Wanted: ZuneFinder

I really like my Zune, except for one thing- I’m obsessed with battery life so I tend to keep the wireless radio off except when I want to actively look for others. The likelihood of users to do this could severely diminish the “social” aspects of the device. I want to be social, but I don’t want to run two WiFi radios between my laptop and my Zune, unnecessarily using up battery power.

What I really want is a small utility that runs on my laptop and notifies me when a Zune comes into the area. It’s running WiFi so it must have some sort of broadcast/ID mechanism no? I can see all sorts of interesting applications of this- mashups that show how many Zunes are available in a given area for one. It would be interesting to see if I could use my laptop to broadcast the fact that I have a Zune, and take requests. Then I’ll turn on the radio and away I go. And with Vista support now out for Zune, I’m hoping someone will write the ZuneFinder gadget. Anyone working on this (psst. Phil Torrone, psst) 🙂

One response to “Wanted: ZuneFinder”

  1. Great idea Sean. I don’t have the time to glue this together, but here is a hint for anyone who wants to give such a gadget a shot:
    (1) To get access to the 802.11 protocol information on Vista, use the Native WiFi APIs http://msdn2.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ms705969.aspx. I’m not sure if this will do the trick, but check out the WlanGetNetworkBssList() API – it might only provide information for infrastructure networks, while you’ll need ad-hoc networks. The WLAN_BSS_LIST structure on output will contain an array of WLAN_BSS_ENTRY structures that might be of help.

    (2) Because the gadget will have to make system calls that are not exposed via the sidebar namespace, it will have to built (for example) as an ActiveX control and loaded into the gadget. Here is a blog entry that should point you in the right direction: http://galactic-patrol.blogspot.com/

    — Gabe