www.Zune.net

ZUNE Firmware

According to Microsoft, the most up-to-date firmware version is 4.5 (114) for the Zune HD, which replaces the original player firmware that ships on the device, 4.0 (356). In the case of the Zune 4, 8, 16, 30, 80, and 120 players, the most current player software version is 3.3, which provides compatibility with Zune 4.2. Version 3.3 was primarily a bug fix release and was released on January 26, 2010.

The operating system for the Zune devices is based on the Windows CE kernel for ARM architecture and uses a distribution similar to the Portable Media Center found on the Gigabeat S. Zune’s native file compatible formats are:

  • JPEG for images;
  • WMV (Used by Zune Marketplace)
  • MPEG-4 – supported on all models except the Zune 30 device
  • H.264 – supported on all models except the Zune 30 device
  • Avi video (Xvid) support is included on the Zune HD (firmware versions 4.5 and later).
  • MP3 (used by Zune Marketplace)
  • AAC (unprotected) not AAC (.m4a)
  • WMA Pro (2-channel)
  • WMA Standard (used by Zune Marketplace)
  • WMA lossless

Any formats not compatible with an individual device are automatically transcoded into a compatible format.

The graphical user interface (GUI) (called the “twist interface” by Microsoft) has sections for music, videos, pictures, social, radio, podcasts, marketplace, games and settings. It is said to provide “two-dimensional navigation” for scrolling through items with its directional pad. In the music section, users can add songs to a quick playlist without reconnecting to the desktop software. In the picture section, the background can be customized using any image stored on the device (for viewing) as wallpaper. In the radio section, users can receive and play FM radio internally, with North American, Japanese, and European tuning ranges, and display Radio Data System information (usually artist and song) when available. When artist/song information are available, the device can search for the song in the Zune Marketplace for download or purchase. In the social section, users can broadcast the user’s profile and recent activity to others nearby.

The first updates to the firmware added sharing features (send, community, list nearby Zune users) as described in FCC filings. Firmware 1.1 allowed the device to inherit sharing capabilities described by codename Pyxis. Early firmware releases patched software bugs. About a year later, the much anticipated 2.2 firmware release added support for DVR-MS (Media Center Recorded TV) files, lossless playback, added wireless syncing, and GUI interface improvements.

Zune supports the Windows Media DRM digital rights management system, which is not compatible with other DRM systems and is not part of the PlaysForSure platform or program. Multimedia content is transferred through Media Transfer Protocol (MTP); however, its proprietary MTP extensions (“MTPZ”) place an interoperability barrier between the Zune and previous MTP-based software.

WHAT IS ZUNE?PART III Zune devices

The first Zune model, the Zune 30, was released in the United States on November 14, 2006, featuring a capacity of 30 gigabytes, FM radio, and a 3 inch screen. The Zune 30 was initially available in black, brown or white. Retail packages contained a pair of basic headphones, a carrying case, USB cord, and a software CD.

The Zune 80 was announced on October 2, 2007, along with the smaller Zune 4 and Zune 8 to compete with Apple’s iPod nano line. These were to be known as the second generation of Zune devices. The Zune 80 featured a 3.2 inch screen, while the Zune 4 and 8 come with an 1.8 inch screen. Both come with a new touchpad-style input device (“squircle”, as fans called it) and new software. Additional file support for H.264 and MPEG-4 formats was also included, whereas the older Zune 30 requires these formats to be transcoded to WMV prior to sync. The ability to sync wirelessly (automatically if connected to a power supply), podcast support, and an upgraded song-sharing licensing are now available on all models. The new software also allows a Zune device to communicate with other Zune devices to share pictures and songs. A free firmware update added the new software features to the original Zune 30, and was released on November 13, 2007. The Zune 80 came bundled with a USB connection cord and premium headphones. The Zune 4 and 8 come with a USB connection cord and basic headphones.

The Zune 30, the original Zune music player, has a 30 GB hard drive, 3 inch screen, and a simple directional pad for menu navigation. The second generation of Zune devices includes the Zune 4, 8, and 80 and. The Zune 4, and 8 are smaller in size and have 4 GB, and 8 GB of flash memory, respectively. The 80 GB Zune acts as a replacement for the Zune 30: it is thinner and lighter than the original. All second generation Zunes have a Zune Pad instead of the original directional pad that was included on the Zune 30. Microsoft released an upgrade for all Zune models, including the Zune 30, to the second generation software/firmware.

On May 26, 2009 Microsoft announced the Zune HD, the first touch screen Zune. The Zune HD has HD Radio and the ability to display video in High Definition through a docking station (sold separately). The screen is multi-touch enabled and uses gestures such as swiping and pinching throughout the player. The device comes with 16 GB, 32 GB, and 64 GB of flash memory. The screen is OLED, 3.3 inches, and has a 480×272 16:9 resolution. Also included are WiFi, a custom Internet Explorer browser, and an accelerometer.

WHAT IS ZUNE?PART II

Second generation

The second-generation Zune 4, 8, and 80 devices, manufactured by Flextronics, introduced the touch-sensitive Zune Pad, which was shaped like a squircle. The 4 and 8 GB Zune devices use flash memory and are smaller in size than the 80 GB version, which uses a hard drive. The 30 GB Zune was not redesigned, although it received a software update that brought its interface in line with the second generation models. At the same time, the Zune 2.0 software was released for Windows PCs. This version of the software was completely re-written and featured a new user interface.

Third generation

Zune 3/8/12 and Zune 4/8/16 menu system

Zune devices feature games developed using XNA. An early version of XNA Game Studio 3.0, released in May 2008, allowed developers to work on games for Zune devices.

The third-generation Zune 16 and 120 devices were released in September 2008, coinciding with the release of the Zune Software 3.0 update. The only changes to this generation of devices were to the firmware, which was made available for all previous models, and the storage capacity. Included in this firmware update was the ability to tag and later purchase songs heard on FM radio, channels which can be customized to deliver suggested songs for the user, the games Hexic and Texas Hold’ em, support for audiobooks from online stores such as Audible.com and others that support OverDrive media files, a clock, and changed quicklist functionality. The ability to purchase songs from Zune Marketplace on the device while connected to the Internet via Wi-Fi was also introduced. To help push this feature, Microsoft partnered with Wayport to allow Zune devices to access its network of over 10,000 wireless hotspots, including those at McDonald’s restaurants.

Zune Pass customers in the United States could also now download 10 tracks to keep per month in addition to the existing subscription-dependent unlimited music downloads.

 Fourth generation

The fourth-generation Zune device, the Zune HD, was released on September 15, 2009. New features included an OLED capacitative touch screen, HD video out, and HD radio. On the same day, the Zune 4.0 software was released to support the Zune HD. In addition, it became possible for Zune Pass subcribers to stream tracks through a computer’s web browser.Zune 4.0 also supports internet radio streams but this feature is disabled by default and can only be enabled by a third-party patch.This was the first firmware released for the Zune line which did not provide new features for older Zune models. These models were given a firmware update with version 3.2.

Microsoft released Zune 4.5 on April 5, 2010. This update introduced SmartDJ and codec features. A firmware update brought picks and an improved the TV-out experience to the Zune HD.

From Summer 2010, United Airlines started to offer Zune in-flight audio by means of 21 playlists that are very similar to the Zune Channels offered on the Zune Marketplace. Each channel offers up to 3 hours of unique programming ranging from classic rock, contemporary pop, opera, electronica, piano jazz, and others.

Xbox 360

In autumn 2009, movies and TV shows became available through streaming or download through Zune Video Marketplace on Xbox 360. On November 4, 2010, the music portion of the Zune Marketplace was brought to Xbox. This coincided with the launch of the Kinect and Kinect owners can navigate the application menus using hand gestures, without a controller. Users must have a Zune Pass subscription to play music in the application, and only Zune Pass content is available. Locally saved music must still be played through the Xbox’s native media library.

 Windows Phone

Microsoft announced new versions of Zune once in a year prior to 2010. On March 2011, Bloomberg.com published an article claiming that Microsoft would stop introducing new versions of the Zune music and video player. The article has been widely quoted over the internet and by news agencies. However, a Microsoft representative for Zune business development denied this rumor saying that the Windows Phone platform introduction should be considered to be the annual Zune update for 2010.

Zune-branded media playback software is a feature of Windows Phone devices. These phones sync with the Zune software and are compatible with Zune Pass.

All Windows Phone devices include capacitive multi-touch screens, FM radios, Wi-Fi, and certain other features included on the Zune HD. The user interface of the Zune devices, particularly the Zune HD, served as the inspiration for the user interface of Windows Phone. Microsoft refers to the design language of this user interface as Metro.

On October 11, 2010, Microsoft released Zune software v4.7, which supports syncing of Windows Phone devices with a Windows PC.

 Discontinuation of Zune hardware

On October 3, 2011, Microsoft announced the discontinuation of all Zune hardware, encouraging users to transition to Windows Phone. Later, the announcement was removed and a Zune Support Team member tweeted that the page was added to the website in error. Finally, despite previous denials, the original announcement of the Zune hardware’s discontinuation was restored to the Zune Support site.

Zune.net/setup

Your entertainment Everywhere

 

 

Zune brings you entertainment anywhere you are, in exciting new ways. 

System recommendations

To get the most out of Zune, your computer should meet system requirements:

  • a 1 gigahertz (GHz) or faster 32-bit (x86) or 64-bit (x64) processor
  • 1 gigabyte (GB) RAM (32-bit) or 2 GB RAM (64-bit)
  • Broadband Internet connection

A wi-fi network is necessary for you to wirelessly sync your Zune to your computer.

*The Zune software won’t work on versions of Windows earlier than Windows XP SP3. Download Windows XP SP3.

Installation: If the Zune software will not install on your PC and you are using Windows Vista or Windows 7, see this Knowledge Base article.