It looks like Zune will be getting some spring update love this Tuesday…

The main features added include:

  • The ability to transfer a friend’s Zune Card to your device which will keep an up to date list of that friend’s most recently plaid songs, favorites, and top plays.  If you have a Zune Pass, then you will be able to play the songs from your client and they will automatically be synced to your device.  Best of all, it will keep this list updated so you can think of this as an automatic DJ playing your friend’s tunes for you…..
  • Video store to download and take TV shows etc. on the go
  • Client/Player enhancements like creating autoplaylists, no gaps in the playback, multiple Zune sync, and easier editing of track information

Looks like Tuesday will be a good day for Zune!  This will bring the Zune to version 2.5 (1614). I also suspect this lays the foundation for XNA games on the Zune which is rumored to start to appear mid-May.

From the screen shots, and the friends integration (more SaaS at work here?), the “Social” is starting to have more substance behind it, which could really bring that community feel that is missing in the digital world.

Now that we have Video/TV shows ($2 an episode),  Movies can’t be far behind.  Will we see the “Video” portion be added to our Zune pass?  If so, for the same price, or a “small” increase?

I am also curious what “multiple Zune Sync” brings as well.  Perhaps I can have different sync profiles if I have a Zune4 vs a Zune80 for the same Zunetag?  Does this solve the wireless syncing when multiple user are logged onto the same PC issue?

Gapless playback, and beta Metadata editing for media is something that should have been in v2, but I suppose better late than never.

From the post at Gizmodo:

• Xbox Live-ish icons on your Zune Card that are like achievements, awarding people who listen to an artist the most or passing a total number of song plays.
• Dynamic friends’ list that shows what everyone’s listening to. Find out about the band Tokyo Police Club from your buddies.
• Windows Live Messenger “now playing” integration
• Album reviews! Tell everyone what you think about so-and-so’s latest album, because the world needs to know.

Zunerama provides a great overview of the expected new features here.

The ability to have a song sent to you on the go, and be added to your collection if your are Zunepass user is a huge refinement to the sharing process.  The Zunepass also gains more value with being able to “Subscribe” to the music your friends are listening too, which will definitely help expose you to new music you may not have easily discovered on your own.

I would still like to be able to “Subscribe” to artists in the Zune Marketplace, so that when new content is added, it gets added to my collection.  Of course to do this, they need to add a change/sync log to notify the user of what new content has been added, etc.

AnythingbutIpod also has a good rundown for the new features included in the update.

It also looks like Conversion settings are back in the application which means you can transcode media to fit more on your device.  For more information, see my post on Transcoding media for Zune

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For more screen shots of the new release please visit the Channel 8 site.

http://channel8.msdn.com/Posts/Zune-25-Software-Release-now-with-more-Social/

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