Zune version 2: rumors, gossip and the reality of what’s missing

Zune_trioZune Scene indicates that they ran into a Microsoft employee that works on the Zune team and has details of the conversation posted. Whenever I read stories like this, I do wonder if it’s the truth, rumor or (usually) somewhere in between. I’ll bite on the link-bait and let you read what’s allegedly coming down the pike for the Zune line. At a high-level, we’re talking about a flash-based Zune and another hard-drive offering that’s physically smaller than the current product.

Truth? Maybe. I can’t comment on it because I simply have no knowledge of it. What I can say is that use my Zune player almost every day. I also use my Zune Pass subscription daily and find that my Samsung Q1P is a perfect device for the unlimited streaming audio. The stereo speakers armed with the SRS and WOW sound support combined with the quick and easy touchscreen simply rock! I don’t think that the few alleged details on "Zune 2" are enough to make any further dents in market share, however. I’d like to see a few new twists and features…..

1. Not to sound like a broken .wma record here, but let’s unleash the WiFi on the Zune. The big DAP news this week was the Sandisk Sansa Connect. Why? The WiFi has a purpose that people want and will use: you can connect the Sansa to the Yahoo! Unlimited music store. Let’s get the device closer to the content by using the technology inside. I’m still waiting to be welcomed to the social here after nearly six months; the social isn’t within 30-feet of me, it’s out there on the web and I’d love to share songs and playlists with the socialites I’ve yet to meet.

2. I said it before, but I think it bears repeating since we’re talking about wireless technology: how about some wireless headphones for the Zune? I’m willing to take a hit on battery life to use the wireless features; anything to remove the cord between me and the music I’m listening to.

3. Let’s leverage the Xbox Live experience with the Zune experience. Both marketplaces use a points system that’s interchangeable, so why not let me take purchased video content from the Xbox and transcode it to the Zune? I can understand the complications with the movie rentals, but how about those television shows we’ve been purchasing? While I love to watch them on my widescreen HDTV, I wouldn’t mind catching them on the road with the Zune.

What do you think would make "Zune 2.0" a compelling device?