Today is the release date for the brand new Microsoft Zune, but it seems that many of us have found a cheaper way to enjoy the new Zune experience: purchase an old Zune and upgrade the software. It is so popular that the first generation Zune is now the top selling MP3 player on Amazon.
From first-hand experience we can tell you that the new Zune software is a significant improvement from the first generation. The device comes with the original software but you can choose to upgrade software from the main menu (once the PC software is updated, you can upgrade the device firmware.
Amazon is shaking things up a bit. After its Customer Vote effort resulted in great deals, but overwhelming traffic, this week, you’re asked to vote on a deal by 11:59 PM on Sunday (12/10). Once the voting closes, customers will be randomly selected to receive a claim code for the product they voted for (whether it wins or not). Once you have the claim code, just come back anytime on Tuesday (12/12) to complete your purchase.
If your deal doesn’t win, the claim code you may receive will apply to a lesser, but pretty good deal on the product. We’re highlighting this point because the 30GB Microsoft Zune Digital Media Player is leading right now with the George Foreman Grill in second and TMX Elmo in third. Even if Elmo doesn’t catch up, if you vote for TMX Elmo and you’re chosen, you can guarantee yourself a hard-to-find product for less than $40. Here are the four products:
Looks like Microsoft’s much maligned Zune may have done better this week than most of us expected. During it’s launch week, the Zune captured a 9% market share and a 13% dollar spent share in the portable media player market. These numbers may not seem high (consider iPod dominated at 63% and 72.5%) but they do mean that for this initial period, the Zune became the number 2 device behind the iPod. Before Microsoft execs pop the Champagne, they should remember that this was the product launch week so interest and promotions gave the product a boost.
If you’re interested in buying a Zune, so far it appears as if eCost wins the price battle with the brown and black Zunes in stock for $233.99 and the white Zune for $229.99. Don’t forget to use and get another $10 off. Amazon is a close second with all three colors selling for $239.99.
WalMart is taking pre-orders on Zune 30GB MP3 Players for $249.94 (retail price) with expected ship date of 11/14/06. We expect a mad dash for these so you may want to pre-order soon.
As we previously discussed, Zune is a portable media player which stores and plays music, videos, and photos. The device is built by Toshiba and includes a 3-inch screen, WiFi, and an FM tuner. Zune interfaces with the Zune Marketplace software which allows you to manage and download music and other content.
As reportedeverywhere, Microsoft has officially announced the launch of Zune, a music and entertainment platform which includes portable media players and a content download service (Zune Marketplace). Expected to arrive just before the holiday shopping season (at TBD price), the first Zune device is a 30GB digital media player built by Toshiba which includes WiFi, an FM tuner, and a 3-inch screen. Every Zune device comes preloaded with content from several labels including Virgin, Sub Pop, and Astralwerks. Zune comes in three colors: black, brown, and white.
Zune Marketplace is an application which works like iTunes or Napster in allowing you to manage your existing content (music, movies, and photos) while buying new content from the service. Content can be purchased a la carte or through the Zune Pass subscription service.
Sharing and community are key components in the Zune product line. Using a wireless connection, Zune users can share some of the full-length tracks with friends who also have a Zune. You can listen to any shared track three times over three days. If you like it, you can flag it and the device will purchase it from the Zune Marketplace.
At launch, you will be able to purchase several Zune accessories including a Car Pack to enable integration into your car, a Home Pack which will include a dock with wireless remote and various cables, and a Travel Pack which will include premium earphones, a remote control, and a bag.