Zune on Sale

Here's a hot deal... buy a Microsoft Zune at Overstock.com for only $219.99 with FREE shipping and NO sale tax!!!

Click here to get a discount coupon for 12% off all orders at Overstock.com (including Zune players and accessories) and free shipping. Then use the search bar to order a Zune (catalog # 10437861).

The discount will be applied (reducing the Zune price from $249.99 to $219.99) after you add the item to your shopping cart.

Discount valid through 12/14.


Zune Accessories

Now that you've bought a Zune media player, it's time to load up on accessories.

For the ultimate Zune experience, you might want to upgrade your earbuds and buy a sleek case to protect your Zune. If you spend a lot of time driving, you should invest in the Zune Car Pack, which includes a car charger. For an outstanding audio experience in your home, consider buying a Zune Dock and wireless remote, along with home audio speakers designed for your Zune.

It's all available at the Zune Shop. Zune on!


Where to buy a Zune online

The Hot Deals Blog posted details on how to save money when you buy a Zune online. They provide info on coupons, free shipping and other deals to get your Zune at a discount price.

They didn't mention the Zune Shop, which doesn't have coupons, but does offer free shipping and has many Zune accessories in stock now.


Zune Shop: MP3 Media Player & Accesories

Zune will be in retail stores next week but you could order a Zune media player (with FREE shipping) and accessories now at the Zune Shop. To go with your Zune, these are some of the available accessories:
  • Travel pack
  • Car charger
  • Altec Lansing M604 home audio speaker system
  • Zune home a/v pack
  • Zune Dock
  • Belkin acrylic Zune case
  • Zune gear bag
Check out Zune Shop now!

(All orders are processed by Amazon.com.)

Baig: It's no iPod

Edward Baig reviewed Microsoft's Zune mp3 player on USAToday.com. His conclusion: "Zune shows promise. But I'd like to see more offerings in the store, and less stringent wireless restrictions. And Microsoft should rethink the silly points system. For now, I'm sticking with iPod."

More excerpts:

"Just as iPods are meant to work seamlessly with iTunes software and no other service, Zunes will make nice only with the online Zune Marketplace... Songs bought from PlaysForSure stores will not play on Zune. Nor can you connect other devices to the Zune store."

"It's not the most elegant device I've come across. I was impressed, though, by its vibrant 3-inch display, which is a half-inch (measured diagonally) larger than the iPod's. Album art looks good. You can display your own pictures as a background... On-screen menus are simple and easy to navigate."

"But Zune has built-in Wi-Fi that lets you send or receive songs from other Zune pals, within about a 30-foot range. You need not be near a Wi-Fi hot spot... Microsoft hinted at intriguing future possibilities, including the idea that performers at a concert might zap a playlist to Zune-carrying audience members."

Mossberg: Microsoft's Zune Challenges iPod

The Wall Street Journal's personal technology guru - Walter Mossberg - reviewed the new Zune mp3 player today.

His conclusion: "Overall, the iPod and iTunes are still the champs. Still, I expect the Zune to attract some converts and to get better with time. And this kind of competition from a big company with deep pockets and lots of talent is good for consumers in the long run."

More excerpts from Mossberg's Zune review:

"Zune has several nice features the iPod lacks: a larger screen, the ability to exchange songs with other Zunes wirelessly and a built-in FM radio. It solves the worst problem that plagued earlier Microsoft-based music players -- frequent failures to synchronize properly music and videos between the players and personal computers. Synchronization on the Zune is smooth and sure.

Also, the Zune player and software have a very good user interface... I found song lists easy to navigate on the Zune. It has only a few buttons and is quite intuitive to use. To my ears, it sounded as good as the iPod."

"But... hardware feels rushed and incomplete. It is 60% larger and 17% heavier than the comparable iPod. It has much worse battery life for music than the iPod or than Microsoft claims... can't share music libraries between computers like you can with iTunes."

"Zune Marketplace offers none of the TV shows, movies or music videos that iTunes does, and has no audiobooks or podcasts."

"The Zune looks big and blocky, sort of like a prototype for a gadget, rather than a finished product. It is longer, thicker and heavier than even the 80-gigabyte iPod, which has more than twice its capacity."

"On the plus side, I really liked the interface on the Zune... Also, the entire interface is more colorful and visually satisfying than the iPod's. Lists of albums are accompanied by thumbnails of their covers. Menus zoom in and out, and some are translucent. You can also select your own photo as the wallpaper or background for the device. But, unlike on the iPod, you can't customize the main menu or go to "Now Playing," or shuffle all songs with one click."

"But battery life on the Zune was very disappointing."

Forbes.com: Zune stinks

On Forbes.com, David Ewalt criticizes Zune without ever touching or listening to the new mp3 player. He admits to basing his thoughts on the reviews published in today's New York Times and Wall Street Journal.

Some excerpts:

"But the sharing feature has been crippled to the point of uselessness. If you get a song from a friend you can only listen to it three times, over a period of three days, before it expires. You can't send it to a third friend. And you can't wirelessly connect to your PC or an Internet hot spot.

The new Zune Marketplace is even stupider. Microsoft is trying to break open Apple's near monopoly of the music market, so they're launching an online music store that competes with iTunes. The only difference here is that iTunes is simple, elegant, and intuitive. The Zune Marketplace seems like the polar opposite. It has fewer songs. No audiobooks or podcasts. It doesn't sell movies or TV shows. And if you actually want to buy a song, you've got to lay out big chunks of cash and jump through more hoops than a circus lion."

"All considered, we could be looking at the biggest consumer electronics flop in recent history here. This is like "Microsoft Bob," only more embarrassing."


NY Times on Zune: IPod It’s Not

David Pogues's review of Microsoft's new Zune music player was published in today's New York Times. Some interesting excerpts:
"As it turns out, the player is excellent. It can’t touch the iPod’s looks or coolness, but it’s certainly more practical. It’s coated in slightly rubberized plastic, available in white, black or brown — yes, brown. It won’t turn heads, but it won’t get fingerprinty and scratched, either. It sounds just as good as the iPod."
"The big, whomping Zune news, though, is wireless sharing."
"It all works well enough, but it’s just so weird that Zunes can connect only to each other. Who’d build a Wi-Fi device that can’t connect to a wireless network — to sync with your PC, for example? Nor to an Internet hot spot, to download music directly?"
"The bigger problem, though, is the draconian copy protection on beamed music (though not photos). You can play a transmitted song only three times, all within three days. After that, it expires. You’re left with only a text tag that shows up on your PC so that — how convenient! — you can buy the song from Microsoft’s store."

"The Zune offers some niceties you can’t get on the iPod. For example, any photo can be the menu background. Album artwork automatically fills the entire screen during playback. You can “flag” any song or photo for future reference on your PC. You can plug the Zune into an Xbox 360 and use its controller to play what’s on your Zune through your entertainment system.

But the opposite list — features the iPod has that the Zune doesn’t — could stretch to Steve Ballmer’s house and back 10 times."

"Then again, this is all standard Microsoft procedure. Version 1.0 of Microsoft Anything is stripped-down and derivative, but it’s followed by several years of slow but relentless refinement and marketing. Already, Microsoft says that new Zune features, models and accessories are in the pipeline."

Welcome to the social!

Microsoft will release Zune to the public next week. You could buy the new mp3 player in retail stores on Tuesday, November 14.

You can order a Zune now at Buy.com, Walmart.com, Amazon.com or BestBuy.com.


Who's coming zune?

Most people following the Microsoft Zune story are familiar with the comingzune.com website but may not know much about the song that's played on the site.

Here's what you want to know:

The song is Regina Spektor's "Us". Regina is a singer, songwriter and pianist. She was born in Moscow and moved to New York with her family when she was nine. She performs folksy, jazzy idiosyncratic songs.
Us (Album Version)

That's the story behind the music for the website promoting Zune - Microsoft's music and media player and software.


Robbie Bach talks about Microsoft's Zune

Last Thursday (July 27) Robbie Bach - President, Entertainment & Devices Division at Microsoft - spoke about Zune at a financial analyst meeting. Here are some excerpts from his discussion of the Zune entertainment brand.

  • "Microsoft will be involved in the hardware, in the software, and the services.... we have to tie those things together in some ways like we have in the Xbox world"
  • "investment timeline for this.... not a six-month initiative.... going to be a three, four, five-year investment horizon."
  • "start with one product this fall in the United States. We will expand next calendar year into broadening the product line, as well as broadening the geographies we cover."
  • "It's important for us to have a play in this portable entertainment space in particular relative to music and video, because.... it really completes out the story of what we want to do."
  • "we think community is a fundamental part of what has to happen here"
  • "We also think discovery is key. Figuring out new ways for people to find their favorite music, certainly, but in some ways more importantly their favorite video."
  • "It enables us to have the full entertainment and connected entertainment experience that we want to have. And so that's why Zune is important, and it is a way we're going to differentiate ourselves, because the experience of having Zune in that connected environment is going to be a dramatically better experience than you get just from having a portable music player."


Microsoft has confirmed the development of Zune - a portable media player brand. Billboard has the story.

Here's what we suspect based on the techie gadget rumor mill:
  • Zune will hit the marketplace towards the end of 2006
  • Wi-fi capability for wireless internet access
  • Media sharing with Xbox 360, Windows Media Center PCs and Windows Mobile cell phones
  • Hard-drive based player
  • Video capabilities in the future. Music at the launch.
Microsoft has not announced a price for their new music and video player, designed to rival Apple's iPod.

Here's what Microsoft says:
"Today we confirmed a new music and entertainment project called Zune. Under the Zune brand, we will deliver a family of hardware and software products, the first of which will be available this year. We see a great opportunity to bring together technology and community to allow consumers to explore and discover music together."
Visit the funky viral ComingZune.com site to sign up for e-mail notifications from Microsoft.

Have you heard anything about the new Zune player and media system? Care to speculate? Share what you know by posting comments to this blog.

As soon as we learn more, we'll pass it on to you.