Unicode Support Coming to the Zune

zune unicode Unicode Support Coming to the Zune

One of the top complains about the Zune has been the lack of Unicode support. For those that don’t know Unicode support will allow you to properly view foreign music with showing characters instead of those random boxes. So does this confirm that the Zune is coming to markets outside of the US? No, not necessarily, because there are legitimate reasons for the US- I mean we do listen to foreign music here. Its such a simple thing yet one of those make or break features for a lot of people. Kind of like the EQ.

This news broke on the Zune Insider Podcast #22. If you are at all interested in the Zune this is a must check out podcast. Jessica interviews Progressive DJ, DJ Dan and Matt has a chance to sit down with Hip-Hop star Wale.

[Listen from your browser] [Subscribe with the Zune Software]




17 Comments

Adrian Lam on June 5, 2009 8:54 PM

I am so happy right now.Definitely one of my most wanted features.

dragnandy on June 6, 2009 1:54 PM

not the biggest feature i am worried about, but im glad they are listening to people and adding in more features. just the more reason to get the zune.

TheDarkSide on June 7, 2009 3:02 PM

Personally, I think this is the Zune that will have an outstanding on board EQ. I don’t have facts, just a gut feeling is all.

Joe Edwards on June 10, 2009 9:10 AM

Holy Get your head on straight, Batman!!!!I gave up on the Zune, not because it was a Zune, but due to the lack of unicodesupport. 90% or more of my music is Jpop and the little box nightmare on the Zunesent me packing. NOW, I will consider the Zune again!My question is will MS add this support to the current models? It is just a matter of adding a few font files.

skimhitz on June 10, 2009 9:43 AM

“My question is will MS add this support to the current models? It is just a matter of adding a few font files.”Except that it isn’t, since unicode characters are usually either 16 or 32 bits, and standard ascii characters are only 8 bits. Though if they put their minds to it, I’m sure Microsoft can send out another update to the previous models to add unicode anyways (and they have been in the habit of releasing the same updates for their older player). But it isn’t just new font files.

Joe Edwards on June 10, 2009 11:21 PM

Skimhitz,Yes it is that easy. This was shown that the older Zune hardware and software could support East Asian fonts simply by installing them on the Zune HD. This was accomplished by removing the HDD and copying the files over as well as via a software hack.The hardware and software are more than capable of handling foreign language support. MS simply did not feel the need to add the files (they told me directly) “…because the Zune isn’t sold outside the US.”

skimhitz on June 11, 2009 9:54 AM

My mistake then, I stand corrected. Though they had already wrote the software to be unicode compliant, I find it very odd and dumb that they wouldn’t just add the fonts.

yagi on June 11, 2009 4:48 PM

I think the file sizes for the East Asian fonts probably had something to do with it, though there could also have been licensing concerns. In any case, very welcome news. I’d held off on buying a Zune because of this very issue.

Joe Edwards on June 16, 2009 9:38 AM

Skimhitz,You are right it is odd and dumb. MS told me directly that the only reason they did not add them is because the Zune was not released outside the U.S. Does MS feel that people in the U.S. only use English? All the other players support other languages…it is so odd.Yagi,The file sizes are tiny and the license should not be an issue since these same files are part of Windows…a MS product. Plus other companies use these same fonts. Who knows? MS has made excuse after excuse regarding this issue. I will not buy another Zune until I know for sure that it will support Japanese, Korean and Chinese.

Joe Edwards on June 16, 2009 9:44 AM

I don’t understand MS. I decided to listen to Zune podcast #22 and I was forced to listen to it through my browser. Why? Because MS won’t let you download the file unless you have the Zune software. You got it, MS forces you to download and install the Zune software just to download their podcast. Who does that?Still an interesting podcast. I just wish I could have taken loaded the podcast on my mp3 player.

Grahm on June 23, 2009 8:49 PM

@joe here is the RSS you can download directly or use it in your podcasting software of choicehttp://zuneinsider.feeds.zune.net/rss

Joe Edwards on June 28, 2009 1:36 AM

Thanks for the info Grahm.

Zuner@heart on June 28, 2009 1:48 AM

umm why is it that every thread that i read that is about the zune HD is filled with MS doubters/haters, really i mean in my opinion MS is doing better with the zune than with what they did with windows.

Jesus Christ on June 28, 2009 11:26 PM

JESUS CHRIST. IT’S ABOUT TIME. Hopefully it’s just not on the Zune HD.

wilson on June 30, 2009 9:55 PM

finally…I can read the titles of my Chinese songs…except when the hell is this gonna come out? I’d be really pissed if I’d have to wait another year for this!?

Joe Edwards on July 3, 2009 10:23 PM

Zuner@heart,Why? Because MS has REFUSED to support unicode on the Zune when every other player (even low end models) do. Apple, Cowon, Samsung, and even Sony all support unicode.MS has had a terrible attitude regarding folks who’s music is not in English. After several hours on the phone with MS I have good reason to be annoyed with them.Once I truly see unicode support I will consider purchasing a Zune.How exactly is MS doing better with Zune than with Windows. Windows is everywhere, the Zune is not.

Dan on July 4, 2009 1:33 PM

Will unicode-support be extended to the Zune 120 devices? Or will it be limited to Zune HD?I most definitely will NOT be buying a Zune HD solely for the purpose of getting unicode-support. I just hope MS realizes that fact and roll-back the software features onto the older devices as well.The Zune is a great little ipod-replacer, but without unicode-support it just isn’t complete.

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