Microsoft has released the Zune v3.0 software for its PMP, updating all of its media devices with the ability to automatically recognize tracks from the radio and download them via WiFi, view recommendations from Zune music staff, and listen to “channels” and “collections” of regularly updated, themed audio. Zune owners with a taste for fast food will also get free WiFi access when at more than 9,800 McDonalds outlets, thanks to a deal with network provider Wayport.
Audiobooks, games and a new clock have also been added to the v3.0 software, together with the ability to purchase music on the PMP itself rather than solely through the desktop software. If the Zune is within a WiFi hotspot then it will automatically begin downloading; if not, the track is queued up for when there’s next connectivity.
Sharing new track discoveries with friends is more straightforward and mobile too, as Microsoft have added the ability to update your Zune Card – the record of your favorite tracks – over WiFi. Clear Channel, the system allowing you to identify music playing on the radio – via RDS and RT+ information embedded in the transmission – will currently work with more than 450 stations, and Microsoft is pushing for others to adopt the standard.
The new Zune software is available to download now.