Zune Surface HeadphonesSource: Dan Thorp-Lancaster / Windows Central

What you need to know

  • An unofficial digital coffee table book runs through the history of Zune.
  • The book includes sections on hardware, software, the platform, and special edition devices.
  • The Zune was initially announced 15 years ago in 2006.

Readers of Windows Central are no strangers to passionate displays about discontinued devices. From Windows Phone to the Kinect, we've seen our share of dead devices receiving love letters. Now, Zune enthusiasts have a new project to enjoy. A software engineer named Peter Bull created "Zunepedia," an unofficial digital coffee table book that runs through the journey of Zune. You can read about the book and download a PDF of it on the Zunepedia website.

The book runs through the history of Zune devices, hardware, and services. It also highlights a community of Zune enthusiasts that's still active in 2021. Zunepedia is over 40 pages of nostalgia covering the familiar yet mostly forgotten music player.

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Zune first launched in 2006. It earned a passionate following which still has active remnants today. Ultimately, Zune hardware was discontinued in 2011. It lived briefly as a service on Windows Phones and Xbox consoles, but in 2012 Microsoft shifted to a different branding strategy.

Zune Zunepedia CoverSource: Zunepedia

If you know where to look, you can still find remnants of Zune in Microsoft services today. Bull points out that the Segoe font serves as a legacy for the music player. There's also a group of people that collect Zune hardware. Our managing editor sometimes uses a Zune with his Surface Earbuds. There are also several special edition devices, including Halo 3 and Gears of War 2 versions, which are popular among collectors.

The most recent major mention of Zune in pop culture is its appearance in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. Perhaps Zune will make a return in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 3., though by then Starlord may have moved onto a Lumia 1020.