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More Zune HD 4.5 info, expected "in the next few weeks"

Earlier Neowin reported on the latest update to the Zune HD's firmware, labelled version 4.5. Along with the SmartDJ feature and added video codec support that we mentioned, a message from a Zune spokesperson also describes the addition of the "Picks" feature and improvements to the Zune HD's TV docking support.

As with the Smart DJ feature, Picks is also a music discovery function that is currently part of the Zune PC software and now making its way to the Zune HD device. Whereas Smart DJ uses the Zune Marketplace catalog and your existing music collections to make suggestions, Picks compares what you like to listen to with other Zune users that are listening to the same things and then makes recommendations based on what they like but you have yet to hear. So whilst Smart DJ can be compared to Apple's Genius feature, Picks is more social like Last.fm.

The new firmware will also upgrade the functions available when you connect your Zune HD to your TV using the A/V dock. As well as watching and playing music and HD video and photos from your Zune device, you will now be able to access Smart DJ and the Zune Marketplace through the TV connection. This allows you to browse and stream the music available in the Zune store as well as accessing any Picks that have been suggested.

As expected, the firmware update will be available as a free download which, according to Microsoft, should be available within "the next few weeks" - so keep your eyes peeled for its impending release.

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