Tomorrow is a big day for Microsoft’s Zune.  Not only is it the launch date for their new line-up of Zune’s, but they’re also launching new “Zune Originals.” The site for Zune Originals will go live tomorrow, and customers can go there to customize their Zune by size, color, and more importantly, illustration. The illustrations that consumers can choose from to have placed on the backside of their Zune come from several artists that Microsoft contacted. Consumers can also add four lines of text, and all of this is free of charge for now.

In all, 18 international artists participated and submitted 27 original illustrations. According to Chris Stephenson, Microsoft’s general manager of global marketing for the Zune, they took inspiration from both MySpace and Nike with their NikeID for the MP3 player. This new project not only supports artists, but also gives consumers the opportunity to express themselves.  Microsoft benefits because they will get more direct sales this way- if someone really wants a Zune Original, they’ll need to purchase from Microsoft.

zune originals

Woot!

We’ve written about the deals that Woot has had on the Zune before, but this one is simply one that’ll be hard to pass up if you’re not interested in buying a Zune Original. Right now the Woot deal of the day is a 30GB Black or White (not the ugly Brown) refurbished Zune for $84.99. You get the Zune plus a bonus travel pack for that price. The best part is, even though it’s an older Zune, all older Zune’s will get the new Zune software — the main difference is simply cosmetic.

The last time that Woot sold the brown version, they ended up selling out by 11am central time. Given that black and white are more popular than the brown, you probably don’t have much time left to purchase one!

Sources: Engadget, Cool Hunting

There Are 9 Comments

  1. Do old Zunes get the firmware tonight?

  2. I’m wondering when we’ll get the new firmware. I’ve got a Zune 30GB (aka Zune 1) and I tried “check for Zune device updates” but nothing yet.

  3. Got news we’ll get it tomorrow o well…. :cry:

  4. Microsoft likes to push things out at noon (Central Time I think) so that is probably when you should expect to see it. They may also roll it out over a period of time so that everyone isn’t downloading it at the same time.

  5. It’s after 5PM Pacific and still says “Firmware is up to date.” Now I’m debating whether I should manually download the Zune 2 software you linked to in Daily Downloads, or wait for auto updates. I’m a little skeptical that Zune 2 software may not do the firmware update.

  6. netster007x wrote:
    It’s after 5PM Pacific and still says “Firmware is up to date.” Now I’m debating whether I should manually download the Zune 2 software you linked to in Daily Downloads, or wait for auto updates. I’m a little skeptical that Zune 2 software may not do the firmware update.

    That’s a good question. I could be wrong but I thought that you would need to have to Zune 2 software installed to get the new firmware. I don’t have a Zune to try it out on though.

  7. Wow. I accidentally clicked [Marketplace] and it says to upgrade Zune software to view it. It also says the new market place has DRM-free MP3′s! Good for them. Looks like everyone’s getting on that bandwagon. Also, it shows pics of Zune 30GB w/ new firmware on software site, so I guess I’m supposed to download it manually.

    Screenshots of the software look real nice. I hope using it is intuitive. Also, I hope I can get the Diggnation podcast now.

  8. OK, I’m a Zune 30GB (v1) owner, and here’s how it works for anyone curious. Download the Zune 2 software from the site Ryan posted in Daily Downloads ([zune.net]). Install it (make sure the Zune device is not connected). Then run the software and connect the Zune device. It will prompt to update the firmware.

    The new Software and Firmware is awesome! Some changes could take some getting used to, but I think I’ll like them. The old software would hang for several seconds when connecting my device. Now, the very polished looking interface is very fast. The new Zune firmware looks great too. Podcast support is awesome!

    There are 2 things I don’t like about the new software: The 5pt rating system was trashed in favor of a no good like it/don’t like it 2pt rating. The other thing is they cut support for Auto-Playlists (which let you add rules like added w/in last 2 weeks, or rated 4+stars, or by this, that, or the other band). They were very useful, and it’s too bad to see them go. Anther thing that is really just an observation is that Zune device sounds are so faint you can rarely hear them.

  9. I’m surprised that they ditched the 5 star system because that’s almost become universal when organizing music. And no auto-playlists? That’s nuts. I would die without a feature like that.

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