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Old 10-03-2007, 08:34 PM
Jason Dunn
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Join Date: Aug 2006
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Default Zune MVP Conference Call Notes: Wireless Synchronization

I just got out of a Zune MVP conference call with some of the Zune team members, and have discovered a few interesting things about the new Zune devices and software that are worth sharing. I'll break it up into several parts for easier digesting.

First up, the wireless synchronization: the automatic sync will occur when your Zune is on AC power and hasn't been used for more than 60 seconds. The big caveat here is that the Zune desktop software has to be running or the automatic sync will not work. This means your PC needs to be logged in and the Zune software has to be loaded. For many people, myself included, this a deal breaker - I always shut down the Zune software when I'm finished with it. The solution here is to have the Zune software run as a system service, so as long as the PC is running, the automatic sync can happen. The Zune team member said they were looking at the option of it running as a service, but there were some issues that would need to be dealt with.

All is not lost, however: if you kick off a manual wireless sync from the Zune, the software will start up on it's own, and do a sync. There's a small monitoring application that is always running on a PC with the Zune desktop software installed, and its job is to start the Zune desktop software when a Zune is physically connected to the PC. What the Zune team has done is tap into this program wirelessly, so it starts up the software for you. Why can't get this to work with the automatic wireless sync since it seems like almost the same thing? I have no idea. Since I doubt the Zune software will exit when the sync is done, you could do a manual sync first, then have it auto-sync from then on.

The Zune wireless sync is exactly what we were all looking for a year ago, and while it's late arriving, the implementation sounds pretty good overall - I have no problem pressing a button to kick off a manual sync. If they can get the Zune software to run as a service so the auto-sync would work without the user even needing to be logged into their PC, that would be even better.
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