The new Zune HD
The new Zune HD

We don’t hate the Zune. Actually, more accurately – we don’t want to hate the Zune. But Zune don’t make it easy for us. Firstly, they don’t make the thing available to us.

According to the press release this week for the latest one called Zune HD, the 7th model in 3 years, looks like they are sticking to American shores.

Giving it a chance, lets have a look. The new hook is the touchscreen. It’s Zune‘s challenger to the iPod Touch. Throwing in wi-fi capabilities and a browser is a good move. The final touch is the HD functions – access to HD radio and the ability to output HD video to other devices (like your TV). No word on capacities, but we assume 16 or 32GB. We’ve not heard on price either but Zune has a habit of following Apple here too.

It’s an interesting match for the iPod Touch. But we don’t think it’s enough to beat it, or even dent it. The big one is the radio function. But HD radio is small beans. And will it be enough to tear someone away from Google maps, or the 40K apps that are available to Touch users? iPod Touch‘s message these days is all about the apps – the funnest iPod ever. Zune have not announced anything in terms of games, but one can assume they will.

We like the iPod Touch design better, but the Zune doesn’t look too bad either. We could go either way depending on the functionality. Price is the big unknown. If Zune undercuts Apple significantly in this economy, it could finally get Zune into the game.

It’s all a moot point as outside of the US Zune is a joke and will continue to be. There is no excitement, no vibe. And if Zune continues to simply try to match, rather than exceed Apple, then they are going to lose. There is no vision. Nothing to be excited about or to believe in. A joke.

Slightly more interesting was the announcement that Zune is selling videos internationally on the Xbox platform. This could mean big things if they could follow it with music.

We’re not writing the Zune off just yet, but they have a long way to go.

Official Zune HD site –

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