Microsoft announced that the Zune digital media player and online service will be available to consumers in the U.S. on Nov. 14, 2006, just in time for Christmas. The Zune device will retail for USD249.99, roughly more than £130.
The 30GB digital media player will come equipped with wireless functionality for Zune-to-Zune sharing of music, pictures and home recordings; a bright, three-inch LCD video screen that works in portrait or landscape mode to view pictures and videos; and a built-in FM tuner.
The device will be available in three colors: black, brown and white.
Also in the goodie bag is a selection of preloaded content including songs, music videos and film shorts are installed on the device's hard drive to help consumers discover new artists and entertainment.
-- Band of Horses, "Wicked Gil" (Sub Pop Records)
-- Bitter:Sweet, "The Mating Game" (Quango Music Group)
-- CSS, "Alala (Microsoft edit)" (Sub Pop Records)
-- Darkel, "At The End of The Sky (edit)" (Astralwerks)
-- Every Move a Picture, "Signs of Life" (V2)
-- Small Sins, "Stay" (Astralwerks)
-- The Adored, "Tell Me Tell Me" (V2)
-- The Rakes, "Open Book" (V2)
-- The Thermals, "A Pillar of Salt" (Sub Pop Records)
-- 30 Seconds to Mars, "The Kill" (Virgin Records)
-- BT, "1.618" (DTS Entertainment)
-- Chad VanGaalen, "Red Hot Drops" (Sub Pop Records)
-- Coldcut featuring Roots Manuva, "True Skool" (Ninja Tune)
-- CSS, "Let's Make Love and Listen to Death From Above" (Sub Pop Records)
-- Fruit Bats, "Live: The Wind That Blew My Heart Away" (Sub Pop Records)
-- Grandaddy, "Elevate Myself" (V2)
-- Hot Chip, "Over and Over" (Astralwerks Records)
-- Kraak & Smaak featuring Dez., "Keep Me Home" (Quango Music Group)
-- Kinski, "Live: The Snowy Parts of Scandinavia" (Sub Pop Records)
-- Paul Oakenfold, "Faster Kill Pussycat (Featuring Brittany Murphy)"
-- Serena-Maneesh, "Drain Cosmetics" (Playlouderecordings)
-- 5 Boro: "A New York Skateboarding Minute" (Skateboarding)
-- Radical Films: "Kranked - Progression" (Mountain Biking)
-- TGRTV The North Face (Skiing/Snowboarding)
The Zune's dynamic music service will be continually updated with new content and experiences so there is always something to discover. Its marketplace lets users browse and purchase songs individually and Zune Pass subscription gives consumers access to millions of songs for for $14.99 per month (around £8).
You will be able to purchase songs individually using Microsoft Points for 79 points per track. Similar to a pre-paid phone card, Microsoft Points is a stored value system that can be redeemed at a growing number of online stores, including the Xbox Live Marketplace.
In addition, consumers can choose from a full line of accessories to enhance the Zune experience and help Zune users enjoy their entertainment where they want to, at home or on the road.
As for the rumour, well, got a mail this morning about the possibility that you would be able to buy a Zune accessory that allows Zune to use its WiFi capability to beam movies to your telly through the TV-in without line of sight.
A similar device was launched by Asus back in June 2005.