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Zune firmware build 4.5 in action (photos)

Microsoft's Zune team stops by the CNET offices to show us the latest firmware update for the Zune HD. You can get up close and personal in this gallery.

Jasmine France

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The biggest update on the Zune HD is the addition of the Smart DJ Mix feature, which is denoted by the modified play icon in the upper left of the screen.
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You can select a song or album, and then the player will create a playlist based on that. Here, we're using the Bloc Party track "Tulips" to create a list. If you have a Zune Pass and are connected to Wi-Fi, the playlist will include selections from the Zune catalog as well as your own library.
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If you like the Smart DJ creation, you can back up into playlists, select the currently playing list, and save it with whatever title you'd like.
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The other addition on the device is the capability to view your personalized picks, which are based on your own library and Zune Social connections.
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The other exciting news with the firmware update is related to the docking functionality of the Zune HD. Namely, you can now access the Marketplace through the dock.
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This comes with all the benefits you expect, including nifty graphics and the capability to browse music or search by artist, album, and track.
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Pulling up the search option populates a full onscreen keyboard, which you navigate via the dock remote. Zune has implemented a handy auto detect feature that will attempt to fill in what you're searching for.
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As with on the device, the onscreen Zune Marketplace offers the Smart DJ functionality.
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In this case, all of the tracks for the playlist are populated from the Zune catalog, rather than pulled from both that and your own library.
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The song playback screen is graphically intense, with photos of the band in the background and the album art, track name, and artist name scrolling across the foreground.
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If you want to add tracks to your Zune Pass (or purchase them), you can add them directly to your cart through the TV interface.
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As with the device interface, you can view your personalized picks on the TV.

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