GADGET REVIEW: Zune 16GB

This season, Microsoft has

released a new update to the Zune music and video player, combining

the best of the older models with a sleek interface and new connectivity

options to make the most of the Zune store. The 16GB model we test drove

is a good balance of capacity versus price, but the new features really

make it feel like your space in unlimited.  

The big addition to this new

model is Wi-Fi capability in a compact size, so especially for people

in cities where wireless is readily available just about anywhere, you

can do just about everything on the device itself without involving

a PC. You’ll also be able to sync to your home PC cordlessly or stream

music to an Xbox 360. It also includes an FM tuner, which might not

seem like a big deal at first, but when you are feeling experimental,

the Zune lets you tag songs you like and then points you to them on

the store to buy in higher quality later. Anyone who remembers the days

of having to tape songs with a boom-box and try to hit “stop” before

the DJ came back on should welcome the change. 

If you take advantage of all

its capabilities, the Zune is more like a hub instead of just a music

player. If you just pick a song and hit play, basically every MP3 player

out there is the same but the Zune adds in extra utility but keeps it

all just as simple as the single-function players. Combined with the

unlimited download options on the Zune store, the device is set up to

encourage experimentation, allowing users to have unlimited full songs

and albums for a flat fee (like a Netflix for music) instead of having

to wade through short samples or just hope that an album isn’t a waste

of money. 

That other player you’ve

got may seem like a bard habit to break, but it won’t take long with

the Zune to change your mind. Feeling like experimenting a little bit

yourself? Check out a mini-mix of what we’re listening to:

1. T-Pain- Chopped N Skrewed

ft. Ludacris

2. Akon- Beautiful

3. Beyonce- Diva

4. Lady GaGa- Poker Face

5. Ne-Yo- Closer

6. Kanye West- Robocop

7. Chester French- She Loves

Everybody

8. TV On the Radio- Crying

9. Q-Tip- Life is Better ft.

Norah Jones

10. John Legend- It’s Over

ft. Kanye West & Pharrell

11. Solange- I Decided Pt.

II

12. Nikka Costa- Loving You

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