Difference Between Zune and Zune HD

Zune was a line of digital media products and services that Microsoft marketed. There are two portable media players for Microsoft’s music service, the Zune (and, later, its successors, the Zune 30) and Zune HD. As soon as the iPod touch was introduced, both of these gadgets were direct competitors to Apple’s mobile devices.

Zune Vs Zune HD

The main difference between Zune and Zune HD is that the Zune HD is a lot smaller and lighter than Zune. The Zune HD features a larger screen than the Zune, despite its smaller size. The HD features a 3.3-inch screen, although earlier Zunes had displays up to 3.2 inches. For data to be written or read, the hard drive’s platters must spin continuously. This uses a lot more energy than Flash memory’s simply electrical requirements. As a result, the Zune HD can play audio for 33 hours and video for 8.5 hours, compared to 30 and 4 hours for regular Zunes.

Zune vs Zune HD

A portable media player, the Microsoft Zune 30 is Microsoft’s first product under the Zune brand. On November 14, 2006, it was just called Zune. A subsequent variant with a larger hard drive capacity was called Zune 30. There were three versions of the consumer version available at the outset: black with blue light, brown with a green glow, and pearl white with a clear glow.

Robbie Bach, the chief of Microsoft’s R&D group, started working on a touchscreen Zune device soon after Apple introduced the iPod Touch. The group quickly began rewriting the previous Zune’s Windows CE–based OS to make it compatible with the new multitouch PMP. As of September 15, 2009, the Zune HD was available for purchase at major retailers in black and platinum colours featuring 16 or 32GB storage.

Comparison Table Between Zune & Zune HD

Parameters of Comparison Zune Zune HD
First Year of ReleaseNovember 14, 2006September 15, 2009
Storage TypeHard DiskFlash memory
Storage Space30 Gb16, 32, 64 Gb
Display Resolution240p720p HD
SuccessorWindows PhoneZune 80
InputCircular Directional PadMulti-touch Screen

What is Zune?

The Microsoft Zune 30 is a handheld media player and the company’s first hardware item underneath the Zune brand. It was popularly known as the Zune once it was released on November 14, 2006. The original Zune was renamed Zune 30 with later models with various hard drive capacities.
The casing was made from silicone rubber. The controls included a four-headed circular controller, a central button for selecting a song album or menu, a left-back button, a right pause/play button, and a pull-up switch to the top of the player next to the headphone connector. In the back of the case were grafted the words “Hello from Seattle” and various songs, videos, and photos were preloaded.

The limited editions came in a variety of colours and artwork and were available for three months. On October 6, 2006, different businesses in the Los Angeles region held auctions for Red Zunes. Pink and orange Zunes were randomly put into Zune boxes in numbers of 100 each, accompanied with a numbered certificate of authenticity.

The Zune crew was handed devices in these colours as a present. They were released on November 14, 2006, with the words “Welcome to the Social” printed on the reverse and white box showcasing Zune artwork. On December 15, 2006, Microsoft’s “Zune Master” college-student marketers received “Ambassador” artwork Zunes.

What is Zune HD?

As part of the Zune product line, Microsoft released the Zune HD on September 15, 2009. It is a handheld media player. It was a direct competitor to Apple’s iPod touch series of mobile devices. A 16- and 32-gigabyte version was originally released in 2007. On April 9, 2010, a 64-gigabyte version of the game was released. Wi-Fi is available for syncing and accessibility to the Zune Marketplace, as well as Internet browsing.

September 15, 2009, was the release date of the Zune HD in retail markets. On November 6, 2009, firmware version 4.3 was released. To improve the web browser’s performance and enable support for future apps, a new firmware version was released. It also fixed a number of issues.

On November 11, 2009, the Zune Marketplace received a slew of new applications. Applications namely: Project Gotham Racing, Lucky lanes Bowling and many more. The Zune HD’s Twitter app was published to the Zune Marketplace on December 16, 2009; however, it was quickly discovered that the program was filtering tweets. Following an uproar from Zune HD customers, Microsoft quickly rectified the issue in version 1.1 of the software.

When the Zune Marketplace launched on March 1, 2010, it was stated that the Facebook app will be available by the end of 2009. First, the application was unable to download much of Facebook’s information due to API difficulties, but two days later, these issues were fixed, without the need for a new software update.

Main Differences Between Zune And Zune HD

  1. The Zune works on WIFI and USB, whereas the Zune HD works on WIFI, USB and HDMI.
  2. The Zune is heavier than the Zune HD.
  3. The Zune is the pioneer of Microsoft’s portable media player lineup whereas the Zune HD is the successor in it.
  4. The Zune works on Freescale i. MX31L processor with ARM architecture, VFP, IPU and the Zune HD works on Nvidia Tegra APX 2600.
  5. The Zune has a battery power of 800mAh, whereas the Zune HD has a battery power of 660 mAh.
  6. The Zune has a RAM of 64 MB, and the Zune HD has a ram of 128 MB.


When Apple’s iPod line up took over the market, Microsoft decided to get in the race by releasing their line of media players, but they could not gather the required attention from their audience regarding their new line of products; and hence Microsoft announced the discontinuation of Zune in June 2012. If Microsoft had released the original Zune at the same time as the iPod, or even the Zune HD at the same time as the iPod Touch, it might have been a significant rival.

The Zune (or later named Zune 30) was the start of a new era of portable music players, with Zune HD being its superior-most successor, with a bigger screen, faster interface, more storage and many such advantages. But since they could take over Apple’s already established market, they had to cease its production.


  1. http://1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zune_30
  2. http://2. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zune_HD#Features
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