Zune gutted


bunnie has gotten his hands on a Zune and done the best thing you could possibly do with one: tear it apart. Here’s a HiRes picture of the board. bunnie does note that the Freescale iMX31L is full of potential.

Comments

  1. mike g. says:

    awesome… zune sucks

  2. kevin says:

    Some one needs to hack it so when it gets a song from another zune it can play it as much as it wants, opposed to the three times.

  3. Two Words:

    Zune Linux

    Ironic? Yes.

  4. t3h says:

    Yup, let’s frustrate Microsoft by running Linux on it!

    Perhaps then, the thing might actually be decent…

  5. digitallysick says:

    hack it , put linux on it, and real wifi

  6. Pinski says:

    External WiFi Antenna mod anyone?

    Maybe even an HDD upgrade is also possible?

  7. RusH says:

    64MB (not 16 as someone in comments suggested)
    64 MEGABYTES !!! for an EMBEDDED OS of a music player … SIXTY FOUR MEGAfokinBYTES
    heh :) guess it runs XP embedded :]

  8. ben says:

    Honestly only Microsoft could pull that off. I mean look at the xbox os (the first one not 360) it was like 100 something megs when the ps2 and gamecube os’s were maybe 5 megs apiece. They just don’t know how to code small. like for instance i remember reading that they wrote some 5 million lines of code or something just for the hddvd addon for the 360. I mean millions of lines of code? wtf? its only a higher rez dvd player anyway and they already have dvd playing code in the dashboard. I just dont get them sometimes like how there is no rewind/fast forward for playing music on the 360. I mean its a friggin media machine supposedly. anyway enough ranting for me.

  9. Chris says:

    Wow its amazing how stupid you people are

    I doubt the OS is taking up the full space of 64megs… its their for future expansion…

    Zune is meant to be compatible with each other from this first device till the future ones 5 years from now… hence the partial wifi usage and extra memory

    As for coding small… sotp being an idiot… Sony’s PS3 dashboard takes up 96 megs of ram 32 on xdr and 64 on the gddr … while the xbox360 uses a wopping 32mb TOTAL

  10. andy says:

    “External WiFi Antenna mod anyone?”

    youd need one hell of an antenna to find another zune to connect to ;) lol

  11. babs says:

    Like Ballmer sez: This thing is so shitty, you wanna squirt, just to get rid of it.

    Flush this turd down the drain: http://www.microsoftshitbrick.com

  12. Rx says:

    Why exactly is this picture in colour?

  13. Soap says:

    64 megs of memory to cache music for playback so the hard drive isn’t spinning constantly. Not because the firmware is bloated, not for future expansion.
    The iPod 30 gig only has 32.
    The iPod 60/80 gig has 64.

  14. james says:

    Interestingly enough, when you load the Zune site on Firefox in Linux, it comes up without any kind of formatting, similar to the FSF site, but when you use User Agent switcher to switch it to IE or Opera (but not Netscape), it shows up normally with graphics and stuff.

    And it’s zune.net, not zune.com, which comes up with an error message in Spanish saying that it’s not allowed to list the index.

  15. tom61 says:

    Awesome, I was hoping Toshiba would use the iMX31L for Microsoft’s Zune. 64MB is nice too, and not that surprising for a video player (my uCLinux based PMP has 64MB).

    Linux would be very cool on this, pending the iMX is clocked decently. DivX and XviD with no conversion for a good deal of files (non-HiDef of course), drag and drop files like a drive, etc.

    Wifi will probably be a bit more difficult, as I couldn’t find any information about it, other than it being in the Zune, and I’ve been looking since the FCC docs were up. So, no pre-made drivers for the WiFi chip, and potentially some hard core reverse-engineering required to get it figured out (multi-channel logic analyzer)

    The site has already tanked,BTW.Anyone have a mirror of it, so I could see some of the finer specs?

  16. strider_mt2k says:

    AHHHHH horrible, horrible color!

  17. moshansky says:

    This is gonna be beautiful once its hacked. Also the site is down, could someone please post a mirror?

  18. bunnie says:

    I just got the note from Pair networks (my web hoster) that the traffic caused their server to crash and they have actually disabled my account entirely (and of course, since they sent the email to an account on the server that went down, I never got it–had to log on to the NOC to see it).

    I’ll see what I can do to bring it back up…looks like they don’t take calls until 8 AM EST. Funny, the server has survived /.’ings before…I wonder what made this different.

  19. Bench says:

    Bunnie’s site is down. Funny thing is Nathan True did a video on GearLive yesterday on how to take a Zune apart, but it was gone today. Wonder is there any relation between these?!

  20. vk says:

    I don’t really understand what’s so special about Linux on Zune. Maybe I’m just a hardware person or something, but to me, most MP3 players are extremely similar in terms of hardware. LCD screen and associated circuitry, battery charger, processor, audio circuitry, hard drive, a couple of other ICs–really, it’s all the same except for a couple of variations, different casing, and buttons. What distinguishes one from another is just how you designed the case or how great the software is.

    That means to me, the firmware on the Zune is what defines it. Install linux on it, i don’t care–it’s just like installing linux on a PC that had windows preinstalled on it.

    Just my opinion.

  21. DarkGhost says:

    What do u mean the software doesnt matter? the firmware only dictates lower level data processing and such, the os makes it what it is. you can do way more with a pc with linux on it then with windows, changing the firmware of that macines makes no noticable difference. Because what the firmware deals with is ‘behind the scenes’ we dont notice it. Like if i updated the bios on my machine it wouldnt change how my os ran or anything notaceable about the workings of my computer. anywayz i think if someone could get linux onto the zune, it should be easy enough to hack into, itz running a microsoft os for christs sake, it would be better than the ipod by a long shot.

  22. tom61 says:

    vk, the hardware is quite a bit different between the ipod and zune. the current ipod has an arm7 processor (around a 486 in processing power) with, on models with video support, a chip to decode video. the zune has an i.mx31l (arm11) processor. the ipod’s video support cannot be upgraded, as the codec is in hardware and the general purpose arm7 is not fast enough to handle decoding of video. the zune’s processor has an intergrated mpeg4 video decoder, which saves on battery life, but the general purpose section is powerful enough to handle decoding of other types of video.

    with ms’s firmware, you have to use, and therefore install, the zune software to transfer songs and video. ms limits you on what codecs for songs and video, which excludes the popular divx and xvid codecs. with linux, you could set it up to appear as a mass storage device (like a thumbdrive) and just drag and drop videos over. with an mplayer port you could play a great deal more video and audio codecs without having to convert them.

  23. Arukaene says:

    well i for one am very excited to see what some of our ridiculously motivated and talented modders are going to do with the zune, it seems to have more possibilities open for modding than some other players i’ve seen, and personally, i like the brown green one, something about ugly color combinations, i find them novel indeed

  24. sam says:

    It’s amazing how quick the Linux and Mac crowd are to prove they have absolutely no idea what they are talking about. Anyone who owns a zune knows that it’s a really nice piece of equipment. Many of my ipod carying friends have been quite impressed with the capabilities of the zune. Many of them have also shown interest in buying a zune instead of an ipod the next time around. Seriously if you don’t know what you are talking about, shut yer hole!

    I ran across a site that had a coment about microsoft not supporting zune on Vista yet and making commnts about how desperate they are. Um, Vista isn’t being supported by microsoft yet either, because it hasn’t been released yet. You microsoft bashers are doing nothing but making youselves look like idiots.

    “It is best to keep your mouth shut and be presumed ignorant than to open it and remove all doubt.”
    -Mark Twain

  25. ealbers says:

    What an insult.

    What if M$ makes a product, which can be hacked to run Linux, and no one bothers.

    Not even worth hacking…quite the insult really.

  26. munsen says:

    I’ll be impressed with the capabilities when I can drag and drop my already existing ogg/flac/mp3 files on it from my file manager on Linux. No universal storage device capabilities? No buy. Laden with DRM schemes that no doubt require a bunch of hacking to get around? No buy. When someone gets Rockbox or something else working on it I’ll be in line to buy one. Thanks for calling.

  27. julian says:

    someone figure out how to make zune play protected music… or get pass that fucking 3 by 3 rule or whatever it is!

  28. Manzoor says:

    GREEEEATTT!!Cant wait to see LINUX FOR ZUNE!!!
    GOO FOR IT
    KEEEP UP DA GOOD WORK

  29. welll its a lot uglier with the cover on so i say they should have clear plastic shells.
    whos with me?
    OH and also, if it could be modded to put an ipod like clickwheel interface with its linux software that dosnt have a crappy drmatized 3 day 3 play bs, SOLD

  30. mskee says:

    Please… Only someone who buys into the whole ipod marketing ‘you aren’t cool if you dont have one’ crap could say zune sucks. I’m no fan of ms windows, but they actually did a good job with this mp3 player. Anyone who knows anything about hardware or software design knows Zune is superior to ipod in almost every way. ipod sucks, and only people who buy into the marketing are dumb enough to buy one.
    I would however be curious to see a linux hack on Zune, if done properly theres alot of potential.

  31. Steven Smith says:

    I love when I read how much people hate the Zune and favor the IPod or any other MP3 player over the Zune. If anyone in the room can tell me one feature the IPod does over the Zune that is worth while (I don’t count being able to play Tetris or watch a full length movie on a 2.5″ screen w/black widescreen bars a plus) then I will bow down to you. I had a 30 gb Video IPod and sold it days before the Zune was released. I love it, the ability to buy an mp3 player that doesn’t feel like I need to rush out and immediately buy a case for it just so it has a chance to see its 1 month birthday. The ability to fully customize the look and feel is expecially nice since I am both a photographer and graphic designer. And the option to fill my MP3 player for $15 a month as oppposed to ITunes marvelous $.99 a song or $9.99 a cd. So to all the neighsayers I would love to know why the IPod is “the better choice”.

  32. Tom says:

    My wife and I both have Zunes with the “all you can eat” membership to the Zune Marketplace, and we love them. They do most of the things that we want them to do. For the record… we don’t squirt anything with our Zunes. I can’t defend that gem of miserable marketing.

    I bought a Zune, but I don’t hold any ill feelings toward the iPod. The iPod is, and has been, a great device that has revolutionized the industry. You just don’t sell 100 million iPod’s if they totally suck.

    The fact of the matter is that there is a bandwagon of “I hate Microsoft” people that will hate everything that Microsoft creates. That, along with racism, sexism, etc, will never change. If the Zune was released with the ability to make you 6’ 3” tall and bring back dead relatives, there would still be a group of people that would complain that they wanted to be 6’ 4” tall or that they hate all there dead relatives and would never use that feature.

    The Zune is Microsoft’s first attempt at a device that is in direct competition with the iPod. I think they did a great job on the initial product, and I hope that they will continue to release firmware adding functionality that matters to me in the future (not holding my breath). I am happy with the product I bought… for now, but if I want a feature they don’t add, I am not against going to Linux to get the features I want. I long since did the same with most of the computers in my house.

  33. bluescales says:

    Well, yeah, vk, installing linux on the zune would be a bit like installing linux on PC that had windows…a lot better, faster, and more customizable. Plus you could send files via wi-fi and play them as much as you want. Plus maybe even a web browser or something… I dunno much about the hardware in these things, but I can imagine it MIGHT be possible to do some sort of browser. I’ll bet MS tried to hide something in there to make it really really hard to install linux.

  34. I agree with vk about the software defining the zune and linux just making it another linux device. But that’s the point, I dropped windows two years ago and received a zune as a gift (non-returnable) and you can really use it…
    That’s crap…. Hack it put a linux kernel on it with a simple GUI with xmms, a photo library, and a video player
    Done and it’s a use full device. The wifi is still kind of useless in this application….

  35. Jinx says:

    I would love to see a way to hack zune to use flac files, flac > zune support would rock.

    I dont want to have to convert my media to put it in my zune which converts it again anyway….. :(

    Help this lossless fanatic and the millions in other lurking in the lossless realm.

  36. Fenix says:

    its kinda funny, I won a free zune but now im gona hack it and put linux on it, since linux owned microshit from day one in everything.

  37. hackarmy says:

    i wonder wath that moddule is next to the lcd ribbon cable ? *cough*

  38. Aerospaced says:

    I have been going over the data sheets for the IC’s that I can make out, wow, the potential here is awesome! Do you have a list of the other IC’s? Nothing here has been potted, the FOOLS! I think I will conformal coat mine when I finish my mods.
    P.S. I have an idea of what your up to now.LOL ;)

  39. ZUN34G3 says:

    Zune. Linux. Can we please use the wifi for seomthing else? Not many people want to share songs with other people. Put linux on it, lets browse the internet. Internet radio. Something? Please? Anyone?

  40. grungedoobie says:

    The jolly guy laughed himself sick when he sent my dad a Zune for Christmas. Here’s the skinny. Most of us at the house have gone Linux because we’re tired of paying bucks to MacroShaft for shoddy software. There isn’t anything yet that we’ve not been able to do with Linux that we did with the other. We’re simple people but we like to be able to use decent software, and the Linux communities have given us that. Thank you Linux communities. 8-)

    The Zune. Wow. That company is so full of hate towards whatever it thinks may be any sort of competition that it takes it out on its customers by coming up with this contraption. I have an AMD Phenom 9500 Quad on a generic MoBo. I ripped Vista off the thing shortly after getting it because it ran like garbage. Put linux on it, and now I have a dream machine.

    My dad has a good machine that’s a couple years older than mine, and we took Vista off of it for the same reason. Now, he has a dream machine.

    So, he gets the Zune. Now we have a WMD (Windows Media Device?) with 120G drive that only plays one video and has some free lance splash art on it.

    I had an old XP SP2 disk (yes, and the proper key) and set about making the Zune useful.

    What a nightmare!! XP was written for single core processors, and is forbidden by its writers to function on anything else. XP fried a hard drive when I tried to make it a USB boot device. (These installs are easily done in Linux by the way. No matter what flavor you choose.) The USB boot device was a measure of last resort because XP refused to use the hardware after making a flawless install.

    Finally I opted to try puting it on a computer from 1996. Intel P3 S1 550Mhz. It had Linux on it as well, and is used as a backup computer. I had to rummage through parts to find a configuration that XP could work with (nightmare). As always, Linux was working beautifully with what was already there.

    I finally got XP installed. Ever tried installing a Dell version of XP on a Gateway MoBo? What a pain. The Zune Software is shoddy at best. If a file is out of place during the first sync, you have to sync three more times just to set it right. There’s no way of organizing files on the Zune. There’s no way of modifying play lists directly from the Zune. You can’t directly manage files on the Zune unless you tweak your registry and hope that tweak doesn’t crash your system. You have to install about a dozen overbloated programs just to add a game to the Zune. MacroShaft has never fixed their device grab and release problems, so good luck trying to sync twice in less that 10 minutes without hanging the device manager and having to reboot. (Especially when you sync via wireless.) The only upgrades available to the Zune customers are what MacroShaft wants you to have. (Aside from a weak game scripting software package that is a poor attempt of a hack off of visual C++) Programs written for one version of OS on the Zune are not compatible with any other. Battery life stinks. Shall I continue?

    Linux, help save us from this madness!!

    Or better yet, Let’s clobber us a jolly bearded maniac. 8-) Y’all be cool.

  41. JohnMark says:

    I have a Zune.. it sucks balls.. it would be nice if i could use it on my suse.. how simply wonderful it would be if i could just drag my banshee mp3s right over to the device.. but that would be to easy..

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