Running Windows update with the Zune software installed gets you a little point release upgrade. Ars Technica is all excited about how this software added some mysterious phone support. Myself, I am thrilled that xvid, avi, and divx are all recognized by the player! Even though they have to be re-encoded to work on the Zune, they now show up in the library and the re-encode is handled natively by the Zune software which uses at least two cores and seems to give good audio/video quality. Previously, I had to re-encode all the crap from the internet into .mp4 or .wmv manually and separately. This additional codec support is going to be a huge time and effort saver for me. Evidently the Zune HD will play these files back natively in the future, which would be perfect. With anyluck, they’ll support .mkv files in the next few months too, totally eliminating all that messy manual re-encoding 🙂
Which, incidentally, brings me to the big new iPad. Its codec support is pretty sucktastic and speaks to how tightly integrated it will have to be with iTunes to get crap onto that device. It really is just a big iPod touch… it gets less and less cool the more I think about it.
I would take a 7″ Zune HD for $300 though :p (Please, Kristin?)