The ultimate MS Zune thread

[qanda]This thread is about the Microsoft Zune digital player. Click here to see full specs[/qanda]The Zune
Since there wasn’t any post about the MS Zune as of yet, I thought to start one so we can discuss our experiences with this beauty of a media player;)

The Zune is a portable Media PLayer that comes with some nice features!
It has a 30GB harddisk, Wi-Fi for wireless file-sharing, build in FM Tuner.

Moreover, it plays audio as well as video files. It’s being manufactured by Toshiba, but MS is the seller. The main competiting device is of course Apple’s iPod.

* 30GB harddisk: 7,500 songs, 25,000 photos or 100 hr video.
* Wireless Zune-to-Zune sharing
* FM-tuner:
* 3,0" LCD scherm: both usable in portrait and landscape
* Supported codecs: WMA, MP3, AAC, JPEG & WMV
* Dimensions: 4.4" x 2.4" x 0.6" or 11,2 cm x 6,1 cm x 1,4 cm

The software from the Zune is, from my point of view, much better than the difficult-to-understand iTunes. You can find the software here

Playing videos and converting them to WMV format
The software that comes with the Zune is able to convert MPEG-4 & H.264 to WMV. However, if you want to convert DIVX and XVID in order to be able to play them on your Zune, I found some programmes that are cabable of doing this, take a look at them below.

[li]SC Free Video Converter[/li][li]Xilisoft Zune Video Converter[/li][li]ImTOO Zune Video Converter[/li][/ul]

Some Reviews

[li]Zune - Arstechnica[/li][li]Zune - Engadget[/li][li]Zune Marketplace - Cnet[/li][/ul]

If you have any suggestions to add, please feel free :iagree:

Having great conversion successes. Just got the Zune 120 for my wife. Basically I have been able to use DVD-Shrink to get the DVD’s onto one of my hard drives.

I then use NER0 Vision 4 to convert them to mp4 with great results. Open Nero Vision, select Make Movie. Under the list of item, select Browse and Add to Project.

Select the appropriate VOB files of the movie you want to convert. It will import them as ONE video (the first pop-up box asks together or separate, I go together). Play a little of the movie in the preview window, making sure you selected the correct VOB’s bye skipping thru the movie, and looking for the credits at the end. Voila!

Hit EXPORT. For the format chose the following:
Profile Category-Apple iPod
Profile-iPod Video AVC (the one without AVC did not work for me)
Aspect 4:3 (I thought 16:9 might look better, but it does not even on wide screen sources)
Frame rate:29.97
Target Size Custom
Resolution 320x240 (If playing vids only on zune) and do not want zune to reconvert it.
299-600 kbits/s works for me (try higher, but on zune i doubt you will see much difference.)
Fast Pass single encoding was fine for me.

Place the finished file in the Zune Sync folder, and hit EXPORT.

These are the parameters that worked for me to view vids on Zune from my DVD’s, or downloaded avi files, divx, etc.

NOTE: Tried a download trial of Nero 9. When I used Nero Vision on that version, I had to change the Audio conversion on it from Media Player 9, to Media Player 10 to avoid severely garbled audio. The audio was garbled on the PC and not just the zune.

BIG SUGGESTION: Do not export an entire movie the first time. Let it export for five minute, then quit it. Go play the test file first. If you like, then go back and EXPORT the whole title.

Forgot one part above:

select NERO DIGITAL as the Template

I would recommend Nero Recode to do what you do in NeroVision. You can put the same settings you wish, but I prefer either doing NeroDigital (quicktime compatibility checked off) which is faster, or NeroDigital AVC which has better quality. I prefer Nero digital, because then I can play it on my computer with all the subtitles, chapter marks and 2nd audio tracks intact

I actually agree. I like encoding with the EXTRAS or commentary tracks and watching them that way. I forgot about that. Recently upgraded to Nero 9, and there are some audio sync issues I am trying. I hope to edit or add to the post, with Nero Recode. Thanks for the idea.

Forgot to mention though that If you want 5.1 sound on the mp4 file, the zune cant handle that

just got a 120GB zune myself… going to take a LONG while to fill it…