Zune 4.0 software & issues

Well today Microsoft released the version 4.0 Zune software. I had been excited about it until after I downgraded to it. they brought back an issue that I had dealt with in version 2.5 which was later fixed. When they did the upgrade they lacked any finesse in the software while zune.net was down for the day before. (The should have sent me to zune.net instead of to a broken URL that was supposed to be about the new TOS so that I’d know that they took the marketplace down & everything else. They also could have done a temporary redirect for everything on zune.net to the page that said all of the Zune services was down for the upgrade, but no that would make too much sense.)

On to the issue I have back on the 2.5 software that seems to have come back in the 4.0 software.

This was all on the zune.net forums I’ve skipped posts that had nothing to do with the issue I was dealing with. Also any grammar errors or spelling errors have been left intact so as to keep this as accurate as possible.

On page 10 of this thread

2008-05-27, 9:39 AM
re: Version 2.5 problems **POST HERE**

Well I’ve got a problem with the versions 2.5 that is just somewhat annoying. When I have it downloading podcasts if the file is in a format that the Zune can’t deal with it will keep trying to download the file. For example the make podcast includes PDF files which the Zune can’t play, now it won’t stop downloading them. Back in 2.0 & 2.3 I could tell it that it was already played & it wouldn’t keep trying to download the files, now with version 2.5 I can’t seem to convince the software that it is not supposed to keep download stuff it can’t use.

2008-05-27, 1:04 PM was the first reply by Psalm107 on page 11 of the thread

I bet I know which podcast it is… I had the same problem. My solution… plug the podcast addy into Juice and download there. Then it shows up as music instead of a podcast. Set up an auto playlist for it and you’re good to go.

If someone has a real fix for this please post. 🙂

2008-06-03, 2:57 PM was replied to by Solar257 on page 11 still

What podcast is this? Could you please post the XML link?

I replied at 2008-06-03, 4:01 PM on page 12 (at the time I didn’t know the properties of an episode would include the URL)

Here are most of them. Some include pdf files which I would like to be downloaded & most of them have one or more file that the zune software chokes on, I’ve even seen it not like a mp3 file on at least one of them. The first one is the one with the most pdf files attached.

http://www.makezine.com/blog/archive/make_podcast/index.xml

http://feeds.pbs.org/pbs/oceanadventures-video

http://feeds.pbs.org/pbs/wnet/nature-video

http://feeds.pbs.org/pbs/wgbh/nova-audio

http://feeds.pbs.org/pbs/science-video

http://www.thenakedscientists.com/naked_scientists_enhanced_podcast.xml

http://www.thenakedscientists.com/naked_scientists_podcast.xml

http://www.discovery.com/radio/xml/news_video.xml

Not sure on the feed address on this one as I found it in the zune marketplace & I can’t seem to find it on their site

http://japancast.net

2008-06-03, 7:39 PM was replied to by Solar257 on page 12 still

Thanks for the links, lets see if we can get somewhere with this. So I tried the fist three links above. Attached are a description of my results along with pictures:

http://www.makezine.com/blog/archive/make_podcast/index.xml

* Told the software to download the first 10 episodes, so as to get 2 PDF ‘episodes’ (picture)
* PDF episodes were not downloaded, instead they showed an error message when I clicked the yellow icons (picture)
o I tried closing & reopening the software twice to see if they would redownload, they did not.
o Marking one as played did cause the other to redownload but not continually (picture)

http://feeds.pbs.org/pbs/oceanadventures-video

* Told the software to download the first 6 episodes
* All except the most recent episode (5/7 – Kelp Forest) look to be in playable order (picture)
o I made sure to play two episodes through the software (4/10 & 3/26) (picture)

http://feeds.pbs.org/pbs/wnet/nature-video

* Told the software to download the first 6 episodes
* All episodes were playable
o I made sure to play two episodes through the software (5/29 & 5/1) (picture)

All the other settings were as follows:

* Playback order: newest episodes first
* Syncing: sync all unplayed and partially played episodes (I did not sync any of these three podcasts to my Zune)

So I’m guessing that what happens, at least with the Make Magazine Podcast, is that when a new episode comes along the software forgets that you’ve already marked the previous undownloadable episodes as played? If that is not the case, then what is? Do you have different playback and download settings, at least for the first three?

Helpful tip:
To get the XML URL of an already downloaded podcast, right click on one of the podcast episodes and select the ‘properties’ option. The URL should be the second line in the Porperties dialog box. (picture)

at 2008-06-04, 3:39 PM I replied still on page 12

Man I wish I knew the easy way to find those URLs earlier oh well. For the Nature podcast the files are near the bottom. one is titled “Diamond Dust” & the other one is titled “Behind the scenes with filmmaker Allison Argo”. They are both m4v files that the Zune software chokes on. I’ll see about getting screen shots of it doing it as I know it will do it again.

Well that is the end of the conversation on the Zune forums about that issue

Some time later they released an update that resolved that issue as I kept having it doing the same thing downloading stuff I told the software not to. now the 4.0 software is doing the same thing. Please when you test it have someone actually do some tests with podcasts like this.

My next issue with the new software is I don’t see a way to clear what is listed as downloaded. In all prior versions leaving the downloads in the marketplace & coming back would resolve that but they are still listed & I can’t find a way to clear it.

Next why in the world does it list the video or music file that I have finished playing as being currently played. I liked it better when it stopped telling me about a video I just finished watching.

This one really confused me I couldn’t play back any video until after I downloaded the latest driver for my video card unless I like watching a green screen with just audio. Why did they not warn us that the new version may require updated video card drivers? I was lucky that my guess was that I needed to update them & then reboot. I say that because I’ve seen weird things like that from other products & they had the same resolution update & reboot.

I also noticed no one has yet replied to a possible bug I found in the 3.1 software but because I have implemented a workaround for the issue I don’t know if it happens with the 4.0 software as of yet.

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