Play a Zune for me

Microsoft has released details of its long-awaited music player, and it is pretty interesting. It's called Zune, and is obviously trying to beat the iPod by adding stuff that the iPod does not have. Included extras are WiFi networking, a slightly bigger screen, and an FM receiver. It comes in three colors, including brown, and I have to say that from the pictures, brown seems like an awfully unattractive choice.

The iPod has long been criticized for not having an FM tuner, but I do not think this is a particularly big selling feature. Other music players have offered this and it has not helped their sales. The underlying issue is that once you have all your music loaded on a portable music player, FM radio seems tedious and bland by comparison.

The Zune Marketplace (think iTunes Store) will selll music and videos, and the WiFi features allows you to share music and movies on a "sample" basis with nearby friends; it is not clear exactly how the "sample" sharing will work. In any case, it will be interesting to see how Zune does.

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