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Zune forums

Zune Tips

In the first two days following Zune's 2nd-generation player launch, over 28,000 people visited Zunerama's user forums.

Many of them - and those who have since followed - shared a whole lot of tips from their experiences with the new Zune players and software.

We've pulled some of those tips into this page. Thanks to Zunerama's forum members for taking the time to help out other Zune owners!

Got a tip of your own? Share it with other Zuners!

Install Tip: Keep your custom album art

For most people, accepting the installation defaults will work just fine. But if you have customized the album art in your collection, you may want to prevent Zune software from overriding that art with its own.

Upon installation, a screen will pop-up asking you if you want to use the default settings, or customize them yourself. Choose customize. You will then get a screen that says "Monitored Folders" at the top. until you see "OPTIONS"... and then un-check the box that says "Automatically Update Album Art..."

Otherwise, the Zune software will change any artwork that you've hand-picked in the past (if any) or any customization you've made.

Thanks, Xune.

Fixing mixed-up album info

After installation, you may find your album info (artist, genre, etc.) jumbled up, and your album art mis-assigned. You can clear that up by following these steps.

Now Playing screen

A Now Playing screen shows you your current song, along with a backdrop mosaic of your album art. To see it, click on the dancing volume bars icon to the right of the play/stop/controls.

Quicker way to check all album art

Zune software (on the PC) doesn't display album art on the playlist screen. If you want to verify your album art for all songs in a playlist, try this: While playing tracks in your playlist, switch to the Now Playing screen; highlight the "right arrow" in the controls; and press enter repeatedly to cycle through all of the tracks (and album art) in the playlist.

Finding a song quickly in the music browse screen

Just click anywhere in the song column on the left side, and start typing letters. As you type, a translucent text box will appear, and your song list will dynamically change to reflect the songs that match the letters you've typed. Cool!

Finding an album quickly in the music browse screen

The above tip also works in the album column. Click anywhere in the album column, and start typing letters.

Customize columns in "List" view

You can add or remove columns in "List" view by right-clicking the column header. You can then remove columns or add additional ones like composer, playcount, and others.

Secret button combinations

Remember those button combos that worked with your Zune 30? Well, those still work under the updated firmware, and with the new 4, 8, and 80GB players. That includes button tricks like:

  • By default, Zune goes to "sleep" after a few minutes of inactivity, and then turns itself off. You can save a few millijoules of battery life by turning it off immediately. How? Press and hold "down" on the Zune Pad, and press and hold the Back button.
  • To quickly go back to the main menu, press and hold the Back button.
  • To reboot your player - a useful thing to try while troubleshooting - press and hold the Back button, while pressing "up" on the Zune Pad.
  • To reset your player, press and hold "Up" on the Zune Pad, while pressing and holding the Back button.
  • To reformat your player's drive, reset it as noted above. When it starts to reset, hold down the Back button, Center button, and Play button at the same time. Your player will inform you that it is deleting all media on device, and your Zune should revert to the "way it was" when you first pulled it out of the box. Careful! This will erase your player contents and you should rarely if ever need to do it.