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All posts tagged "video"

Friday, May 4, 2007

Import Additional File Types Into Zune

Posted by Aaron Roma in "Zune Talk" @ 06:30 AM


"This is a mod made so that the Zune program will support more types of video, audio, and image extensions... The goal of this mod is to make it so multiple new file extensions can be played and/or synced with the Zune device in the Zune program."

A poster over at Zune Boards has devised a registry hack that will allow the Zune Software to import a host of new file types into your library, including DVR-MS files. (Why Zune hasn't officially supported DVR-MS files yet is completely baffling to me.) Many of these file types won't be playable within the Zune software, however the software will convert the files for playback on your Zune device, and of course sync these files with your Zune when you next connect. Check out the above link for more details and support file types.

Tags: video, hack

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Can a New Zune Survive in the Wild?

Posted by Damion Chaplin in "Zune Talk" @ 02:00 PM


"More types of Microsoft Corp. Zune music players are in the works, but some analysts are unsure whether new form factors or functions will significantly boost Zune's popularity. Microsoft sees three main categories in the sector, and all of them are important as the company develops new Zunes, said Chris Stephenson, general manager of global marketing for Zune. The three categories include higher-end video players, mid-range music-centric devices such as the iPod Nano and low-end USB devices such as the iPod Shuffle, he said. "We think of [the Zune] as a broad entertainment offer that is driven by music at the moment," he said. "We will start to play more aggressively in a broader number of categories." The current Zune is just the "tip of the iceberg," he said. In the next month or so, Microsoft plans to reveal more about its vision for the future of Zune, he said."

Do we need more Zune options? Yes. Should they be clones of the Shuffle, Nano and Video iPods? Not necessarily. There's no doubt that a $99 Zune 'shuffle' would sell well, but I really think the people who buy Shuffles are looking to buy the cheapest unit that carries the name iPod. I'll admit the Nano is just about the perfect audio-centric MP3 player and there really should be a Zune equivalent. The current Zune could be considered the contemporary of the iPod Video, though that's arguable. So yeah, I think additional Zune models would be beneficial, though I have my doubts about a Zune phone. Please just don't orphan my current Zune.

Tags: video, nano, shuffle, new, model

Friday, April 13, 2007

Tips and Tricks: Organizing Video Content on the Zune

Posted by Darius Wey in "Zune Talk" @ 12:00 PM


If you've ever dabbled with video content on the Zune, you know that as far as organization is concerned, there's plenty of room for improvement. This Zune.net How-To page and Zunerama's accompanying article offer some tips and tricks on arduously setting metadata attributes for video content, although what would really help is refined Zune software that handled it all with no additional requirements. Maybe next update.

Thursday, March 8, 2007

Transcoding DVR-MS Video for the Zune

Posted by Damion Chaplin in "Zune Content Creation & Management" @ 04:00 PM


"One of the coolest features of the Zune is the ability to watch video and when coupled with Windows Media Center content is limitless... Windows Media Center produces MPEG2 (dvr-ms) video at 30fps, 8250 Kbs, 720x480 resolution and is currently not supported by the Zune. To get this video to work, it must first be transcoded to one of the supported format mentioned above. There are many utilities on the internet that can do this conversion."

Yes, there are a basquillion utilities on the internet that can do this conversion. Which one did the author choose? The $99.95 TMPGEnc Xpress on the advicee of Zunester.com. Now, I'm sure TMPGEnc Xpress is a great program and works well, but I think I would rather buy a different PMP than spend $100 just so I could get video on it. So tell me, what program/utility did you settle on? What did you end up paying for it?

Tags: video, converter

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

River Past's Crazi Video for the Zune

Posted by Damion Chaplin in "Zune Software" @ 07:00 AM


"Zune put all of your favorite video, music, and pictures at your fingertips wherever you are. It is Microsoft's follow-up to the PMC effort. With a large 3 inch LCD, it is better suited for video playback than iPod. However, you probably have found that Windows Media Player doesn't accept all the video in your collection. River Past Crazi Video for Zune is the easiest way to put your video on your Portable Media Center."

Another day, another Zune video converter. If you're still looking for something that will convert your videos to the Zune, Crazi Video might be what you're looking for. I downloaded the trial (limits you to a 2-minute encode) and found it gave me OK results. I did feel the picture was a little too compressed and showed a little too much artifacting. However, that may be something you're willing to put up with for the convenience it allows.

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

The Z-Phone, Now Just $9!

Posted by Damion Chaplin in "Zune Talk" @ 07:00 AM


Here's a funny short someone cooked up showing their concept of a Zune Phone with a giant receiver and running various different things like Windows Paint, DOS (or at least the command prompt) and Reversi on what looks like WM5. Yikes. While I might agree that the concept of a Zune phone is a little absurd in the first place, I'm not sure I'd go so far as to say it's quite that absurd.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Video of Zune Running Linux

Posted by Aaron Roma in "Zune Talk" @ 05:30 PM


"A tip like "omg its true. mys videl was really workin on teh zune linux." doesn't really inspire confidence -- in the story, or in the future of mankind -- but if this YouTube video is to be believed, it seems as if some foolio named "MysVidel," who can't even manage to get a camera to focus properly, has hacked up his Zune to run Linux."

A video has surfaced which apparently shows Linux running on a Zune. Unfortunately the "hacker" has spent too much time loading Linux, and not enough time learning to run a video camera, so the video is very poor to say the least. The question, though, is if this is a true hack, or a clever individual timing his button presses with cleverly created video playing on the Zune? The juror is still out, but I have my serious doubts about the legitimacy of this particular video.

Tags: video, hack, linux

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Convert Almost Any Video to Zune with Encode360

Posted by Aaron Roma in "Zune Content Creation & Management" @ 01:00 PM


"Encode360 is an application which will convert virtually any video format to high quality WMV’s which can be played by the X-Box 360 or the Microsoft Zune device."

Need help getting your video files on your Zune? Encode360 might be the answer. Encode360 is a free application (donations graciously accepted) developed by Dan Cunningham that will convert almost any video file into a Zune (or Xbox360) compatible WMV. If you've given this application a go, let us know about your experience!

Friday, December 22, 2006

Even the Packaging is Fun

Posted by Damion Chaplin in "Thoughts Media Off Topic" @ 02:00 PM


Here's a funny video someone on YouTube cooked up. He took an hour's worth of footage of opening the Zune packaging and compressed it to less than a minute and a half. Very clever. Some people just have too much time on their hands. ;-) Happy Friday everyone!

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Leo Laporte Labels Zune "Donkey Dookey"

Posted by Darius Wey in "Zune Talk" @ 06:00 AM

Mm-hmm, Leo, we recommend decaf. Someone get him an iPod before he hurts himself.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Wondershare Zune Video Suite

Posted by Damion Chaplin in "Zune Software" @ 07:00 PM


"Wondershare Zune Video Suite is an extremely easy to use DVD/Video to Zune converter. Wondershare Zune Video Suite makes the process of converting so many formats a breeze by automating all the tasks and giving you the best quality. Made for everyone, perfect for you! The suite includes Wondershare DVD to Zune Ripper and Wondershare Video to Zune Converter. DVD to Zune Ripper can rip DVD and convert DVD, VOB, and IFO to Zune video formats WMV, MP4, MPEG-4 with fastest speed. Video to Zune Converter could help you convert video formats including AVI, DivX, XviD, WMV (Window Media Player), MPEG, MPG, DAT (VCD), RM, RMVB (RealPlayer), MOV (QuickTime), ASF to Zune supported video with excellent image quality. They are both could extract audio track to Zune supported audio WMA, MP3, M4A."

Looking for another video conversion program for your Zune? Wondershare's Zune Video Suite looks like an easy solution. Anyone tried it yet? I'd be interested to hear your experiences.

Thursday, December 7, 2006

Great "Converting Video for Zune" Guide

Posted by Michael Boutros in "Zune Software" @ 07:00 AM


David Caulton of Zunester has written a screenshot-filled guide for converting videos to the Zune. In his guide, he teaches users how to setup and use ultra-easy TMPGEnc Xpress to convert all your videos to work on the Zune.

I personally read over the guide and I am now a proud user of TMPGEnc Xpress. It is really a very nice and easy product to use, and David has even provided a custom Zune settings "profile" to minimize the amount of work that you need to do. Good work David, and thanks for the amazing guide!

Tags: zune, video, convert, easy

Tuesday, December 5, 2006

YouTube Videos on Your Zune

Posted by Damion Chaplin in "Thoughts Media Off Topic" @ 12:00 PM


"While involving a few steps, it is very simple to put YouTube videos on your Zune. First, you will need a couple of utilities to accomplish this. You will need one utility to download the video off of YouTube (the FLV file) and another to convert the file to a Zune compatible video."

Awesome. Now you can share all those old G.I. Joe commercials with your less tech-savvy friends, coworkers and family! They don't know what they're missing. Check it out. :-)

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Video Woes on Portable Devices

Posted by Aaron Roma in "Thoughts Media Off Topic" @ 09:00 AM


"The PC makes video look relatively easy - it can be made to play nearly any file, thanks to its open video codec architecture. The OS sniffs the file, looks for the right audio and video codec, and then plays the file... Devices are different, for two key reasons"

Zune team member and Zunester blogger, David Caulton, talks a bit about the challenges faced with easily getting video on portal devices such as the Zune. David touches on some of the issues in taking a video from an unknown source, and getting the appropriate codecs, resolutions, and bit-rates to make the file useable on a portable device. That’s one reason why a closed ecosystem such as the iTunes can be successful with video. All the trouble spots can be controlled from the source downward. Obviously any devices are going to face challenges when dealing with video from multiple sources. When it comes to Zune, my biggest complaint concerning video support is the lack of built in support for DVR-MS files. Vista should help make MCE-functionality more prevalent, so support for DVR-MS should be one of the key focus points for Zune development. Does the Zune hardware itself need native support for additional video formats, or should the focus be on wider transcoding support in the Zune software itself? Or are you just fine with 3rd party transcoding prior to importing into Zune?

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Zune on CNN, Upstaged at the End

Posted by Darius Wey in "Zune Talk" @ 09:00 AM


CNN has published a video interview with NYT's Andrew Ross Sorkin who introduces the Zune to the news team. Unfortunately, the Zune got served at the end by the new iPod shuffle. I'm not denying that the iPod shuffle is an impressive bit of booty, but a lot of mainstream media seem so blinded by Apple's offerings that they tend not to show much interest in other competitors' products. Perhaps we'll see a turnaround in a couple of years time.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Video Sharing Is a Go

Posted by Darius Wey in "Zune Talk" @ 09:00 PM


"Microsoft Corp. plans to add a video-sharing feature to its Zune player and will eventually sell a model that combines the device with a phone, Chief Executive Officer Steve Ballmer said. The video function would probably be used to transfer content created by Zune customers, Ballmer said in an interview today from Redmond, Washington. He declined to comment on when Microsoft, the world's largest software maker, would add video sharing or announce a phone model."

We were only just talking about future-proofing a couple of hours ago, and look, Microsoft has already outlined one of its plans. The Zune phone isn't news, though the bit about video sharing is. Ballmer's description makes it sound almost like an offline YouTube, which I have to admit, is pretty interesting, though what Microsoft really needs to focus on first is getting more Zune devices out into the market (and I'm talking on a global scale), so that the mass sharing that it has in mind can turn from concept into reality.

Saturday, November 4, 2006

CNET's First Look at the Zune

Posted by Darius Wey in "Zune Talk" @ 05:18 AM


"Overall, the Zune is a well-designed portable media device with good playback performance, a snappy processor, and an excellent interface. Wi-Fi sharing worked well, but prospective owners should know that its format support, especially for videos, is limited. The Zune looks like a good fit for MP3 player novices."

CNET's James Kim got some hands-on time with the Zune and whipped up a short video preview and a reasonably-sized article. Unlike Engadget's video which has a greater emphasis on the software layer of the Zune device, CNET's video pokes around some of the hardware components, so do check it out. The article covers a lot of points, though one worth highlighting is the issue of file support. By now, you're probably aware that the Zune is not PlaysForSure-compatible, so all of your existing DRM'ed WMA tracks won't work. Native WAV and WMA Lossless are apparently out the door as well, so that leaves you with MP3, unprotected AAC, and Zune's WMA (tracks you'll end up pulling from the Marketplace). Video support is weaker, with the Zune supporting WMV only. There's no love for DivX or XviD. MPEG-4 and H.264 aren't supported natively, though the Zune software on the PC will convert these to WMV. On the topic of video, you can't share them wirelessly, unlike music and pictures, which is understandable considering movie-length videos would take an eternity to send over Wi-Fi (either the battery or user's patience would suffer a miserable death). Pictures are limited to JPEG, and unfortunately, the Zune software won't convert other picture formats to JPEG, so this is something you'll have to perform manually (boo!). Otherwise, the Zune appears to be a smashing device. I certainly hope that Microsoft will solve some of these file support issues with an upcoming firmware update. The Xbox 360 team have done an excellent job at adding new features, so fingers-crossed, the Zune team will follow in their footsteps.

Engadget's Video Walkthrough of the Zune

Posted by Darius Wey in "Zune Talk" @ 12:05 AM


Good ol' Engadget has posted a video walkthrough of the Zune - covering just about every feature that you could poke a stick at. Seeing all this in action makes me want to play with a Zune now. Oh, the agonizing wait. ;-)

Figure 1: Large album art with zero whitespace. Yeah!


Friday, October 20, 2006

Zune Battery Life Figures Revealed

Posted by Darius Wey in "Zune Talk" @ 07:30 PM


Microsoft has just revealed battery life figures for the Zune. First, the good news: wireless doesn't suck much juice, and the hours you can get out of a single charge are very similar to the 30GB iPod. With music playback, the Zune will give you 13 hours with wireless on and 14 hours with wireless off (the 30GB iPod offers up to 14 hours). With video playback and picture slideshows, you'll get up to 4 hours (the 30GB iPod offers up to 4 hours and 3.5 hours respectively). So, what's the bad news? Truth be told, I would have preferred something more. It's great that the Zune doesn't lose out to the iPod, but a little disappointing that it doesn't do any better. Microsoft could have easily packed a better battery into the device to get 50% more hours, without adding any extra bulk. Well, I guess we'll wait and see what the second generation delivers.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Pre-Loaded Content: What's Coming?

Posted by Darius Wey in "Zune Media" @ 09:14 AM


Included in today's press release are details on the Zune's swag of pre-loaded content. We have nine audio tracks, twelve music videos, three short films, and a variety of images. Obviously, tastes differ among us, but what do you think of the collection? Also, do you think its inclusion will help drive Zune sales?

Audio Tracks
• Band of Horses, “Wicked Gil” (Sub Pop Records)
• Bitter:Sweet, “The Mating Game” (Quango Music Group)
• CSS, “Alala (Microsoft edit)” (Sub Pop Records)
• Darkel, “At The End of The Sky (edit)” (Astralwerks)
• Every Move a Picture, “Signs of Life” (V2)
• Small Sins, “Stay” (Astralwerks)
• The Adored, “Tell Me Tell Me” (V2)
• The Rakes, “Open Book” (V2)
• The Thermals, “A Pillar of Salt” (Sub Pop Records)

Music Video
• 30 Seconds to Mars, “The Kill” (Virgin Records)
• BT, “1.618” (DTS Entertainment)
• Chad VanGaalen, “Red Hot Drops” (Sub Pop Records)
• Coldcut featuring Roots Manuva, “True Skool” (Ninja Tune)
• CSS, “Let’s Make Love and Listen to Death From Above” (Sub Pop Records)
• Fruit Bats, “Live: The Wind That Blew My Heart Away” (Sub Pop Records)
• Grandaddy, “Elevate Myself” (V2)
• Hot Chip, “Over and Over” (Astralwerks Records)
• Kraak & Smaak featuring Dez., “Keep Me Home” (Quango Music Group)
• Kinski, “Live: The Snowy Parts of Scandinavia” (Sub Pop Records)
• Paul Oakenfold, “Faster Kill Pussycat (Featuring Brittany Murphy)” (Maverick Records)
• Serena-Maneesh, “Drain Cosmetics” (Playlouderecordings)

Film Shorts
• 5 Boro: “A New York Skateboarding Minute” (Skateboarding)
• Radical Films: “Kranked — Progression” (Mountain Biking)
• TGRTV The North Face (Skiing/Snowboarding)

• A variety of images to personalize a Zune device, including 12 classic rock posters from “Art of Modern Rock”

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