Microsoft has quite a bit in store for the Zune faithful with its new Zune version 2.5 software update. The high points are the new Zune Card integration and the addition of TV show downloads on Zune Marketplace, but much-requested features like gapless playback, improved syncing controls, meta data editing, auto playlists and other tweaks have also been included. On the marketing front, Microsoft is really pushing the Zune Pass going forward, and will be launching a new TV commercial to help plug it. Subscribers will particularly benefit from the new Zune Card sharing, which lets you automatically score copies of your pals' favorite songs, artists and recent plays -- non-subscribers can view that Zune Card info, but will have to buy the tracks if they want to have a listen. Unfortunately, news on the video store front isn't so compelling: Microsoft is only adding TV shows at this point, no movies, and there's no way to pull video you've bought on your 360 over to your Zune. There's no reason Microsoft can't close this loop and turn some scattered media offerings into a compelling ecosystem, but until then we suppose we'll have to thank our lucky stars that we can shell out 160 MS Points ($2.00) for TV shows we can watch for free online. The 2.5 Spring Update is a free download and should be available nowish.

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Zune 2.5 update hands-on

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Zune 2.5 update brings TV downloads, Zune Card sharing