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Zune 4.5 firmware coming 'soon'

The latest firmware for Zune will add an on-the-device smart DJ function as well as the ability to browse the Marketplace on your TV.

If you were just thinking to yourself that it's high time for some fresh Zune news, you're in luck. Microsoft was kind enough to send some of the Zune staff down to the CNET offices today and give us a sneak peek of the new firmware build for the Zune HD. Version 4.5 isn't a massive update, but it does add a few very notable features to the device, most of which are described in detail throughout the gallery below.

But in case you don't have the time to look through all of our lovely photos, here's the quick and dirty. First, Zune has added native support for XviD and the AVI container, which opens the device up to much more video content collected around the Web. Next, there's the onboard Smart DJ Mix feature, which creates quick autoplaylists based on a song of your choosing. And last but certainly not least you now have Marketplace browsing via the Zune Dock when you connect the player to your TV.

As for when Zune owners can expect to see the new build, the answer is a charmingly vague "soon." Sorry guys...I tried to beat it out of them, but my editor suggested that such aggressive tactics would likely discourage future visits, and we clearly can't have that. Then you wouldn't have all these pretty pictures to look at. Seriously, they're great. Look at them. Please?