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All posts tagged "vista"

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.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Zune Still Having Trouble With Vista?

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Zune Software" @ 05:00 PM


"I wrote up my impressions of the Zune a while back and have used it on and off since that time. Recently I was asked to review the PQ DVD to Zune Video Converter Suite (review coming soon). This forced me to get a Zune connected up again. Does Vista play well with the Zune? Read on. I first plugged the Zune directly into the Vista box. I figured since Vista was new and the Zune was new, it should either recognize it right away or at least go to Windows Update and grab the latest drivers. Well, I was wrong..."

That's a quote from Joel at Geek.com, and he shares his experience setting up a Zune on Vista. It seems like things still aren't quite right with the Zune, and Joel is right: with Vista the experience should be even more seamless than under XP because both are shiny and new - or maybe that's the problem. I set up my Zune on a Vista computer last month, and it worked nicely enough - though I knew to install the software first. Have you had trouble with the combination of Zune and Vista?

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Zune Software Install on Vista - A Bit Bumpy

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Zune Talk" @ 09:00 AM

Now that I've got my machines all running Vista nice-and-pretty, I went to Zune.net and downloaded the Zune desktop software to install. I ran the installer and it said it was checking for a software update. I chuckled because of course I had the newest version, I just downloaded it right? Wrong. It found an update to the software and proceeded to download it. Why Zune.net wouldn't have had the most up to date version of the software is beyond me, but there you have it.

After that, it proceeded to install, coming to the point where it says "Scanning for Device". At that point I connected my Zune to this system for the first time, expecting it to be detected and go from there. The device was identified by Vista, and it said the drivers were installed successfully. The Zune software installer, however, didn't acknowledge that it was connected. The Zune is connected to the back of the PC, not through a hub. This is a very stock install of Vista Ultimate with only a handful of third party programs installed: SnagIt, AnyDVD, FolderShare, MediaMonkey, and Flash. That's it. So why would the software have so much trouble? I left it on the "Searching for Device" phase for about 20 minutes, then gave up. When I disconnected the Zune the software gave me a pop-up error message stating "It is not possible to change the sync settings at this time. Please try again later." The software installer then said "TypeError: Invalid procedure call or argument [Hint] GetDevice." Gee, that's user-friendly.

At that point it continued onward and scanned my library. The process was a little slow, but then again it was scanning 15,500 pictures and a little over 15,000 songs. After the process finished I connected my Zune and created a new partnership with the software. Everything went smoothly, and my Zune is loaded up with music now. They still haven't added any sort of "smart sync" based on adding photos taken in the last 30 days for instance, but someday I hope they'll go that route.

Wednesday, February 7, 2007

I Upgraded to Vista and Got Kicked Out of the Social

Posted by Damion Chaplin in "Zune Talk" @ 05:30 PM


"I decided since my P1610 was running flawlessly under WinXP that I would try to upgrade that OS to Vista, much as my family and friends would be needing to do since they are not very computer savvy. At least, I wouldn’t want them wiping their system clean and doing a clean install because I know that would create big problems for them, much as it will a lot of consumers. Big mistake. UPDATE on the Zune situation: Further mucking about shows me that the music downloaded from the Zune Marketplace will now play fine on the Zune player. It will not play on the PC side, however. Now I'm wondering if it's a file permission thing that Vista has imposed. Who knows?"

Well, the more I hear about the horrors of upgrading to Vista, the less excited I am to do so. Now, in my experience I manage to avoid these hangups [knocks on wood], but that doesn't make me more anxious to perform the upgrade. Now there's one more problem to look out for: Apparently it's not just iTunes that doesn't play well with Vista, but the Zune Marketplace as well. Yikes. Anyone out there buying tunes from the Marketplace might consider holding off upgrading until the next version of the Zune software is released.

Friday, December 29, 2006

Windows Vista Hardware from AMD & Microsoft: Here’s My Story

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Thoughts Media Off Topic" @ 02:15 PM


"There’s a big blow-up about Microsoft “bribing” bloggers, so I figured I’d better get on the record now before someone accuses me of “hiding” something. On the 22nd of December I made a comment on my blog about receiving a new piece of hardware, but I mentioned that I wasn’t sure if I was allowed to talk about it yet - because the hardware wasn’t released yet and not up on the OEMs Web site for sale. Obviously now that this story has gone public, I can, so here’s the story."

This isn't exactly on-topic for Zune Thoughts, but I felt that the issue was important enough (since it involves my personal integrity) that I should step up and make sure everyone knows the history of this issue and my stance on it. It's a very long post (I started working on it yesterday), but I think it covers everything about this issue. Comments here (or there) are welcome.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Zune and Windows Vista: The Pictures

Posted by Darius Wey in "Zune Software" @ 08:00 PM

Interested in seeing what Zune looks and feels like in Windows Vista, but don't have a copy of the OS to experience it for yourself? We'll give you a short tour. It feels very similar to the Windows XP version, but there are some minor differences. Read on for more.

Zune Compatible with Windows Vista Starting Today

Posted by Darius Wey in "Zune Software" @ 03:00 AM

A little peeved off by the lack of Windows Vista compatibility? Brush those ill feelings aside, because later today, Microsoft will roll out an official update that enables support for Windows Vista and also corrects the infamous installation issues that have plagued many users since November 14. You'll be able to grab it from Microsoft Update or Zune.net.

We'll post screenshots and additional details later today when the update is made available for download (10AM PST).

Friday, December 8, 2006

Vista Compatibility Coming on January 30th

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Zune Software" @ 12:44 PM


"To the surprise of many, Microsoft’s hoped-for iPod killer didn’t work with Vista upon launch. But as expected, compatibility is coming – on Jan 30. Jason Reindorp, the Director of Marketing at Microsoft for their own branded digital mp3/media player, the Zune, has finally put Vista owners with a Zune out of their misery and has announced that Vista compatibility is coming on June 30. Apparently this was ‘always the plan’, with an update to be made available to enable Vista compatibility. Why it can’t be made available now, in calendar year 2006, is still unclear. Surely it must already work? Why the wait – there are plenty of people who can legally get access to Vista, with the millions all subscribing to Microsoft ‘MSDN’ program able to download Vista today. There are also still millions of copies of RC1 and RC2 out there."

See how that quote says June 30th in it? I read that date first, and my blood pressure rose rapidly - I started to write an email to a Microsoft contact I have to ask them if this was really the case, because it seemed even more insane than not having Vista compatibility right at launch (which should be a sad embarrassment for the Zune team). I paused and read the whole article again - and saw that the first date mentioned was actually January 30th...which is more in line with what I've heard and have been expecting. So it looks like we have a final confirmation of a new version of the Zune software that will be compatible with Vista. In the meantime, there's always the hack of course. I'm cautiously optimistic that the new software will also have the ability to transcode DVR-MS files, which an inside source told me was coming. We'll see - but it will be a long two month wait.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Zune Software on Vista? You Bet! Here's How...

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Zune Software" @ 08:00 AM


"As many of you will know, I recently purchased a Microsoft Zune player (to replace my lost iPod, which never surfaced no thanks to crappy Iberia!). Unfortunately, days before the arrival of my Zune from the USA, I made the switch to Windows Vista. This meant that, when the Zune arrived, I couldn't sync it up with my media-stuffed laptop, as in their infinite wisdom, Microsoft have decided NOT to make a Vista friendly version of the software available yet. DOH! So I set about seeing if the XP software could run happily on Vista! It does... and here's how I did it!"

Paul over at MoDaCo, rather famous for hacking Windows Mobile devices in various ways, has turned his attention to the Zune software - and voilà, he came up with a way to make it work. Way to go Paul! Until Microsoft releases the official update, this looks like an excellent solution for all you early adopter Vista users.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Zune: Sorry, No Love for Vista

Posted by Darius Wey in "Zune Talk" @ 02:00 AM


Two days ago, we ran a story discussing the possibility of the Zune not supporting Windows Vista, and today, our worst fears were confirmed. Within the next fortnight, MSDN subscribers and business users will be able to pick up a final version of Windows Vista, and to not have the Zune work with it is a huge slap in the face. I know a lot of people who are genuinely interested in the Zune and rolling out Windows Vista as soon as possible. If Microsoft doesn't release some sort of Vista compatibility patch by November 30, there are going to be a lot of disgruntled folks around the place.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Zune and Windows Vista Compatibility

Posted by Darius Wey in "Zune Software" @ 08:00 PM

Click the image above for a larger version (JPG, 80KB).

Last week, Microsoft announced that Windows Vista RTM'ed with business availability expected on November 30, and consumer availability on January 30. Naturally, we were curious to see whether the Zune (its release date being November 14) would be compatible with Microsoft's latest operating system. Read on to find out!

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