Zune Zapped, But Zune HD Is Born

After three years, Microsoft's Zune music player will no longer be available to be purchased once current stock is depleted. Fortunately, Redmond already has a successor in place to take up the slack, the Zune HD, according to a report from The SuperSite Blog.

The current crop of Zune hardware -- the Flash Zune 4 GB, 8 GB, 16 GB, as well as the model with hard drives of 80 GB and 120 GB -- start around $80 and will be sold until there are no more left in stock. The Zune HD will be available on Sept. 15 and start at $220.

The Zune HD 16-GB model will offer up to five hours of hi-def video and 22 hours of standard video. The 32-GB model ups the HD playback to 10 hours. To further round out its video capabilities, the Zune HD is able to support HD video playback through an HDMI docking station.

And of course the Zune HD has a 3.3-inch OLED touch screen with a 16:9 wide-screen format display and 480 x 272 pixel resolution.

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Microsoft is working to pull out all the stops, revealing in August that the devices will be powered by Nvidia's low-power Tegra System-on-Chip (SoC). The Tegra chip features multiprocessor architecture, with each processor unit architected for specific tasks. In addition, the chip includes a CPU for running HTML and Java. High-def video is handled by an HD video processor for streaming video playback. Rounding out the Nvidia capabilities are a graphics processor, which, along with all the other capabilities of Tegra offers, is integrated in a low-power consumption computer-on-a-chip.