CrunchGear, Zune Contest Winners Hit The Seattle Zune Launch Party

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The Beggars Have Chosen!

When you win a CrunchGear contest, you get treated right. We went with our two winners Hana and Alka to breakfast with the Secret Machines, Cesar from Zune Insider and a host of other media-types (and a couple other contest winners) this morning, and had a great time celebrating the Seattle launch of Microsoft’s Zune media player. Hit the jump and see a photo recap of the day including photos of Bill Gates decked out in official Zune gear.

While we definitely had Zunes on our minds, we managed to stuff our faces at breakfast (the three-cheese omelet = awesome) and schmooze it up like only we can, and had a good time to boot.

Then, after breakfast, we were whisked away via Monorail to the Westlake Center where our contest winners received their Belkin Kickstand leather cases. We can personally report that these cases kick much ass, as they act as an easel for watching video in landscape mode on the Zune.

Next on the list was a set by the Secret Machines, who indeed did rock. We’re a fan, but have never seen them live. If you like layered wall-of-noise with melody, they’re for you.

After their first song, John Richard of KEXP fame talked about how much he likes the device, which we’re sure was a completely uncompensated endorsement. Richards then introduced us to a surprise guest, a gentleman named Bill Gates, who proclaimed that the iPod era is “dead,” and that Zune users would soon be able to “bathe in the blood of iPod hipsters as if it were water!”

Ok, no, he didn’t mention the iPod at all. Instead he talked about how the idea of sharing music was missing from the MP3 world, something he was hoping the Zune could remedy. He looks nice in his Zune jacket, as you can see.

The media seemed to be as interested in our contest winners as they were in the performers on stage — something we didn’t anticipate and must now apologize for. We had no idea you’d be media darlings, we’re sorry. If you need an agent, however, we can hook you up.

After a couple more songs, the Secret Machines packed it up, its last song building to a noisy crescendo as the weather, which was nice up till then, started turning into a mighty storm, as if in unison with what the band was playing.

The day was fun, but we’re not over yet. Look for some more from CrunchGear tomorrow morning, as we’re covering the evening launch event tonight. We’ll have even more photos and stuff then, so holla!

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