Adding Your Zune Card to Your Windows Live Space

Did you know you can add your Zune Card to your Windows Live Space? Yup, you can, and pretty darn easily too. 

  • First, go to http://social.zune.net/profile/gadgets.aspx when signed in with your Windows Live ID and get the HTML snippet for the card you want. 
  • Next, go to your Space and under Customize, choose Add Modules.  Scroll towards the bottom of the list, and select the Custom HTML module (you’ll find it in the Other category) and save your changes.
  • Click the Edit link on the Custom HTML module you just created and paste the HTML from the Zune site in.

Pretty simple eh?  Problem is, it doesn’t look so hot.  Here’s my Space with my Zune card in a small region.

image

I don’t know about you, but I’m not a fan of this.  It just doesn’t look sleek enough for me.  Couple problems:  firstly, there is a title and a bunch of padding around the card that doesn’t need to be there, and secondly, the card is cut off on the right.  It’s hard to see from the picture, but if you had a longer name, you’d see it cut off.  Here are some quick things you can do to make it look a lot better:

Remove the chrome around the module.  To do this, click the gears icon on the top-right of the module to get into Customize mode.  Then, you’ll see a small down arrow icon on the top-right, where the gears were before.  Select Settings and turn off the border and title as shown.

image

The result will look more like this.  It’s still cut off, but looks a whole lot better already.

image

To make the card not cut off, go into customize mode again and this time, edit the HTML.  The change you need to make is in the HTML where it has the height and width.  To fit nicely in a small region on Spaces, set the values to width=182 and height=98.  The card will scale appropriately.  End result is below:

image

I think this looks a lot nicer.

To make the card fit in other regions, find out the width using a pixel ruler or something, and then adjust the height so that the aspect ratio remains the same.

The New Windows Live

Today is a big day for me, for several hundred employees and for all of you guys; we just released the new Windows Live (also known as Wave 3). This release represents a major step towards what our vision for what Windows Live is and we think that you will enjoy using it.

There are a lot of new things in Windows Live Wave 3 and it’s really not worth listing them all out here. Here are my top 10 new features in Windows Live.

1. Your new Profile page

Windows Live was always a social networking, but now, we’re really a social network. The profile page is really the core of the social network. Your profile page is a really fast-loading page that shows what’s new with you, as well as your friends and notes. Go check out your page and customize it a bit by picking one of our really nice new themes (see #9) by going to http://profile.live.com.

Having this as the #1 in my top features is somewhat biased…this set of pages is what my team and I built in this release, and we’re really proud of it.

ProfilePage

2. New Photos Experience

One of the things people do most on a social networking site is share photos, and we feel that we’ve now done a great job balancing the social networking aspects of photo sharing with the beauty and speed of the experience of viewing the photos. The SkyDrive and Photos team did a great job here. Some quick highlights of photos in the new Windows Live.

  • Simple, clean photos view
  • Beautiful Silverlight-based slideshow. The background color here changes based on the colors in the photo.
  • Really nice upload experience
  • There’s a bunch more great stuff in here. Go play with it! Click on “Photos” on the left of your profile page.

SlideShow PhotoAlbum

3. “What’s New” in Messenger

We really wanted to pull Messenger more into the social network. We started down this path a few years ago with “Gleams” (the yellow stars next to your buddy list). We took this a step further this release by showing you what’s new with your friends right in the contact list window.

MessengerWhatsNew

4. Web Activities

Don’t you just hate it when you have information in all kinds of different services with no good way for people to see a merged view of everything you’re sharing? For example, you have photos on FlickR, you use Twitter and you have a WordPress blog somewhere; how do your friends know where to go for updates? Well now, with “Web Activities” in Windows Live, you can register these activities so that updates you make appear on your Windows Live Profile page.

WebActivitesOnWhatsNew

5. New Home Page

Where your Profile page is all about you, the new home page is all about your friends, groups and events. You can even customize it with some photos on the top of the page. Check it out at http://home.live.com, or click “Home” at the top of any Windows Live page.

HomePage

6. Recent Comments

You can have comments on your profile (in the form of “Notes”), comments on blog posts, on photos, on files in SkyDrive and we now have a way to see a rolled-up view of all the comments people have left on someone’s content.

RecentComments

7. Windows Live Photo Gallery

Windows Live Photo Gallery is the free upgrade to the Windows Photo Gallery in Vista, and also works on Windows XP. This release merges the great usability of the previous Photo Gallery and adds Social Networking features like people tagging and showing you what photos your friends have shared.

You can also use the Photo Gallery to upload albums to Windows Live and also to download entire albums your friends have shared.

GallerySharing

8. Groups

We finally did it!

In Windows Live 2.0, we added the notion of “Events”. In Wave 3, we’ve done a lot more work here and shipped “Groups”. Windows Live Groups allow you to create a place for clubs, teams, and other private groups to share. In this first release of groups, we’re supporting photo and file sharing as well as a discussion board. Check it out at http://groups.live.com.

Another cool feature of groups is that they show up in Messenger so that you can instantly chat with everyone in your group!

MessengerGroups

9. Dynamic Themes

I deserve a big “told you so” from Emmanuel here.

One of the things that was important to us in Wave 3 was to make sure the pages were customizable somewhat so that you could make them reflect your personality, but also that they should be beautiful pages. To that end, we created a small set of great themes. The gems within those themes are a set of “Dynamic Themes”. These themes are special in that they change based on the time of day and weather at your location.

Try one of these themes! You can pick one by selecting “More Themes” in the “Options” menu.

DynamicThemes

10. Comment SPAM Work

We realize that SPAM in comments is a problem, and we’ve done work in Wave 3 to help slow this problem down. I won’t go into detail here, but I expect we’ll see less SPAM in comments and notes on profile, as well as invites with this release.

There you have it, my personal top 10 features of Windows Live Wave 3. I really hope you give this release of Windows Live a try and tell us what you think. If you have feedback, please feel free to leave me a message on Windows Live.

What’s not to love about Sarah Palin?

Election time in the US is always interesting for me.  (Can you believe it?  This is the 3rd one I’ve been in Redmond for).  I’m not a citizen, so I can’t vote, but I still feel pretty strongly about how I would vote if I could.  I figure, the least I can do is pass along a tiny bit of anti-republican humor.  So, if you have a few minutes on your hands…
 
Alec Baldwin was great.  "You’re so much hotter in person".  Yup, that could be our VP.  Oyvey.