For the past month or so, Blogosphere has been overcrowded with news regarding Microsoft’s portable media player which is intended to dethrone ipod from the music player market. Well, I am going to crowd it with one more blog based on speculation and unconfirmed reports (that is what we do!) Earlier, we got the news of its Wi-Fi capability and the capability to scan the itunes library for re-use on Microsoft’s player. This player is supposedly going to be named Zune (rhyming to tune, I suppose) and if reports are to be believed, would be ready for a mega launch in October. According to BetaNews, Microsoft most probably will not be using its joint venture sevice :URGE (along with MTV) and instead would be going for a fully controlled service which is believed to be codenamed ‘Alexandria’. Any concrete information is still hard to get by but there are some reports regarding simultaneous launch of another player code named ‘Pyxis’ which would be targeting the market share of Ipod Nano. This mega secret project has been initiated under the codename ‘Project Argo’. Nobody would be surprised if it was to be found out that leak of this secret information and codenames was a work of the Giant Software company itself to intrigue and excite potential customers before the mega launch of the ‘ipod killer’. Let’s see if the product can live up to the hype surrounding it!
It’s the high time for the Dell to seek heavenly blessings as troubles are pouring like rain on it. After announcing the largest battery recall in the history of laptops, Dell has moved out of the MP3 market now blaming the losses in the business. The last MP3 player from the house of Dell was DJ Ditty. The whole contents of the MP3 player have now been removed from the company’s website. That is the clear indication of the departure. Microsoft is indubitably going to have a nice time with its upcoming Zune line-up.
Is it the Microsoft Zune? Hmm…No! It is actually Toshiba 1089 portable media device that has got the same appearance like that of Microsoft Zune. You guys must be aware of the fact that the hardware supplier for the Microsoft Zune is Toshiba itself. The key specs are whooping large 3-inch LCD screen, 30GB hard drive for massive storage, USB 2.0 interface and built-in FM tuner. Moreover the Toshiba 1089 is configured with wireless 802.11b/g that enables broad access to the player. I really admire this smart move Toshiba.
So guys, you must be waiting to lay your hands on the Microsoft’s beast named Zune. Well, the brand new Venzero ONE media player is also heading for a release close to that of the Zune. So, what the Venzero ONE is going to offer for the music-savvy guys? The WiFi DAP, Venzero ONE features 12GB of storage space and capacity to record audio clips and then sync them with a system. You will also get the video (AVI) support, FM radio and RSS reader. The data transfer is quite straightforward, thanks to the dual USB port. I don’t think you will have to wait a longer for the Venzero ONE as it is expected to be seen in the stores very soon.
In the midst of Zune rumors, Toshiba has announced the new GigaBeat V30K media player that boasts 30GB storage capacity for your favorite tracks. Anyway, Toshiba must be quite busy with the Microsoft’s Zune these days. However, the GigaBeat V30K supports all the main music formats including MP3, WMA, WMA lossless, WAV, Windows DRM 9/10, and WMV 9/10. Other key specs include 3.5 inch TFT-LCD display, built-in speaker, 8 hours of video play and 12 hours of seamless music. For now, you need to sit back a while as the feature packed GigaBeat V30K will begin shipping in the month of October.
Though similar in appearance to Zune but differing in attributes, the T29 from the Telecast has been considered the third Generation Dual Core media player. First thing, that kills its possibility to kick-off Zune from the scenario is its lack of connectivity to the wireless networks. However, it has got its own charm with an extensive array of video MPG, DAT, AVI, etc. and audio MP3, OGG, FLAC, etc. formats. Other key features include USB 2.0, line-in, multi-lingual support, five equalizers, 3D sound effects, FM radio, text reader, and even built-in games like “Russian chunks” (Tetris?). Why it has been in so much attention is because of its price – a 4GB T29 retails for a amazing $125 US (999 Chinese RMB). The 1GB and 2GB versions of the Teclast T29 will retail in China for US$60, US$90, respectively.
Dispersing all the speculations Amazon finally unveils Zune accessory gallery that includes premium earphones, travel pack, FM transmitter, dock to the sync cable, wireless remote, A / V cable, car charger and many more. Price of Zune accessory line will probably run between $19.99 and $100.
As the iPod market is getting hotter and competition increases with every new launch the companies are trying everything to gain an edge over others. The latest fad being pre-loaded music in your iPods the pioneers of this strategy Sandisk in combination with Rhapsody are planning to release a Sansa e200 player that will come with 32 hrs of music. If Sandisk is there how can Microsoft with its launch of Zune be far behind, it also announced that the player will come preloaded with 9 audios tracks, 12 music videos and three short films and images of rock stars. The music companies are ready but only if it prohibits further sharing of the files. There is no news on who all are included in this list but it only sounds good for customers if only the individual can get his type of music in these pre-loaded versions. The idea says Sandisk came when retailers complained that the buyers had no option of comparing two iPods and then buy the one they like.
Can anyone beat Apple in the iPod industry? This year sees number of iPods coming to the market and in a few years time we can see the market hold of Apple shrinking in the digital portable music industry but it looks impossible that some other company will take the lead from Apple iPod. Here are some of the leading iPods available in the market which has only one mission to kill iPods and take a bite in the Apples market share. But seriously, is there really a player out there to challenge the iPod? Lets see a few of them The first on the list is Creative Zen V Plus 8GB: The Zen v has a 1.5 inch display and one of the largest capacity flash players. It has a standard FM tuner , voice recorder, in-line connection and supports playforsure. Its the oldest surviving brand and the new Zen will be available in the market late fall at a price of $279 slightly more than iPod and Zune. Second we have to go for Microsoft’s Zune: The most interesting thing about Zune is the commitment of Microsoft to spend tons of its money on its advertisement. Zune has got nothing special in it in terms of features and all its features are already in the market on other Dap players. Well Zune has Wi-Fi, an FM tuner support for a number of codes including H.264, MP3, WMA, WMV, MPEG4, .JPG and AAC. The feature which will stand out in all this file jargon is Zune-to-Zune that will allow users to use Wi-Fi to share audio and photo images (no video) with other owners. Will it be enough only time will tell and this player will hit the markets on November 17th . The third player that I am going to discuss is SanDisk Sansa e280 8GB: The Sansa e280 is the first 8GB flash unit and even though Apple matched it recently with the 8GB nano, you will see more from SanDisk in the coming months. The major advantage of the e280 is the cutting of the middleman which means relatively low price than the Apple. The e280 is already about $30 less than the nano. NPD Group claims that SanDisk already has 10% of the market, but NPD’s research is suspect. Still, SanDisk is one of the leaders in the market and a player to watch. The fourth player to watch out for is Creative Zen Neeon 2: The Zen Neeon 2 comes in 1GB ($125), 2GB ($170), and 4GB ($190) flavors, a small color display and a footprint roughly the same as the iPod nano. The Neeon 2 also offers the FM Tuner, audio-in record and voice recorder most iPod competitors offer. As is the case, Creative usually excellent players are often the better buy over the iPod line unless you have been building that collection of iTunes tracks. The fifth player that I am going to discuss is LG MFFM20: Not for its over the top features but more for the visual appeal and for the efforts of LG to create some different shape from the market trend. Outside of its shape the LG MFFM20 is a fairly basic player. The unit comes in 1GB and 512MB capacities so figure a sub $125 unit. The player offers an FM tuner and PlaysforSure DRM support, the latter which may eventually become the stepchild of Microsoft’s upcoming Zune rights management scheme. There is an OLED screen and a promise of 20 hours battery life.
With the date of release of Zune approaching there are many unconfirmed rumors in the market. The Crunchgear is reporting that Zune will pay you back if you share your files with others. This is how it will work. Suppose you have a song that I need and you send it to me via Zinger, I can listen to this song for free for 3 days after that it will prompt me to pay $1 for the song or it will disable itself. And suppose if you pay then the sender gets a credit for that song which he/she can cash for other downloads on Zune. There are reports on how this credit system will work. So what Microsoft is doing is to have us share everything on Zune to create a social network. These are all unconfirmed reports and no one is backing them up. But the idea seems pleasing.