Synchronised failure of all/most 30gb Zunes



  • It looks like all/most/a large number of 30gb Zune media players froze at the same point late last night/early this morning. 

    Gizmodo / Engadget



    God knows what the eventual cause will turn out to be, but the only reaction I can have so far to seeing this is that it's a true (and massive) WTF.





  •  Oh, and suggestion that's coming out from places - today's the 366th day of 2008. What's the odds that someone didn't think about leap years?



  • @MattWPBS said:

     Oh, and suggestion that's coming out from places - today's the 366th day of 2008. What's the odds that someone didn't think about leap years?

     

    Very Very High. Knowing Murphy's Law, The probability is almost 100%.



  • @MattWPBS said:

     Oh, and suggestion that's coming out from places - today's the 366th day of 2008. What's the odds that someone didn't think about leap years?

    I'd expect them to crack on Feb 29, but who knows? Maybe they are storing dates in YY.DDD format. Mainframes use that format ... oh shit my bank went down in flames!

    Looks like Microsoft has some problem with dates; I'll pass the 1900 Excel bug (this was inherited from Lotus 1-2-3) but  they made far worse oversights, like only using the last two digits for years, even when DOS was born roughly 20 years before the end of the century.



  • They ran out of days. A patch is on the way to add more.

    Oh, and suggestion that's coming out from places - today's the 366th day of 2008. What's the odds that someone didn't think about leap years?

    Every programmer knows that years last 365.2422 days.



  • What sort of calendar app does the zune have?  Probably tries to add 1 to the current date in order to fetch all the events that happen today.  Then does some stupid truncating and thinks its fetching events between 12/31/2008 and 1/1/2008.  They'll all magically work tommorrow.



  •  Am I stupid for asking, WHY does a media player even need to know the date? Its job is to play media files. No need to know what the date is to do that. The player I have cost me 25 quid and is working just fine today.



  • Umm, how bout a little thang called "DRM"?

     Zune has a subscription option called "Zune pass". Lets you download whatever music Microsoft got a license deal for and listen to it as long as you keep your subscription up to date. In order to make this work, the Zune files are DRM'D so that they "expire" every so often so that you have to hook the zune up to your pc and connect to the mothership for another license. 



  • @talaxor said:

    Umm, how bout a little thang called "DRM"?
    I thought as much. A music player with features to prevent you using it to play music. Well, it's worked as designed.

    Personally, I like to own my music, not rent it. And I like to own it on physical media. I have never bought, and will never buy, any DRMed downloads. And I'd probably choose a physical CD over a non-DRMed download.



  • @m0ffx said:

    @talaxor said:

    Umm, how bout a little thang called "DRM"?
    I thought as much. A music player with features to prevent you using it to play music. Well, it's worked as designed.

    Personally, I like to own my music, not rent it. And I like to own it on physical media. I have never bought, and will never buy, any DRMed downloads. And I'd probably choose a physical CD over a non-DRMed download.

    That's fine, but I'm not sure anyone here actually gives a shit. 



  • @m0ffx said:

    @talaxor said:

    Umm, how bout a little thang called "DRM"?
    I thought as much. A music player with features to prevent you using it to play music. Well, it's worked as designed.

    Personally, I like to own my music, not rent it. And I like to own it on physical media. I have never bought, and will never buy, any DRMed downloads. And I'd probably choose a physical CD over a non-DRMed download.

    I agree and that is why I use a Creative Zen; no DRM, but also no service to connect to.  I buy my CD's and rip them to copr them to my player.  I have a shelf full of CD's that I never actually put in a player because they are all in my Zen.

    And Morbius, some of us do care.  I payed for this music.  Prior to MP3 players my tape or CD never expired, they might wear out after a few years, but nothing prevented me from listening to them on whatever I put them in as long as I had them.  I want the same from my digital music.


  • BINNED

    checking my piece-of-crap regular you-can-buy-it-anywhere-and-it-has-no-extra-functionality Phillips MP3

    It says 31/12/2008, phew!

    Well done MS, you did it again 🙂



  • @m0ffx said:

     Am I stupid for asking, WHY does a media player even need to know the date? Its job is to play media files. No need to know what the date is to do that. The player I have cost me 25 quid and is working just fine today.

     

    Never used a Zune, but my old iPod Mini has a calendar that syncs with Outlook, so I expect this does too. Plus the fact that it can run arbitary apps (XNA), an RTC seems useful and since the embedded proccessor probably has one built-in, it may as well be used.



  • @KattMan said:

    I payed for this music.

    Hopefully you paid for it as well.

     

    @KattMan said:

    Prior to MP3 players my tape or CD never expired, they might wear out after a few years, but nothing prevented me from listening to them on whatever I put them in as long as I had them.  I want the same from my digital music.

    Then do something about it.  Derailing a thread with pointless whining about DRM isn't going to help your cause.  In fact, I'm going to buy a bunch of DRM tracks I don't need and won't even listen to just to hurt your cause simply because I had to listen to you guys whine about it.



  • @morbiuswilters said:

    @KattMan said:

    Prior to MP3 players my tape or CD never expired, they might wear out after a few years, but nothing prevented me from listening to them on whatever I put them in as long as I had them.  I want the same from my digital music.

    Then do something about it.  Derailing a thread with pointless whining about DRM isn't going to help your cause.  In fact, I'm going to buy a bunch of DRM tracks I don't need and won't even listen to just to hurt your cause simply because I had to listen to you guys whine about it.

    That asshole! Not only did he write a pointless post on DRM, but he forced you to read it!



  •  The fault was with the clock driver, and the code was not MS's. It did check for leap years, but it did so incorrectly.



  • @movzx said:

     The fault was with the clock driver, and the code was not MS's. It did check for leap years, but it did so incorrectly.

     

    According to this post, the following code was the culprit:


    year = ORIGINYEAR; /* = 1980 */

    while (days > 365)
    {
    if (IsLeapYear(year))
    {
    if (days > 366)
    {
    days -= 366;
    year += 1;
    }
    }
    else
    {
    days -= 365;
    year += 1;
    }
    }

    A neat little infinite loop 😉



  • @tOmcOlins said:

    @morbiuswilters said:

    @KattMan said:

    Prior to MP3 players my tape or CD never expired, they might wear out after a few years, but nothing prevented me from listening to them on whatever I put them in as long as I had them.  I want the same from my digital music.

    Then do something about it.  Derailing a thread with pointless whining about DRM isn't going to help your cause.  In fact, I'm going to buy a bunch of DRM tracks I don't need and won't even listen to just to hurt your cause simply because I had to listen to you guys whine about it.

    That asshole! Not only did he write a pointless post on DRM, but he forced you to read it!

     

    If you are trying to read a thread, it's kind of hard to know before you read each post which posts are worthless whining and which are actually worth your time.  I think DRM sucks and I don't buy DRM music (hint, Amazon digital download = DRM free) but I don't come here and whine like some moron who can't seem to function without giving us a play-by-play



  • @tster said:

    If you are trying to read a thread, it's kind of hard to know before you read each post which posts are worthless whining and which are actually worth your time.  I think DRM sucks and I don't buy DRM music (hint, Amazon digital download = DRM free) but I don't come here and whine like some moron who can't seem to function without giving us a play-by-play

    Fine. I guess to be fair, I have to give credit for actually reading the thread before replying to it. That already better than most people out there.



  •  Just a side note:  I've always found it amusing the efforts that go into DRM creation and implementation when any DRM system, no matter how secure, can be overidden by using the mp3 player of your choice, or a $20 CD player, and just about any computer on earth with a line-in hookup and Audacity.

    Sorry, just like to say that.



  • @Master Chief said:

    Just a side note:  I've always found it amusing the efforts that go into DRM creation and implementation when any DRM system, no matter how secure, can be overidden by using the mp3 player of your choice, or a $20 CD player, and just about any computer on earth with a line-in hookup and Audacity.

    Sorry, just like to say that.

    Well the 'analogue hole' does lose quality - though quite possibly less than the compression, and almost certainly less than the home taping (of broadcast radio) that supposedly killed music a few decades back.

    'Watermarking' techniques are the only means to try and combat it, by allowing thus-copied media to be traced. It works better for video, where there's the freedom to do it, like the dot patterns hidden in film reels, unique to each cinema - if a pirate copy is made, the cinema is traced and fined/charged/whatevered by the moviemakers. Somehow however I expect privacy advocacy groups would kick up a stink if iTunes/whoever embedded personally identifying information in music downloads.



  • @m0ffx said:

    'Watermarking' techniques are the only means to try and combat it, by allowing thus-copied media to be traced. It works better for video, where there's the freedom to do it, like the dot patterns hidden in film reels, unique to each cinema - if a pirate copy is made, the cinema is traced and fined/charged/whatevered by the moviemakers. Somehow however I expect privacy advocacy groups would kick up a stink if iTunes/whoever embedded personally identifying information in music downloads.

    Unfortunately audio watermarking is incredibly difficult.
    If you start with an uncompressed format, such as WAV, then its quite easy to alter the raw sound data to input your watermark and certainly possible to do so in such a way that the user doesn't hear a change in the output sound. MP3 is designed to strip any sound from a file that a human can't hear, so as soon as the above WAV (or alternative) is translated to a more convenient format, the watermark is naturally lost. Unless if the original watermark was so poorly constructed the user could hear it over the music.



  • @tster said:

    @tOmcOlins said:

    @morbiuswilters said:

    @KattMan said:

    Prior to MP3 players my tape or CD never expired, they might wear out after a few years, but nothing prevented me from listening to them on whatever I put them in as long as I had them.  I want the same from my digital music.

    Then do something about it.  Derailing a thread with pointless whining about DRM isn't going to help your cause.  In fact, I'm going to buy a bunch of DRM tracks I don't need and won't even listen to just to hurt your cause simply because I had to listen to you guys whine about it.

    That asshole! Not only did he write a pointless post on DRM, but he forced you to read it!

     

    If you are trying to read a thread, it's kind of hard to know before you read each post which posts are worthless whining and which are actually worth your time.  I think DRM sucks and I don't buy DRM music (hint, Amazon digital download = DRM free) but I don't come here and whine like some moron who can't seem to function without giving us a play-by-play

    And by commenting on the derailment, you'll provoke response from others, thus derailing the thread even more.

    As for DRM, I too think it sucks.  I can just about tolerate games having copyprotection when it works as it's supposed to, but if it gives me the slightest trouble (rather common under Wine), I'll download and apply a crack.  I wonder how long it will take the game developers publishers to realize that copyprotections are worth almost nothing.



  • @tdb said:

    I wonder how long it will take the game developers publishers to realize that copyprotections are worth almost nothing.

    Don't hold your breath, publishers have been persistently not realising this for a long time. I first saw a copy protection scheme, and a readily-available solution for circumventing it, within a few months of each other roughly a quarter of a century ago. They weren't new then either - Wikipedia suggests copy protection was around for a decade or more before I saw it.

     



  • Well, I actually like the subscription model.

    Let me explain why:

     

    I download many single tracks from many different albums. If I had to pay for all those cd's, it would be a waste for the 1 or 2 songs I actually want to hear. Also, I don't have to worry about losing them / cd getting scratched. I can re-download my entire collection with one click.

    Also, the Zune has some neat features. How about downloading songs over wi-fi hotspots, without being tethered to a computer? Decent games, and prolly more to come. 

    I'm not trying to convert anyone into a Zune fan, just saying I like mine and get alot out of the service.

     BTW, all the Zune's are working now. That was just a one day bug (at least till the next leap year)



  • The DRM wasn't a derailment, if you read the thread AND understood it.  I know that is hard for some people.

    DRM came up because someone said "Zune downloads are DRM'd in a way sop they expire and the date function in the Zune is used for that."

    I even made it easy in my post about DRM because I quoted what I was replying to.

    Now, if you want to complain about derailing a thread, pick a true derailment next time.


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