Microsoft Zune Media Players to Cost $249.99; Podcasting Support Missing in Action

Sep 28th, 2006 | By | Category: iPods & Portable Media Players

Microsoft Zune in BlackMicrosoft announced that the Zune digital media player and online service will be available to consumers in the U.S. on Nov. 14, 2006. The “Zune device” will retail for $249.99 U.S.

Here’s what Microsoft is offering for the price:

  • 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.
  • A selection of preloaded content including at least 9 songs, music videos and film shorts are installed on the device‚Äôs hard drive to help consumers discover new artists and entertainment.

A Zune Pass subscription gives consumers access to millions of songs for $14.99 per month. Users can also 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.

Microsoft did not disclose any plans for podcast support in its announcement.

“On Nov. 14 we’re delivering not only a device, but a shared, social experience that will be shaped by the collective imagination of consumers,” said Chris Stephenson, general manager of global marketing for Zune. “We’re infusing the spirit of discovery and sharing into everything we do — from the experience we crafted around the device and service to pre-loading music and videos on every device to expose people to something new.”

Pre-Loaded Content

Microsoft pre-loaded each Zune device with a variety of songs and music videos:

Audio Tracks

  • Band of Horses, ‚ÄúWicked Gil‚Äù (Sub Pop Records)
  • Bitter:Sweet, ‚ÄúThe Mating Game‚Äù (Quango Music Group)
  • CSS, ‚ÄúAlala (Microsoft edit)‚Äù (Sub Pop Records)
  • Darkel, ‚ÄúAt The End of The Sky (edit)‚Äù (Astralwerks)
  • Every Move a Picture, ‚ÄúSigns of Life‚Äù (V2)
  • Small Sins, ‚ÄúStay‚Äù (Astralwerks)
  • The Adored, ‚ÄúTell Me Tell Me‚Äù (V2)
  • The Rakes, ‚ÄúOpen Book‚Äù (V2)
  • The Thermals, ‚ÄúA Pillar of Salt‚Äù (Sub Pop Records)

Music Video

  • 30 Seconds to Mars, ‚ÄúThe Kill‚Äù (Virgin Records)
  • BT, ‚Äú1.618‚Äù (DTS Entertainment)
  • Chad VanGaalen, ‚ÄúRed Hot Drops‚Äù (Sub Pop Records)
  • Coldcut featuring Roots Manuva, ‚ÄúTrue Skool‚Äù (Ninja Tune)
  • CSS, ‚ÄúLet‚Äôs Make Love and Listen to Death From Above‚Äù (Sub Pop Records)
  • Fruit Bats, ‚ÄúLive: The Wind That Blew My Heart Away‚Äù (Sub Pop Records)
  • Grandaddy, ‚ÄúElevate Myself‚Äù (V2)
  • Hot Chip, ‚ÄúOver and Over‚Äù (Astralwerks Records)
  • Kraak & Smaak featuring Dez., ‚ÄúKeep Me Home‚Äù (Quango Music Group)
  • Kinski, ‚ÄúLive: The Snowy Parts of Scandinavia‚Äù (Sub Pop Records)
  • Paul Oakenfold, ‚ÄúFaster Kill Pussycat (Featuring Brittany Murphy)‚Äù (Maverick Records)
  • Serena-Maneesh, ‚ÄúDrain Cosmetics‚Äù (Playlouderecordings)

Film Shorts

  • 5 Boro: ‚ÄúA New York Skateboarding Minute‚Äù (Skateboarding)
  • Radical Films: ‚ÄúKranked ‚Äî Progression‚Äù (Mountain Biking)
  • TGRTV The North Face (Skiing/Snowboarding)


  • A variety of images to personalize a Zune device, including 12 classic rock posters from ‚ÄúArt of Modern Rock‚Äù

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