Finally! New Zune Software Includes TV Shows
I don’t know if today is the day we have all been waiting for, but it is surely a day Zune users, like myself, have been waiting for. I was psyched to read this morning’s press release from Microsoft’s Zune team announcing a new software upgrade. The refreshed 2.5 version of the software adds features and content to the Zune online store and additions to the Zune community. Frankly, I am most excited about the added video content. Zune is finally expanding its video selection from measly music videos to popular TV shows from Comedy Central, MTV, NBC Universal, Nickelodeon, Starz Media (including Manga Entertainment), Turner Broadcasting, Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), VH1, and others. I jumped on the software update to test out the video-downloading process. After completing the three-minute download of the Zune update software, I clicked over to the Marketplace tab and then the video subcategory. The more compelling television programs available for download are located front and center. Score one for Zune! NBC programming, like The Office—which is no longer available on Apple’s iTunes—is available for download in the Zune Marketplace. While the current video selection is a good start, it still lacks full-length movie content and lots of other key programming. The Zune Marketplace is the local market to iTunes’ Wal-Mart. The only way to buy videos is on an à la carte basis using Microsoft Points. For those unfamiliar with Zune’s point pricing: 400 points costs $5. I decided to spend my Microsoft points on an episode of South Park. Each episode of South Park is priced at 160 points, which comes to just under 2 bucks. It took a long 8 minutes to download the episode. I’ll chalk that up to the fact that today is the launch of the service and the videos were rolled out just a few hours before I tested it. Once the episode downloaded to my PC, syncing through a hard line connection between my PC and my Zune 80GB was lickety-split. Has anyone tried out a wireless sync of a video? I’m curious as to how long that takes. I was impressed with the video quality of the episode on my 80GB Zune’s 3.2-inch glass screen and Cartman’s voice came through loud and clear in my earbuds. My train rides are going to be a lot more enjoyable now, but I am keeping my fingers crossed for Zune to expand its video library.