Well I have finally got around to tailoring the Zune software and have made it soo much easier to use.
I use Windows Media Center 2005, and to put cover art on albums, you use the default Windows XP way of setting the picture to be folder.jpg. Unfortunately Zune looks for zunefolderart.jpg. So, all my immaculately organized music looked like blank albums.To fix this, use the generic patch from here http://www.ringoffates.com/?p=19 make sure to select your dll file. Make sure the Zune software is closed first.
The User interface is pretty sweet when you are transferring media to your Zune, but you don't want to look at something that large all day, click the button to the left of the minimize button called Mini Player. Much easier to use, in addition, it looks exactly like the Zune HD's now playing screen! I wish I could browse my entire library this way. (I intuitively want to touch my screen now :-/)
I didn't use the Zune software for playing media because it always sounded horrible on Windows 7, I had always assumed this was because it lacked hardware sound acceleration, however I discovered, as with my other machine, disabling the Windows sound "enhancements" fixes a lot of problems. Depending on your hardware, you either have a Enhancements tab on your speakers, or in my case, the enhancements were on the Advanced tab. To do this, you click the speaker after clicking on your volume control once. Now Zune sounds as good as Winamp did. If you thought that your cymbal hits sounded "metallic", this should fix those problems.
Don't forget that since this is a Microsoft product, the integration between it and Windows 7 is very tight. This exhibits itself mainly in the fact you can change tracks just with a hover over of the Zune icon on your taskbar.
Here is a list of keyboard shortcuts from Microsoft, I preferred Winamp's ZXCVB being the audio controls, but this is ok. Rule of Thumb, CTRL + first letter of what you want to do (Back, Forward, Play and Stop) with F8 and F9 being volume controls.
|To do this||Use this keyboard shortcut|
|Previous item or chapter||CTRL+B|
|Go to search box||CTRL+E|
|Next item or chapter||CTRL+F|
|Turn shuffle on or off||CTRL+H|
|Eject CD (this doesn't work on computers equipped with more than one CD drive)||CTRL+J|
|Play or pause playing||CTRL+P|
|In audio playback, turn repeat on or off||CTRL+T|
|Zoom video size||CTRL+Z|
|In video playback, rewind video. In audio playback, return playback to normal speed after fast forwarding.||CTRL+SHIFT+B|
|Fast forward through the song or video||CTRL+SHIFT+F|
|Show Zune Help||F1|
|Decrease sound volume||F8|
|Increase sound volume||F9|
I am still working on a fix for the unknown album issue I and a lot of you aree probably having. This stems from the fact that a lot of my MP3's are not from full albums and this have no album title on them. I could probably tag them all Unknown Album in the Album field, but that would be sort of cheating.
Till next time!