Just another weblog

Archive for December, 2007

Recalibrating the Zune battery

Posted by onlydarksets on December 30, 2007

Here is a good post (which, in turn, is based on this MS KB article) on how to get the battery indicator on the Zune to more accurately display the battery level.

Here is an excerpt from the KB article:

For Zune 4GB, 8GB, and 80GB devices, the battery icon may not accurately represent the battery charge that is available until the battery has been fully charged and then discharged one time after you update the device. To properly cycle the battery, follow these steps:

1. With the battery at a half-full charge or less, connect the Zune device to a power source.

2. After the battery icon appears green (battery full), disconnect the Zune device from the power source.

3. On the Home screen, select settings, and then press the center of the Zune pad.

4. Select display, and then press the center of the Zune pad.

5. Select backlight, and then press the center of the Zune pad to toggle through the settings until the backlight is set to always on.

6. Select brightness, and then press the center of the Zune pad to toggle through the settings until the brightness is set to high.

7. Press and hold the back button until the Home screen appears.

8. Select music, and then press the center of the Zune pad.

9. Select genres, albums, artists, or songs. Then, select shuffle all.

10. Set the Zune device aside.

11. Once the Zune device turns off, press the play\pause button.
Note If the Zune device turns back on, wait until it turns off again, and then press the play/pause button. Repeat this step until the Zune device no longer turns on.

12. When the Zune device no longer turns on, connect it to a power source.

13. Change the display settings back to your preferred choices.

14. Fully charge the device until the battery icon appears green (battery full).

Note Remember to set backlight and brightness to their previous settings. The default settings are 15 seconds and medium, respectively.

Posted in Zune 2 | Leave a Comment »

How to Embed Album Art for Zune

Posted by onlydarksets on December 28, 2007

Turns out the Zune 2 software won’t autotranscode WMA Lossless to WMA lossy for you. Sooooo, I have to convert my entire library, and then use that with the Zune. Not a huge deal, except for the fact that I used WMP11 to associate album art with each of my tracks. Why is that a problem?

Well, it turns out that WMP11 doesn’t actually embed the album art in the WMA file – it creates a series of JPG files in each album folder that it marks as Hidden/System. Yes, that’s right – art for each track is stored at the album level, so if you move a track to a different folder, you are hosed.

So, I’m going through the process of embedding album art for all of my tracks. Basically, that consists of:

  1. Deleting the Hidden/System files.
  2. Figuring out which WMA tracks (or MP3, AAC, etc.) don’t have embedded art already.
  3. For those tracks, finding and embedding the art.

Deleting the Hidden/System Files

WARNING: This will affect not only the files in the current folder, but also in ALL SUBFOLDERS. PROCEED WITH CAUTION!!

NOTE: I suggest backing up all of the “Folder.jpg” files first, just in case you can’t find the album art again.  Do that between steps 2 and 3.

  1. From the root of your WMA folder, type:
    dir *.jpg /A /S
    This will display a list of all JPG files in all subdirectories. You should see some (or all) of the following:

    1. AlbumArtSmall.jpg
    2. Folder.jpg
    3. Album*.jpg
  2. You can’t delete or move the files until you remove the Hidden/System attributes. The following command will do that for the current directory, and all subdirectories:
    attrib -S -H *.jpg /S
  3. Finally, delete all of the album art files from the current directory and all subdirectories:
    del /S *.jpg

Finding the Tracks Without Art

I love MediaMonkey.  Fire it up, then select the Album view from the tree on the left, then select”View” and then “Show Album Art with details”.  Anything without a picture on it needs embedded art.

Embedding Album Art

There are two options: let MediaMonkey do it for you, or find the image and paste it using MediaMonkey.

  1. Let MediaMonkey do it for you:
    1. Select the album
    2. Press Ctrl+L (or right-click and select “Auto-tag from Web”)
    3. Click the “Auto-Tag” button
  2. Do it manually:
    1. Find the album art from:
      1. Google Image Search
      3. Artist’s home page
    2. Select all track in the album
    3. Press Shift+Enter (or right-click and select “Properties”)
    4. Click the “Album Art” tab.
    5. Right-click and select “Paste”
    6. Select “Save image to tag (if possible)”
    7. Click “OK” twice to finish.

Posted in Zune 2 | 8 Comments »

Zune not recognizing a music folder you added?

Posted by onlydarksets on December 28, 2007

I added a bunch of music, removed it from the Zune library, and then found that I could not add it back!  Every time I added the folder, nothing happened.  I found this tool from Microsoft, which resets the entire Zune library.  So, PROCEED WITH CAUTION!!!

Posted in Zune 2 | Leave a Comment »

Return to "Now Playing" on Zune

Posted by onlydarksets on December 26, 2007

If you start listening to music, then navigate away, there is no menu option to get back to the “Now Playing” screen (with the album art).  I found this shortcut: press the pause/play button twice.  It interrupts the music for a moment, but there does not seem to be any other way to do it.

Posted in Zune 2 | 2 Comments »

Got a new Zune 80GB

Posted by onlydarksets on December 26, 2007

I picked one up at BB today – very slick so far!  The Zune PC software is a bit of a PITA to use, but I’m assuming it will make sense over time.  I love the screen size and the form factor.  The tap-pad is, IMO, revolutionary, as it combines the best of the manual d-pads (one click = one move in that direction) with the best of the click-wheel style (tight control over speed navigation).  That said, I would not be surprised to see a touchscreen version of this in the similar form factor for next Christmas.

Posted in Zune 2 | Leave a Comment »

Getting SDHC to work

Posted by onlydarksets on December 26, 2007

UPDATE: Now it’s clear that the card is bad.  Off to BB (again!).

UPDATE: Looks like it’s the card reader, too. Ugh – off to BB in the morning.

I got a 4GB microSDHC card for my i760 for Christmas, and getting it working has been a bit of a pain. First, you need a hacked driver to get it working on the i760. However, you also need a hotfix to get it working in Windows XP! To make it worse, MS won’t just “give” you the hotfix – you have to request it. However, there is an alternative! See below…

i760 driver:

Windows XP hotfix:

Posted in Samsung i760, Windows Mobile, Windows XP | 1 Comment »

WM6 Professional Software List

Posted by onlydarksets on December 13, 2007

I did a hard reset, and figured I’d track the apps I install, along with the major configurations.

  • phoneAlarm
    • PhatPhinger skin
  • AgendaOne (v1.5)
  • LiveSearch
  • PDANet (v1.80)
  • TCPMP (v.72rc1)
    • TCPMP ffmpeg plugin
  • FlexWallet (v3)
  • TotalCommander
  • XnPocketView
  • Microsoft Office Mobile (v6.1)
  • Sprite Backup

Posted in PPCs, Windows Mobile | Leave a Comment »

Task manager menu

Posted by onlydarksets on December 12, 2007

I’m looking for a task manager that can be launched via a hard button and will allow me to terminate any program from a drop-down menu, as well as do a soft-reset. I’ve found a bunch, but each has a drawback.

Has anyone found one that does everything?

Application Cost Drawbacks Extras
DinarSoft HandySwitcher $9.99 No soft-reset Lightweight
DinarSoft HandyMenu $5.99 No task manager
SBSH iLauncher $14.99 Requires Today Plug-in Launcher
Spb Pocket Plus $29.99 Lacks focus as an application – too expensive for task manager Bundles a bunch of unrelated programs together
tMan Free Latest version won’t map to button with AE Button Plus
Just plain works
pBar Free Functionally complete, but bug causes icons to disappear when message arrives. BT/Wifi/Phone toggle
vBar Free Doesn’t integrate to WM6 skin; no soft-reset
SmallMenu Free No soft-reset; more of a Start menu replacement.
InClose Free Unidentified bug shut phone down automatically
Magic Button Free No one-handed operation.
WkTask Free Limited one-handed operation.  

Sources: PDAPhoneHome; PocketPCFreeware; FreewarePPC.

Update 2008-02-28

Posted in PPCs | 2 Comments »