toshiba to produce microsoft zune

August 26, 2006

zune.JPG
Microsoft on Friday announced that consumer electronics giant Toshiba will be manufacturing the company’s upcoming Zune portable media player, which is slated (pdf) to include a 30GB hard drive, a 3-inch LCD, FM tuner, and wireless connectivity in its quest to dethrone the almighty iPod, which is made by Apple Computer. Meanwhile, a recent FCC filing (courtesy of MobileWhack) for “Toshiba 1089” shows detailed internal and external pictures of the device (ex. above), which looks identical to the concept image I posted a while ago.

A rough user’s manual (pdf) accompanies the filing, providing a more detailed technical rundown and explaining the concepts behind the wireless music “sharing” which Zune will facilitate. According to this, you should be able to send music over an ad-hoc network to up to four “Pyxis” users around you, with the received files probably becoming unusable after a day or so. The “DJ” feature will allow you the option of broadcasting your currently-playing tracks to nearby users, restricting access to friends if you choose. For Microsoft’s sake, I hope this will all be very intuitive to set up; otherwise, Zune could end up being rather ho-hum. Look for Zune to launch this fall, and keep checking back for updates as they come in.

–D. S. W.

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