And with this I enter the "if I think I see it, it must be true" sweepstakes: Frank F. has just sent along a brilliant tip about speeding up Zune Marketplace searches. And if you use the Zune PC software, you know what I'm talking about: You search for something and on the left side, the search results for your local content are returned instantly while on the right side, you stare at a pink progress bar as it slowly parses and then loads the Zune Marketplace search results. Well, this will fix that problem. Or, I should say, on the two PCs I've tested this on, this really does seem to solve the problem. Zune Marketplace searches are now as fast as local searches.
In IE, navigate to Tools, Internet Options, and then the Connection tab. Click the LAN settings button and then uncheck "Automatically detect settings."
That's it. And it totally works. Or at least it does here. Give it a shot.