Tech News and Opinions (by Paul Spain)

Zune HD launches with free app downloads

, posted: 15-Sep-2009 22:49

Microsoft's newest Zune MP3 player has launched today, and the big news for this multi-touch device is all software in Microsoft's Applications store for Zune will be free. Initially the most apps are understood to be games, however Twitter and Facebook apps are coming amongst others.

According to The Seattle Times who quote Microsoft's Zune Marketing Manager, Brian Seitz, the major apps won't actually be available until November - including 'Project Gotham Racing'.

Zune HD details from Microsoft:
- Zune HD comes with a built-in HD Radio receiver so users can listen to higher-quality sound than traditional radio on the go. Users also will have access to the additional song and artist data broadcast by HD Radio stations as well as additional channels from their favorite stations multicasting in HD. If you don’t like the song playing on your station’s HD channel, switch to its HD2 or HD3 channels for additional programming.
- The bright OLED touch screen interface allows users to flip through music, movies and other content with ease, and the 16:9 widescreen format display (480x272 resolution) offers a premium viewing experience on the go.
- The HD-compatible output lets Zune HD customers playback supported HD video files from the device through a premium high-definition multimedia interface (HDMI) audiovisual docking station (sold separately) direct to an HD TV in 720p.*
- Zune HD will include a full-screen Internet browser optimized for multitouch functionality.
- Zune HD is Wi-Fi enabled, allowing for instant streaming to the device from the more than 5 million-track Zune music store.

Price: 16GB US$220, 32GB US$290 

As the Zune is not being released outside of U.S. (at least not initially) it will be a few more days before I have my hands on one to review in more detail. Stay tuned... I expect it to arrive in under a week.

More here:

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