Zune HD starts rolling off the shelves today. The Zune HD has a OLED touch screen, HD Radio and HD video output to TV. The Black Zune HD 16gig is priced at $219.99 and the Platinum 32gig is $289.99. Microsoft today also released the Zune 4.0 software. Here is more info on the Zun HD and Zune 4.0 launch:
Zune HD: Next-Generation Digital Entertainment
Zune HD marks a significant step forward for portable media players, combining powerful hardware components such as an organic light-emitting diode (OLED) multitouch screen, an NVIDIA Tegra HD processor and HD Radio capabilities with software advancements such as the new Quickplay menu, a well-featured Web browser, and engaging music and video playback features to deliver a new portable listening and viewing experience. Quickplay is a new signature menu for Zune, putting customers one touch away from the content they love, such as favorites, last played items and media most recently added, eliminating the need to dig through menus to find the music, videos, pictures or podcasts they want.
With Zune HD, consumers now have the ability to store and play back 720p HD video files to an HDTV using the new Zune HD AV dock accessory. Consumers can buy or rent HD content from the Zune Marketplace, sync that content to a Zune HD device, and take it with them to play back on a large-screen HDTV in the home or on the road.
Every Zune device currently includes a built-in FM tuner, and now the Zune HD device offers the first portable HD Radio receiver on a Wi-Fi-enabled device. With HD Radio, listeners experience crystal-clear sound on more than 2,000 stations in the U.S. and have access to more than 1,000 stations that simulcast content in a variety of formats, from adult contemporary to news talk. Zune HD users can also tag songs they hear on supported HD Radio stations for purchase immediately if in a Wi-Fi hot spot, or complete the purchase later when using the Zune PC software.
Zune HD also features new casual games and non-gaming functionality such as a calculator and an MSN Weather application. Later this year, Zune plans to release free applications such as Twitter for Zune and Facebook for Zune, in addition to fun 3-D games such as ?Project Gotham Racing: Ferrari Edition,? ?Vans Sk8: Pool Service,? and ?Audiosurf Tilt.? Games can be added to Zune HD via Zune Marketplace over the Wi-Fi connection or when connected to the Zune PC software.
With Zune 4.0, customers will be able to access their music and video in more places than the new OLED screen, though. The software delivers the Zune experience on the PC, where users can organize music or download new songs from the Zune Marketplace, Shields says. With a Zune Pass, users don?t even need the software to access great content; they can sign in on Zune.net from any PC and instantly start playing their favorite music.
Starting this fall, the Zune service will expand to the nearly 20 million users of Xbox 360 LIVE. That means Xbox 360 users soon will be able to buy or rent movies for the console using the Zune service, later downloading the files onto their Zune device or Windows PC for no extra fee. The new collection for Xbox 360 users will include an extensive library of music videos available for download to the Zune.