XNJB lets you see your Zune on the Mac

by Erica Sadun


Want to see your Zune from your Mac? You can.

Okay. Reality check here. The Zune uses Microsoft's Media Transfer Protocol. So you can use WentNet's open-source free XNJB utility to peek at the contents of a Zune attached to your Macintosh.

But that's about as far as you're going to get. So far.

The Zune will not allow non-host computers to download data off the unit. Yes, I've followed the Zune Boards hack and have been able to transfer data onto (and off of) my Zune. You trick the Zune into lowering its non-transfer security gates during a sync and then access the Zune as an external disk during the sync. (Hint: transfer a TV episode in MPEG-4 format. It takes a good long while for the video to convert to native WMV and then copy to the Zune.)

But that won't work with the Mac, because the Zune treats all computers other than the original host as hostile entities and will not allow access to the Zune data without a total reformat/rehost.

Clearly, the trick will lie in telling the Zune that it's attached to a host and then pretending to "sync". For now, XNJB allows you to see the contents of the Zune but all transfer attempts fail.


2006-11-25 19:07:42
But that won't work with the Mac, because the Zune treats all computers other than the original host as hostile entities

Wow! lets make it as hard as possible to use a Zune..
So this is the "Social" MP3 player accoding to MS

Being hostile to a system makes me think there was a typo and they forgot to write "anti" in front of the social bit.
Why does MS consistantly try to shot themselves in the foot by making it hard for users.

2006-11-26 02:37:41
Why is anyone even attempting to link the but-ugly Zune to a pure Mac?

Why buy a Mac and pair it to crap? The idea of putting a Zune near a Mac makes me feel dirty, let alone connecting one. If you want to be in Microsoft's pocket buy a Dell, don't pretent to be a Mac user.

Ross M Karchner
2006-11-26 06:25:04
I say this as a 10+ year mac user:

I. hate. Mac. Snobs.

Good job experimenting, Erica. The *real* interesting day will be when someone manages to port Rockbox to the Zune, and makes it a true Wifi client...

2006-11-26 07:00:53
mmm and I thought supporters (like Peter Gabriel) liked the Zune as the iPod was supposed to be proprietary ?? I wonder if MS will release a Mac client for its rebranded box of tosh ??
2006-11-26 14:05:07
Why should we be interested in that? Yawn...
2006-11-26 15:37:41
Wow I wonder if anybody beyond reviewers will use this? I mean are there really Mac users stupid enough to buy a Zune? I think we need to call the MTP (Mac Thought Police) and either have their computers taken away or they could be given a massive dose of the Apple "Kool-Aid" to bring them to their senses.
2006-11-26 17:28:53
hi there,

In response to some of the comments, I'm one of those "fabled" Mac users that would get a Zune. I cannot stand iPods, for a long long list of reasons. I'm really hoping this gets further so that I can get a Zune and use it with my iBook and iMac.

Long live anything but iPods.

Kostas Tzounopoulos
2006-11-27 05:30:03
You can read the original article here:


-- Zune-Online.com Share your Zune Experience!



As I mentioned to you already in e-mail, I did not go to your site to figure out the Zune/XNJB connection, so it would be misleading to cite you. I always include URL links whenever I find material that I did not develop myself. Google was my source in this case.

Best regards,

-- Erica

Kostas Tzounopoulos
2006-11-27 05:56:19
OK if it was not not on my site, please refer to the website you found it.
Erica Sadun
2006-11-27 08:00:19
Dude, I googled for "os x" "media transfer protocol". I found XNJB. Tried it out. Posted about it. I didn't find it on a website.
Kostas Tzounopoulos
2006-11-27 08:16:12
If this is the way you did it, its fine with me. I will also add your article's link to mine and call it a coincidence. I found it using a different method (linux -> amarok -> libmtp project page. Asking on the forum, sent to XNJB's forum by Richard Low). There is no need not to be polite to each other about this.
2006-11-27 10:17:49
If you connect an iPod to a computer other than the one you originally synced with, doesn't iTunes ask if you want to resync the iPod to the new computer?
Erica Sadun
2006-11-27 10:19:36
These days you can sync to the new computer or transfer your purchases from the iPod to that computer as well as several other options.

Additionally, the iPod can have up to 5 "home" computers. The Zune is tied to a single host.

Falaah Shabazz
2006-12-21 07:54:34
I have 3 MAC systems & love MACS (being an ex-PC user) but the simple fact is I am a photographer and the Zune has a much lager screen with better resolution than my 30GB ipod, not to mention I hate being confined to one way of doing things give me a choice.
2006-12-21 11:06:02
i was given one for free after winning an air guitar contest, and just like the boy given the darken keys to hell at some point in time you will venture off to see whats inside even if you do live in the heavenly community of a mac
2006-12-21 11:11:37
through research i have been informed that the bootcamp programs by mac makes it easier,although you have to bring your own copy of microsoft xp service pack 2 to the table it allows you to run windows , its a choice you make during the start up of your comp, but there you have it ,now demons will walk the earth for a million tech years
2006-12-25 00:26:10
2006-12-31 01:34:58
Hey there Erica,
my name's Lee, and I just recieved a ZUNE as a late Christmas present, however everyone who I asked told me it was compatable with my iBook G4....but I'm seeing otherwize. Please help me.

Thank you very much.

2007-01-27 21:52:54
Has anyone used Virtual PC to load the "zune" software then when you want to add/remove music just use the create disc image option of VPC and then move the files around on the MAc then just save the changes. I know it's a bit tedious but it should work.
Danette 4 Zune
2007-07-03 10:51:10
At least I see I'm not the only person here who also actually likes the Zune :-)
2007-07-09 08:02:01
Man, I'm Geting A Mac. I Hope This will work one Day
2007-08-20 17:10:47
It's slightly incorrect to say that the Zune is tied to a single host. You can download the Zune software to ANY PC, log in as a guest and download music onto your Zune without wiping your entire library. You can also sync with that computer to download music from the hard drive. You also get up to three downloads for each song when you have an "all-you-can-eat pass." That pass is another sweet feature. It costs about $16/month and allows you to download anything you want. It will stay on the Zune as long as you have the pass. You also have the option to purchase songs if you want them forever at about the same rate as itunes.

I'm not trying to be an ad for Zune, but it does have some great features and as someone who just recently made the mac switch, I miss my Zune and hope Microsoft will eventually make it completely available for OSX.

2007-10-02 07:26:38
I don't know if I'm an exception but I can use my Zune on any PC, I just say its a guest and everythings fine. Just because someone wants to connect a Zune to a Mac DOES NOT mean they are a Mac owner! I for one just want to bring my files to school and use them in projects, since all we have are Macs since theyre mindless simple basic machines retard monkies are able to use, im not saying theyre bad but annoying... that's another discussion, sorry for the rant...
2007-11-17 12:03:24
What about us guys who already had a Zune but are switching to a Mac computer cause PCs suck? Hopefully this will come to be as I really do like my Zune, as opposed to am Ipod, of which I tested both and went with the Zune for many reasons.
2007-11-26 14:20:43
im not sure why some of you are complaining for the solution of zune to mac connection. if youre making a switch from pcs to macs why not keep your old pc and load the music onto there, then transfer the files ones this mess gets figured out? thats what i did, now i dont have 30gb of music clogging up my macbook pro. of course its a little inconvenient but hey, if you want to live with both mac and zune, deal.
2008-01-25 21:34:19
My wife just won a Zune at work. I wish Apple had a competitive upgrade program so I could get rid of this ugly thing... Anyone want to trade?
2008-02-15 13:34:32
I have a mac and can care less if i am able to use my zune on leopard.......i just switch over to windows vista using bootcamp......its really no biggie. I bought a mac because of the flexibility, i didnt buy it to host my mp3 player. this is really petty stuff.....just use bootcamp.
2008-03-19 14:39:39
i lost my ipod touch, and now i have a zune that my friend gave me in return for a pair of good headphones. That's why i'm trying to link zune to my mac. If all else fail's, i can just run windows on my mac with bootcamp.
2008-04-11 10:09:02
The zune is the greatest MP3/MP4 ever, i don't know why a zune would want to be linked to a piece of crap mac, they're terrible, i'll take a dell anyday, iPods blow too, so if you like apple products....
shove it!