Microsoft Announces 64GB Zune HD

Microsoft plans to launch a 64GB version of its Zune HD on April 12th via the Zune online store. With this new model, Microsoft claims you'll be able to store up to 16,000 songs or 20 hours of high definition video on the media player. With the announcement of the new model, Microsoft is also lowering the estimated retail price for the 16GB and 32GB models by $20, making them $199.99 and $269.99, respectively.

Microsoft also mentioned a v4.5 firmware update that will add the ability to browse, stream, and acquire music from Zune Marketplace on your TV; Smart DJ auto-playlists; and expanded codec support. Unfortunately, the company didn't give us a release date, only saying more news about the availability of the 4.5 firmware will be available in the coming days.

We’re excited to share that Zune fans will be able to purchase a new 64GB version of the popular Zune HD device for $349.99 starting April 12th through By increasing the Zune HD capacity to 64GB, users will be able take up to 16,000 songs, or 20 hours of high definition video from Zune Marketplace, or 25,000 pictures* on the go! Customers will be able to customize their Zune HD 64GB through, available in their choice of Platinum, Black, Blue, Red, Green, Purple and Magenta colors.

In addition to introducing the new 64GB capacity, we are also reducing the prices of the 16GB and 32GB devices. Starting today, new price lists are being distributed bringing the estimated retail price (ERP) for the Zune 16GB device to $199.99 and the Zune HD 32GB device to $269.99.

With its OLED multi-touch screen, built-in HD radio, HD video out capabilities and Internet browser, Zune HD is a full-function media player which has received accolades from press and consumers. We’ve also announced details of an upcoming firmware update which will add even more features to the device, such as Smart DJ auto-playlists capability directly on the Zune HD, ability to browse, stream and acquire music from Zune Marketplace on your TV (while the device is connected to a TV set through the A/V dock) and expanded codec support allowing users to play more video formats natively from the device.

We are excited to be offering a great range of storage capacities for the Zune HD at competitive price points and will be sharing more news on the availability of the 4.5 firmware in the coming days.

*Music estimates based on 128 Kbps WMA files with length of 4 minutes each. Pictures transferred to Zune will be optimized for Zune screen size; video estimates based on 500 Kbps WMV files with 128 Kbps WMA audio tracks.