Digital News Report- In the early morning hours of December 31st, 30gb Zune mp3 players around the world began to fail. Users are reporting that the device freezes on the loading screen and becomes totally unresponsive. Zune.net has posted a message stating, “We’re aware of the problem and are working to correct it…. Sorry for the inconvenience, and thanks for your patience.”
Some tech savvy users online have found a way to correct the problem by initiating a hard reset, but the procedure is difficult and risky. Those unfamiliar with the hardware can damage their Zune, so this method is not recommended. Many users on the Zune message boards have also disputed the efficiency of this method.
The incident has been dubbed “Z2K9,” a play on the Y2K scare at the turn of the millennium. Many are speculating that it’s a bug similar to the suspected Y2K bug, while others are holding out hope that Microsoft is planning an update.
A forum called “Help-frozen zune,” currently registers more than 19,000 comments. Posts have appeared on dozens of forums with thousands of posts across the Internet with the same complaints and similar cries of outrage aimed at Microsoft.
Microsoft currently has a 4% market share among mp3 players, according to the Wired blog network. Apple has 71% and SanDisk has 11%. Numerous users on forums have threatened to switch to another brand of mp3 player if the problem isn’t solved quickly. In a market dominated by Microsoft most notorious competitor, this could spell trouble.
North American sales of all Zune devices surpassed 3 million units in November, but at this time only the 30gb models have been affected by the glitch. The exact cause has not yet been identified.
At 12:21pm PST a message appeared on the Zune website stating, “we are getting close to IDing the issue. We are conducting additional testing and checks now to make sure it is accurate. thanks again for your patience,” but the message disappeared quickly. It was replaced by a less hopeful message reading “We have a technical team working hard to isolate the issue right now and will update everyone as much as possible. Thanks for your patience while we get to the bottom of this.”