Apparently, as a result of the leap year coming to an end, every 30 gig Zune on the planet suffered a serious issue – they were basically bricked on Jan. 1, 2009. The problem has unofficially been dubbed “Z2K9”.
The problem apparently stemmed from the fact that the year was 1 day longer than the Zune expected, which caused the entire device to freeze up and become non-responsive.
According to Microsoft, the problem would automatically correct itself at the end of the day on Thursday. Being that I own an 80 gig Zune (the problem supposedly only affected the 30 gig models), I cannot comment on the situation from a firsthand perspective.
However, coincidentally, my Zune went haywire on Thursday, and did not seem to fix itself until I plugged it into my computer this afternoon. Every time I tried to play anything except for the radio on my 80 gig Zune, I was confronted with an error saying “This item is either missing or cannot be played.” After connecting the Zune to my computer today, though, it seems that everything is back to normal.