pretty good. The Microsoft guy says pretty much all he can about their crappy decision:


    Harvey: Related to the battery, I think the biggest complaint we get about the iPod is that the battery is not replaceable. When it dies, you have to replace the iPod. Is the Zune – is that a non-replaceable battery?

    Chris: It is, yeah. It is actually a similar product in that respect.

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