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All posts tagged "media center"


Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Sync Your Media Center, Zune And Windows Home Server

Posted by Andy Dixon in "Digital Home Software" @ 02:00 PM

http://windowsteamblog.com/blogs/wi..._medium=twitter

"Windows Home Server was a large part of CES this year. I was pleasantly embraced by all you fellow Windows Home Server users and I joyfully shared the new features sets that Power Pack 3 empowered your home server with. The beautiful thing about our booth is the ability to walk everyone step by step, on how to take advantage of these new features. For those of you who were not at CES, I'd like to take the time to share with you those steps that I shared with CES attendees. One of the key scenarios that got a lot of interest at the show was how a Zune music player can benefit from having a Windows Home Server around as well. This post goes into more detail about why and how it all works together."

When Microsoft released Power Pack 3 for Windows Home Server, there were a number of new features added that perhaps not everyone realised was included. This article from The Windows Home Server blog, explains how to make full use of one of those features if you have a Media Center PC, a Windows Home Server and a media player such as the Zune. The ability to access your music, videos and pictures on both your Media Center PC and your Zune is nice, but to be able to record your TV shows and automatically create a copy compressed especially for the Zune so you can watch them on the go is brilliant. No more having to encode the TV shows specifically for the Zune, just record your show on the Media Center as normal and one extra copy encoded correctly for the Zune or other media player of your choice will be made. If you didn't know about this, then take a read and see how easy it is.


Thursday, November 8, 2007

Two Bits of Bad Information About the New Zunes

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Zune Software" @ 03:13 PM

After the Zune was officially announced last month, I peppered my Zune contacts with questions that came up from Zune Thoughts readers in our forums, and things I was curious about. Most of it has been covered in my previous posts, but there are two points that I think are worth mentioning.

The first is gapless audio playback. This is an important feature to anyone that listens to electronica music that's mixed to blend together as a single song, or anyone that listens to live albums where the whole album is meant to be a seamless live concert experience. Both are types of albums/music that are generally listened by the more hard-core music lovers among the population. You know, the people that the Zune is aimed at? Sadly, the new Zune still will not support gapless audio playback. It seems like a fairly small feature, and certainly one that should be standard on any audio player aimed at music lovers. Lossless WMA audio support has been added, so that's great news for you audiophiles using WMA lossless, but gapless audio playback is something I think everyone would have appreciated.

The worse news, however, is the reality about the new Media Center TV show synchronization: if you look at the bottom of the Zune description page, you'll see this:

“Requires a PC running Windows Vista® Home Premium or Windows Vista Ultimate and an integrated or external TV tuner.”

Windows Vista only? No Windows Media Center 2005 supported? I asked my contact on the Zune team about this, and he confirmed that it's Vista-only. The Zune desktop software works on Windows XP, so why wouldn't the Media Center transcoding of DVR-MS files work just as well? Surely the software is the same, with the same transcoding engine. Vista as an operating system still has it's share of glitches, and I can't blame anyone for sticking with XP at this point - so why give Zune owners a lesser experience? I've had so many problems with my Vista-based media center machine I've pondered rolling back to Windows Media Center 2005 because it was a better overall experience.


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