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Old 09-17-2008, 02:00 PM
annafil annafil is offline
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Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 3
Default May have found possible way to play files without transcoding

Hi all, this is pretty much my first time posting here, but I had to given the weight of what I've discovered.

The awesomely light creative zen (2,4,8,16,32gb variants) is actually capable of playing videos without transcoding. This info comes from a user in Singapore who pre-ordered his Zen (8gig) before it was officially released. He has a 1.00 firmware (yikes) and I've actually seen that it played do any file he gave it - big, small, unencoded what have you. Yes I'm sure it's the same kind of zen, and yes I'm sure it's not a trick, and yes i know everyone else who has bought one and ever said anything on the issue says you need to transcode stuff. Humour me.

I've got a 2gig version with me until tomorrow (fixing it up for a friend), and it got me thinking why is that the off the shelf versions don't support videos in the same way? Half the time, I get video size errors. So I thought - it must be the firmware.

Until I took a look at the firmware files - there's nothing there at all that indicates any sort of file restrictions.

And then I saw the DeviceInfo.xml file (the very same file you get when you say mount the players internal memory using mtpfs on linux - sorry don't know how this works on Windows). Yes i know the general consensus is that this file tells windows what works and what doesn't work on the player.. but what if?

The zen 2gig has this
<?xml version="1.0"?>
<Creative display="320x240">
<!-- Hints for various profiles -->
<Profile property="Consumable" size="2147483648"/>
<Profile icodec="JPG Progressive" size="973616" width="320" height="240"/>
<Profile vcodec="WMV3" level="MP@LL"/>
I couldn't get my hands on the amazing 8gig that plays everything to verify, but I did look at the Zen Vision M 30gig that DOES support all video types - and the JPG width and height are VERY different on the Vision M. Something like 2400 and 1900.

At first the JPG thing threw me, but I tried putting a large jpeg wallpaper on the zen 2gig, and that loads fine, so that can't be a JPG file restriction, unless its a video restriction (don't those values just look fishy to you too??)

I'm willing to bet that this file actually controls what size video the player can and cannot play, and that it's not really a codec or firmware issue at all!

Here's the problem - I haven't figured out a way to modify this file. Though I can freely view it, any attempts to edit give me permission errors. Probably because the file is locked during an mtp event, and i'm using an mtp mount method.

If someone knows how to mount the internal memory in a way that doesn't use mtp (and hopefully means the .xml file is editable) - could you either post it here, or try to edit this file and see if that helps videos play better??

I only have the 2gig zen with me until tomorrow before I give it back to its owner, but I wanted to throw this out there anyway, and see if anyone is willing to pick it up and go from here. If we can just figure out how to edit that file!!

In the meantime, I'm gonna run a reverse test - try to give the zen vision M a file that is bigger than that listed in the .xml specifications and see if it throws me the same size error.

Fingers crossed!
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