One of the features that made the original Zune stand out from the iPod product line, was the ability to transcode your media in your collection to a lower bit rate when syncing to your portable Zune device. 

This made it simple to have Lossless copies in your media collection kept on your PC, which are often encoded at a higher bitrate yielding larger file sizes.   With the Zune80, which supports Lossless, the large files would be copied to your Zune, with no options to control how the media was encoded.

When you chose these files you wish to sync to your portable device, the software would transcode them to a lower bitrate as they are copied to your device.

With version 2.5 of the Zune software, the transcoding feature has returned:

image

These settings appear to be on a per device scope, so you could choose how your media is transcoded depending on the device.  For example you may wish to transcode to a lower bitrate for your Zune4 while working out, compared to when you are syncing to your Zune80.

This allows you to have a media hub at home of higher quality media, which you can transcode, or downgrade to your personal acceptable format to fit more media on your smaller portable device.  I would recommend ripping all your CDs to WMA Lossless on your PC, and then setting the device quality to be lower.  This assumes you have the sufficient space to store lossless versions of your media.

 

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  • RE: Transcode media for Zune

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  • Jason

    Fantastic!

  • Jason

    Fantastic!

  • john

    I agree, and also rip everything to WMA11 in lossless format. Question is about how sloooow the transcoding is going to my Zune 80. With about 13,000 songs, it is taking days and days and days to synch. Wondering if it would be faster to get a wma bitrate changer and going to a separate wma library, from lossless to 192kbs, then letting the Zune software see only the lower bit rate copies and then synching to the Zune 80. Should have done some benchmarks with a limited size database first, but didn't. Have any metrics? Thanks for the forum info. john.

  • john

    I agree, and also rip everything to WMA11 in lossless format. Question is about how sloooow the transcoding is going to my Zune 80. With about 13,000 songs, it is taking days and days and days to synch. Wondering if it would be faster to get a wma bitrate changer and going to a separate wma library, from lossless to 192kbs, then letting the Zune software see only the lower bit rate copies and then synching to the Zune 80. Should have done some benchmarks with a limited size database first, but didn’t. Have any metrics? Thanks for the forum info. john.

  • Jef

    John, no real metrics I'm afraid. I just set the software to convert as above, and it did it all in the background. I suppose it makes a difference on the power/speed of the PC, but mine was not that bad at all. Though overtime, it appears that most of the popular music I have is coming from zune Pass downloaded tracks which do not need to be transcoded. Just set your cache to a large amount, so once things are transcoded, they stay in the transcoded folder and don' t need to be transcoded again.
    Jef

  • Jef

    John, no real metrics I’m afraid. I just set the software to convert as above, and it did it all in the background. I suppose it makes a difference on the power/speed of the PC, but mine was not that bad at all. Though overtime, it appears that most of the popular music I have is coming from zune Pass downloaded tracks which do not need to be transcoded. Just set your cache to a large amount, so once things are transcoded, they stay in the transcoded folder and don’ t need to be transcoded again.
    Jef