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When syncing photos to the Zune HD it resizes them down to a much lower resolution which means I cannot load a high res picture on it (comic book) and zoom in to read it. This defeats the whole purpose of having a zoom feature.

There is a registry hack you can make to get the Zune to display under My Computer. Then if you killed the zune process while it's syncing you'd be able to access it like a hard drive and copy files to it. It seems like the more recent firmware and/or Zune software version now prevents this.

How can I treat it like an HDD and copy files to it? I simply want to take my original pictures folder and copy it over the low resolution versions the Zune software resized it to.

An alternative option would be to remove the hard drive from it and see if I can connect it to a computer directly, but I just got this and don't want to disassemble it yet.

Note to Microsoft: Why do you allow me to set the encoding quality of music, but not photos?

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You can with Liberate, based on the OpenZDK hack.

From Engadget regarding OpenZDK:

Liberate allows you to actively run the explorer.exe in the Windows CE, thus you're allowed to add any files you want to the Zune HD hard drive or see the contents of the entire drive (most, if not all).

Worth a try, I have added photos, and just about any type of document to the hard drive directly, using the File Deployer. Read the documentation and forums to make sure you understand what Liberate can do. See below:

Anything that was made to work on Windows CE devices (StrongARM or ARM CPU) has a chance of working. If it was made for MIPS or SH3/SH4, it will definitely not work. Also, Windows Mobile software might work, but has a much lower chance of working.

Users can use the File Deployer to deploy their own files to use with Liberate. Just add your files to the Content folder, deploy it, then run it. Your files will be deployed to /Flash2/Files. A shortcut to that folder will appear on the Liberate desktop after running File Deployer, however rebooting will cause the shortcut to disappear. Your files will stay in /Flash2/Files and you will still be able to access them by double-tapping "My Device", "Flash2", then "Files".

(bold/italics mine)

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Thanks for the response. I've installed it and browsed around, but it appears as if the folders/dirs under content are arbitrary. Can't make much sense of them. I'll have to spend more time on this after my vacation, but it sounds like you can do A LOT of really cool stuff with Liberate! – iamgoat Jan 20 '11 at 8:14
In the least, this does allow me to put whatever file I want on the Zune, I'd just have to open it via Liberate (Win CE) and not the Zune OS interface. – iamgoat Jan 20 '11 at 12:51
@iamgoat: yeah, it is really fun to play around with and see the possibilities! – studiohack Jan 20 '11 at 16:40

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