December 26, 2006

Free Zune goes to Richard Low of the libmtp project

Author: JT Smith

A few readers may recall that after my disappointing visit to Microsoft in early December, I promised to pass the Zune music player they gave me on to a worthy developer who would either modify it to run Linux or work on making the thing usable with Linux. Entries ranged from amusing to serious.One entry, from Matthew E. Lauterbach, said:

I have a Sharpie and a sledgehammer. I'll write the word "Linux" on the
sledghammer. And then put Linux ON the Zune. Okay, okay, I know I
probably won't win. Hopefully, you at least get a chuckle though.

Yup. We had a good chuckle over that one and similar messages that involved instruments of destruction, and I thought about doing something along those lines myself, but in the end sanity prevailed because several readers, including Kostas Tzounopoulos of, told us that the libmtp project was already working to produce Linux and Mac support for the protocol that runs the Zune, and suggested that Richard Low of libmtp would be the perfect recipient.

Before long, Richard emailed us himself to say he'd be willing to take on the project, and since he was the only potential recipient who had other people actively lobbying on his behalf, not to mention that he and his libmtp cohorts have already laid some groundwork for Zune multi-OS compatibility, he seemed like the person to whom it ought to go.

So congrats, Richard. I'll get your mailing/shipping address via private email and, as mentioned in the original article, I'll send the Zune to you from my Florida home office as soon as the annual after-Christmas package-return frenzy dies down. If, after you are done with it, you pass it on to someone who wants to try to port Linux to it -- as you said in your email that you might do -- that's fine with me. Once I send it to you, it's yours.

(I can forward names and email addresses of people who said that's what they'd like to do with it, some of whom have experience porting Linux to unusual devices, and you can choose one of them. Or someone else.)

And now, back to our normal and NewsForge last-week-of-the-year pace, which means doing hardly anything at all since most of us are on vacation until January 1, gathering our strength for some MAJOR coolness we'll be bringing to you in 2007.

Thanks for reading,

Robin 'Roblimo' Miller
Editor in Chief, OSTG
Bradenton, Florida

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