Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Planned obsolescence

For some reason, I found this story a bit creepy. It seems Microsoft's Zune 30 MP3 players, an early version of the device, all decided to freeze up today.
On Wednesday, Zune owners flooded blogs and Internet chat sites to complain that they couldn't listen to music on the 30 gigabyte version of the Zune, an early version of the device, because it wouldn't start up properly. The postings noted that the digital music players get stuck on the Zune logo screen when the machine's software is loading.

A message on the Zune support Web site acknowledged the problem and informed customers Microsoft was working to address it, but didn't identify the cause. Microsoft declined to say how many devices were affected.
Weird. I suppose it's not coincidence that this just happens to be the last day of the year, but really...what the hell? I checked the Zune forums, and there are a number of threads on the topic, but no fix yet from Microsoft.

I've stayed away from Apple's iPod because I don't like being shackled with iTunes to manage the device. I've used nothing but Creative Labs MP3 players (got my first one in 2000 or 2001) and have never had issue one.

Update: It was a leap year bug.
...Microsoft finally figured it out. While writing some of the driver software, the world's biggest software company had forgotten to compensate for leap years.

The solution? Wait 24 hours until Jan. 1.
I hope there are no mission-critical Zune 30s out there. Microsoft, of course, is rushing a patch right out:
The Microsoft posting promised a fix by the end of the next leap year in December 2012.


Mr. Bingley said...

It's not a's a feature.

Eric said...

Yeah...that's the ticket!