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Go Back   Thoughts Media Forums > ZUNE THOUGHTS > Zune Talk

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  #1  
Old 08-30-2007, 09:56 PM
Jason Dunn
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Default Could These be the Second Generation Zunes?

<div class='os_post_top_link'><a href='http://gizmodo.com/gadgets/portable-media/first-zune-2-and-zune-flash-shots-295284.php' target='_blank'>http://gizmodo.com/gadgets/portable-media/first-zune-2-and-zune-flash-shots-295284.php</a><br /><br /></div><em>&quot;Here are the first shots of the Zune 2 and Zune Flash. The images reveal an 80GB version and a 4GB and 8GB flash model. Not sure what's going on with that interesting controller, but it looks like a real button, but is just wide enough that it may have touch-sensitive properties. These photos came from a source who cites marketing materials, likely from the retail channel, but were confirmed by a second source as well. Does that mean they're final? I don't know. If I were Microsoft, I might seed the internet with mockups as to confuse. Oh, how I love counterintelligence measures. So take them with a grain of salt, confirmed as something, but still unofficial.&quot;</em><br /><br /><img alt="" src="http://images.thoughtsmedia.com/resizer/thumbs/size/500/zt/auto/1188505755.usr1.jpg" /><br /><br />Just like the nice man at Gizmodo says, this could be nothing more than a ruse - but it's by far the most realistic one I've seen so far. You'll notice I never posted any of that &quot;Draco&quot; or &quot;Scorpio&quot; junk - it takes more than &quot;I heard this thing from this guy who knows a guy&quot; for me to call that &quot;news&quot;. Even a rumour needs to have some specifics or be substantiated in some way in order for it to be taken seriously. At any rate, this is looking quite interesting - based on the image above, I can glean the following details:<br /><ul> <li>The new Flash-based Zune will be available in 8 GB and 4 GB capacities</li> <li>Colours for the new Flash-based Zune will be black, red, pink and green</li> <li>The new Flash-based Zune has a bigger control pad and the buttons are up higher<br /> </li> <li>It looks like the current chunky Zune will stick around, but be offered with an 80 GB hard drive and be available only in black</li></ul>My analysis? While 4 GB might seem &quot;small&quot; to us, the average person in North America still doesn't have 4 GB worth of digital music - so they need to have that &quot;small&quot; size. But topping out at 8 GB? A big mistake in my opinion - with the new <a target="_blank" href="http://astore.amazon.com/digitalmediathoughts-20/detail/B000UVBDRS/104-5494781-3858369">Zen Vision offering up to 16 GB of storage</a> [affiliate], and an SD card slot to expand it even more, I think Microsoft is making a mistake by not offering a Zune that at least matches what the competition does. 4 GB and 8 GB storage capacities match the <em>previous</em> generation of MP3 players, not the <em>next</em> generation - and the Zune desperately needs a &quot;wow&quot; product.<br /><br />Regarding the hard-drive based player - I'm a bit puzzled. 80 GB is a capacity they should have offered right out of the gate last year, to at least match what Apple has on the high end. They didn't, and I believe they missed out on a great opportunity. So here we have the next generation and they're releasing a product that matches what Apple had last year. Seeing a pattern here? I think 80 GB is a good capacity mind you, but if that's the only change that has been made, then I'll be disappointed. If it was a 640 x 480 screen with 16.7 million colours, the device was thinner, and more codecs were supported on the device (h.264, Divx, DVR-MS, etc.) then maybe this would be a compelling device.<br /><br />That's my take on this - what's yours?
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  #2  
Old 08-30-2007, 10:07 PM
digitaldoc
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Default big gap

I agree with your analysis, mostly. I'd like to point out that I'm pleased that they ditched the brown color. Ditto for them being one step behind. I'd be seriously disappointed if they didn't offer a player with a capacity between 8 gb and 80 gb. That's too large of a gap to leave open.
 
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  #3  
Old 08-30-2007, 10:43 PM
Brothernod
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imho the default hd size for the full sized Zunes need to be atleast 60gb. 30gb just doesnt' cut it.

DVR-MS should never be supported. It's a rediculously bloated codec in regards to space usage. They SHOULD support converting it to a Zune friendly codec for you, and there really is no excuse for them not having that already. mp3 players are all about ecosystem, especially if they're trying to imitate the iPod. MS needs to support all the strengths it already has, such as a huge number of computers recording content to dvr-ms.

I'd like to see h.264 in there, but could live without divx. It would be nice, but I've run into enough issues with divx vs xvid encoded content and all the other flavors of avi that I just wouldn't want to deal with it. I swear there is little worse (in regards to portable video) than spending time to re-code or simply transfer it to your device only to find out it doesn't work, or you just have sound or some other wonderful glitch thanks to the messy video codec system on our internets.

And they best be bringing the brown Zune back, as that was my favorite by miles. It may be a deal breaker for me, it got them a lot of attention and I find it hard to believe they would abandon it.



These are just rumors, hell they don't even mention a potential release date do they..... either way, I'm expecting to see big things wed from Apple (go go gadget full screen iPod), so unless MS picks up their game, I really don't see them succeeding like I initially did when the Zune first came out. They pretty much abandoned the product after release and as a fan I kind of feel betrayed.

I'm not for all the complexity some people are, honestly I just want it to be an iPod with a better interface (and previously larger screen) from a company I actually like. So I won't really complain about anything the iPod doesn't have (a plethora of codecs or expandable storage). They REALLY do need to add podcast support though, and the fact that they haven't added it with almost a year to get it done, well honestly it makes it hard to trust any vision they pitch at us.



-hoping for the best, not expecting much at this point-
 
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  #4  
Old 08-31-2007, 07:59 PM
Jason Dunn
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brothernod View Post
DVR-MS should never be supported. It's a rediculously bloated codec in regards to space usage. They SHOULD support converting it to a Zune friendly codec for you, and there really is no excuse for them not having that already.
I'm not so sure...I used to agree with you, scoffing at people who said DVR-MS should be supported on the device, but after listening to the reasons why from a few people that wanted it, it starts to make sense. Transcoding takes time - sometimes, a LOT of time, and not everyone has multiple computers like I do. Some people want to boot up their PC, connect their Zune, and drag over a few TV shows or movies, then rush off to the airport.

There are other players out there that play VOB files, full-sized MPEG2 files, etc., all without requiring any transcoding. You just sync and go. Now I can argue about the technical merits of transcoding as far as it benefits the device (less storage space, improved battery life, etc.) but there's really nothing convenient about transcoding. If these people want to take up 2 GB of storage for an hour of TV, why not?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brothernod View Post
I'd like to see h.264 in there, but could live without divx. It would be nice, but I've run into enough issues with divx vs xvid encoded content and all the other flavors of avi that I just wouldn't want to deal with it.
I think the biggest issue here is the one related to content - we all know that there are going to be people out there getting content off P2P networks, and so much of that is in Divx format. So Divx and Xvid support is necessary. But it's not just a "pirate format" - Divx has some great tools for content transcoding, whereas Microsoft does not. There's nothing like Dr. Divx, or the Divx Encoder, in the Microsoft world. WMV is a great format technically, but Microsoft has been incredibly negligent about making good tools available for working with that format. Even developers who WANT to add WMV support to their apps have told me they have trouble with it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brothernod View Post
And they best be bringing the brown Zune back, as that was my favorite by miles. It may be a deal breaker for me, it got them a lot of attention and I find it hard to believe they would abandon it.
It's amazing how polarizing the brown Zune has been! I personally thought it was great - brown is a trendy colour right now, and I know some people really liked it. Yet it's amazing how much the media and bloggers kicked up a fuss about it, getting almost angry that Microsoft was offering a colour that they didn't like.
 
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  #5  
Old 09-02-2007, 05:54 AM
Rocco Augusto
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jason Dunn View Post
we all know that there are going to be people out there getting content off P2P networks, and so much of that is in Divx format. So Divx and Xvid support is necessary. But it's not just a "pirate format" - Divx has some great tools for content transcoding, whereas Microsoft does not.
Before I built my current Home Theater PC, I use to (and still do) own a Divx compatible DVD player. Since DVD recordable driver were so expensive back then, I would just rip and encode my movie to Divx format. The worked in my DVD player, and my laptop without purchasing expensive DVD playback software so they were portable and CD-Rs were incredibly inexpensive. It was brilliant! To think that my five year old DVD player has Divx playback ability and my Zune still doesn't is laughable.
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  #6  
Old 09-04-2007, 09:13 PM
Jason Dunn
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rocco Augusto View Post
To think that my five year old DVD player has Divx playback ability and my Zune still doesn't is laughable.
Indeed, rather sad, isn't it?
 
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  #7  
Old 08-30-2007, 11:29 PM
mgullotta
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Default I totally Agree

I totally agree!

I am feeling so stupid for buying the Zune. I bought it, even with less features than the Ipod (mostly the video stuff, oh and podcasts, for example) because I thought they would be innovating, but to simply be matching iTunes from a year ago is not meeting expectations.

I hope these are just the tip of the iceburg with some cool wifi stuff, DRM free stuff etc.

By the way, Sony is now PlayForSure, and DRM free is gaining steam, MS really needs to innovate or be left in the dust as irrelevant.
 
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  #8  
Old 08-31-2007, 12:14 AM
Adam Krebs
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I agree with both of you. I think 30 and 80 are the sweet spots now for hd players and ~8 for flash, as most people either have only a few gigs of music, or a whole lot, like most of the readers of this forum.

But good analysis about the last generation things. They really need to do more than play catchup with Apple, and give us things that Apple refuses to do. I wonder how many people work full time on the Zune--it would shed some light on why it's taken so long to get even minor firmware updates out the door.

I for one would not be happy they got rid of brown. Not only does brown sort of sound like Zune, but it was their flagship color--differentiating the line from Apple's. Hell, green and red are even fairly common, but not brown. And the brown was so nicely done.
 
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  #9  
Old 08-31-2007, 12:24 AM
Alber1690
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Microsoft wouldn't radically change the physical navigation buttons this much. For example, it would create confusion with the Zune software and its visual appearance, but most importantly, there needs to be consistancy, something Apple has done well with, and Microsoft would have to agree. Additionally, if these were really Microsoft marketing shots, they would have showed off the customizable background and the navigation (how they did before, and in all of their marketing) and not used some badly sized Zune logo. The colors as well a very dramatic change from their current "softer" tones...besides that, I agree with you guys.
 
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  #10  
Old 08-31-2007, 12:45 AM
Zunerama
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I hold out some hope for a true widescreen Zune... but maybe there's not enough call for that for it to be a must-have feature for the next-gen Zune.

In any case, those all look like 4:3 aspect ratios to me.
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