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Zune on Ubuntu: Totally Screwed?

nefffffffffffnefffffffffff Registered User regular
So I already posted this in general G+T, but someone suggested that my question was more at home here so here goes:

"So I recently had some pretty serious computer problems. After much deliberation, I decided to 86 windows and install the newest version of Ubuntu onto my desktop -- something that I have been meaning to do for some time. It is working out great and I am pleased with the change, with the exception of one thing that for some reason had never occurred to me: I use a Zune.

Most of what I have found on the internet says that I am pretty much screwed, but all the articles/forum posts that I read are somewhat dated. I decided to turn to you, PA forums, for help in this issue. Is there anything I can do?

Please help!"

nefffffffffff on
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Posts

  • VistiVisti Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
  • NackmatholnNackmatholn Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    Nah, your not screwed at all, kinda...

    If you have your original windows install disks I point you to VirtualBox. I use it on my Mac with OSX to do my dirty 'windows only' work and it supports the Zune + Zune Software amazingly. All of my Zune Pass music syncs across with no problem at all.

    Here is the Linux Flavor page with all the Ubuntu Distro's at the top.
    http://www.virtualbox.org/wiki/Linux_Downloads

    Best of luck, and happy Zuneing!

  • BarrakkethBarrakketh Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    You're still screwed without Windows, and the only thing you can do natively is retrieve files from a Zune. That's why I didn't (and won't) buy one :P Nackmatholn's suggestion obviously requires Windows so if you have a proper installation disc (instead of a recovery disc) you could use a virtual machine, but it's not going to have the playlists and podcasts from Amarok (or whatever your favorite audio player is).

  • NackmatholnNackmatholn Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    Barrakketh wrote: »
    You're still screwed without Windows, and the only thing you can do natively is retrieve files from a Zune. That's why I didn't (and won't) buy one :P Nackmatholn's suggestion obviously requires Windows so if you have a proper installation disc (instead of a recovery disc) you could use a virtual machine, but it's not going to have the playlists and podcasts from Amarok (or whatever your favorite audio player is).

    Actually you can. So long as you pass the directory through VirtualBox and give the 'boxed' windows write access (virtual box handles the disk format compatability) you can sync any music / podcast / playlist files on the host system. It shows up as a Network Folder to windows and works like a charm.

    Again, this all hinges on having the original Windows install disks.

  • BarrakkethBarrakketh Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    Barrakketh wrote: »
    You're still screwed without Windows, and the only thing you can do natively is retrieve files from a Zune. That's why I didn't (and won't) buy one :P Nackmatholn's suggestion obviously requires Windows so if you have a proper installation disc (instead of a recovery disc) you could use a virtual machine, but it's not going to have the playlists and podcasts from Amarok (or whatever your favorite audio player is).

    Actually you can. So long as you pass the directory through VirtualBox and give the 'boxed' windows write access (virtual box handles the disk format compatability) you can sync any music / podcast / playlist files on the host system. It shows up as a Network Folder to windows and works like a charm.

    Music, sure. Podcasts and Playlists? If you're using Amarok that's highly unlikely. I don't have a Zune but I'm 99% sure that the software can't read a MySQL database which is where Amarok (as of version 2) stores it's playlists and podcasts, let alone know the schema being used.

  • nefffffffffffnefffffffffff Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    This is great, thanks guys. I knew this was the right place on the internet to look. Now I just have to find my old windows install disks.

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  • NackmatholnNackmatholn Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    Barrakketh wrote: »
    Barrakketh wrote: »
    You're still screwed without Windows, and the only thing you can do natively is retrieve files from a Zune. That's why I didn't (and won't) buy one :P Nackmatholn's suggestion obviously requires Windows so if you have a proper installation disc (instead of a recovery disc) you could use a virtual machine, but it's not going to have the playlists and podcasts from Amarok (or whatever your favorite audio player is).

    Actually you can. So long as you pass the directory through VirtualBox and give the 'boxed' windows write access (virtual box handles the disk format compatability) you can sync any music / podcast / playlist files on the host system. It shows up as a Network Folder to windows and works like a charm.

    Music, sure. Podcasts and Playlists? If you're using Amarok that's highly unlikely. I don't have a Zune but I'm 99% sure that the software can't read a MySQL database which is where Amarok (as of version 2) stores it's playlists and podcasts, let alone know the schema being used.

    A Podcast is going to be a .MP3 or .MP4 file, If Amarok buries those in a MySQL file then amarok has more issues than originally thought. And if the playlists are going to be buried in a database rather than a standard playlist format than yeah, that would be an issue too. But it begs the question, why would they fuck with something that works?

    Also nefffffffff, glad we could help!

  • DaedalusDaedalus Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    why would they fuck with something that works?

    While we're on that subject:

    Microsoft developed a file transfer protocol called MTP. It's well-supported in every major operating system and Creative's players have been using it for years.

    Now Microsoft comes out with the Zune, which uses (of course) MTP, except they also add in a verification layer to make sure you're running Genuine Microsoft Windows (TM) (R). Why did they go to the extra cost and effort to make their device work less?

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  • RBachRBach Registered User regular
    edited April 2009

    A Podcast is going to be a .MP3 or .MP4 file, If Amarok buries those in a MySQL file then amarok has more issues than originally thought. And if the playlists are going to be buried in a database rather than a standard playlist format than yeah, that would be an issue too. But it begs the question, why would they fuck with something that works?

    Also nefffffffff, glad we could help!

    Of course the podcasts are MP3/M4A/etc; that's not the issue. The problem is that the Zune software won't see individual episodes as part of a podcast, won't be able to synchronize playback position (if Amarok even does that--it didn't used to when I used it), and probably won't list them as podcasts in the Zune's menus.

    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
  • iTunesIsEviliTunesIsEvil Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    Daedalus wrote: »
    why would they fuck with something that works?

    While we're on that subject:

    Microsoft developed a file transfer protocol called MTP. It's well-supported in every major operating system and Creative's players have been using it for years.

    Now Microsoft comes out with the Zune, which uses (of course) MTP, except they also add in a verification layer to make sure you're running Genuine Microsoft Windows (TM) (R). Why did they go to the extra cost and effort to make their device work less?
    Only pirates use those non-WGA-verified OS's. :wink:

    But you're right. It's really frustrating when Microsoft or Apple (see: iPhone, iPod Touch) locks the player down so that you can't transfer things on and off of it easily.

  • NackmatholnNackmatholn Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    Daedalus wrote: »
    why would they fuck with something that works?

    While we're on that subject:

    Microsoft developed a file transfer protocol called MTP. It's well-supported in every major operating system and Creative's players have been using it for years.

    Now Microsoft comes out with the Zune, which uses (of course) MTP, except they also add in a verification layer to make sure you're running Genuine Microsoft Windows (TM) (R). Why did they go to the extra cost and effort to make their device work less?

    Yeah, but the reason for that, though I don't like it, is so MS can assure profits based on proprietary protocols. .m3u is a rather standard win format, granted yes it's a win format..., that is very simple in code. Why would we bury a playlist in a database other than to ensure non-compatibility? Is there an advantage? (I'm genuinely interested here, there has to be a reason right^^)

  • BarrakkethBarrakketh Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    Yeah, but the reason for that, though I don't like it, is so MS can assure profits based on proprietary protocols.

    Explain how Microsoft can "assure profits" based on locking out the potential non-Windows customer base. This I'm interested in hearing, because I only see it doing the exact opposite (they ensured that got Apple another iPod Touch sale since it works rather nicely with Linux except for firmware updates).

    You also forgot that Microsoft has been punished by the EU for it's proprietary protocols and have been required to make documentation available about them. This is different.
    .m3u is a rather standard win format, granted yes it's a win format..., that is very simple in code. Why would we bury a playlist in a database other than to ensure non-compatibility? Is there an advantage? (I'm genuinely interested here, there has to be a reason right^^)

    Because Amarok doesn't need to be compatible with other music players, and if you need to export a playlist you can do so. Amarok used to store playlists in a plain text format, but they moved away from that with version 2.0. It also allowed them to Storing the playlist in a database is simpler and faster, because a entry in your playlist can reference a track in your collection from a foreign key and retain information like its length, number of times played, date added, your rating, etc. Basically anything you choose to store about a track that isn't embedded in the track itself. That includes the file location, so consider this: let's say that you want to reorganize your music collection. What's going to happen to all of your m3u playlists that have the filepath hardcoded into them? They won't be able to find those tracks. Since Amarok can reorganize your collection for you (according to your specifications) then when those tracks are moved their location needs to be updated in exactly one table of the database, and all of the extra information about those songs will remain intact.

    It's also theoretically (and technically) possible to generate a playlist in any format by querying the database for the information you're interested in and then coercing it into the format of your choice before writing it out to a file.

  • NackmatholnNackmatholn Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    Barrakketh wrote: »
    Yeah, but the reason for that, though I don't like it, is so MS can assure profits based on proprietary protocols.

    Explain how Microsoft can "assure profits" based on locking out the potential non-Windows customer base. This I'm interested in hearing, because I only see it doing the exact opposite (they ensured that got Apple another iPod Touch sale since it works rather nicely with Linux except for firmware updates).

    You are posting in a thread about running zune software on a non windows system... so I would be a non windows customer with a zune :D

    They assure profit because all drm'd media has to be sold via M$ via the zune store. Most consumers will, upon purchasing the zune, purchase songs where again? Not the Zune store? No, why ever would they do that?
    You also forgot that Microsoft has been punished by the EU for it's proprietary protocols and have been required to make documentation available about them. This is different.

    Forgot isn't the right word here. Was never aware? yes that's more fitting. Not living in the EU most of my news these days is about the swine flu rapidly creeping in from the south.
    .m3u is a rather standard win format, granted yes it's a win format..., that is very simple in code. Why would we bury a playlist in a database other than to ensure non-compatibility? Is there an advantage? (I'm genuinely interested here, there has to be a reason right^^)

    Because Amarok doesn't need to be compatible with other music players, and if you need to export a playlist you can do so. Amarok used to store playlists in a plain text format, but they moved away from that with version 2.0. It also allowed them to Storing the playlist in a database is simpler and faster, because a entry in your playlist can reference a track in your collection from a foreign key and retain information like its length, number of times played, date added, your rating, etc. Basically anything you choose to store about a track that isn't embedded in the track itself. That includes the file location, so consider this: let's say that you want to reorganize your music collection. What's going to happen to all of your m3u playlists that have the filepath hardcoded into them? They won't be able to find those tracks. Since Amarok can reorganize your collection for you (according to your specifications) then when those tracks are moved their location needs to be updated in exactly one table of the database, and all of the extra information about those songs will remain intact.

    It's also theoretically (and technically) possible to generate a playlist in any format by querying the database for the information you're interested in and then coercing it into the format of your choice before writing it out to a file.

    That is actually pretty cool, thanks for letting me know man.

  • Dark ShroudDark Shroud Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    Barrakketh wrote: »
    Yeah, but the reason for that, though I don't like it, is so MS can assure profits based on proprietary protocols.

    Explain how Microsoft can "assure profits" based on locking out the potential non-Windows customer base. This I'm interested in hearing, because I only see it doing the exact opposite (they ensured that got Apple another iPod Touch sale since it works rather nicely with Linux except for firmware updates).

    You are posting in a thread about running zune software on a non windows system... so I would be a non windows customer with a zune :D

    They assure profit because all drm'd media has to be sold via M$ via the zune store. Most consumers will, upon purchasing the zune, purchase songs where again? Not the Zune store? No, why ever would they do that?

    I just wanted to comment on the DRM part. Unless you're using the Zune Pass there isn't really any DRM involved with the Zune. You can run DRM free music on it without a problem. The only other time is when you use the song sharing function on the Zune it wraps the file in DRM to kill it after 3 plays since it's only a trial. If you have the Zune Pass then the DRM wrapper is moot. Best part of the Zune Pass it lets you select 10 songs a month to own permanently.

  • NackmatholnNackmatholn Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    Barrakketh wrote: »
    Yeah, but the reason for that, though I don't like it, is so MS can assure profits based on proprietary protocols.

    Explain how Microsoft can "assure profits" based on locking out the potential non-Windows customer base. This I'm interested in hearing, because I only see it doing the exact opposite (they ensured that got Apple another iPod Touch sale since it works rather nicely with Linux except for firmware updates).

    You are posting in a thread about running zune software on a non windows system... so I would be a non windows customer with a zune :D

    They assure profit because all drm'd media has to be sold via M$ via the zune store. Most consumers will, upon purchasing the zune, purchase songs where again? Not the Zune store? No, why ever would they do that?

    I just wanted to comment on the DRM part. Unless you're using the Zune Pass there isn't really any DRM involved with the Zune. You can run DRM free music on it without a problem. The only other time is when you use the song sharing function on the Zune it wraps the file in DRM to kill it after 3 plays since it's only a trial. If you have the Zune Pass then the DRM wrapper is moot. Best part of the Zune Pass it lets you select 10 songs a month to own permanently.

    yeah, I love my Zune Pass. So much music goodness, so little cost. (also one of the things keeping me firm in the Zune Camp)

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