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Websites 'leaked' Microsoft Zune details, blurry pics

No better than iPod, no worse either

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Details of Microsoft's Zune digital music player leaked out overnight to a variety of websites hot on the heels of EMI's announcement it will supply music and video content for the software giant to pre-install on the player.

A number of websites - most notably Gizmodo and iLounge were sent blurry pics of the now-familiar dark-coloured player and its UI. The latter's really to fuzzy to make out, but you can see it's reverse-video and looks a bit like the iPod's UI.

The player's circular control isn't, as previously thought, a scroll-wheel, it's just four buttons arranged in a circle. It turns out the Zune has an international FM radio on board and the much-touted Wi-Fi component is there too. The upshot, however, is that the player's larger than a 30GB iPod. One neat touch: there's a magnetised panel on the back to hold your earphones when they're not in use, though what this does to the 'phones own magnets is open to question.

Speaking of which, some elements of Zune's UI are better than Apple's - album art, smarter scrolling for long lists - but others aren't - video and photo playback.

Visual media for the machine will come courtesy of EMI, for one, which yesterday said its Hot Chip and 30 Seconds to Mars acts would be among the bands whose videos will be pre-loaded onto the player. Universal is currently in talks to provide such content too, Reuters reported.

Expect more such announcements - not to mention leaks, official or otherwise - as we get closer to Zune's release. ®

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