Microsoft's Zune is a portable multimedia device and entertainment platform. It was first released in the United States in 2006 and has undergone several generational changes over subsequent years. Computer requirements vary depending on what you'd like to use the Zune for. As such, Microsoft outlines both required and recommended specifications for your computer.
The Zune works only on Microsoft operating systems -- or on the Mac OS X running Boot Camp. Microsoft recommends using Windows 7. However, a variety of operating systems are compatible, including all versions of Microsoft Windows 7, all versions of Windows Vista, and most versions of Windows XP, provided it has been updated to Service Pack 3. Versions of Windows XP Home, Tablet PC, Professional, and Media Center Edition 2005 will work provided they have Rollup Update 2. Mac OS X systems running Boot Camp will need to use a version of Windows 7 or Windows Vista in Boot Camp.
Processor, RAM and Hard Drive
Zune requires a computer with a 500-Mhz Pentium processor or better. For the Zune to function ideally, Microsoft recommends using a computer with at least a 1-GHz processor. Both 32-bit (x86) and 64-bit (x64) processors are compatible. Zune requires at least 256MB of RAM. For 32-bit systems, Microsoft recommends 1GB of RAM, or 2GB for 64-bit systems. As for hard drive space, Zune requires at least 200MB of free space. Microsoft recommends 16GB of space for 32-bit systems, and 20GB for 64-bit systems.
Zune requires a CD or DVD drive for installation purposes. If you would like to burn CDs and DVDs, a CD-R drive or DVD-R drive are required. Internet access is required to purchase content online. A broadband connection is recommended if you are looking to stream video. Zune also requires at least a 16-bit sound card. A 24-bit card is recommended. For display purposes, at least a Super VGA monitor is required, with a resolution of at least 800 by 600 pixels. A video card equipped with at least 64MB RAM is required as well. The video card should also have DirectX 9.0b installed. Your computer should also have a USB slot and an Internet browser installed.
Zune on the Xbox 360
The Zune is also compatible with Microsoft's Xbox 360. To pair your Zune with your Xbox 360, the first thing you'll require is an Xbox 360 Hard Drive or an Xbox 360 Memory Unit. Either of these two devices will allow you to store videos and profile information. Access to the Internet is the second system requirement you'll need to meet. The faster the connection the better. Broadband access is necessary to stream video to your Zune via your Xbox 360. You'll also need an e-mail address for registration purposes and a "gamertag," which functions as your Zune Tag while using your Zune with the Xbox LIVE service.
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