So I was syncing my Zune the other day and lo and behold, there is a new update.  So I dutifully hit update and Version 3 comes barreling down to my Zune.  Two things surprised me first, there are two games on my Zune now, Hexic and Texas Hold Em and Audiobooks.  The second surprise is that if I actually checked email every now and again I would have know about this. :-)

clip_image001So looking at the new update it will work any of the existing Zune family of devices, as well as the new devices we are bringing to market to round out our hardware family.

So why is this update so cool.  When you look at MP3 players historically they have always been pretty “static” devices, get your content, plug your device and sync.  With Zune 3.0,  the ZUNE SERVICE can help choose it for you from today’s FM or Satellite Radio to an MP3, automatically, so it’s available anytime you want it.

Some of the cool features that deliver on this idea and which are AVAILABLE NOW include:

  • Buy From FM. Every Zune comes with an FM radio – and now you can use FM broadcasts to discover new songs for your music collection.   Using RDS and RT+ data feeds from thousands of radio stations around the country, you can see song information while you are listening and tag the song for download the next time you sync your Zune. 
  • Channels. Channels are an exciting new tool for music discovery – like a “radio station” that automatically syncs to your device so it’s available for listening offline.  You can subscribe to channels programmed by experts from the music industry (eg., the Billboard Top 100, FADER magazine and KEXP radio playlists) or choose top “chart-channels” from all genres and sub-genres in our marketplace. Zune’s powerful software-service will even create custom channels for you, based on your favorite artists and genres.
  • Wireless streaming and download from the cloud. Taking our wireless functionality to the next level, you can now connect your Zune device directly to the marketplace over your home network or any one of tens-of-thousands of wifi hotspots across the country—including around 9,800 McDonalds restaurants.  Access new releases, top tracks and albums, or search for an artist or track. And when you find it, you can not only download it directly but with the Zune Pass subscription stream it directly to your Zune.
  • Personal Picks. When you browse to Zune Marketplace, you’ll find a new area called ‘Picks’ where Zune’s recommendation algorithm will suggest artists, albums and tracks based on the music you have been listening to, as well as offer channels created explicitly for you and a list of listeners-like-you from the Zune Social.
  • PC Software that’s Powerful and Fun To Use. The Zune PC software is simply one of the best media and entertainment experiences you can have on Windows. It provides rich discovery and media management capabilities to make the most of your existing music collection, in addition to providing access to the Zune Social and Zune Marketplace.
  • Mixview. Select an artist, album or Zune Card to activate a dynamic, visual mosaic of related music and listeners (screenshot below at left). With each click users can take the view in a new direction, creating a fun, graphical way to discover new music. Mixview works with users’ current collection of music, in addition to tracks and albums from across the Zune Marketplace.
  • Now Playing. The improved “Now Playing” view is more interactive and cinematic. Just sit back and enjoy our combination of great artist imagery, colorful effects, bio information and data from the Zune online music community… all combined in a full screen view.  At anytime you can click to dive deeper into the music behind the picture; providing another great way to interact with your collection. 

Learn more here. http://www.zune.net, Enjoy!