This Microsoft Zune announcement yesterday was IMHO a preemptive strike on the upcoming Apple announcement due today. I must say I am very impressed with the line up of changes.

In short they have a couple of new devices Zune 16 and Zune 120 (they are deprecating the Zune 4, and Zune 80) and they are really taking advantage of, what up until today remain, the key differences between Zune and Apple Music devices, vis-a-vis, Radio and Wi-Fi support.

Wireless Connections

... Zune is taking advantage of the wireless connection and the built-in FM tuner to deliver a new feature called Buy from FM, which lets customers tag and purchase songs they hear on FM radio stations directly from the Zune device. When the customer is in a Wi-Fi hot spot, the song can be immediately downloaded to the Zune device. If Wi-Fi is not available, the device will have a queue of songs ready to download when connected to a home computer or in a hot spot. Buy from FM uses Radio Data System and RT+ data feeds within the FM broadcast frequencies that identify song and artist data and enable the Zune service to identify and deliver the track to the customer.

In addition to WiFi downloads I am really interested in the games available from the Marketplace. I have meant to develop a basic game of some description since pulling down the XNA development SDK for Visual Studio. I am wondering if I will be able to make the games available on the Marketplace in the same that your podcast's are available maybe even generate additional income ;)

 

I must admit the whole Zune Social has got me hooked (I just realized that I am involved in two social networks), I am discovering new music from people on my friends list and really pushing the envelope of what I currently listen to.

Mixview. Customers can select an artist, album or Zune Card to activate a dynamic, visual mosaic of related music and listeners. With each click users can take the view in a new direction, creating a fun, graphical way to discover new music. Mixview works with users’ current collection of music, in addition to tracks and albums from across the Zune Marketplace.

I cannot wait to see what Apple is going to announce.

 

 

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