Zune, Microsoft Corp.’s released its much anticipated free software update that will bring new features to every Zune portable media player. Revealed last week, the new software will allow Zune users to wirelessly stream and download music from the Zune Marketplace store on the go; tag and purchase songs directly from the built-in FM radio and tap into new, personalized music recommendations and programming.
To allow customers to take full advantage of the new wireless functionality, Zune today announced that it is working with high-speed Internet access provider Wayport Inc. to deliver Zune users free, wireless access to the Zune Marketplace from more than 9,800 participating McDonald’s restaurants across the U.S.
The Digital Content Consumers Want
In addition to launching Zune Channels, which push new music to subscribers’ collections each week, and personalized music recommendations, Zune Marketplace also offers editorial features such as the Zune School Music Masters Program and the Xbox Gamer Central pages, as well as Instant Collections playlists to help consumers explore specific themes and genres. Zune Marketplace now offers more than 4 million songs, 80 percent of which are available as digital rights management-free MP3s; 8,500 music videos, 3,000 episodes of popular TV shows, and more than 6,000 audio and video podcasts.
Zune customers have a choice in how they acquire music — they can pay per track or choose a Zune Pass subscription. Zune Pass subscribers can download or stream music from their Zune or computer interchangeably, all for a flat rate of $14.99 per month. To give people a chance to experience Zune Pass subscription, Zune is offering a free, 14-day trial to all new customers.
Zune also now supports audiobook content from leading distributors including Audible Inc. Zune users can now explore more than 50,000 books, magazines and newspapers from more than 600 publishers and content providers at audible.com and sync it to their Zune. To commemorate the addition of audiobooks, Audible is offering all new and existing Zune owners a free copy of “Black River” by bestselling writer Dean Koontz.
New Software and Firmware
The Zune PC software is a free download that provides rich discovery and media management capabilities to help consumers make the most of their existing music collections in addition to providing access to the Zune Social and Zune Marketplace so they can add to it.
Jaya Sinha /ITvoir network