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Preview: Zunelicious


Zunelicious is a blog that covers Microsoft's new Zune MP3 player, and all the news that goes along with it.

Updated: 2014-10-02T23:15:37.316-07:00




I managed to find a few Zune videos that were floating around the internet.

The first video is a short interview with everybody's favorite Steve Ballmer, where he talks a little Zune. The second video is a very in-depth look at the Zune (40:00 minutes, bring popcorn), and is a great watch if you have enough time and can stomach a lot of marketing speech.

You can read the full article, and watch the videos here!

As always, make sure to make the jump over to, the new home of Zunelicious!





Zune Swag Contest!!!

Hey Everyone, I’m really happy to annouce that we will be having a contest to give away some Zune swag to our readers!!! All you have to do to enter the conest is head over to the forums, and post your favorite song in the contest thread, as simple as that!

The contest will end November 10, so you’ll be able to show off your Zune swag when you go to pick up your Zune!

Good luck!




Today we received semi-official battery life numbers from Cesar Menendez over at the Zune team.

“Zune has a battery life of up to 13 hours, when listening to music. Oh. . . and that’s with the wireless turned on. When you turn the wireless off, Zune has up to 14 hours of battery life when listening to music, and up to approximately 4 hours for video or pictures.”

Battery life has long been a major concern of mine when considering the purchase of a Zune. While these numbers are much higher than the incredibly low estimates that were previously floating around the Internet, they do not come anywhere close to the battery life afforded by the 5.5 Generation 80 gig iPod. The latest 30 gig and 80 gig ipods clock in at 14 hours of audio and 20 hours of audio, respectively.

(read the full article at



Well…I’ve been saying this for a while now, but I think we have to look at this scenario again, as Gizmodo has just gotten even more tips about the new iPod’s December launch. What if Apple was to release a new iPod before Christmas? There have been rumors floating around for a very long time that Apple has a touch-screen video iPod in the works…what impact would this have on the Zune launch if these rumors were true?

(read the whole article at




Hey, Charlie here...

And I'm proud to announce the offical unveiling of our new site, ZuneCorps!!! You are going to want to check it out, as it has a ton of new features, and some bitchin forums!

Suprised? Scared? Don't care? Well...let's talk about why we're moving...

I always had the intention of switching the blog over to paid hosting if things went well...and they have, so I though "it was time". But I wanted to make sure that I had a name for the site that was original and inspired a sense of community...thus "the corps." was born.

I've added some REALLY COOL forum software to the website, so I hope that everyone registers (it's super easy!).

If this wasn't incentive enough for you to check out the site, we have an interview with Cesar Mendez from Zuneinsider up!

Unfortunately I don't plan to regularly update this blog now,'s all Zunecorps, so hopefully everyone will make the jump with me and Join The Corps.

See everyone overthere!




Hey everyone,

Sorry for the lack of postings this weekend, but Woody and myself have been working on a few surprises/additions for the site that will be launching Saturday morning (if all goes according to plan). So stay tuned, and check back Saturday for a few goodies!




Steve Jobs recently sat down for a Q and A session with Newsweek to talk about how far the iPod has come, and about how he feels about the Microsoft Zune.


Microsoft has announced its new iPod competitor, Zune. It says that this device is all about building communities. Are you worried?

In a word, no. I've seen the demonstrations on the Internet about how you can find another person using a Zune and give them a song they can play three times. It takes forever. By the time you've gone through all that, the girl's got up and left! You're much better off to take one of your earbuds out and put it in her ear. Then you're connected with about two feet of headphone cable.
-Steve Jobs

Just goes to show that not only is Steve a Master Pimp when it comes to seducing women with his tunes, he also has no idea about what Microsoft is trying to do in creating a social aspect with their player. He only sees it as the ability to swap tunes, and he's right, you can just share headphones if that is your sole motivation...but this is not the case with the Zune.

Then again, he may just be dismissing the features his product dosn't have until they're incorporated into the iPod. He's the master when it comes to reality-distortion.




Zune Player's Comprehensive Video Roundup

Zune Player has beaten me to the punch and posted an excellent collection of zune videos.
Click the link for 7 videos showcasing Zune's GUI, available colors, sharing features, and "unique" look.




The Zune will NOT loose money as many have speculated it would.

In a recent Q and A session with Newsweek, Ballmer has come out saying that it won't loose money...but it won't make much money either.


"Apple (AAPL) put the hammer down there, dropped the price down to $249. If they had been $299, it would have been nicer. They have the advantage of scale. So we're at $249, too. We don't make a lot of money, not to start out."

He then went on to talk about the Zune, and how it was monotizing software through hardware sales by saying,

"Because the value of Zune, if we're successful, is all in the software. It's in community [the ability to share music and pictures with other Zune users]. I want to squirt you a picture of my kids. You want to squirt me back a video of your vacation. That's a software experience. The truth is, though, if it makes money, it will be built into the gross margin on the hardware. We'll figure out how to make money on the community perhaps later though advertising or other means."

I didn't know "squirting" was what Zune to Zune sharing was being called...;)




Tired of those glossy, high-quality product shots? Want to see what the Zune is really like? Well don't worry, you don't have to live in Seattle to see the Zune in action. Check out these shots of Zunes out in the wild, being used by real people, and admire those beautiful colors. ( seriously, the colors look amazing, and even brown is starting to grow on me, after seeing these shots ) Even children enjoy the Zune's stylish look. here we have a nice picture of the black Zune's box and instruction manual ( as if we would need one of those :-) ) Here we have the Black Zune with its blue double-shot finish ( and custom background ) And here is the most debated Zune, the brown with green trim.( showing off some impressive album art ) Another of the Brown Zune, this time in better lighting and with a much cooler background image. Zune playing video. Here some marketing guy is freeing the Zune from its wrapper. Two Zunes playing nice and sharing some songs.nice shot of the zune standing up. ( bet you an ipod can't do that ;-) )the money shot... ( don't you think they should send me and charlie twoof those? )and ofcourse everyone's favorite background, courtesy of Hope you enjoyed the pictures, stay tuned next week as we round up all the different Zune videos floating around.-Woody[...]




I'd like to announce that Woody (you might know him from Cesar's blog, or from the Zune community), will be joining Zunelicious as a collaberator!!! I think this is going to make for some very interesting articles, and be a lot of fun, so stay tuned and good luck Woody,



2006-10-13T23:25:51.870-07:00 has just posted a really great video covering even more of the Zune's UI and features. This video is A LOT more indepth then the last few, and the quality is great. Definately Check this one out, as I learned a lot from the video.

Things I learned from the video:

- Headphones act as the antenna for the FM reciver built into the Zune

- The indent on the back of the Zune acts as a finger rest when the Zune is in the horizontal mode

- Range of the wi-fi has been tested succesfully at 20-40 meters

- Songs transfer in 5-10 seconds (kinda knew this...)




Zune Wish list

Hey everyone...I set about making a wish list of features that I would love to see integrated into the Zune either via firmware updates or in future versions of the Zune. Tell me what you think of these ideas, their feasibility, and ideas you have been playing around with yourselves.

- Sending Video Via Wi-Fi

This may not sound like a compelling feature, but think about integration with Soapbox and how cool this feature might be capable of becoming. I am an ametuer filmmaker, and love to make movies with my buddies. The capability of sending my content (short movies under 10 minutes compressed at under 100mb for Soapbox)would not only be feasible, but would also encourage the growth of Soapbox and how videos are traded and interacted with.

The only downside I see to this feature would be the amount of time that it takes to send a video. But knowing that the average song takes about 5 seconds on the Zune, then a 100mb movie which is about 30x that size would only take about 2 minutes. Totally do-able. I hope Microsoft can make this happen!

- Live Anywhere Integration

This is going to happen, mark my words. Microsoft likes to build platforms, they built Live Anywhere to tie together all of their online gaming and game profiles across all of your devices (PC, Xbox 360, Smartphones) why wouldn't this make it's way to the Zune? It is understandable that Microsoft wants to get music right, but come on...this would be an AMAZING feature! Allowing you to have your Gamercard with you at all times, enabling you to review stats, download games, keep track of friends online, so basically total integration with your gaming. This one is bound to happen, and when it does...Shazam!

- Recording Radio Broadcasts

In all likely hood this probably won't happen, but wouldn't it be nice to be able to record the songs you listen to on the radio? This might not be feasible, but man would it be cool.

- Wi-Max capabilities

Okay...I might be dreaming with this one, but imagine in the future when Wi-Max is adopted, what the Zune will be capable of. You would be in constant integration with all of your digital life and enabling many cool features such as web surfing, streaming of content anywhere, constant updates and feeds, access to e-mail...basically anything you can imagine.

- Streaming Content from your PC

With Media Center you could be able to stream your content to your Zune when you have access to a wireless network, similar to the Slingbox's features. I really want this feature, and think it is completely feasible. Hopefully Microsoft is listening!

Don't forget everyone, I want to hear from you!!!




Eb games launches the Zune section of their site. We finally get to see what the accessory boxes will look like.


I don't mean to be picky...but come on, does that box not remind you of bad wallpaper? What happened to the cool design of the actual Zune's box? Couldn't that carry over?




Coming Zune has been updated...makes a little more sense, but not much.
(image) There's a small flash intro on the site...where it tells us that Music wants to be set free or some jazz...and there's a few new pictures...I think Microsoft is trying to be a little too cool here. Simplicity is great, Apple has showed us that. But behind that is functionality and substance, which unfortunately this site is currently lacking.




Hey'll never guess what I found this morning.(image) Bill Wittress (a.k.a. ZuneGuy) was nice enough to post an image of the Altec Lancing Zune speakers. HOTNESS! (although I don't know how it will look with the brown Zune docked)





Interview with Bill WittressHey everyone, I have a special treat for you guys today. That's right, we scored an interview with the amazing Bill Wittress of the Zune team. Enjoy the interview! 1.) What is it like working on the Zune initiative? BW: I love working on Zune. It is incredibly entrepreneurial. You literally have 10 different things going on at any given time. On any given day you may meet with senior management, have an interview with an analyst, crunch numbers for finance and meet with a partner for dinner. The next day it will be completely different.2.) How did you end up at your current job? BW: I've been back at Microsoft for over 4 years. In that time, I worked on IPTV (you can search the web for some of my whitepapers that are still in circulation). I started PMC. I owned BizDev for PlaysForSure and I was eventually asked to come work on accessories for Zune. It has been quite a wild ride.3.) What is it exactly that you do...I understand that you work with 3rd parties to coordinate Zune accessories...but what exactly does this entail? BW: I own the third party accessories program. That means literally setting up the fundamentals of the program (who is in the program, what devices we select, and how the program is structured, etc.) I also look at the future partners and products and decide who are the up-and-comers, what are the technologies we may want to acquire, and what's going to be the next hot product. 4.) If you could have only one accessory to go with your Zune what would it be? BW: For me personally, it would be my Schure 5Cs. I'm not an audiophile, but those are great headphones. There is a set of new headphones that are much less expensive coming out for launch that are really good as is the VAF speakerdock. 5.) In your opinion, how will the Zune stack up with the iPod accessory-wise when it comes out? BW: We worked really hard to make sure there are lots of accessories available at launch. I think at last count there are going to be about 35 SKUs at launch with many more to follow. It's obviously not as many as iPod, but we think we picked the right partners to cover both depth of product as well as quality. I don't think anyone is going to look at our offering and think that they are missing any key accessories. 6.) How do you think the Zune will be represented in retail (space allocated to it) vs. the iPod? BW: This is one of our strengths. As Cesar posted last week, we've got a great line-up of retailers ready to assort the product. The magnitude of the number of stores is what really impresses me. It is on the order of the Xbox launch. Also, we've got a lot of alternative retail outlets that will be selling Zune. So, if you want to buy Zune at Wal-Mart or at your local skate shop, you'll be able to do it. 7.) J Allard...Love him? Hate him? Did he make all of you guys read Snowcrash yet? BW: Are you kidding me? J is one of the main reasons I decided to come over and work on the project. J is a great leader and a great guy to hang out with. I'd walk over broken glass for the guy! And, no I haven't read Snowcrash. 8.) What is the integration with Xbox 360 like? What about Live and the Live anywhere initiative? Any fun stuff happening there? BW: As most people who read my blog know, I'm a pretty big fan of the 360. We've been working on integrating devices with the 360 since the launch last year. We support PlaysFromDevice with the 360 today. In addition, many of the elements from the 360 appear in Zune. For example, the concept of GamerTags is reflected in the MediaTags in Zune. While not exactly the same, they provide a commonality between the p[...]



Where the F is the Zune???

I don't know if anyone else has realized this but the Zune is MIA as far as reviews go. Yes Cesar is organizing Flash-Mob meetings for people that live in Seatle, but what about the rest of us? How is it that Microsoft has not sent any of the Zune community sites Zunes to review? How come they haven't sent Engadget or PC World a Zune? How come they sent Ellen Degenerous a Zune??!!!

Usually Microsoft is on top of things, but come on...Sony can get Playstation Magazine a Playstation 3 and you guys can't get anyone a Zune? What's goin on? I think that those 250 Zunes being given out on Ellen could have gone to a lot better use...

I'm not writing this article in an attempt to get myself a Zune, but instead as a wakeup call to everyone out there. Should it be neccasary for Gearlive to have to stalk Microsoft employees at Podcasting conventions in the hopes of getting a Zune review? I personally don't think so, and I hope the Zune marketing team gets their act together quickly.




(image) Hey everyone, I had an idea for an article dealing with the Corporate Culture at Microsoft and Apple and how it effects their products and the battle for the DAP marketplace. But instead of giving you one incredibly long article I've decided to chop it up into small installments to make it easier to read. Hope you enjoy it.



While there is a thriving Community formed around Apple's products and an almost cult like following, Apple's actual interaction with the community is very sparse. Apple's corporate culture is basically dictated by Steve Jobs. Steve Jobs IS Apple, he is the front man and his opinion is Apple's opinion.

Think to yourself...can you name any members of the Apple product teams? Do you know any of their opinions? This is due to the all encompassing secrecy which Steve brought back with him when he returned to the company. Apple will not even brief their own employees on future technologies, asking their Field Employees to leave meeting you think they would let us know anything?


Microsoft takes a different aproach to communicating with customers. Across its many initiatives and product groups, Microsoft has bloggers coming out of the woodwork. Xbox has Major Nelson and GamerScore, the Zune has Cesar Mendez, David Caulton, Bill Witt, and that British guy that only talks about concerts he might go to. These are just a few examples, but believe, there are many more.

The effect is that these loved employees now have a way of communicating valuable information and news to their reader, they humanize Microsoft (which isn't an easy task), and they interact with their product's users and communities.

Is this important? To some people it may not be, but to the communities that these bloggers serve the answer is a resounding yes. At relatively no cost and with such rewarding results it is obvious to myself that interaction with the communities is very important, and I am still at a loss for why many companies don't mimic Microsoft in this respect.




The Zune and Bitter Sweet Hey everyone, we all know that Microsoft has been talking about supporting smaller acts with the Zune initative and helping consumers to find new music...but after my interview attempt with The Adored ( who despite being a great band didn't really know much about the Zune or Microsoft helping smaller acts), I was a little put off. However, it looks like I may have been proven wrong. Microsoft very well might be living up to their promises from what I hear from the band Bitter Sweet. In an interview I recently had with them they not only knew what the Zune was, they were able to tell me about Microsoft's commitment to the band and it sounds like Microsoft is really trying to help. So with out further is the interview with Bitter Sweet. Okay...what is the story behind Bitter Sweet? Hmmm..... the story is we met on Craigs listbelieve it or not! That's a funny story for anothertime but the bottom line is Bitter:Sweet is aboutpassion. We came together because we both felt anurgency to write music that we really loved and caredabout. We made this record for ourselves and it's beenan overwhelming and beautiful feeling watching so manypeople and opportunities find their way to our sound. What was it like to be told you were being Pre-Loaded on the Zune? Were they just "Oh, by the way, 6 million people are going to be hearing your music on the Zune this holiday"? 6 million?? Wow! I think we're still in shock.Being on indie label our expectations of reaching apotential audience of this magnitude seemed impossibleand we certainly couldn't be more excited. As a smaller band, what is it like to receive this kind of exposure? It's an amazing opportunity for a band like us!This is the kind of thing we thought only a majorlabel could put together so it's quite inspiring tosee a company as big as Microsoft embracing emergingartists in this way. If we gain even the smallestpercentage of new fans through this kind of exposurethan it was all worth it! What do you think of the Zune, and how does it compare to the iPod? Well as soon as they send us one, we will let youknow!! ;-) It's about time something like this came out for allof the pc users out there! We think it will do reallywell. I've been hearing a lot about how Microsoft is trying to reach out and help a lot of smaller acts out there, have they been working with you at all? If so, to what extent? Do you think this is good for the industry? They have been very supportive to us! They featuredus in "The Ones to Watch" section at Microsoft Musicwhen our record first came out, and Kyle Hopkins, atthe indie label division there even helped to get usinto the Bumbershoot festival in Seattle, whichenabled us to play for our biggest audience to date.He then moved over to The Zune and championed us toget onto the device. Real people with a passion formusic are working at Microsoft which seems quiterefreshing.The industry needs more avenues like this to reachpeople since radio is so controlled, so we think it'svery important. And finally no interview would be complete without this question... When are you coming to Chicago and can you get me some tickets?!?!?! (sorry...I have to's like a rule when you interview bands) We have plans to get to the east coastvery soon, we're hoping for early next year.Touring is really expensive for a band like us sowithout sponsorship or tour support we have to takebaby steps to getourselves out there. Just as soon as we do however,you will be the first to know and we w[...]



Microsoft carpets the internet with new Zune ads...

So I was on Digg once again (I'm a Digg addict...), and I look up to see the date 11.14.06, and I think to myself "Zune?" and there she is.




Other than our tipster earlier, it has been a preatty slow news day for the Zune. But when things seemed bleak Gearlive goes and releases a very indepth Zune video that not only diggs into the navigation...but also shows us the magnetic headphones in action! Check it out...




I got a scoop today from an Announymous Tipster close to the Zune Project.

He told me that the internal codename for the dot that tracks a song's progress during play is called Tinker Bell. Supposedly the small dot that shows the current progress pulsates as the song plays...hence the name. I'm not sure if this name is official at this time, but either way it's a fun tip.




Looking to the Zune Initiative's Future... The next battleground for the dominant Digital Audio Player will be fought by Microsoft and Apple, but it won't be fought with the Zune 1.0 and the 5.5G iPod. Instead it will be fought by the long rumored iPhone and the recently rumored Zune Phone. The current DAP market has become incredibly saturated, and the iPod is the undisputed king. It is obvious that the next step is integration with Cellular Phones. Microsoft has taken a stand against Apple with the Zune, but instead of planning to win, they are using the Zune as a test much like how they used the original Xbox to get their feet wet before the Xbox 360 came out. Remember, it is J Allard after all, and he likes to planning on being number two to Apple is not his style. There's something brewing. In a recent survey it was found that 75 % of teens wanted their DAP integrated with their Cellular Phones, and were also willing to pay good money for this device. The market for such a device is extremely large, as many await a truly consumer-friendly Cellphone/Media Player. Unfortunately the current generation of these devices leaves much to be desired. Many offerings by cellphone providers charge $1.99 per a song, and then do not allow customers to transfer to songs to their computer or burn them to a CD, as well as having a reputation for being difficult to use. This is where Apple and Microsoft both come in. Apple has one of the strongest brands around with the iPod. If Apple were to release a phone it would undoubtedly have main stream appeal and be adopted by the masses. However, Microsoft does not have this mainstream appeal, leaving consumers distrustful of any foray into the cellphone market. This is one of the main reasons Microsoft is launching the Zune now, as an attempt to build up the brand and eventually have a loyal fan base, as well as get their feet wet when it comes to producing consumer electronics.If we look at how the current Zune is being promoted and its Social Aspect, we can see that many of these features would transfer over to a phone very well. The cell phone would be an extension of the Zune, creating a truly connected device, that would sync with your connected entertainment experience. Microsoft already has the advantage in having a mobile platform that has been adopted in many Smart phones. Combining what they have learned from their foray into Windows Mobile with their experiences with the Zune and Xbox, Microsoft might have a product capable of winning over the masses. It is because of this that Apple must be careful, they have already won the current Digital Audio Player market, but their future success is not guaranteed. Especially if Microsoft intends to attack them in the cellular phone arena. If Microsoft is capable of beating the iPhone to the market with a Zune phone, and granted that Microsoft is capable of putting together a solid device, I think Microsoft's chances of success are fairly high. This is all hypothetical of course...but it is also based on common sense. Apple will eventually unleash an iPhone on the world...everyone knows this...everyone is waiting for it. Microsoft doesn't play to loose, while they loose money on the Xbox 360, they plan to make it back. They wouldn't take a loss on the Zune without a strategy to make it back eventually. So this leaves us with the question, How will they make money. They know the[...]



What will it like to be an early adopter of the Zune?Most likely, it will be tough...everyone will want to see your Zune at first and marvel at the fact that you don't have an iPod, but most likely you will find few fellow Zunesters to share music with early on. This is one of my fears about picking a Zune up day one...Wired happens to have a preatty neat article up that talks about why the Zune won't kill the iPod, that touches on many of my fears about the social aspects of the Zune.3. Wi-Fi song sharing will not catch on in public. "The Zune's only original feature is Wi-Fi song sharing, which will allow Zune owners to search for others nearby and temporarily trade songs over the air. Traded tunes will be playable up to three times over three days, and can be flagged on the player for later purchase online. Otherwise they disappear. But while it's obvious that sharing songs will be fun with friends at school or college, it's not an activity that will take off in public. It'll largely be confined to peer groups. How do I know this? Because that's what's happening with iTunes music sharing, which does more or less the same thing with a computer over a network, instead of peer-to-peer. Think of the typical experience with iTunes at the office or conferences. Instead of finding all kinds of cool new bands, you marvel at the dreadful taste of your co-workers. Granted, offices and conferences aren't the best feeding grounds, but where is? There are no hip cafes or bars that I know forging reputations for being good places to hang out and browse other peoples' music libraries. Will this happen wirelessly with the Zune? Will teenagers gather at the mall or the park to share tunes, sitting around quietly with their headphones on? I don't see it. It will happen at concerts and clubs where like-minded music lovers will share music they already know they like -- and it'll be kinda awkward and nerdy. Remember swapping business cards with your Palm Pilot via infrared? And while it might be interesting to take a sneak peek at what the thug at the back of the bus is listening to, it won't be a great strategy for discovering new music. There just won't be enough Zune users around. The only place I can think of in the United States where the Zune might be good for browsing others' music is on an airplane. But will the airlines allow wireless song sharing mid-flight? Plus, iTunes shows that many people are so self-conscious of their music collections, they will turn off sharing altogether or carefully prune their library to present themselves in the best possible light. Wi-Fi song sharing will be more about managing your image in public than sharing music. But of course, for a lot of people, that's the point: Music-clerk types will show off their bona fides by loading their Zune with obscure indie bands, while the rest of us will be frantically deleting treasured show tunes for fear of looking ridiculous." Take a look at the full article, it's a good read.,71896-0.html?tw=rss.index-Charlie[...]