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Thoughts on the new Zune 3.0 features

 zune

I have an “old” 1st generation 30GB Zune. Imagine my surprise when I learned that I will be getting the same 3.0 upgrade that newer Zunes will have. I won’t even have to buy a new one to get the new features.

Some of the features that I like the most:

  • Support for audible – Zune now supports the Audible file format. Now I can listen to my audio books on the Zune.

  • Live streaming over wireless – I bought the Zune pass which provides unlimited downloads for $14.95 a month. Not only that, but it enables the use of the Zune device over wireless to search the Zune marketplace and stream songs and albums directly from the marketplace, all without having to download them.

  • “Picks for you” – The marketplace now has a feature that suggests music based on your listening habits as well as those of other users who have similar listening habits.

  • Shopping wirelessly from the Zune device. Within a wireless hotspot, I’m able to search for and buy music from the marketplace. It will directly download the music to my device and keep it there. I can later download it to the desktop application if need be.

I had some problems at first getting the marketplace to work after signing up for the 14 day free trial. It turns out that, since I had a Zune pass in the past, I didn’t qualify for the 14 day free trial. Well, that’s my guess anyway. Microsoft support was no help in the matter. Once I bought the full monthly subscription, all of my troubles disappeared.

Now that I have the Zune pass, though, I’m running out of space on my Zune. To solve the problem, I recently ordered a new 120GB Zune with custom engraving. I’m still anxiously awaiting the arrival of the Zune.

All in all, I’m very impressed with the new Zune 3.0 upgrade. I’m more impressed that I didn’t have to buy a new Zune to get it.