Here is a compilation of various tips I’ve discovered while visiting different forums and blogs.
The Lock Button
I’ve fallen into this trap, so I thought I’d mention it to everyone. On the top of the Zune is a small switch known as the lock button, which is used to deactivate the buttons and front touchpad. It’s often used when you’re listen to music and you want to put your Zune in it’s case or in your bag and you don’t want to accidentally press one of it’s buttons. I had activated the lock button when I slid my Zune in it’s slip cover case, and forgot that it was locked. The next day I plugged my Zune into the charging sync cable and the screen lit up but none of the buttons appeared to work. Since my Zune is brand new, I immediately thought it was defective and needed to be returned. After I realized that the lock button was on, I was at ease when the buttons began to work again. So note, if your device appears to be locked up, check the lock button!
Avoiding “Transcoding” When Syncing Video Files
If you notice that your video files are taking a long time to sync (like several hours), then they are probably being converted (or “Transcoded”) by the Zune Software. Why is that? Because they are formatted within the parameters specified for the Zune devices. Zune.net‘s support page explains the proper parameters for video files, and not all 3rd-party video converter programs will adhere to them. Check out my “Video Conversion” page for more information on how I convert my video files which avoid the transcoding process.
Changing the Background Image on your Zune
Very simple procedure. Either download or create a 240 x 320 pixel image to be used as your new background and sync it with your Zune device. Now, on your Zune go to “Pictures” and display that background picture. With the picture displayed, click the center pad button and select “Apply as Background” from the menu. Now when you go back to the main display, you’ll see your new background!
Registering your Zune With Microsoft
Don’t forget to register your Zune with Microsoft (for Warranty claims). To do so, go to service.zune.net and enter your information (Note: your Serial Number is on the back of the Zune device at the bottom. It’s in really, really tiny print!). After you register, you’ll see the warranty expiration date for your Zune.
Important Button Combinations
The small quick-start guide that came with my Zune 80 explained that holding down the “Play” button will turn my Zune off. Well, that’s not entirely true. Holding the play button down will merely put your Zune in “sleep” mode, where you can wake it up by pressing any button (so long as the lock button isn’t activated). So, power is still being used to keep your Zune snoozing until you wake it up. What if you want to save your battery power (say, on a long flight)? Is there a way to really turn it off?
Why, yes there is a way by using a combination of buttons on your Zune. If you hold down the Back Button and Down button simultaneously, the Zune will really turn off. If you then hold down the Play button, the Zune will turn back on (note, it will take about 20 seconds for the Zune to completely power up). Below are a few useful combination buttons you can use:
- Back Button + Down Button = Turn Off
- Back Button + Up Button = Reset (or Reboot)
So if your device locks up for some reason, you can always try the reboot button sequence. Now, you need to be careful as the following button combinations can be a bit dangerous:
- Back Button + Center Button + Right Button = Delete all Content
- Back Button + Center Button + Left Button = Delete all Content and Delete Firmware
So, you really don’t want to accidentally hit those last two button combinations when you’re out of town and away from your Desktop PC!
Your Zune should have a 1-year warranty (from the date of purchase). You should register your Zune at service.zune.net soon after you buy it so you don’t have any issues in the future if you need to send it in for repair. If you are having problems with your Zune, you can call the service number at 877-GET-ZUNE for support. If they deem that your problem is hardware related, they will initiate a repair order that entails Microsoft sending you a FedEx box for your Zune to be shipped to their repair facility in Texas. Note, that if your Zune show any kind of damage (e.g., scratches on the screen or a broken screen, dents, etc.) the Zune repair facility will send it back to you unrepaired.