Sunday, December 28, 2008

Download YouTube videos to Zune

It’s finally here. An updated and revamped version of the original “Download YouTube Videos to Zune” video. It was a success and many people were very thankful. However, some had some trouble and things have changed since then, so it was time to deliver what people wanted. If you have a Zune and want to download any video from YouTube, here is the best video guide.

AVideo Download YouTube Videos to Zune and PC [Updated]

Useful tips and resources:

Select the folders that you want the Zune software to monitor for new music, videos, pictures, and podcasts

Folders can include playlists, music, videos, pictures, and podcasts from another player collection. If you add or remove files from these folders, the Zune software automatically updates the collection accordingly.
To configure the folders that you want the Zune software to monitor, follow these steps:
  1. Start the Zune software.
  2. In the upper-right corner, click Settings, click Software, and then select Collection. A list of folders appears that the Zune software currently monitors for new media files.
  3. To modify the list of monitored folders, use the following guidelines:
    • o To add a new folder to the list, click Add Folder, and then select the folder that you want to add.
      o Note If you add a folder that is located on a removable drive, and the drive is no longer available, the Zune software automatically removes the content in that folder from your collection.
    • o To remove a folder from the list, click Remove for the folder that you want to remove.

How to add music, videos, pictures, and podcasts that you play on the computer to the Zune device

When you start the Zune software for the first time, the software automatically adds music, videos, pictures, and podcasts on the computer to the Zune collection. Then, you can set up the Zune software to monitor the folders in which you store your media. If you add or delete something in these folders, the Zune software updates your collection accordingly.
To prevent the Zune software from automatically adding these files to your collection, follow these steps:
  1. Start the Zune software.
  2. Click Settings, click Software, and then select Collection.
  3. Click to clear the Automatically update album art and media information check box.
  4. Click OK.

Common Issues and Solutions

Common Issue #1: Won't Sync/Detect Video

Make sure to select the MP4 file type. This should solve most problems related to Zune not detecting other corrupted files. Also, remember to change the name in the new MP4, make it different than when you tried to import the older file, or else Zune Software might not always detect that it's a new file.

Common Issue #2: "Only Works on Some Videos"

Not true. The converter should be able to download all YouTube video, regardless their status. If you simply cannot download a certain video, contact us and we will solve the problem.

Common Issue #3: Plays on PC but not Zune

Confirm you are using the MP4 file type. Refer to Common Issue #1 tips.

Common Issue #4: Video or Data "Corrupt"

Specify where you are getting this error message (i.e. YouTube,, Zune, etc.), then contact us.

Common Issue #5: Compatible with iPod's?

If you would like to download YouTube videos to your iPod as well, you will have to use the MP4 file format.

- Albert

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Microsoft issuing emergency browser fix


This just in from MSNBC:

“REDMOND, Wash. - Microsoft Corp. is taking the unusual step of issuing an emergency fix for a security hole in its Internet Explorer software that has exposed millions of users to having their computers taken over by hackers.


The "zero-day" vulnerability, which came to light last week, allows criminals to take over victims' machines simply by steering them to infected Web sites; users don't have to download anything for their computers to get infected, which makes the flaw in Internet Explorer's programming code so dangerous. Internet Explorer is the world's most widely used Web browser.


Microsoft said it plans to ship a security update, rated "critical," for the browser on Wednesday. People with the Windows Update feature activated on their computers will get the patch automatically.” More


Because this flaw is extremely dangerous as it can steal stored passwords on your computer, it is absolutely critical that you install the update so you cannot be infected. The update is completely free of charge, as always provided by Microsoft. You will be able to download the patch tomorrow and I will have the link here as soon as it is available (the update is now available, look below). Again, it is very important you install this, especially if you use online banking, online gaming, online social networking, or any site which you have given any personal information to.


NAME AND INFO: MS08-078 Addresses a vulnerability in Internet Explorer (KB 960714)


For Windows XP: Perform Microsoft Update
For Windows Vista: Run the Windows Update tool.


Note: If you think you already have an infection, you can run Microsoft’s FREE Windows Malicious Software Removal Tool.


- Albert

Monday, December 8, 2008

Common introduces Microsoft’s clothing line: Softwear

“A Billion People Can't Be Wrong.

This is Softwear by Microsoft. A clothing line that taps the nostalgia of when PCs were just starting to change our lives. With retro logos, classic photos, and geek-chic iconography, these pieces showcase the DOS days of the software company that now connects over a billion people.”


That’s what visitors to the new “Softwear by Microsoft” site see on the Story page. There are a total of 8 shirt designs so far; 4 designed by Common and 4 “Classic” designs. Definitely falling under the “retro style” look, these shirts might just sell. I’m quite excited for a few of them, including “The Misdemeanor,” “The DOS Tangle,” “The Albuquerque,” and “The Reminisce.” Here’s a video just recently posted with Common beginning his “spokesman” title.


Common introduces Softwear by Microsoft – High Quality


Softwear will be in stores December 15th.


- Albert

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Kiev Search? Microsoft’s new search brand? user “ma574ch33f117 performed a little interesting search over at Live Search and found something quite intriguing. In his comment, he states that he went to and searched “” to see what results would come up with the domain. I went ahead and repeated that query and found other little details.


When you perform the search, you get a result titled “Kiev Search - Get to know Kiev Search” which contains a description:

“Get to know Kiev Search. Web. Search the web. cashback. Get money back when you shop at the online stores you know and trust. Images. Find the pictures that you've been looking for…”




Additionally, Live Search even provided a cashed version of the site, which looks a lot like a current Live Search site.

Current “Kiev Search” ( cached site on servers



Current “Live Search” (similar site)




I don’t know…you be the judge. But, “Kiev” is such a random brand name. Kumo at least had some meaning behind it (which means either “cloud” or “spider” in Japanese, depending on which Kanji characters are used, via Mary-Jo Foley). I don’t honestly know what to think anymore. After the resurfacing possible Yahoo search deal, multiple rebranding possibilities, and now “Kiev,” I just hope some Softie knows what they’re doing.


- Albert

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Yahoo! attacks Google in search ads via search ads

Yahoo Microsoft Google Battle So much for the Yahoo! and Google deal eh? Well, it seems like Yahoo! is wasting no time in showing any negative feelings towards the company that failed to continue pursuing a possible search deal.

I don’t think I have ever seen a major search engine attack another in an online ad, but I guess Yahoo! does not bother being the first. The ads I found were displayed on LiveSide, but I have no knowledge of how many properties Yahoo! went ahead and placed these ads on.


The ad itself was a Flash movie, but I was able to capture most of the main points in four screenshots.


Slide 1: “LOST – Last Seen: Searching Google”

Yahoo Google Attack Web Ad 1

This implies that someone was been reported “lost” and was last seen searching on the infamous Google search engine. “Lost” meaning that searching using Google may result in even more confusing results.


Slide 2: For Music Videos

Yahoo Google Attack Web Ad 2 

Just adds the detail that the individual was searching for music videos on Google when they were reported “lost.”


Slide 3:Don’t Get Lost

Yahoo Google Attack Web Ad 3

Finally, a Yahoo! logo and brand is clear. It also clarifies that by using Google, you can get lost in between all the actual results and irrelevant sponsored results.


Slide 4: Switch to Yahoo!

Yahoo Google Attack Web Ad 4

The final slide asks the viewer to switch to Yahoo! to be able to find the real answer that they want.



Overall, I think that the ads are using the only real selling points that a non-Google search engine can use: “switch” and “get straight to your answers.” Although Google itself is able to be very relevant because of its index and usage, other search engines may employ smarter algorithms or features that may interest certain people who do not find Google providing useful alternatives. However, it’s interesting how Yahoo! decided to go directly after Google in a marketing campaign, no matter how small this might be.

Note: I spotted this a couple of days ago but barely got the chance to post this blog entry.


- Albert

“Harry Potter 6” and “2012”

So I just arrived home for the Thanksgiving holiday and was greeted by a few cousins. One of them told me about a new trailer for “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince,” which I thought I had already seen. But…after visiting MSN, it became clear that Warner Bros. had released a brand new trailer for our delayed Harry Potter film. It’s a must-watch trailer! The visual effects and music are just unbelievable. To all those Twilight maniacs out there, watch out! “HP6” is going to kick your guys’ butt. Hehe.


Watch Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince Trailer:




Then, while browsing through other new movie trailers, I also found another of my kind of movie (any end-of-the-world, major disaster, humanity in peril movie). It’s directed by Roland Emmerich (The Day After Tomorrow, Independence Day, 10,000 B.C.) and it looks amazing! It has to do, quite frankly as the title implies, about the year 2012. Since the Mayans, among other belief systems, seem to have major “predictions” or mentions of the year 2012 and how, if anything were to happen, our governments would be unable to prepare for such devastation. Although the trailer lacks much of the content that others like the “HP6” one has, I guess it’s still early in its marketing phase and serves more as a teaser-like purpose. But it certainly looks good. Enjoy.


Watch 2012 Trailer:



- Albert

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

YouTube goes widescreen

Was just browsing my tech video YouTube channel when I played one of my videos and found a pleasant surprise: a full-fledged widescreen video player.



See for yourself, it’s quite an interesting experience with videos that were meant to be displayed in the true widescreen format.


At first I thought it would only do that for videos whose dimensions would fit a widescreen format, but it seems like all videos will be displayed as best possible in the new and wider player. Overall, I’m quite happy with YouTube’s move. Makes it clear that video content takes center stage.


- Albert

Monday, November 17, 2008

New Zune games added: Checkers, Sudoku, and Space Battle

Soon after watching the new Zune TV commercial, I decided to visit to see if they had uploaded a high quality version of the ad. They didn’t, but did create a new official YouTube Zune channel. But anywho, as I was browsing the site, I noticed two main details. One, the site is undergoing a very nice re-design. And two, they’ve added more games! Best of all, they’re all still free! The new games, as the title implies, are Checkers, Sudoku, and Space Battle. I was getting a little bored with Hexic, so this is only awesome!


New Zune Games



I haven’t installed them myself, but I will soon. If anyone has any questions or problems, feel free to drop a comment.


- Albert

Zune 3.0 holiday TV advertising campaign launches

As promised by Cesar on the latest Zune Insider audio episode, the Zune holiday marketing has launched today on NBC’s Heroes. The campaign is supposed to concentrate on the unique features of Zune, rather than continue the vague messages of the previous campaigns. This ad is a good start to that goal. However, there needs to be more than just this. As much as this is only the first ad, it is a great sign for a big move to the direction that the Zune marketing team needs to take: selling the qualities and features that the Zune embodies. One thing to note though, and I say this based on feedback I’m getting from “regular” folks (those who do not follow tech companies and closely observe their products), is that some people may find the ad content itself really cool, but will never understand that it is a Zune feature and what exactly it does. Like for example, one friend tells me that she thought it was some new Zune feature that would allow people to communicate to each other in a webcam-like method. If you think about, that’s a pretty good reaction if you have no idea of what Zune is. Maybe, and I hate to say it like this, Zune needs more of the “instructional”-type marketing that Apple is really good at. The kind where maybe we can see the same thing we see on this ad, but with a narrator, or Common, explaining what happens when you click on each Mixview component. That way, people see cool stuff going on TV, a known face, and know what it is and what holds in store for them if they download it too. Okay, enough of me. Here is the ad. A way better quality version will replace this one as soon as I make it available. Better quality version now published here. Enjoy.


- Albert

Friday, October 31, 2008

Conan O’Brien, the Zune, and Al-Qaeda

Yep, you read the title right. A couple of nights ago, Conan O’Brien decided to give Al-Qaeda a call to see why they had endorsed John McCain for president. During the call, we learn that the iPod is “the Devil’s MP3 player.” See for yourself.


I love Conan’s show by the way. You should all watch. Weekday nights after Jay Leno on NBC at 12:30ish.


- Albert

Friday, October 17, 2008

Live Search: Search Suggestions

Live Search Logo Apologies for the lack of posting recently; still getting used to the college life :)

But anyway, for a while now I had been running into a feature not quite given much attention to. This could be because the feature comes and goes, and only until today did I notice that it seemed a bit more permanent. However, this might change within a few hours. I am talking about Live Search “Search Suggestions.”

Live Search Suggestions Drop Down


Originally I had noticed it when using my sister’s computer well more than a month ago. It obviously went a way for a while, or it shows up only to certain users (at the time, I would try it on my laptop and it wouldn’t show up, while it would on my sister’s). But as an active Live Search user, I have now seen it re-surface, and this time I think it might be here to stay. I think so because it is now well implemented into the Live Search options page, so if you can’t see the drop-down list, go there and enable them.

Live Search Suggestions Options


While Google has it on its home search page as well, currently seems to lack it. At the moment, the drop-down Search Suggestions only seem to appear when in a search results page. It will be interesting to see what Microsoft also decides to do with this tool to make it unique to that of other search engines, including Google and Ask.


- Albert

Thursday, September 18, 2008

I’m a PC: Not Alone

So the “actual” ads are finally here. So far three have been made available to the public with many more to come.

#3: Not Alone

- Albert

I’m a PC: Stereotype

So the “actual” ads are finally here. So far three have been made available to the public with many more to come.

#2: Stereotype

- Albert

I’m a PC: Pride

So the “actual” ads are finally here. So far three have been made available to the public with many more to come.

#1: Pride


I think it’s a great and not “big guy picking on the little guy” way of portraying the real side of the PC: billions of people connected and enabled. Of course, some of them do have glasses too. Haha.

- Albert

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Zune 3.0 now available for download; update guide

Okay, so after finally calming down after all the excitement, here it finally is: a full screenshot-powered run through of what is the magical experience of Zune 3.0 software. But first, a list of all the new amazing stuff in Zune 3.0 software and firmware:

  • Zune clock now lives! (The 3.0 firmware update includes a clock you can enable)
  • Has a "screen lock" (password feature to lock your Zune)
  • New "zune pad" options
  • Zune "pink cloud" now super charged! (you can notice it now!)
  • Installs two games on device update ("Hexic" and "Texas Hold'em")
  • Quicklist now called "now playing" (makes sense)
  • New Zune software backgrounds (most updated)
  • Improved UI media-navigation features
  • And of course "MixView" (but I haven't had a chance to use it because is still not up and running as of my installation)
  • And much more we've all yet to discover...

Okay, so for all you folks out there needing a hand with the Zune 3.0 software upgrade installation, here's my guide.

1. Launch Zune software.

2. Click on the Settings link on the top right.

3. Under "Software" go to the General tab.


4. Under "Software updates" check on "Check for updates." Once update is found, click on "Update Now."


5. It will begin preparing your computer for the installer.



6. It will launch the installer. Accept the terms.


7. Finally click on Install to begin the installation.


8. The update should jump to the final step, "installing the zune software."



9. Close the installer once it is complete and launch the Zune software via the new icon on the desktop.


10. The new Zune 3.0 software loads.


11. You should attempt to sign in to accept the "updated terms of service."


12. Next, after you have signed in, it's time to update your Zune device. It can be the Zune 30, Zune 80, or Zune 4/8. Zunes 120 and 16 should already come preloaded with the new device firmware. Connect your Zune media player while Zune software is up and running. Windows will detect it as a new device.


13. You Zune software should detect the old firmware of the Zune media player and display the following screen. Click on Install. Make sure you leave the box checked to have games installed on your Zune.


14. The software will quickly download the updated Zune 3.0 firmware to your Zune and begin an updating process on your media player in which the screen will continue to turn on and off. Leave it plugged in. Do not press anything. This is all normal. You should see the following as this occurs.


15. You will receive the following success screen once your Zune media player is updated to firmware 3.0.


16. And finally, you should be able to see your Zune. Yep, Albus after Dumbledore ;p


Congratulations! You have just updated your Zune software and Zune media player to version and firmware 3.0. Welcome to the social!

- Albert

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Windows Live for Windows Mobile

OK, first let's get the naming clear. Microsoft seems to be using 3 different names for this service as of right now: "Hotmail for Windows Mobile," "Windows Live Hotmail for Windows Mobile," and finally "Windows Live for Windows Mobile." I am yet to find out which name has been used for the most recent publishing of the application, but I would go with "Windows Live for Windows Mobile" because of the "About" screen for the actual application.


The application (which includes Hotmail and Spaces features, but not Messenger) has been available since June of this year, but until recently have I begun to notice links to it across Windows sites. In my case, I spotted it on the Windows Mobile "Total Access" site and here's the link story.


First noticed it on the "Download for Windows Mobile" page on the "Total Access" site.



So that takes us to "Windows Live Hotmail for Windows Mobile" page (already we note a name difference).



There we find the link to (to download via the device) which really forwards us here and gives us two options of the software: Pro and Standard.



After downloading and installing it, we get the "About" screen, which might point us to Microsoft's real naming of the application as "Windows Live for Windows Mobile."



I'm currently going to test it out on my Windows Mobile 6.0 (6.1 is going to be available to us soon, yay!) powered AT&T Tilt and I will get back to you guys with my take on it.

- Albert

Zune in "Another Cinderella Story"?

It was recently brought to my attention by a friend that E! had done some reporting on the upcoming Disney movie, "Another Cinderella Story," and talked about a Zune being part of the plot. After looking through some videos, I found out that instead of dropping her glass slipper, like in the original Cinderella story, she drops what appears to be a key chain and a Zune MP3 player. The following clip is the most I have found on the topic, so if anyone has any other information, make sure to drop a comment.

Video clip from the movie: fast-forward to 2:00 min.


- Albert

Tina Fey as Sarah Palin on SNL

Watched this last night and thought Tina Fey had done a great job. Just wanted to share it with all of you.

- Albert

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Cool Zune 3.0 software UI updates coming

Was just browsing around the Zune Press site when I stumbled across their Press Resources page and found the following screenshot of the Zune 3.0 software for the Marketplace Videos section. What became of particular interest to me was the new and updated "pink dancing cloud" (Related Link , Related Video ).


Here is the current "Pink Dancing Cloud"



Here's the Zune 3.0 "Cloud" (pink only no more)


^ My hope on the new "Dancing Cloud/Waves" is that it will be a lot more responsive to the music playing and people are actually able to notice it.



I also noticed that the background they used for the Zune Marketplace Videos screenshot was noticeably different from any of the ones included in the current Zune software. There is one that is very similar, but the color and design is actually different. Here, take a look:


Current Zune background (whole)



Zune 3.0 Background (whole)



Current Zune Background (close-up)



Zune 3.0 Background (close-up)


^ They are certainly not the same one, and the new Zune 3.0 one does not look any closer to any of other current Zune backgrounds. So this is definitely a sign that new Zune backgrounds are coming our way! Hopefully that, and the availability of changing the color scheme for the background.


Keep your eyes peeled people...I know mine are.

- Albert

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Windows Ad #2: The Family

This is the complete, uncut version of the #2 ad from the Gates/Seinfield marketing campaign for Windows. On TV, it will air in two parts. The first part aired today on CBS' "Big Brother" and the second part will air tomorrow on "Ghost Whisperer."

Watch the video:

Apart from the length, I think this is a bit better than "Shoe Circus," even though I personally enjoyed the first one. However, according to Mary-Jo Foley, Microsoft is promising to have the next set of ads, which will air within days, to be a lot more Windows-consumer-focused. That is good news because one more set of these, and the public might reach their attention span limits.

- Albert

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Cool new Zune logo animation

In a series of Zune 3.0 demonstrations, we find the following very cool intro and closing Zune logo animations. The video plays the intro animation, then the closing, and repeats the order but in slow motion, only to experience the awesomeness even further. Enjoy!

Watch the video:


- Albert


Welcome to the new and better home of the official WYNK Blog.


- Albert