News about the launch date along with more details on the specs have been posted in the official press release. The important stuff: September 15th release; $220 / $290 for the 16GB and 32GB respectively; in store colors 16GB comes in black- 32GB in platinum; ZuneOriginals.net you will be able to get 5 different colors with 10 different engravings in any capacities; 33 hrs music / 8.5 hrs video.
All great news and some sweet looking specs, however, one thing this is really concerning: lack of DivX/XviD support. Windows 7 along with XBox 360 supports these file types right out of the box. The Zune HD features one of the most powerful mobile graphics processors to date, so it’s somewhat disheartening to see the lack of support for mainstream codec that is already supported on other Microsoft products. By contrast many of the other players such as the Samsung P3 or the Cowon S9 both playback DivX/XviD quite nicely.
If you are a DivX fan and are interested in the Zune HD I would encourage you to be vocal about this issue in the Zune HD forums and across the web. It is something that is possible to add in future firmware updates.
[Pre Order | Press Release]
Memup will soon become the latest company to enter the PMP market in 2007. With the appearance of many portable video players at the current time, what is it about this debutante that merits recognition? Let’s take a look.
The Orizon will feature a LCD screen which is significantly larger than most, extending 4.3-inches with 480 x 272 pixels and 16 million colors. The hard disk stores 30GB and can be expanded through external SD and MMC cards. Format support is adequate for most: DivX, XviD, WMV, and MJPEG for video, MP3 and WMA for audio, and JPEG, GIF, and BMP for images. The PMP also has an FM Radio, microphone, inputs/outputs for audio and video, but with a limit of four hours of video playback you may want to reconsider the $378 cost.
[Product Sheet (French PDF) | via GenerationMP3]
A licensing agreement between the two companies allows DivX technology to be implemented on SanDisk’s video-enabled Sansa products. Support for the format was already listed for the upcoming Sansa View, but SanDisk also intends to provide their future video products with seamless access to the DivX Stage6 video website. Giving the consumer an open choice without being confined to a single company’s service has always been a priority for SanDisk, so optional use of an interoperable software or service is a likely outcome of the partnership.
SanDisk only expects to announce later this year when DivX support will become available and which products will be influenced by the agreement.
I was excited to get this press release in my mailbox today because I am a big fan of Mvix’s older model the MX-5000U. (Check out the review) It is something I use nearly every day for audio during the day but mostly downloaded video at night. The best thing about it is that it lets you take full advantage of your HDTV by rescaling to fit nicely on the screen.
My only complaint with the last version is that I had to keep unhooking it to load more content. The new MX-760HD solves this problem with a wireless connection and USB hosting. The media center has component and DVI output for true 1920 x 1080 progressive scan output. One of my other favorite features is the ability to playback DVD VOB or ISO files, but of course it also plays, DivX, XviD, AVI, MPEG, WMV, and ASF to mention the major ones. The MX-760HD will ship next week and sell for $330.
It’s not often when “This is a first” can be said with a straight face in the DAP world. But the upcoming 4GB Turbolinux Wizpy really is a first. It’s certainly not the 1.7-inch OLED display, FM radio, or DivX support that makes the device unique. And we barely blink an eye these days when another new player can play MP3, Ogg, WMA, and AAC formats. Yawn!
The stand-out feature of the Wizpy comes in the form of what’s preloaded on 1.5GB of the player’s internal flash memory . . . (wait for it) . . . Linux. Turbolinux FUJI, to be exact. And what good is bootable Linux without a sampling of what are arguably the best applications around? Yep, in addition to the plug-and-play OS, the Wizpy also comes preinstalled with Firefox, Thunderbird, and Skype. All this in a 3.3″ x 1.7″ x 0.5″ device that weighs a mere 2.1 ounces.
The Turbolinux Wizpy will sell for about $250 when it hits Japan in February.
Creative’s newest member to the Vision family is set to be released overseas at the beginning of September 2006. This new member, dubbed the Zen Vision:W, is an updated version of the Zen Vision that will have a 16:9 wide aspect ratio screen. Early reports of this screen have been positive stating that it does not suffer the same lack luster quality of the Zen Vision and looks more like the brilliant Zen Vision:M screen. The screen itself will be a 4.3” 262k color 480 x 272 LCD screen. By contrast the Zen Vision:M’s screen was 320 X 240 with the same number of colors. The ZVW will however step up this resolution to DVD quality resolution (720 X 480) when outputting to your TV.
Other than the abovementioned there are no real new innovations coming out of this player. It is more of a mash-up of the Zen Vision and Zen Vision:M. Judging by the retail prices in Singapore dollars the Zen Vision: W will likely retail around $400 for the 30GB and under $500 for the 60GB version when released to the US. When that will happen is still unknown.
[Press Release thanks jefone]
China’s Green Apple company recently released the latest (and some say greatest) addition to its APOD line, the AP3100. Since all the available product information is in Chinese, nailing down solid specs has been a bit tricky. What seems certain, however, is that the device sports a 3.6-inch color LCD, SD card expansion slot, and 1.3MP camera, and natively supports MP3, WMA, and FLAC; JPG, GIF, and BMP; and AVI, DivX, and XviD. To top it off, it looks like the AP3100 doubles as a Super Nintendo (known as Super Famicom in Asia) emulator that allows playback of games gleaned from the Internet!
The 4.72″ x 2.56″ x 0.67″ wonder seems to be packing a measly 512MB under its hood, but that’s nothing that can’t be overlooked with the addition of a few 4GB SD cards.
No word on price or availability yet, but it shouldn’t be too hard to find at an import shop once it hits the shelves.
[Zol | APOD]
Stepping out of the PMP and portable MP3 player realm, I wanted to explore some home based devices. This was mainly for my own need of viewing my media in my living room. There are quite a few ways to get your media to your home theater. I wanted to be able to take full advantage of My HDTV, so PMPs like the Zen Vision:M with VGA output were not going to cut it. I also looked at other media center solutions, but they were either cost prohibitive or lacking in playable formats.
I settled on the Mvix MV-5000U. It has its pros and cons, but overall it took care of everything I needed to view my media on my HDTV. This device covers all of the major video codecs including: MPEG-1, MPEG-2, MPEG-4, AVI, DivX XVID, DVD files (IFO,VOB), VCD files, and what really sold me on the device, DVD ISOs. All of these can be up converted to 1920 X 1080i. Additionally, it covers most major audio types and JPEG images.
So continue reading for a full rundown of all the features and see if it matches your home theater media needs.
The Vision:M is Creative’s newest creation poised with an impressive set of features. The most notable feature is the video playback file support which easily handles MPEG, DivX, XviD, WMV9, and Motion-JPEG. The video, as well as photos, play back on the Vision:M’s bright 2.5” 262k color 320 x 240 pixel screen.
Features and style aside, you cannot argue with the massive amount of quality content providers- Napster, Yahoo!, Rhapsody, MSN Music, AOL Music, to name a few, along with the upcoming content deals with MTV, Microsoft, BBC, TiVO, and others. When selecting a new MP3 player, this one should not be overlooked. It is a well built, well designed, easy to use player with lots of useful features. Overall I am very impressed with the Vision:M, despite some of its shortcomings.