Thursday, October 15, 2009

ZuneHD Apps Are Here! (somewhat)

As we patiently wait for additional apps to become available in the Zune marketplace, I am happy to report that thanks to a thriving XNA development community lots of games and apps are being developed for the ZuneHD. Totally and completely unofficially that is. Scouring the web tonite I found several sources of games and apps. A site that kind of acts as a repository for some of these games and apps is
Installing these requires Microsoft XNA Game Studio along with C#, and the Zune HD extensions. If you choose to install any of these, do so with care. It helps to have a basic understanding of what XNA is. I'm not a coder but I would consider myself a 'ultra extreme plus master power user' when it comes to PCs. My point is, if I brick my Zune HD, I will take my lumps and point the finger at yours truly. And hey, my first computer was an Atari 800XL, so I am pretty comfy around computers. Anyway...
At this time I have the following installed on my Zune HD:
Acceleromoter (app) (a basic 'bubble level' type app)
Alculator (app) (calculate a person's BAC level)
Alien Blasting (game) (self explanatory)
Calendar (app) (buggy but displays current month and day plus date)
Chopper (game) (the classic chopper game)
Flashlight (app)
Flick Obama (game) (goofy image of Obama that you flick around)
Ice Hockey (2 player game)
Marblets (game)
Paint (app)
Platformer (game) (some fella added additional levels)
RetroRacing (game)
Tap Tap Defense (game) (buggy but it is so fun)
Teeter (game) (addictive and can use more levels)
XNA Pong (game) (addictive)
Guitar Tuner (app) (tune a bass or standard guitar)
Zune 15 (puzzle game)
Zune HD Stopwatch (an amazing looking stopwatch application)
Zune HD Draw (etch-a-sketch type app)

Interesting that the Zune HD was released 9/15/2009 and in addition to the official 9 games/apps from Zune Marketplace, we are already seeing all of these others being worked on. Some of these are no joke - the stopwatch app looks amazing as well as some of the others. Furthermore, the Zune HD extensions for XNA were not released until days after the ZuneHD was released. This is promising but please provide an outlet for the developers Microsoft!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Protect Your Zune HD

Finally! comes to the rescue with their invisibleShield for the Zune HD. This is exciting because from what I have been reading in different forums as well as my own experience scouting web sites and retail locations like Target, Wal-Mart, Staples, and Best Buy, there is no real offering of Zune HD cases or much else in the accessory category. One Best Buy location had the silicone skin from MLO but that was about all.
I hope that
this offering from is a sign of more to come for the holiday shopping season. I will be ordering mine immediately. Expect a mini review soon.
[update 10/15/09] Visited a BestBuy location in NJ today. Found many more Zune HD accessories in the 'Mp3 Player Accessory' section, just down from the iPod section. Some of what they had: Zagg invisibleShield, Zune HD Dock, MLO Jam Jacket, MLO Jam Jacket with strap, Leather Zune Case. This was great to see. I just wish they were displayed more prominently.

Friday, October 2, 2009

ZuneHD Cases by Incipio, Vaja Choice, & DLO

DLO has a few nice offerings (personally, I could do without the cord saver)

INCIPIO has many more offerings but many silicone cases appear 'out of stock'
Vaja Choice has the nicest most customizable cases with engraving
I'll be purchasing one of these sometime soon. I'll let you know what I go with and why.


Tricked! No treat here...
I asked the CaseMate company if they had any case offerings for the Zune HD and their 'customer experience lead', Kim A., replied:
"Thank you for the inquiry. Unfortunately, we do not offer a case for the Zune HD at this time."