64bitThe Multi-Format registry keys to allow you to use non-WMV video on your Zune for awhile now, but those of us with Vista 64 found that they did not work.

This has to do with the WOW (Windows on Windows) subsystem that has the 32-bit Zune software running in a 64-Bit environment.

The problem is that the registry keys imported are for the 32-Bit OS, and on the 64-Bit there is a different location for some key registry settings and files. An easy way to spot this, was to use Process Monitor, and watch what Zune.exe was doing upon startup.  The rest is just string replacement.

The good news is, a simple string replace in those files will get Zune converter working on your machine (as long as you have the proper directShow filters.  I recommend the Vista Codec Pack, but be careful of what you install as it might cause problems for the Zune Encoder)

So,  if you want to get those registry keys working on your 64bit machine, just simply find and replace these strings in the files and load the files into the Registry.

Replace: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESOFTWAREMicrosoftMultimediaZune
With: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESOFTWAREWow6432NodeMicrosoftMultimediaZune
Replace: \Program Files\Zune\
With: \Program Files (x86)\Zune\

The Zune Encoder runs as a Low priority task so as to work in the background normally.  If you are going to be converting overnight, use Task Manager to set the priority to Normal so to give more CPU time to the converter.

The quality of the conversion varies by the quality and codec of the source file.  I suppose crappy video is better than no video at all.   We are weeks away from Zune 2.0, so let’s hope we getting conversion abilities, but overall I am quite happy with this discovery.  Oh, and also take care when editing your registry as always.

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