Zunes hacked, opened for homebrew development

A group of developers have successfully taken advantage of an exploit within Microsoft’s Zune players to open the system up for the development of homebrew apps. Announced today at a dedicated Zune forum, the team has released the first SDK, OpenZDK, to get developers started in creating native apps and games for both the classic Zune and Zune HD.

Previously limited by the XNA kit for the Zune, OpenZDK will finally give developers full access to the internals of the Zune. Applications can now be made to take advantage of the Tegra inside the Zune HD using “custom vertex and fragments shaders with OpenGL ES 2.0, programmed using lightning fast C++.” Limitations in 3D hardware acceleration, internet access, and performance have all been lifted with the new homebrew SDK. 

Because OpenZDK was just released, no apps have been made yet, though that should eventually change with time as developers get accustomed to the platform to create new games, emulators, ports, and other applications.

In addition to the Quick Start Kit, getting started guides have been made available to end users and developers. The Zune Dev Wiki will serve as the main portal for further developments in homebrew apps and OpenZDK.

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28 Comments

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wonderful. can't wait to put some more apps on my zunehd. btw. on the forum people say there would be a downgrade hack that makes the zune think it's still latest firmware.

the main question i have is... is this something Microsoft can patch with a update or is it something that Microsoft can do nothing to stop?

p.s. Rockbox is primary reason this will be good

I see a Zune HD 4.6 update coming real quick now!

On the other hand good news, maybe this will show MS how users/devs want more access to the hardware and get them to open it up more/quicker.

GP007 said,
I see a Zune HD 4.6 update coming real quick now!

On the other hand good news, maybe this will show MS how users/devs want more access to the hardware and get them to open it up more/quicker.

And if they do that, lets hope nobody updates unless it brings some amazing new feature like .h264 support

Auzeras said,
This needs to happed with iPad and iPhone

You mean JB?

It already happened ...

Edited by Wanderermy, Apr 17 2010, 2:45am :

This is actually good news for a number of people. Those who wanted to use their Zunes on Linux or Mac OS X can finally do just that.

Admodieus said,
This is actually good news for a number of people. Those who wanted to use their Zunes on Linux or Mac OS X can finally do just that.

How? you need Zune Software still to sync,

murkurie said,

How? you need Zune Software still to sync,

If they've found an exploit, there's a good chance they can modify the firmware and/or the handshake the device usually makes with the Zune software to allow it to sync with other media players.

martinDTanderson said,
Before I consider fiddling with my Awesome Zune HD, I want to see some apps which justify this hacking...

Give it time...