Use Any Media Management Program With Zune

ZuneBoards’ renowned PityOnU has just dropped his highly anticipated zAlternator software. The hack, currently in RC, cloaks your Zune as a generic Windows Portable Device, allowing it to theoretically sync with WMP, WinAmp, iTunes, or your favorite media management library. The instructions are pretty basic too.
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Get your device into “sync” mode (have it show “syncing…” with the “starry night” Zune logo on the screen), and hit ctrl-alt-del, bring up Task Manager. Go to the Processes tab and end the process “Zune.exe”. Now bring up zAlternator. Follow the instructions, setting the Desired Service Provider to “Generic” and then clicking “apply.” Now open your program of choice and everything should be golden.
Just keep in mind that for those wanting to use iTunes (blech), the service is still in beta. Use at your own risk.

Zune 3 Concept

Zune 3Zune 3Zune 3Zune 3We know little about the Zune 3 except that meetings have already begun involving the design team. The big question at hand is whether Zune will compete with the iPhone and iPod Touch devices. Now that Google has thrown it’s hat in the ring with “android” and the iPhone seems popular, will Zune join the fray?

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Some speculate that a Zune phone platform would cannibalize Windows Mobile. Forum member Teccom747 has come up with a possible design for the Zune 3. The images above show the same imaginary device in Zune mode and phone mode. Yes, it looks like an iPhone, but the Zune 30 looked a little like the iPod 30 so anything is possible. Teccom747 also came up with specs for the Zune 3 and a screenshot of the device inside the Zune software as well.

Specifications:

The Zune 3 is also a phone with all the features of the Zune 80, with new features such as internet explorer, wifi marketplace, common phone apps, and more.

The Zune 3 is fully touchscreen, however, the lower panel buttons are touch “sensitive” play/pause/call, zune, and back/hang up buttons that glow, they are permanent (similar to the chocolate’s buttons).

The Zune 3 is available in 16GB, and 32GB flash memory sizes.

Navigating the Zune 3 is similar to the 80’s squircle except on the touch screen.

The screen itself is a high quality, scratch resistant, touch-sensitive glass that covers most of the front of the device.

Around the perimeter of the glass is a glowing light that can be customized to the color of the user’s choice through the settings menu.

The remainder of the device’s exterior is similar to the Zune 80’s finish, including the hold switch to de-activate touch.

Video’s are now presented in high-quality widescreen format.

The Zune 3 is not restricted to any particular network.

The device has external speakers for speakerphone functionality and to share music with your friends!

Tip Tuesday: Zune on Mac (Software)

It’s no secret that the iPod didn’t start to take off in popularity until Apple released a Windows version of its iTunes client software–many people would argue that the iPod would not be the success it is today were it not for Windows support. At the same time, the Portable Media Player battle is often seen as a microcosm of the OS Wars, with the two players reversing roles. In the Red Corner, we have Apple, a small company whose flagship operating system controls less than 5% of the PC market, but whose iPod media device accounts for 60-70% of all media player device sales. In the Blue Corner is Microsoft and its juggernaut Windows (with ~90% market penetration) and Zune device (~10% HDD player sales).
Currently , Apple’s iTunes client runs on both Windows and Mac OSX, while Microsoft’s Zune software is Windows-only. Is it worth it for Microsoft to port the Zune software to OSX, in effect “giving a glass of ice water to somebody in hell“? Sure, it would give the tech pundits one more thing to scratch off the list of preconceived issues with the Zune family, but would it actually matter? We’ll leave that kind of hardcore thinking for the Philosophers, because today is Tuesday!
So you’ve run out of options, you’re stuck in California without a Windows PC in sight, or you’re an artist (it’s one or the other), and yet you still need to find some way to get the latest hipster single onto your Zune to impress that client and hopefully close the deal. Installing Zune on a Mac is just like installing on a Windows machine, except…virtual. Fret not, fellow Zuner, it’s not as bad as you’d think. Sure you’ve got to acquire a virtual machine software (like VMWare or Parallels) or run Boot Camp and install a copy of Windows, but you can handle that, right?
After this, you’re in Virtual Zune paradise. Just don’t forget the paper umbrellas.
The process should be similar with VMWare on Linux. Though I haven’t heard any reports about this year’s software, Zune-Online’s Kostas Tzounopoulos showed that it could be done with gen1 software, the only caveat being that USB 1.1 was the only supported transfer method (a.k.a. slow data transfer).
And that’s it for this week! Check back next week for another tip. Got any idea, thought, or suggestion? Paste it in the comments link (I’ll be nice, I promise) or check out the forum.

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