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All posts tagged "art"


Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Use Zune Marketplace Backend with MP3Tag

Posted by Adam Krebs in "Zune Content Creation & Management" @ 06:00 AM

http://a-simian-mind.blogspot.com/2...tag-source.html

"Given that the current (and past) Zune software lacks any decent metadata editing I've been using Mp3tag to adjust the various tags as well as grab album art. One cool feature of Mp3tag is that you can look up album information from a variety of online sources, most notably Amazon. From there you can grab track listings and album art to help flush out your metadata.Only problem is that sometimes the Zune Marketplace files an album differently than Amazon[...]. After poking around with Mp3tag's extensible "web sources framework" and using Fiddler to watch the HTTP traffic to and from zune.net I cobbled together a Zune source that will pull down the exact album information as listed on the Marketplace as well as the album art."


Shawn Oster points out how easy it is to hook the backend of the Zune marketplace into MP3Tag to get properly tagged and recognized files. He also points out that this could be helpful in getting Social to recognize the songs you play (though I'm not convinced of his argument that Social takes the album metadata from your computer--I'm pretty sure that comes from their servers).


He brings up another cool tidbit: "zune.net just made their 800x800 album art available via the back-end service I'm using so now you can grab full 800x800 album art even on tracks you didn't purchase directly from the Marketplace. Just download Marketplace.zip and extract the single Marketplace.src into your %appdata%Mp3tagdatasources folder and you'll be rocking! I'd also suggest you download the very latest beta of Mp3tag because the tag sources (what Marketplace plugs into) dialog is much easier to figure out for first timers, plus I always include the artist in the track listing and version 2.39n supports splitting this into the correct tags."


Thursday, January 17, 2008

Weather Podcasts

Posted by Adam Krebs in "Zune Media" @ 01:30 AM

http://forums.zune.net/ShowPost.aspx?PostID=117701



T-Bone (a.k.a. Ted Borel) has an idea: he wants to bring weather forecasts to Zune—sort of. His idea is to use Weather.com's thrice-daily updated mp3 podcast and feature a picture of the current conditions as the album art. Right now, only Houston is functioning, but Ted says he plans to add more as users request it and ultimately host the whole business at ZuneWeather.com and Zune-Weather.com. Eventually, the site will serve the content dynamically, enabling the user to enter a few basic details to get their personal RSS feed. Until that time, post your thoughts in the thread.


Wednesday, December 20, 2006

High-Resolution Album Art with Firmware / Zune Software 1.2

Posted by Darius Wey in "Zune Talk" @ 08:45 AM

We've had a couple of days to acknowledge that Firmware 1.2 for the Zune was a godsend for having introduced significant enhancements in performance across the board. But there's an extra surprise - one that remains undocumented, so you'll have to see it for yourself to believe it.



You all know that the Zune has a habit of taking high-resolution album art embedded in files, downgrading it to an offensive 200 x 200 (or thereabouts), and then upscaling it to 240 x 240 to fit its QVGA display. Blech! That nasty habit is gone with Firmware / Zune Software 1.2. I performed a little experiment today. I decided to start fresh by nuking the contents of my Zune and the Zune software, re-adding the media to the Zune software, and re-syncing my library. Each and every track in my library has 480 x 480 album art, so if the Zune wants to make album art look good, that's a perfect ingredient to work with. After the sync, I loaded up my first track and noticed immediately that album art looked clearer than ever before. In disbelief, I loaded up a few more and was not left disappointed. The Zune was actually taking advantage of the 480 x 480 album art and scaling it appropriately (without the 200 x 200 intermediary) to 240 x 240 for its QVGA display. There was a catch, though. Artifacts were still visible (but less pronounced), so the Zune was still compressing album art to a degree. But hey, you can't have too much of a good thing all at once. Perhaps Microsoft will tweak this in the next firmware update. ;-)

And now it's your turn to savour the moment. Delete an album or two off your Zune and Zune software, or your entire music library if you're feeling gung-ho, re-add the media, ensure that you have relatively high-resolution album art embedded in your tracks, and re-sync. Can you see the difference?

Note: If you're familiar with the Folder.jpg album art system in PlaysForSure devices, you may be interested to know that the Zune utilizes a similar mechanism. Prior to the availability of Firmware / Zune Software 1.2, 200 x 200 Folder.jpg files would be generated from embedded album art, transferred and converted to another file format on the Zune, and then upscaled to 240 x 240 (blurry). With the updates in place, Folder.jpg files are now 240 x 240 in size - perfect for the Zune's QVGA display. The end result? Clarity.


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