Zune is a name of digital media brand services and products that was developed by Microsoft. It is included in the line of software intended for digital media and for windows PCs, subscription services for music, video and music streaming services in Xbox 360 game thru Zune Software, TV, music, desktop sync and movie sales for Windows Phone. After the partnership in 2010, Zune provides music gushing intended for the inflight of United Airlines.
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Looking back in the world of Zune:
The first launch of Zune device was made by Microsoft with close cooperation of Toshiba. This took the plan of Gigabeat S and was redeveloped under the Toshiba 1089. J Allard with a code name of “Argo “who happened to be the overseer of Xbox 360 facilitated the project together with MSN and Xbox developers of Music Store who worked for “Alexandria”, finalize the Zune Marketplace. Their products were eventually united with the brand name of Zune in United States market.
Zune 30 was the first model that was released in United States in the date of November 14, 2006. It has features of 30 gigabytes capacity, 3 inches screen and FM radio. This is initially available in brown, black or white color. Packages that are retailed contain carrying case, software CD, pair of headphone and USB cord. In October 2, 2007, Zune 80 was released together with smaller Zune 8 and Zune 4 in competition with the iPod Nano of Apple. These are considered to be the second group in line with the Zune devices. Zune 80 has 3.2 inches screen while Zune 8 and Zune 4 has only 1.8 inches screen. Both have new software and touchpad-style of input device. There is also an additional file included called as MPEG 4 and H.264 formats. These formats must be transcoded to MVW with respect to sync as much as Zune 30 is concern. Having podcast support, upgraded song sharing and the ability to wirelessly sync or automatic connection of power supply are addition to the features of all models. With the help of the new software, Zune device enables communication through picture and song sharing with the other Zune devices. There was other software that was released on November 13, 2007 that gives free firmware update. Zune 80 has already bundled of premium headphones and USB connection the same with Zune 4 and 8.
In Zune 30, the original music player has already 30 GB hard drive, directional pad used for menu navigation. Since Zune 4 and 8 has smaller size, the former has 4 GB then then the latter has 8GB flash memory. Zune 80 became the replacement of Zune 30, which is lighter and thinner compare to the original. Instead having original directional pad, the second generation Zunes has Zune Pad. Microsoft decided to release an upgraded Zune models and that includes the Zune 30.
Zune HD is the first screen touched Zune released by Microsoft on May 29, 2009. It has HD Radio that has the ability to display video with High Definition with the use of docking station. The screen has multi-touch that uses gestures like pinching and swiping all over the player. The device may have a flash memory of 64GB, 16GB and 32GB. The screen type is OLED with 3.3 inches size, 16:9 resolutions. It also includes browser for customize Internet Explorer, accelerometer and Wi-Fi.
Zune devices have preloaded video and audio content from different artist. The special edition of Zune devise has a set of unique content.
The standard of Zune devices has proprietary data cable of USB and basic headphones. Zune 30 comes along in these items such as carrying bag while the Zune 80 has upgraded into Zune Premium headphones. The following are accessories that are separately sold:
- Carrying cases (belt clip, armband type and standard issue)
- Charging devices (AC wall-socket and A/V composite adopters, external battery)
- Docks (multimedia big speaker, charging, vertical free-hand assist)
- I/O adapters (headphones, USB cable data, A/V composite, FM transmitters)
- Protection (hardened material or cushioning case protection and screen glass protection)
- Replacement upgrades and parts (LCD, hard drive, battery, etc.)
Base from Microsoft, Zune HD 4.5 is the latest firmware version in replacement of the firmware from the original player. The operating system used by Zune devices are based from Windows CE kernel in terms of ARM architecture. This uses a similar distribution to Portable Media Center that can be found on Gigabeat S. The native compatible file formats of Zunes are:
- AAC (unprotected)
- Avi (Xvid) video that supports Zune HD
- 264 – this supports all model except Zune 30 device
- JPEG used for images
- MPEG-4 – supports all model except Zune 30 device
- WMA lossless
- WMA Pro
- WMA Standard (being used by Zune Marketplace)
- WMV – (usually used by Zune Marketplace)
If there are formats that are not compatible with the individual device it will be transcoded automatically into compatible format. This is supported an interface called graphical user. It has sections for games, marketplace, pictures, podcasts, radio, videos, music and settings.
Firmware 1.1 allows the device to gain sharing of capabilities as describe by the codename Pyxis. Software bugs patched was released in an early firmware. After a year, firmware 2.2 was released that adds support in DVR-MS files, improvement of GUI interface, lossless playback, and wireless syncing added.
Windows Media DRM is a system for management of digital rights is being supported by Zune. These are not compatible with some DRM system and are not part of PlayForSure program or platform. Media Transfer Protocol (MTTP) is used in transferring of Multimedia content. Thus, its extensions of MTP proprietary has a role in interoperability block between previous MTP software and Zune
The software of Zune functions as software management in the device. It has an application used for media player with library, streaming server media and Zune Marketplace interface. This software is applied to sync all the devices with functionality of Zune that includes Zune devices, Microsoft Kin and Windows Phone 7. The Zune devices exclusively work with Zune Marketplace and software. The software put in order the media in the library that let the users add in their library by syncing with Zune device, downloading from Zune marketplace or by ripping through Cds.