What's new in
the latest Zune software release (version 4.0)?
On September 15th 2009, coinciding with the release Zune HD, Microsoft
released version 4.0 of the Zune software. Four new features are
included as part of this update that are worth noticing.
The quickplay screen is the new software homescreen. It's black
instead of the white we're used to. (But the rest of the software
It looks like the top of a messy desk providing easy access to your
music and videos. It has 5 sections.
The Quickplay screen surfaces your new and recently accessed media
- provides access to your collection or to the Zune marketplace.
- shows you the media you recently added to your collection. This is
great with the Zune pass since you'll be downloading so much music that
you'll forget what you downloaded!
- shows you which items from your collection you referenced recently.
- is like a list of favorites. Choose any item from your collection or
the Zune marketplace and "pin" it to your quickplay screen as a
Smart DJ mix
- is a list of "smart DJs" just waiting to spin music for you. Create
new smart DJs right from the quickplay screen. (More on smart DJ below.)
2. Smart DJ
Now this is a really cool feature...
knows how to create custom playlists from your collection.
Choose an artist you like and smart DJ will create a playlist of
Where it becomes
really cool is in combination with the Zune pass. If
you have a Zune pass, smart DJ reaches out into the 6 million+ songs in
the Zune marketplace to create your playlist.
Smart DJ creates a custom playlist based on any artist you choose.
What a way to discover new music! I've discovered some great new bands
Smart DJ +
Zune pass = Ecstasy!
The new Zune software comes with a mini-player mode. When in this mode, the Zune player conveniently shrinks and sits on top of all other windows on your computer.
does not equal wimpy. In this mode you still see album art, band
photos, time remaining, the song, album, artist and the next 3 songs in
And you have access to the play/pause, skip and previous buttons. Plus you can even mute the player. Neat!
4. Zune Toolbar
When you minimize the new Zune software, it gives you the option to minimize into the Zune toolbar mode. The software will minimize into the taskbar but it still gives you access to the play/pause, skip and previous buttons.
Plus you can rate the songs from here too!
In addition to these four new features there are some minor look and
feel changes that you may not even notice.
Oh, before I forget, you must download
the new Zune software to keep
your older Zune syncing with your computer and to access the Zune
marketplace with your Zune pass.
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