Have you Seen the new 8GB Microsoft Zune? It’s hard to look at it and not think of some of the older versions of the iPod nano. Probably not a coincidence, especially when you consider that the Zune’s official website bears a strong resemblance to Apple’s. Interestingly enough, the word Microsoft is not even mentioned on the site.
The second generation Zune, featuring both 4 and 8GB models are equipped with solid-state hard disks. This is certainly a welcomed addition since solid-state memory is faster, and more durable, as it has no moving parts. This durability makes the Zune workout/gym friendly, which is not the case with its 30GB predecessor. Another Plus? How about a 24-hour battery life for audio, and 5-hour for video.
While still lacking the sleek style and sexiness of an iPod, the Zune more than holds it own when it comes to features. Like most mp3 players in today’s market, the Zune supports video playback. If you’re a TV junkie like me, you’ll appreciate the convenience of being able to record your favorite TV shows on your Windows Vista based computer, and import them onto your Zune for mobile viewing.
Cables, cables, cables. If you’re a gadget person like me, your PC cables can become slightly overwhelming. For Zune users, this is less of a headache. Wireless sync, allows you to sync your Zune with your PC from anywhere in range of your wireless network. You can also share favorite songs, albums, playlists, pictures and even audio podcasts. One draw back though; you can only listen to a song you receive via wireless sync three times. If you want to listen more, you’ll have to purchase the song from Microsoft’s Online music store. You gamers out there can plug your Zune into your Xbox 360 and customize a soundtrack for your favorite games.
In addition to these advanced features, the Zune still cover the basics. It supports AAC, MP3, WMA, Mov, MP4, M4b, and M4a audio and video formats. You can also use it to view your digital images, and its built-in FM radio is a sure crowd pleaser. After disappointing with the first Zune, it looks as though this new Zune is a step in the right direction for Microsoft.