Zune 4.0 – A Stunning Media Management Application

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460x280zunemarketplace   Zune 4.0   A Stunning Media Management ApplicationAfter buying the Zune HD music/video player from Microsoft, I was re-introduced to the Windows Zune Player software. It has undergone a big overhaul since we last reviewed it. One thing remains the same though – it’s still an incredible media management application.

You don’t need the Zune player to enjoy the benefits of the PC software. Below, we’ll discuss some of its more prominent features, and give you another couple of reasons to diss iTunes.

Zune Is…

Zune is the name of Microsoft’s music technologies – recently diverging into the fields of other popular media as well, like online video. It started with the launch of ‘the Zune’, Microsoft’s iPod rival that suffered from an undeserved marketing failure. But now, Zune is present on a multitude of different systems, ranging from the Zune HD and mobile phones to your Xbox 360.

zune all   Zune 4.0   A Stunning Media Management Application

The Zune player is also available for your Windows PC but as of yet, Mac OS X and Linux are left out. Microsoft’s iTunes counterpart, this application manages your Zune device, as well as your local music libraries. MakeUseOf covered Zune 3.0, the old version, with a laudatory review. Much has changed since, with the big upgrade to Zune 4.0.

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Zune 4.0 Media Manager

The 4.0 version launched in September last year, together with the Zune HD device. It got a complete interface and design overhaul – although touches of its predecessor are left present. Once again, you can expect a visually stunning and innovative interface, even if it’s still much of a memory hogging application.

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It also integrates better with your other devices, such as the Xbox 360. Notable is the newfound importance of the cloud. Especially in the United States, the Marketplace – where you can buy music and video – is not to be missed. The new ‘Social’ tab allows you to interact with other audiophiles, and accentuate your musical identity; it’s Zune’s new social network for music fans.

nowplaying   Zune 4.0   A Stunning Media Management Application

The music player itself highly resembles its predecessor. The beauty of it relights the hunger for innovation in our hearts – and perhaps confirms that it’s time to move to a new standard interface for media players.

Zune comes packed with a number of interesting features for the everyday music lover. There is Mixview, which shows a composition of connections to other artists and albums. Smart DJ puts this to use, by generating playlists of songs that are somehow related to a single artist, album, or song. The web streamer allows you to play your music on any device with an internet browser; even the Zune-ignored Mac and Linux systems.

Premium: Marketplace & Zune Pass

By all means, the Zune is a free music player. But the Marketplace and Zune Pass are two optional premium features that might enrich that experience. Sadly, these are only available for users in the United States and Puerto Rico.

The marketplace requires little to no explanation. It’s a place where you can buy the latest music and video. You’ll also find music videos, top 100 lists, channels and playlists.

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More interesting is the Zune Pass – directly related to the Zune Marketplace. For a monthly subscription fee of $14.99, you can download as many songs as you want – plus 10 songs ‘to keep’, each month. The Zune Pass was already available before the 4.0 update, but hasn’t lost its appeal.

If You Can’t Download The Application…

This link should take you to a page where you can download the Zune media manager. However, you might be redirected to a website of your own locale. Not all of these websites offer this download.

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If you encounter this problem, scroll down to the bottom of the page and find the current region/language. Click International, and select United States on the next page. You should be able to find the download there, for sure. Note that although not all countries can access the market place, they can use the software as a regular media management application.

What do you think of the Zune player software? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below!

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13 Comments - Write a Comment

Reply

Texas22001

I love my ZuneHD 32 and the media player is great. Uploads any new music, pictures, and videos I download to my computer. Zune Rocks..

Simon Slangen

You left out wireless syncing and podcasts. I get the latest TED-talks in my pocket every time I come near my computer.

Reply

Vanessa

i would buy zune if they sold it in canada :(

Simon Slangen

Take a look on eBay. I live in Europe and recently bought my ZuneHD (32G) for €200 (? 267.5 Can. Dollars) online — shipping and toll included.

Reply

thenonhacker

I like Zune 4.0 but I still prefer Windows Media Player because the Library UI is straightforward, no jumping here and there much.

Reply

Summersdenise

Yeah they really need to sell the Zune beyond the current markets (New Zealand here).

The software is great (although as mentioned, quite the hog) and it’s a shame the dark quickplay screen isn’t carried over the rest of the screens.

It would be even better if they carried over WMP’s albums ‘stacks’ to lessen the scrolling. If Microsoft could combine the best elements from WMP, Zune, and Media Center they’d be onto a winner.

Simon Slangen

Europe, Azia, New Zealand, Canada, … you name it! There are people everywhere waiting for the chance to buy a Zune. I understand their reasons for denying us a full-fledged launch, but at least give us the opportunity to order them online! For the moment being, we’ll have to resort to eBay.

True enough. There are a number of extras that wouldn’t hurt this app. If it would ‘steal’ some of MediaMonkey’s features and cut down on the memory hogging, we’d have our ‘irresistable force’.

Reply

Summersdenise

Yeah they really need to sell the Zune beyond the current markets (New Zealand here).

The software is great (although as mentioned, quite the hog) and it’s a shame the dark quickplay screen isn’t carried over the rest of the screens.

It would be even better if they carried over WMP’s albums ‘stacks’ to lessen the scrolling. If Microsoft could combine the best elements from WMP, Zune, and Media Center they’d be onto a winner.

Reply

Simon Slangen

Take a look on eBay. I live in Europe and recently bought my ZuneHD (32G) for €200 (≈ 267.5 Can. Dollars) online — shipping and toll included.

Reply

Simon Slangen

Europe, Azia, New Zealand, Canada, … you name it! There are people everywhere waiting for the chance to buy a Zune. I understand their reasons for denying us a full-fledged launch, but at least give us the opportunity to order them online! For the moment being, we’ll have to resort to eBay.

True enough. There are a number of extras that wouldn’t hurt this app. If it would ‘steal’ some of MediaMonkey’s features and cut down on the memory hogging, we’d have our ‘irresistable force’.

Reply

Anthony Casaldi

I like the Zune software, but I continue to use WMP. I actually prefer the Zune software to WMP, but Zune doesn’t support Last.FM. If it supported Last.FM, I’d use it and never look back.

Reply

Mdantzler

The Zune software carries a LOT of downloading glitches and bugs since the 4.0 upgrade, and Microsoft is pretty useless in the support department. I have had terrible problems with it and I think many others have as well. That said, if you can get it properly downloaded, it’s fantastic.

Reply

Skylark-Torch

And almost five years later, I just wanted to say I’m still using this software.
It’s just that awesome.
Though my great little Zune16 HD is starting to feel cramped. hrm…

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