Wednesday, October 3, 2007
Posted by Jason Dunn in "Zune Talk" @ 12:52 PM
The Zune v2 is a much better video player: it now supports h.264 and MPEG4 natively on the device, in addition to WMV. That's right, no more transcoding! I'm thrilled to see this direct support for more video codecs - WMV has been all but abandoned by Microsoft. All the momentum is behind h.264, so it's great that the Zune team realized it and stepped up with on-device support for these two popular video formats.
Media Center owners rejoice: the Zune desktop software will convert DVR-MS files (Media Center TV recordings) to a Zune-friendly WMV file. The Zune is finally a first-class partner for your Media Center PC, no longer playing second fiddle to all those PlaysForSure devices out there. Unfortunately, there's still no support for Divx or Xvid on the device, or conversions via the desktop software. The Zune team members cited complexities in codecs and support headaches trying to support the mish-mash of Divx and Xvid codecs out there. To a certain degree that makes sense, but if Creative Labs and other vendors can support Divx on their devices, why can't the Zune? Divx in particular has a lot of great software tools that allow people to get their content into Divx format, so even if the desktop software supported basic transcoding, it would be a big help.