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Zunerama Forum  |  Zune Boards  |  Zune Help (Moderator: pulse)  |  Topic: A 'workaround' to the studdering problem... « previous next »
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Author Topic: A 'workaround' to the studdering problem...  (Read 802 times)
wiltim
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A 'workaround' to the studdering problem...
« on: December 27, 2006, 10:49:38 AM »

Hey guys,

My Zune, as well as my wife's, studder.  Our's are 1st Gen, got them at launch, yada yada yada

Anyway, it's highly annoying and I've been searching for an answer since it may be awhile before MS releases anything...btw, I called them the second week of December and they claimed it was the first they had heard of the studdering problem, which can't possibly be true...

I've been reading alot, trying to find out how to resolve it and after putting a few ideas to the test I finally found one:  Set your backlight to Always On.  I haven't had the studdering problem since.

It makes me a whole lot happier now that I can actually run a playlist through speakers and not be embarrased by the studdering!

I'm not sure of the effect on the battery life, we'll see how that goes...

Cheers!
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Zunerama Ed.
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Re: A 'workaround' to the studdering problem...
« Reply #1 on: December 27, 2006, 11:15:39 AM »

This is the first workaround I've seen to this problem. Very interesting.

Are you a Zune Pass subscriber? Do you find that the stuttering (or skipping) just happens for songs downloaded from Zune Pass?
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incandenza
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Re: A 'workaround' to the studdering problem...
« Reply #2 on: December 27, 2006, 10:28:04 PM »

I can confirm that the same thing works for me.  I set the backlight to low and always on.  The battery still lasts almost 5 hours, which is good enough for now.  Much better than dealing with the skipping all the time.

The skipping only seems to happen on Zune Pass songs, yes.  It also seems to get worse the more of them you have loaded.  I have about 20 gigs worth now, and it's gotten quite bad.

I also notice that syncing Zune Pass songs takes longer the more of them you have on the device.  At first there would be a 1 second or so pause between each track.  Now (with 20 gigs loaded) there is an 8-10 second pause after each track.  I think there is something inefficient about the way the DRM info is stored on the Zune.

I wonder if when the backlight is off, the CPU slows down or goes into a semi-sleep mode and it just can't keep up with processing the DRM.

Hope they are able to fix this.  Should be pretty easy to reproduce-- just fill the whole thing with Zune Pass tracks, and you should hear skipping every 2 or 3 songs at least.
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wiltim
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Re: A 'workaround' to the studdering problem...
« Reply #3 on: January 03, 2007, 07:24:24 AM »

"I wonder if when the backlight is off, the CPU slows down or goes into a semi-sleep mode and it just can't keep up with processing the DRM."

That was my guess...it's got to be some sort of 'idle sleep' issue...

I'm not sure on the Zune Pass music, I haven't ripped any music yet from my CD collections.  But I know it's not related to the music file itslef, because I can play it fine on my desktop.


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LPD
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Re: A 'workaround' to the studdering problem...
« Reply #4 on: January 05, 2007, 09:02:56 AM »

I find that when it happens I am moving the Zune around more, like at the gym.  If I click Back to restart song then it plays through with no problems.

My guess it is a buffering problem with the hard drive.  To save power the drive is accessed as little as possible.  So it prefetches songs but at the beginning there is not much in the buffer.  They just need to do a little more prefetching before they start playing the song.  But this is all speculation on my part.
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mglish
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Re: A 'workaround' to the studdering problem...
« Reply #5 on: January 05, 2007, 09:12:03 AM »

I think the perception that this happens more when you're moving is just a coincidence.  If the root cause is that the system is having a hard time playing the music and checking the DRM, then a) that would have nothing to do with movement and b) the reason it plays well if you go back to the beginning is because the DRM check is complete.

I find that I can't do anything while it's stuttering, e.g., change volume, go back to the beginning of a song, etc.
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drummerboy627
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Re: A 'workaround' to the studdering problem...
« Reply #6 on: January 06, 2007, 12:19:06 PM »

I'm not so sure that the issue is with the Zune Pass.  I did not see this issue (at least not on this scale) until firmware 1.2.  And I've had it happen with mp3 songs that are not from the Zune pass - always in the exact same spot and only when played in a certain sequence (i.e. a playlist or an album).
Anyone else, or is it all Zune pass songs for you guys?
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kbanes
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Re: A 'workaround' to the studdering problem...
« Reply #7 on: January 19, 2007, 08:31:50 AM »

I just wanted to let you guys know that the same problem exist on the Toshiba Gigabeat S series.  My S30 would skip in the first 15 seconds of subscription music rented from Yahoo Music.  It occurred every 4th or 5th song, and if you immediately restarted the song after a skip occurred, it played through without a problem.

I bring it up because the Gigabeat also uses Windows Media, and it is my uderstanding that Toshiba builds the Zen for Microsoft.

I have talked to Toshiba tech support twice, and they claim that this is the first that they have heard of the problem, and that while they will be happy to look at the player if I send it in, they are pretty sure that the problem is with Yahoo Music.

For reference, I have played these same tracks on three non-toshiba devices, and they played with no skipping.  (Yes, I told Toshiba tech support that this was the case, but they saw nothing significant in it.  It is still a Yahoo issue).

I have returned my first unit, and a second one is on the way.  If it also skips, I am going to try the backlight fix and see what happens.

Good luck to you guys.  I hope that Microsoft gets this fixed for you.

kbanes
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Zuli Uni
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Re: A 'workaround' to the studdering problem...
« Reply #8 on: January 19, 2007, 09:01:41 AM »

I've had problems with skipping and I've only been using songs from my CD collection...not a Zune Marketplace subscriber.  Typically, this has been less than what's been mentioned with the songs from Marketplace but hardly a day goes by that I haven't encountered at least one song (out of about 2000 on the device so far) which doesn't skip or even completely "crash" (skip heavily and then stop playing).  I've wondered if the problem is within the Zune/Zune software or in my CD ROM drive.  These have been, for the most part, tracks which continue to play very well on my home stereo system...
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Irenic
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Re: A 'workaround' to the studdering problem...
« Reply #9 on: January 22, 2007, 02:49:36 PM »

*sigh*

I've got to add my recent nightmare with this product and Microsoft Tech support.  Long story short, I asked for an iPod for christmas and due to his better judgement, my boyfriend (knowing my hatred for all things microsoft) decided to get me a Zune.

Everything worked great and then this skipping started happening.

Called Microsoft today after reading two pages worth of Google searches for "zune skipping" and they said that I was basically smoking crack.  Yeah, goodbye Zune, hello iPod.
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Zunerama Ed.
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Re: A 'workaround' to the studdering problem...
« Reply #10 on: January 22, 2007, 03:16:15 PM »

Well, it's odd, I've never experienced it on my Zune, but it does seem to happen to some people's Zunes. Were you using Marketplace content, or was it loaded with your own existing music?
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