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All posts tagged "library"


Sunday, February 7, 2010

What's Happening to Zune Pass Music?

Posted by Adam Krebs in "Zune Media" @ 09:57 PM

http://forums.zune.net/569624/ShowPost.aspx

"Zune Pass is just such a subscription service, and it's a pretty good one… but lately, Zune Pass subscribers have been seeing their music collections just disappear into thin air. This can be a single song, an entire album or even whole artists' collections. Disappearing acts included, but weren't limited to, popular artists like Arcade Fire, Vampire Weekend and Spoon. Now, when stuff like this happens, the usual culprit is that the record industry has re-negotiated its licensing deals with the service… which seems to be exactly what occurred. Microsoft has responded to customers' complaints by saying that their music has disappeared because record labels have pulled them."

This story's been making the rounds on the internet as of late. It appears that music from a number of artists is no longer available for Zune Pass download in the marketpace, and has been subsequently stopped working in Zune Pass holders' collections. Though Microsoft has stated that this decision is left up to the labels, there seems to be no larger reasoning behind what content has been pulled. For their part Microsoft has acknowledged the issue and promised to investigate. They are asking affected users to report missing music in the Zune.net forum thread.


Wednesday, December 20, 2006

High-Resolution Album Art with Firmware / Zune Software 1.2

Posted by Darius Wey in "Zune Talk" @ 08:45 AM

We've had a couple of days to acknowledge that Firmware 1.2 for the Zune was a godsend for having introduced significant enhancements in performance across the board. But there's an extra surprise - one that remains undocumented, so you'll have to see it for yourself to believe it.



You all know that the Zune has a habit of taking high-resolution album art embedded in files, downgrading it to an offensive 200 x 200 (or thereabouts), and then upscaling it to 240 x 240 to fit its QVGA display. Blech! That nasty habit is gone with Firmware / Zune Software 1.2. I performed a little experiment today. I decided to start fresh by nuking the contents of my Zune and the Zune software, re-adding the media to the Zune software, and re-syncing my library. Each and every track in my library has 480 x 480 album art, so if the Zune wants to make album art look good, that's a perfect ingredient to work with. After the sync, I loaded up my first track and noticed immediately that album art looked clearer than ever before. In disbelief, I loaded up a few more and was not left disappointed. The Zune was actually taking advantage of the 480 x 480 album art and scaling it appropriately (without the 200 x 200 intermediary) to 240 x 240 for its QVGA display. There was a catch, though. Artifacts were still visible (but less pronounced), so the Zune was still compressing album art to a degree. But hey, you can't have too much of a good thing all at once. Perhaps Microsoft will tweak this in the next firmware update. ;-)

And now it's your turn to savour the moment. Delete an album or two off your Zune and Zune software, or your entire music library if you're feeling gung-ho, re-add the media, ensure that you have relatively high-resolution album art embedded in your tracks, and re-sync. Can you see the difference?

Note: If you're familiar with the Folder.jpg album art system in PlaysForSure devices, you may be interested to know that the Zune utilizes a similar mechanism. Prior to the availability of Firmware / Zune Software 1.2, 200 x 200 Folder.jpg files would be generated from embedded album art, transferred and converted to another file format on the Zune, and then upscaled to 240 x 240 (blurry). With the updates in place, Folder.jpg files are now 240 x 240 in size - perfect for the Zune's QVGA display. The end result? Clarity.


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