Zappiti Users – Caveat Emptor

by Damian on February 1, 2012 · 63 comments

in News

Anyone who follows me around the world knows I am a big fan of using Zappiti as my jukebox of choice for my Dune Media Players (my current players being the Smart D1 and BD Prime). My Zappiti guide is probably one of the most visited postings on this site, with over 560 comments in 1+ years. So why bring this up now? Well, there has been a change today that has caused quite  stir amongst Zappiti users. If you happened to be using one of the latest beta versions of Zappiti (2.3.1091.0 to 2.3.1097.0 ) you were greeted with a message when you started Zappiti that a new version (2.3.1099.0) was available for download. If you opt not to download Zappiti shuts down on you (you are locked out).

So what’s the catch, why wouldn’t you want to upgrade to 1099. Well, starting with 1099 part of the functionality (the Dune Export)  is locked down and requires a registration code. HDLand, the company behind Zappiti which is based in France, did this because some German dealers are selling Dune HD Players in France and bypassing french distribution (see here for a list of authorized French resellers). In order to get a registration code for Zappiti you now must provide proof of where you purchased your Dune by providing and Invoice # (if you purchased via HDLand) or scanned copy of your invoice (you will be presented the option when you go to Export to Dune). If you live in France and did not purchase from an Authorized Reseller you will be unable to unlock the Dune Export feature of Zappiti. It is not clear what will be done for those who don’t live in France and don’t have a copy of their invoice (myself being one of them). Once you install 1099 you will have 9 days to use the Dune Export functionality without a registration code before it locks down completely.

To summarize, here are the available options:

  1. If you want BOTH the iTunes and Dune export functionality you will need Zappiti version 1099 or greater. As such, you will be required to get a registration code by providing proof that you did not purchase your Dune from an unauthorized reseller in France. If you purchased from  an unauthorized reseller you are SOL. As of now it is unclear how those who don’t have an invoice, don’t live in France, and possibly never even stepped foot in France will be treated
  2. If you only want the iTunes export functionality you will need Zappiti version 1099 or greater, but you will not need a registration code.
  3. If you only want the Dune export functionality there are two options:
    1. Continue to use Zappiti version from 2.1.6.2755 and earlier. The drawback of this is that you will not be able to access any fixes/enhancements added to Zappiti. Also, whether by coincidence or not, links to 2.1.6.2755 and earlier have now been removed from the download page of Zappiti.
    2. Upgrade to 1099+ and obtain a registration code.
  4. Switch to one of the other available jukeboxes such as yaDIS, MovieNizer, My Movies, Dune Explorer, etc…

I have no issues with HDLand trying to protect themselves and authorized dealers from rogue dealers not playing by the rules. However, the approach being taken is not only unorthodox but in my opinion not well thought out. Many current Zappiti users were caught off guard by this move which seems odd since something of this nature I would have expected would have been relayed to the community in advance of the switch. There also remains some open questions which as of now will serve to alienate a portion of the current Zappiti users:

  • What happens if you purchased a Dune, had zero involvement with an unauthorized reseller in France, yet don’t have a copy of your invoice?
  • What happens to those users who donated to Zappiti and/or purchased the iPad App but either don’t have a copy of their invoice or purchased from an unauthorized reseller without clarification from the Zappiti developers that such a restriction would be imposed.
  • What about people who purchased their Dunes from sites like eBay (where typically you don’t get the original invoice, and even if you did it would not match up with the current user)? Are you basically saying that no Dune owner can ever sell their Dune player because on the other side of the sale the buyer is at risk of being hit with restrictions?

For now it is just a wait and see approach, but hopefully a complete list of answers should be known soon so current Zappiti users can decide how to proceed.

If you are a current Zappiti user, how has this affected how you will use Zappiti? Are you now considering switching to an alternative jukebox? Let me know your thoughts below in the comments section.

UPDATE – If you don’t have a copy of your invoice you can upload proof of your address (a bill or something along that line) or send an email to contact@hdland.fr. I submitted a copy of one of my house bills (i.e. please make sure you white out any sensitive information), so I will post back once I know if it worked.





Article by

Hi, my name is Damian, and I'm tech gadget addict! Although I always had some interest in technology, it wasn't until I got my EX470 and more importantly found Mediasmartserver.net, that my interest became an addiction. My goal, aside from world domination and to see the Mets/Broncos win another championship, is to set up the perfect digital home where all my media is available at the click of a button. When I am not writing for Mediasmartserver.net you can find me over at my blog at http://www.adigitalhomeblog.com or follow me on twitter


{ 63 comments }

Ferro February 1, 2012 at 4:37 pm

I’m downloading yadis. I’m in Switzerland. I lost my invoice. I’m tired of these crazy europeans People. In the future i’ll buy htpc with good old XBMC. Zappiti is DEAD!

Damian February 2, 2012 at 2:50 pm

I imagine yaDIS is seeing a nice uptick in user interest suddenly lol

Dan February 5, 2012 at 7:23 am

XBMC working it’s way into Arm platforms will kill off the likes Zappiti and maybe even Dune in the long run anyway.

HDland are dead men walking they just don’t realize it yet.

Nomad February 2, 2012 at 6:58 am

I’m in the UK. I love Zappiti. I have my invoice. Will they give me a code?
Perhaps they are on they’re way towards making everyone pay to use it.

Damian February 2, 2012 at 7:00 am

Yes, they will give you a code (a few members have already confirmed this worked). Once you upgrade to 1099, when you hit the “Export to Dune” button a message box should appear asking you to register. You will just need to fill in the information and attach a scanned copy of your invoice.

Nomad February 2, 2012 at 7:08 am

Right. that means I’ve got to get up in to the attic again, and find the drivers for my printer / scanner thing…
anyone got a ladder I can borrow.

Hammacher February 2, 2012 at 12:33 pm

Big blunder by the makers of Zappiti. Not sure I can think of a better way to alienate formerly happy customers than locking us out of the application with no warning or explanation. But they didn’t stop there. HDLand failed to post any information on their website about the change and forced users to search the web for “Zappiti locked me out” just to find out what was going on. And you hit the nail on the head, Damian, when you point out that many Dune owners purchased their unit 2nd-hand from a previous owner, not directly from a reseller. Obviously this is a perfectly legitimate method to purchase any product. If HDLand intends to prevent 2nd-hand owners from using Zappiti, it will quickly become a forgotten app. Too bad because I was thrilled with Zappiti until yesterday and was about to tell my friends.

Damian February 2, 2012 at 3:00 pm

Agreed, why no forewarning was given makes zero sense. Going after legitimate owners (whether those who were the original owners but just don’t have a copy of the invoice) or second hand owners is really a move in the wrong direction. On the other hand, if you are looking for an effective way to alienate your user base, this is not a bad plan ;)

Zappitti Fan .. soon to Ex-Z fan? February 2, 2012 at 2:40 pm

Zappitti is a great app! Sorry to see this instictive reaction, rather than a well thought out one. Until this point I was considering buying the iPad app .. now I think I will start diversifying my options. Thx Damian for the detailed post. Greatly appreciate it.

Damian February 2, 2012 at 2:50 pm

Funny enough I had been holding up purchasing the Ipad App until a few issues with the beta got sorted out. Obviously if I lose the Dune Export functionality then I have zero need for Zappiti so with that I would also not purchase the iPad App (so they alienate what would be a paying customer). Fortunately there are other options, just a shame it had to come to this…

Zappitti Fan .. soon to Ex-Z fan? February 2, 2012 at 2:55 pm

One thing I really liked about Zappitti was the TV show organization. Would it be possible for you to post some options please that will rival Zappitti? Just think it will be prudent for us to start looking at options. I am asking because, as I understant it, some of the options you had mentioned only deal w/ movies, right?

Damian February 2, 2012 at 3:07 pm

The main alternatives would be My Movies, yaDIS, MovieNizer, DFI, and Dune Explorer. I know for sure that My Movies and yaDIS support TV Shows (although My Movies TV Show support appears to be hit or miss). I am not positive about the others. My Movies does also have an excellent iPad/Android App (although currently no TV SHow support) and there is a free App for Android that you can use with yaDIS. There is an iPad only app called 10Muse that I am testing as well (details in the forum here).

Jason February 2, 2012 at 7:11 pm

Zappiti is dead to me. I was foolish enough to buy the iPad app 2 weeks ago. You can say that Zappiti pulled another NetFlix. I would never ever use Zappiti again even if they pay me. Already installed yaDIS and love it.

GTunney February 3, 2012 at 1:43 am

R.I.P Zappiti

I have been using zappiti for little over a year now and found it excellent until the dreaded iOS support came along. As an iPhone user I was really excited at the aspect of having a zappiti app but that has all changed now. The desktop app has became buggy and unreliable.

I bought my Dune from HD Land and got it sent to the UK but even though i’m entitled to use Zappiti I don’t know wether I shall continue too as i’m furious at the way HD Land has handled this. No prior warning and no clear instructions. Maybe a beta version should have been rolled out prior to actually making the changes go live.

Bad play Zappiti, very bad play. I really hope you sort this mess out. Charge for the desktop application and have iOS free.

Jason February 3, 2012 at 6:00 am

This was the latest post from Zappiti team, ChristopheCherel, regarding Dune owners that are not living in France to obtain a code to continue to use Dune export function:

For people living out of France, you have to send a copy of your invoice (bill) by using the registration form.

For all: don’t worry, you’ll not loose Dune Export feature if you are living out of France. Lock of Dune Feature is just for French people, not for foreign people.

I take it the Registration form is within the app when you click on the Dune Export. This then will ask you to include a copy of your legit dealer invoice. My case, would be dunePlayer.com. I hope that the online invoice from dunplayer.com is enough.

GTunney February 3, 2012 at 6:04 am

Yes that is correct Jason, when you click export it will ask you for your invoice. It should be more then enough.

Damian February 3, 2012 at 6:17 am

In addition Christophe confirmed that if you don’t live in France but don’t have an invoice you can simply scan a document showing your address.

Zappitti Fan .. soon to Ex-Z fan? February 3, 2012 at 8:33 am

This is Great News for people like me! Lost my receipt. I will do this over the weekend and hopefully will move forward with the appropriate code.

Thanks for the kind follow-up.

Damian February 3, 2012 at 8:39 am

Just submitted my home heating bill, let’s see what happens :)

Christophe Cherel February 3, 2012 at 10:12 am

Hi,

If you don’t have your invoice, you can send a copy of other document to prove that you live out of France and it will be ok.

Christophe
Zappiti Team.

Christophe Cherel February 3, 2012 at 10:18 am

Dear Zappiti users,

If you live out of France but received rejection, you can ask us to validate you by sending us and email with documents to prove that you live out of Franceat contact@hdland.fr

Christophe.
Zappiti Team.

Damian February 3, 2012 at 11:23 am

Thanks, I will update this post to mention. Funny enough I submitted a copy of one of my house bills (since I don’t have an invoice) earlier today, and now when I go to the Dune Export I went from having 8 days left to register to 1 day left. I will keep an eye on to see if it goes through,

Dev Anand February 13, 2012 at 10:02 pm

I live in India and using Zappiti. Yesterday I sent my digital Invoice which I had purchased in India and within hours I got my Zappiti validation. It’s great.

Thank you Zappiti Team.

Dev Anand

Daniel March 22, 2012 at 7:48 am

hi Christophe,

Generally I don’t provide my address to people on the other side of the planet unless its to do with a financial transaction. i’m certainly not going to provide that information to unlock a feature on some freeware.

who knows the the link to yaDis?

Hammacher February 4, 2012 at 9:58 am

Wanted to update everyone – HDLand confirmed my registration. I was able to find a digital version of my Dune invoice with my U.S. address on it so I uploaded and submitted it to HDLand via the Dune form that appears when you try to export Zappiti to Dune. I wasn’t sure whether to expect an email confirming my registration or a message next time I launched Zappiti. Well it took 2 days, but yesterday when I tried to export to Dune, I received a message saying “Congratulations your registration has been accepted.” Then the export proceeded as normal. I tried the export function again today and it worked normally without any messages or roadblocks. So it seems HDLand is really only interested in whether you live in France. Even so, their communication and execution of this little wrinkle has been poor.

Dave February 4, 2012 at 5:20 pm

I submitted a scanned receipt and got the registration accepted message the next day.

Damian February 14, 2012 at 3:24 am

After resubmitting my house bill my registration went through. The only thing I wish is that a pop up box saying you are registered wouldn’t appear every single time you go to Export To Dune.

pitsie February 17, 2012 at 3:16 am

Anyone having trouble/lost invoice/whatever:

Add this line to your hosts file (c:\Windows\System32\drivers\etc\hosts)

176.67.167.71 ekioo.com

And no more problems with export to Dune.

Damien HOFFSCHIR (aka Filimindji) May 10, 2012 at 10:30 am

/!\ Do not use this hack /!\

First, it do not resolve any problem.

Second, it block any further attemps to register Zappiti, and you’ll have to call the support to unlock your computer.

John Lessnau February 21, 2012 at 12:36 pm

My wife bought me my Dune for xmas a few years back hence no receipt. However, I just downloaded the new version and it seems to be working fine. Export completed with no errors or messages. Maybe they took the restriction out?

If they are worried about the wrong people using it, I am wondering why don’t they charge for the app? It is a very nice piece of software that makes my Dune much nicer to use and I’d happily pay a fair price to avoid future issues. Donations are fine but it does not make me a registered user.

Maybe it was there before but I just noticed that the new version has export to itunes which will make using the paid (and expensive) ipad app easier. I may give the ipad app a try now.

eteractive March 6, 2012 at 10:26 pm

Wonder if there will be an impact if I’m from an Asia country.

Any idea?

Damian March 12, 2012 at 1:06 pm

You will still need to submit an invoice or proof of address

John Lessnau March 13, 2012 at 10:20 am

I uploaded a scan of my driver’s license and they approved it within an hour. Very painless if not unconventional.

Tim October 14, 2012 at 1:08 pm

Sending a company like this a copy of your drivers license is an invasion of privacy and none of their business.

I can’t believe they are still in business doing something like this. There are alternatives like Yadis you can use, which has more features.

Aaron March 18, 2012 at 9:55 pm

Damian:

I’m glad you notified us about this. I almost upgraded and now have decided to hold off until I can find my invoice.

John Lessnau March 19, 2012 at 7:59 am

Aaron,

You don’t need an invoice. Just scan your drivers license or some kind of id or a power bill and upload it to them via the Zappiti interface. Piece of cake.

John

Aaron March 25, 2012 at 10:32 pm

I downloaded the update and used the registration form to include a copy of my electric bill. Hopefully that works.

Do they send you a registration code or does it automatically sync and confirm registration?

Damian April 4, 2012 at 3:08 pm

No code, I assume they just set some sort of flag in the software

Derrick March 19, 2012 at 7:45 pm

I am now having the hardest time. I was approved but when I upgraded to the latest build, Version 2.4.6.0, it is asking to register again. I’ve tried using the new pop up that allows you to attach a document but keep getting declined.

Such a hassle and I even paid for the iPad app.

A simple reply by email would be nice…they replied before. I have no idea why it’s taking so long.

Damian March 20, 2012 at 11:59 am

I have upgraded without issue (although every single time I export I get a popup letting me know that I am registered). Did you by chance try the registry hack noted in the comment section here?

Kent May 18, 2012 at 3:10 am

Damian,

What’s the appeal of upgrading to a newer version of Zappiti? Faster scrapes, exports, better skins, etc.? I’m still using version 1.4.1.2645 and despite the registration hassles I would consider upgrading if it’s worth it.

Any problems with getting the newer versions to play nicely with databases generated by older versions?

Thanks.

Derrick March 20, 2012 at 12:07 pm

Hey Damian. Do you mean the host file? If so then yeah I tried it.

I can run an older version but when I try to use the latest I get the following:
http://www.djvitamind.com/Screenshot_2.jpg

Just frustrating as it’s not the right way to handle a registration process. Especially when you were approved before the latest build and paid for the iPad add..even though both are different in a sense.

Derrick March 20, 2012 at 12:15 pm

What I should have said is ‘a proper way to handle a registration process’.

I removed the host file entry and tried to register that way again. I’ll just wait and see.

Derrick March 21, 2012 at 10:22 am

Well just in case anyone runs into the same problem I had here is what I did.

1. Reverted back to Version 2.4.5.0
2. Removed the entry in my host file
3. Sent in the registration request again

Approved

4. Installed Version 2.4.6.0

Everything working like it should now.

Jeroen March 24, 2012 at 9:52 am

Has anyone ever asked more information form hdland.fr.
Because when I contact support of zappiti (contact@hdland.fr) They reply with a standard e-mail.
Whatever I ask them… Everytime they send the same mail.

Furthermore: Isn’t the fact that (in my case) communicate with them with a .nl domain extension enough proof?
By the way: Do they even comply with all privacy rules as dictated by the EU-government. I believe it’s not allowed to ask users for a copy an ID-card without a proper and clear privacy statement (which you cannot found on their website).

Dennis April 9, 2012 at 12:03 pm

get DUNE EXPORER 2.0.6 it works great on my dune

Ray June 20, 2012 at 7:37 am

Hi
I sent a email to hdland as you advised 4 days ago with the attached invoice from advanced mp3 players as of yet still not recieved a reply i think the program is great for the dune after the initial setup i dont even mind paying for a licence but this does not be an option hope there some good news in the future
Your help will b apprciated
Ray

Ray June 20, 2012 at 7:55 am

Well all i know i just posted sombody must be smiling on me just started zappiti up to send another copy of my invoice and great news they have given me a registration so i thought i would let you all know
Ray
Ps keep up the good work

Ray June 20, 2012 at 8:07 am

Just to confirm earlier post by damian i tried the hack dont work then deleted it then my livence was granted so if you apply delete the host first

Charles U Farley July 11, 2012 at 2:41 am

I don’t understand where all this hate is coming from. I have NO problem sending a PDF receipt in to verify my Dune purchase to continue using this FREE software. It could be covered in ads.. :/ I appreciate your media guide. I recently purchased a new router and I lost access to my shared drives so I have to set them up again. Are there any updates with the new zappiti? It seems easier to work with.

Kenneth July 19, 2012 at 11:41 am

I do have a problem needing to send a copy of an invoice. Not because of privacy concerns. Just the principle of the matter.

This is actually dicrimination. They have absolutly no right to limit access to their software for certain groups of people. This is the same as forbidding access to the software for black people or asian people. In Europe there’s free traffic of goods. And just because French, who used their right to buy in another EU country, didn’t buy from them, they are not allowed to use the software.
I think i still have the 2.1.2735 installer so i could use it without invoice trouble but i won’t
I made a donation over a year ago and i really like the way the software works but i will never use it again.

Gareth August 29, 2012 at 3:33 pm

I dont have any problem sending a PDF of my receipt, which I have done a couple of days ago. Still no reply from HDland. Looks like Zappiti is DEAD !!!

Tim October 14, 2012 at 1:05 pm

Just switch to Yadis, its better anyways. Its much more configurable.

Aaron October 14, 2012 at 6:05 pm

Somebody would have to convince me that yaDis is actually better because the reviews don’t seem to indicate that. Plus, for many of us, it’s a bit of an chore to setup our library on another system. I, in particular, need a program that can access multiple servers.

Kenneth October 14, 2012 at 11:34 pm

I have tried Yadis a couple of times and it does look better to me. But the way it shows tv shows just doesn’t do it for me.

It scrapes faster. Easier to work with. But the way it shows tv shows should be more like zappiti does it.

Damian October 15, 2012 at 6:01 am

Agreed, I still prefer Zappiti over yaDIS. I just always had issues or spent too much time dealing with yaDIS, Zappiti for me just works. Also agreed with Kenneth, TV Show support is big for me and Zappiti (IMO) handles better

I'd March 7, 2013 at 3:49 pm

Someone should file a lawsuit against Zappiti. From what I read, Zappiti is open source and they don’t have the right to do this.

Filimindji April 14, 2013 at 6:26 am

Zappiti is not open-source. Where did you read that ?

Wil April 14, 2013 at 5:12 am

Hi,

I use Zapitti v2.7.130 and don’t want to upgrade because I have a Dune B1 player instead of a Zapitti player and it is not possible to obtain a Zapitti player license without having a Zapitti player. Does anyone know if it is possible to turn off or remove the update notification when I start Zapitti?

Filimindji April 14, 2013 at 6:30 am

Zappiti do not required to have a Zappiti Player token to run properly. Having a Zappiti Player allow you to unlock extra functionalities, like Music export.

But it’s safe to update your Zappiti Media Center to last version (currently v2.8.3) even if you don’t have a Zappiti Player, because there are a lot a bug fix and performance improvement in this version.

Wil April 14, 2013 at 11:51 am

I know it’s not required to have a Zapitti player, but when I do a software upgrade also my startup screen changes with a Video and Music icon. I don’t have the music export functionality so I don’t want this icon on my TV screen to appeer. So that is why I don’t want to upgrade and stay with version 2.7.130, and if possible without a software update notification when I start Zapitti on my pc.

Filimindji April 14, 2013 at 12:04 pm

The Music Icon will not appear on your TV since the Music export functionality is not available.

However, it will remains on your computer. But this is going to change. In a future version of Zappiti Media Center, you’ll be able to jump directly on the Videos menu in ZMC.

Currently, it is not possible to deactivate the update notification.

WPI April 14, 2013 at 4:02 pm

Ok, I didn’t know that it will not appear on my TV, then it isn’t a problem. I will try it, thnx.

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