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>> Hey I'm Donald Bell, senior editor for digital audio and MP3, and today we're taking a first look at the new Microsoft Zune. This is the eighty gigabyte high capacity Zune that they've just come out with. Comes only in black, at least for the moment, and it sells for around two hundred and forty nine dollars. Now the big improvements to the new Zune over last year's Zune is that the new one is thinner, has a wider screen, it's got a three point two inch screen now, and has a different control method, the navigation pad on this. Instead of just clicking up and down, left and right, you can actually scroll by touching the touch pad. Other little things, the back is now aluminum, the operating system has been completely overhauled. There's still some things from last year's operating system, like the twist interface, things we liked about last year's operating system. But it looks a lot different. The main menu screen is really big, beautiful, you can customize the background photo. And on the main menu screen you now have a button for podcasts, and that's a big deal. Up until now there have never been any really good competitors to the iPod as far as tight integration for audio and video podcasts. The new Zune does it very well. You can digest podcasts in small doses, and resume playback where you last left off, you can even unsubscribe from podcasts directly from your player, and when you synch up your player it will know that you wanted to unsubscribe from that podcast. That's a pretty cool feature. So video looks really great on this. The built-in Wi-Fi antenna on the Zune still doesn't support like online web browsing, things like the iPod Touch or iPhone would do, but it is pretty cool. The Wi-Fi antenna on this latest version of the Zune will let you do wireless synching with your home library. You can set up your Zune so that when you get home you can dock it, and it will know to look for your wireless home network, and synch any podcast content, new downloads, synch it to your Zune over the Wi-Fi network, and you don't have to connect this directly to your computer. So overall we really liked the new eighty gigabyte Zune. We know that the Zune name's been kicked around a lot, but this one really refines the ideas that were pretty good about the first one, and makes them excellent.
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I'm Donald Bell and that was a first look at the eighty gigabyte Microsoft Zune.
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