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Twitter for Zune HD, hands-on

Senior editor Donald Bell offers his first impressions of the Twitter app for the Microsoft Zune HD portable media player.

Screen shot from Zune HD Twitter application.
The Twitter app for the Zune HD is functional, elegant, and free. Donald Bell/CNET

After a brief heads-up from Microsoft yesterday, the official Twitter app for Zune HD has arrived.

I've spent only a few minutes with the app, but I feel declaring it as a welcome addition to the slowly growing roster of free apps for the Zune HD.

Will it blow your mind? Probably not. But as an officially sanctioned Twitter-branded app, users are given a very familiar, clean, and intuitive way to read and create tweets.

Power users will probably be a little bummed there isn't a landscape keyboard option or much at all in the way of settings. That said, this is only version 1.0, so don't count out the possibility of updates in the not-too-distant future.

Probably the coolest little surprise is a button that will automatically populate your tweet with the currently playing song's title and artist info. It's not quite as convenient as a link, but it gives you a quick way to announce your love of Afrika Bambaataa without mangling the spelling.

Another detail worth mentioning--there are no in-app ads. I guess since the Twitter app falls under the "utility" category of apps, Microsoft isn't bundling in the banner ads that plague their games. I imagine it'll be the same case for the forthcoming Facebook app, should it ever see the light of day.

To take a closer look at some of the features, check out the photo gallery.