New Toy Alert: Zune HD

Given the recent excitement about Microsoft’s new phone OS (a topic for a future blog, but more details at Engadget), I simply had to get my hands on Microsoft’s latest MP3 Player, the Zune HD.  If you’re wondering what the link is, then I should point out that the user interface for the next version of Windows Phone is very similar to the interface in the Zune HD, hence my curiosity.  Indeed – it appears that the Zune team have been subsumed into the Windows Phone team (or is it the other way around), and there is a very strong scent of Zune pervading through the new phone release.

Anyway – back to my toy…

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If you’re wondering, here’s how it compares in size to a Zune 80:

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There are videos all over the place on how the user interface works, but the thing that impresses me most is the “connectedness” and pervasive content in these devices.

On my Zune HD, I merely uploaded my music collection onto the device.  It then worked out who the artists were, downloaded photos and biographies, and also linked to other albums by the same artists, as well as recommending similar artists.  It’s nice to have that info all on the device, without actually being connected to the Internet at that time.

OK – so the Zune HD has been out for a while now (launched nearly 6 months ago, back in Sep 09)…  But as it’s only available in the US and Canada, it’s hardly a surprise that it’s taken a while for me to get my hands on one (a big thanks to one of the peeps at Micropack (one of our clients) who brought three of these units back to the UK for me).

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