With a new Zune software release planned sometime this spring to unleash .avi support on all Zune devices, we’ll also be hopefully seeing a 5.0 release sometime this fall. Having spoken to Matt Akers about how they decided what features and would not make it into the software I think it’s important that we make our imprint on the Zune 5, so tell me your wish features for the software and i’ll collect all the info and send it off to Matt. Post your’s in our forum here, or here in the comments.

35 Comments on “What Do You Want in a Zune 5 software?”

  1. Wow, are we already at Zune 5 already? Wow, Zune is old 🙂

    I want:
    * Greater integration with Windows Live Photo Gallery features such as People Tags and Regular Tags
    * Speaking of pictures, if there is only 1 highest-level folder, it should already be selected so I don’t have to click on it to see everything.
    * Another picture request: PNG, TIFF, and GIF support!!!!!
    * More advanced Auto-Playlists (e.g. be able to exclude artists like you can with genres)
    * Customize “New” and “History” so that we can choose whether podcasts/pictures/video/etc. appear on them or not.
    * Revamp search. Take some cues from Zune.net search.
    * [Tangentially related to SW] Allow me to use the device while syncing.

  2. Support within the Zune Software for audiobooks. We shouldn’t need external programs for this.

    In the Marketplace, have a category just for app updates (like there is on the ZuneHD itself). (whether that’s for ALL apps, or just the ones the user has downloaded/installed, I don’t care)

  3. Ditto on the digital copy use and the direct audio book support. Also I’d like a way to completely STOP a video. As it is now, if you are playing a video (maybe music too, haven’t checked) and you want to stop, the only option is to pause it. This is not ‘bad’, but it leaves it open and the mini view available for all to see at the bottom of all the other viewa. There are times when I don’t want someone to walk by and see what I’ve been watching – you know, just give me the option to STOP.
    As far as the firmware – I know you didn’t ask – but I’de like to be able to play podcasts in chronological order from oldest to newest, even if I tell the software to only down load the 3 (or 5 or 9, whatever) newest. Then I can still hear things in order without having to start each one individually – since there is no ‘add to now playing’ option in podcasts.

  4. 1. Proper tag support according to specifications.
    2. A better tag editor that allows editing all standard tags.
    3. DirectShow Codec support especially for enabling MKV, DivX, Real Media, Theora, Vorbis, AC3, and DTS, even if just for reencoding and playback.
    4. Ability to specify transcoder bitrates and multi-pass encoding, if transferring to the device requires transcoding.
    5. DLNA and XBox streaming support with just in time transcoding.
    6. Allow other software to access the transcoded files cache in a reasonable way, retain filenames and tag the files accordingly. Also allow optional encoding to MP4 formats instead of Windows Media.
    7. Support for device settings backup (applications).
    8. A list for ‘never sync’ content, similar to the sync group lists.
    9. Device streaming over wi-fi.
    10. Ability to play content on the device while syncing over wi-fi.

    I could go on… but I’ll stop that now… 🙂

  5. ok…
    -customizable equalizer
    -volume leveler
    -an option when in random/shuffle (on the device, as well) to play 2 or 3 songs by an artist at a time. i.e. two random songs by van halen, then 2 random songs by audioslave, etc.
    -love the screensaver that it has, but some more sweet-looking visual options/screensavers would be great
    -fix up any lingering playcount issues
    -video playlists

  6. I know you asked about the software, put it would be even cooler if I could use my ZuneHD, to playto my XBOX, play, pause, etc.
    Being able to pull my music, video etc. on my ZuneHD wirelessly from my computer would be nice as well.

  7. As I have posted in the Zune.net suppoort forum, the ability to create manual bookmarks for audio
    music files (mp3, WMA…etc).

    Also, support for a greater amount of music formats, e.g., OOG, FLAC, even WAVE files is one is inclined to use up so much space. The ability to convert these formats to Zune supported formats would also be a nice touch.

  8. FLAC support, Twitter #ZuneTune integration..

    And something for the devices: the return of quick playlists! Cos the Now Playing list’s shuffle’s all funky.

  9. 1. Direct Audiobook Tagging Support so I don’t have to tag my books as Podcasts
    2. Add a toggle for Libraries Support or straight up folder support how it used to be.
    3. Digital Copy Support…just to end all the complaints about it
    4. 3rd Party Applications ala Apple App Store, and the ability to play them on the PC maybe?
    5. Support for other operating systems. The larger the userbase the more Zune’s out there.

  10. Custom EQ
    Indexed search (a feature just added to WMP within the last couple of releases but left out of the Zune software)
    A way to easily stream podcasts to the Xbox 360 like you can with music and pictures.
    Browsing in Zune MarketPlace should remember where you were. Let’s say you search for a movie using the “all” option. Then you filtered alphabetically. Scroll though half the list and see a movie that interests you. Read the info and decide not to rent it. Hit the back button only to find that the list has sorted back to “all” again. Grrrr………

  11. 1. Ability to create/name/add songs to playlists on the Zune Device
    2. Over the air Podcasts downloads over Wifi
    3. A little nit picky here: When i’m browsing upcoming songs on shuffle, the device shouldn’t flip to the now playing screen when the next song comes up.
    4. A timeout setting for when the now playing comes up when the device is idle
    5. Audiobooks!
    6. Different now playing screens. More visualizations.

    That’s about it! Hope my wishes come true

  12. Things I’d like to see:
    First, a “don’t sync this artist EVER” option, especially for SmartDJ playlists. If I don’t like an artist, I don’t want them synced. EVER. It’s really annoying to broken-heart a song for an artist, and yet every other song by the artist continues to get synced.

    Second, where albums or playlists have mixed availability content — where some songs are only available for “Buy” or “Album Only” — I’d still like to be able to hit “sync to ” and when presented with the “Calculating Total…” screen, be able to choose an option for “Exclude all purchase content” so I can download the playlist or album WITHOUT the purchase content. Just leave the purchase-content OUT.

    Third, I’d like the Zune application to have a smaller (optional) “agent” that runs in the background of the PC and checks for podcast updates every couple of hours, based on a setting I choose (every hour, every 2 hours, every 4 hours, etc.). This agent would fetch this content so when I start the software and sync, I don’t have to wait for podcasts to download. Could be especially useful for video where conversion is required.

    Finally, I always get errors on SmartDJ playlists when they try to refresh the first time after launching the software, claiming I “wasn’t signed-in” — even though my software is configured for automatic sign-in. Maybe it’s trying too early in the process, and failing, but something has to be changed or prioritized there.

  13. I’ve posted some of these ideas before, mostly have to do with the player itself since I don’t use desktop software much.

    on player:
    1. quick-jump, like TV, where you jump back and forth (i.e. radio to mp3) without menu (during commercials)
    2. custom art for artist backgrounds – for popular artists or artists that don’t have any art on marketplace
    3. artist display background when on HD Radio if already downloaded on ZuneHD
    4. auto playlist generation of all newly downloaded music
    5. ‘social’ menu incorporates facebook/twitter apps (prob a win7phone thing)
    6. ‘artist’ background for audiobooks – illustrations or excerpts from book?
    7. apps groupings – prob more appropriate when more apps are available

    hmmm. had more. that’s good for now.

  14. one more thing — I’d like to be able to put audio podcasts in a playlist. There are days when I listen to a bunch of audio podcasts (especially on Mondays), and I just want them to play in a specific order. I want them daisy-chained. Just treat them like music, not like something “special”. And if I want to put a podcast in the middle of three albums, I should be able to do that.

  15. I first of all want:

    -the ability of being able to change the background of the Zune HD’s homescreen from black to say a picture you have.

    – next being able to put in a custom Zune Software background.

    -then copy and paste feature for Zune HD.

    -don’t have it where xna games make your Zune restart.

    -on the Zune HD of being able to open multiple
    windows at once
    -better apps and expanded (bigger) marketplace.

    And I think that’s it…

  16. One more thing…why is the artists’ genre not listed when you use the software marketplace to lookup an album/top songs?? That should be easy enough to add/use as a filter, no?

  17. Just to clarify, isn’t this supposed to be a list just for the software only? Or are we to include our wants for the device, as well? Or is there a separate list for that? I would sure like a list for the device, too! Got lots of ideas for that bad boy!

  18. – 5 star rating (or at least no/broken heart, quarter heart, half heart, three quarters, full heart)
    – AMG album ratings in the marketplace (bio’s, reviews, and other info are there, no album rating?)
    – ability to rate songs in the marketplace
    – ability for users to rate and review albums in the marketplace ala itunes, amazon, emusic, etc
    – more criteria options for autoplaylists
    – EQ
    – larger album art in now playing (currently way too tiny), would love to see that 800×800 art! (or even 500×500)
    – ability to customize background and font colors (or have a dark theme plus the current light one at least) – quickplay looks pretty sweet!
    – lighten up the cpu usage!!!!!

  19. oh forgot: bring back device ratings in device music view in the zune software – I used to be able to rate a song a broken heart, connect it to the pc, then remove it from the device by ‘sort by rating’. I believe it’s broken because it says ‘sort by rating’ but ratings currently don’t appear.

  20. sorry, just thought of a couple more things:

    – please fix the duplicating playlists!! it keeps creating tons of duplicates and have to clean it up every week
    – longer slider/progress bar!! it’s too short, esp for long tracks/audiobooks/podcasts

  21. Must have:

    1. The internet browser should allow you to create manual favorites (name and url). Some pages don’t stay at their .com urls so you end up saving a favorite of an already processed url.
    2. On the same manner the internet browser should allow editing of favorites (name and url).
    3. Add 2 categories for apps on the device: one for games and another for apps (just those two is more than enough).
    4. Video rotation.
    5. When using the AV Dock you cannot read the entire description of podcasts (in my case) because it doesn’t scroll.
    6. AV Dock freezes too much while playing random music. The player restarts must of the time.
    7. Putting the player on the AV Dock doesn’t always work; you have to try several times.
    8. Sync the marketplace cart from the pc to zune hd (it only does it the other way around).
    9. Facebook app doesn’t allow you to zoom on pictures.
    10. Facebook app: On my profile photos I can only see my albums, but not the pictures other people tagged me on.
    11. Facebook app: I cannot use the @ to include several friends in a post like twitter.
    12. Put a notification graphic/icon right next to the artist name (or any other convenient place) when new material or updates have been uploaded for that artist on the marketplace (sometimes I check too much too see if there is something new from an specific artist (album, song, video, biography, photo, etc), it would drive so much traffic). This would apply to the pc software, but it would be useful on the player too.

    Nice to have:

    1. Song Lyrics. A nice button on the ZHD player when playing a song to display its lyrics.
    2. More specific settings on picture conversion when syncing from pc to device.
    3. Let people on the zune network upload their custom apps so other people can simply add them to their collection (App Sharing) (For free of course).
    4. APP: An app that can stream, search and bookmark videos from different sources like youtube, vimeo, msdn channel9 and the likes. Also with possible TV out in HD.
    5. Allow the managing of personal videos inside the picture albums.
    6. APP: A windows live app to check on hotmail and windows live spaces. (I can live without Messenger).
    7. Integrate “Social” with facebook and twitter to automatically post the badges I earn on those social networks.
    8. Games for the ZHD like: Halo, SimCity, Tetris, Pinball, The Harvest and any other game you can bring to the platform. One last effort if that were the case.
    9. APP: Bookmark log (allow me to keep track of books I’m reading and save infinite bookmarks for them (just the page number and a brief description field)
    10. A wish list for the marketplace for music, videos, movies and the likes.
    11. APP: An RSS reader.
    12. Include the artist’s calendar, twitter, facebook or rss feeds in a tab in the markplace. It can be editable. I know this is on the web. So cool to have it on the pc client and the device. (Maybe a timeline for each artist?) (Similar to twitter itself).

  22. Speed. Speed. Speed.

    This remains a huge issue for some of us running Win 7 64 bit. I have a quad core with 8GB. I often have to wait several seconds between menu picks in the software.

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