Monday, December 28, 2009

TWITTER has arrived to the Zune HD! Sorry I have not much to write lately but i've been busy with work and busy enjoying my Zune HD. I do not have a twitter account so have not had the opportuniy to test drive this new addition. Many gadget sites have already reviewed the Zune HD Twitter app so I will leave it to them.

Thursday, November 12, 2009


Microsoft has Zune HD owners falling in love all over again by releasing 3D games and a Piano App for the Zune HD. Free! And no, we don't mind the pre-game ad (no ad for Piano app).

Thursday, October 15, 2009

ZuneHD Apps Are Here! (somewhat)

As we patiently wait for additional apps to become available in the Zune marketplace, I am happy to report that thanks to a thriving XNA development community lots of games and apps are being developed for the ZuneHD. Totally and completely unofficially that is. Scouring the web tonite I found several sources of games and apps. A site that kind of acts as a repository for some of these games and apps is
Installing these requires Microsoft XNA Game Studio along with C#, and the Zune HD extensions. If you choose to install any of these, do so with care. It helps to have a basic understanding of what XNA is. I'm not a coder but I would consider myself a 'ultra extreme plus master power user' when it comes to PCs. My point is, if I brick my Zune HD, I will take my lumps and point the finger at yours truly. And hey, my first computer was an Atari 800XL, so I am pretty comfy around computers. Anyway...
At this time I have the following installed on my Zune HD:
Acceleromoter (app) (a basic 'bubble level' type app)
Alculator (app) (calculate a person's BAC level)
Alien Blasting (game) (self explanatory)
Calendar (app) (buggy but displays current month and day plus date)
Chopper (game) (the classic chopper game)
Flashlight (app)
Flick Obama (game) (goofy image of Obama that you flick around)
Ice Hockey (2 player game)
Marblets (game)
Paint (app)
Platformer (game) (some fella added additional levels)
RetroRacing (game)
Tap Tap Defense (game) (buggy but it is so fun)
Teeter (game) (addictive and can use more levels)
XNA Pong (game) (addictive)
Guitar Tuner (app) (tune a bass or standard guitar)
Zune 15 (puzzle game)
Zune HD Stopwatch (an amazing looking stopwatch application)
Zune HD Draw (etch-a-sketch type app)

Interesting that the Zune HD was released 9/15/2009 and in addition to the official 9 games/apps from Zune Marketplace, we are already seeing all of these others being worked on. Some of these are no joke - the stopwatch app looks amazing as well as some of the others. Furthermore, the Zune HD extensions for XNA were not released until days after the ZuneHD was released. This is promising but please provide an outlet for the developers Microsoft!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Protect Your Zune HD

Finally! comes to the rescue with their invisibleShield for the Zune HD. This is exciting because from what I have been reading in different forums as well as my own experience scouting web sites and retail locations like Target, Wal-Mart, Staples, and Best Buy, there is no real offering of Zune HD cases or much else in the accessory category. One Best Buy location had the silicone skin from MLO but that was about all.
I hope that
this offering from is a sign of more to come for the holiday shopping season. I will be ordering mine immediately. Expect a mini review soon.
[update 10/15/09] Visited a BestBuy location in NJ today. Found many more Zune HD accessories in the 'Mp3 Player Accessory' section, just down from the iPod section. Some of what they had: Zagg invisibleShield, Zune HD Dock, MLO Jam Jacket, MLO Jam Jacket with strap, Leather Zune Case. This was great to see. I just wish they were displayed more prominently.

Friday, October 2, 2009

ZuneHD Cases by Incipio, Vaja Choice, & DLO

DLO has a few nice offerings (personally, I could do without the cord saver)

INCIPIO has many more offerings but many silicone cases appear 'out of stock'
Vaja Choice has the nicest most customizable cases with engraving
I'll be purchasing one of these sometime soon. I'll let you know what I go with and why.


Tricked! No treat here...
I asked the CaseMate company if they had any case offerings for the Zune HD and their 'customer experience lead', Kim A., replied:
"Thank you for the inquiry. Unfortunately, we do not offer a case for the Zune HD at this time."

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Treats: FREE DVD Ripper & Video Converter for Zune HD is offering a fully functioning download of a few of their products. Apparently there are no strings attached to this deal. I scanned the download for Spyware with Microsoft Security Essentials and found nothing.

I tested the ripping software and video converter software on my 'I Love You, Man' DvD, (hey, I own it after all).

The software gives you several choices of video formats to convert to. There is even a Zune option. That used WMV and for whatever reason, I couldn't sync the WMV file with my Zune. Zune 4.0 reported it as a corrupt or invalid file type.

I finally did something ingenius by selecting the output as MP4; Zune 4.0 liked this apparently because it allowed me to sync this one to my Zune HD.

AWESOME! So far, so great! It looks amazing on my Zune HD and sounds amazing as well.

Have yet to test output to a TV but will update this post if and when I do test it.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Treats: Apps for Zune HD

I keep saying (posting) that it would be only a matter of time and from this article I think it is safe to say that we are about to witness something amazing (forgive me, dramatic effect if you will).

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Tips, Tricks, & Treats: How to Go Back a Screen

How To 'Go Back'
If you are playing music, it is very obvious, the back arrow in the upper left.
If you are navigating most other features like Marketplace, Social, Apps, Settings, it is not so obvious and more then one journalist has commented on this.
In actuality it is very simple to 'Go Back'.
I have read criticisms of the large page titles, in that the titles do not fit on the screen. Well it is very obvious as to why they did this. Those titles aren't really there to remind you where you are, they are your 'Back' button.
Try it. Tap MARKETPLACE. See the giant letters at the top of the marketplace page, tap them and you will be taken back one page/screen.

Tip, Tricks, & Treats: Clear Web Browser History

How to Clear Your Zune HD Internet History*
  4. WAIT
  5. The 'delete history' text will stop glowing after it is done deleting
*This action will clear all stored website passwords. So, any sites you entered login credentials for and originally clicked 'save info' on, will now prompt you to login once again.


Waking the Zune HD from power save mode...
While listening to your music the screen will eventually go into power saver mode. Like a fool I was pressing the home button, power button, tapping the screen, and pressing my own buttons so to speak just trying to wake it up. Admittedly, I did not read the included manuals. Odd because I am an owner's manual junkie - great bathroom reading material.
Eventually I figured it out, just press the media button on the upper left edge of the Zune HD and Eureka! Argh! I am absolutely sure that this little tidbit is in fact included in the manual somewhere.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Tips, Tricks, & Treats: APPS

How to Use Google Mobile with the Zune HD Pins/Quickplay Feature as "Apps"
[image: Zune HD 16 GB with Google Docs, Google Maps, GMail, Bing, and MSN Weather*]
If you are lucky enough to own the new Zune HD you are likely well aware of the APPS debate. Luckily, Microsoft pulled through and Zune HD has APPS. You are also very likely well aware of the limited availability of APPS at present. I expect, from logical assumptions and from reading certain technology articles, that Microsoft will be releasing many more APPS in the very near future. It is my opinion that the Zune HD is absolutely perfect and while I am not an APPS addict, there are a few features that I would like to have simply for their convenience. So, i've outlined for you a way to add some cloud based APP functionality to your Zune HD right now. By the way, you will be tempted to tap the 'install' link that appears on some of the Google mobile pages; this does not seem to work at present, but I kind of like the idea of not wasting device storage space with downloadable APPS anyway. Once more, so the non-enlightened ones understand, Zune HD has APPS, just not a lot of them yet.

So we begin.

Prerequisites: Updated and charged Zune HD, Zune Sync Cable (if you don't have a wifi signal), Google Account ( I have not yet tested this with Windows Live, Bing, Etc. )
1. Tap INTERNET on your Zune HD, let the browser initialize
2. In the 'search with Bing' field, type google then tap search
3. Tap the Google Mobile item in the search results (should be
4. Tap the More link at the top of the page
5. The list of available Google mobile Apps appears. Again, do not tap the download link
Now, if you prefer to take the lazy route, you can skip the next few steps and just use this list as a sort of 'Google App Launch Page', otherwise, proceed to next step...
6. Go ahead and tap GMAIL, scroll down to the link for and tap that.
7. Enter your GMAIL login credentials, for fast access but less security, tap 'save password' or whatever. You will be taken to your GMAIL inbox.
8. Tap the star (favorites) icon at the bottom.
9. Notice the + Gmail at the top bar of your favorites view. Tap the +. You are back in your Inbox.
10. Tap the star gain.
11. Hold your finger on the Gmail entry that was added. Release finger when the prompt comes up.
13. Press your Zune HD home button.
14. You have added the Gmail favorite to your Quickplay list. You can add the 'real' Zune HD Apps to quickplay too, that Weather* thumbnail in my image up top is a real App. You can add almost anything to quickplay.

You are done! Repeat these steps for other Google Mobile Apps or other sites, as I did with the Bing site. It is worth pointing out again that the Weather* thumbnail is an actual bona fide Zune HD app from Zune Marketplace. I simply added it to my Quickplay. They all kind of fit in nicely together, doncha' think?

Notes: Be mindful of how deep into a site you are if you want your thumbnails to look as nice as the GMail, Bing Search, and Google Maps do. GMail and Bing were no problem. Google Maps was tricky in that it just showed up as a black thumbnail in Quickplay with the url. I fixed it by removing that one and navigating back to Google Maps, and entering in my home state into the location search field. After I clicked Local Search, the map of NJ loaded. This is where I added it to Favorites. Then to Quickplay. And as you see from the image, I got what I wanted.