The Zune Is Maddening!


My wife got a Zune, a little because I told her how great it is. Which is 98% true. It has a great form factor, a very nice screen, the built in FM-radio is a welcome addition, the wireless sharing (a neat idea, but until more people get a Zune it lies in wait) will be used down the road.

The problem is Microsoft’s attempt to keep you from transferring any video that’s not in a very specific format. The Zune player can automatically convert music and video to a format perfect for the large LCD the Zune sports. What they don’t tell you is that it won’t work with Divx files. Every .AVI file you have won’t be had by the Zune. Well, at least it wouldn’t to begin with. But, I have found a way thanks to a post from KingJehu at unfortunately the link he provided is no longer available so I read through the registry and created one myself.

Windows Registry Editor Version5.00
“Extension.Handler”=”Microsoft.Zune.1.AVI””MediaType.Description”=”Video Clip”
“MediaType.Icon”=”C:\\Program Files\\Zune\\ZuneLoc.dll,-736″”Extension.MIME”=”video/avi””AlreadyRegistered”=”no”

You can download the file ZuneAvi.reg or you can copy the above text and create the registry entry yourself. I have personally tried this on two computers, one running XP and the other running Vista and it has works great. I’ve had about a 90% success rate (all but one file has converted successfully). Even then the Zune player transcoded the file but the video was just unwatchable.

The Zune player still can’t play AVI files but it can add them to its library. I’m going to try and convert a recorded TV show from Vista Media Center tonight using a similar registry modification. I’ll post the results once I’m done..

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One Response to “The Zune Is Maddening!”

  1. Did you get a chance to try the reg hack with DVR-MS files from Vista Media Center? I tried a couple days ago and the Zune software fails in the convert stage but doesn’t give any additional area info or reason why.

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