back to article Hey, remember Zune? Zune's dead, baby. Zune's dead

Come November, Microsoft is killing off Zune – the very thing that was supposed to kill off the Apple iPod and iTunes. As you may be able to tell, that execution never came about. Redmond thrust its Zune music players at the world in 2006, and kept plugging away at the hardware and online music marketplace even though no one …

  1. asdf

    friggin DRM

    >Note Content that was purchased with DRM may not play if the license can’t be renewed.

    So much better than a CD huh?

    1. Dan 55 Silver badge

      Re: friggin DRM

      Oh, have they killed the DRM server? Wouldn't be the first time For Sure...

      1. VinceH

        Re: friggin DRM

        DRM - Do (users') Rights Matter?

  2. Captain DaFt

    For once, good for them

    Well, they continued to support the Zune service for three years after they killed the Zune.

    And instead of dumping the remaining customers (Shout out to Ballmer and his kids!), they're transferring them to an alternate service. Not too shabby.

    Now, does the DRM'd stuff transfer as well if it's also on Groove*?

    *Groove - Was that name meant to be ironic, or is MS really that out of touch with trends?

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Small typo error

    The last paragraph should be

    ...on how your account will be shafted over...

    The rest is just fine.

  4. PhilipN Silver badge

    Z(une)'s Dead

    No he was not but he was not resting either, being subject to medieval treatment from a few of da brutha's with blow torches, but the metaphor holds I guess.

  5. 45RPM Silver badge

    Plays for Sure was deep sixed. Zune has gone to Davy Jones'. Buying media on Groove seems rather like pissing money up the wall at this moment.

  6. chivo243 Silver badge


    I have never seen one, only heard of one person using a Zune. His father was a developer for windows apps.

    So, how many people will be affected by this? Let's see, Ballmer's kids, and this guy I know?

    1. Stuman8484

      Re: Zune?

      I was about to suggest that you can add 'That guy who got the Zune tattoo' to your list.

      However, when I Googled him , it looks like he already jumped ship to Apple in 2008 and then got the tattoo covered up:

      So yeah, I doubt anyone will even notice the death of Zune.

  7. Falmari Silver badge

    I though Zune became XBox Music a few years ago

    I did not know they were still using the Zune name. My Zune pass got transferred to a Xbox Music pass and now just recently to Groove.

    As far a I can see I can still access all of the music I have purchased previously. Also the music I downloaded (but not purchased) under the Zune and Xbox still works.

    Personally I am quite happy with the service no matter what they call it. £50 to £60 quid a year seems good to be able to stream and or download music to multiple devices.

  8. Drudgery Leak

    Problem was they never brought out a Version 3 of Zune. That would've been a decent device with proper supporting software and network services.

  9. Franco

    I'm fully aware of the flack I will catch for this, but Zune is actually proof that Microsoft listen to their customers if they shout loudly enough.

    They tried to get Zune to catch on by forcing Windows Phone 7 users to use it, instead of the old desktop ActiveSync app that Windows Mobile used, and everyone hated it. One of the best things in Windows Phone 8 was that they returned to USB sync.

    Can't say anything about Zune as a product or even the streaming service, but the app made iTunes look usable.

  10. druck Silver badge

    I'm fully aware of the flack I will catch for this, but Zune is actually proof that Microsoft listen to their customers if they don't open their wallets.


  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Plays For Sure soon to be Sure Won't Play

    I'm sure both of Zune's subscribers will be miffed.

  12. Sarah Balfour

    It was the NAME…

    WTF did 'Zune' actually MEAN…?! Tune spelt with a 'Z', I'm assuming, but it seemed pretty meaningless to me. Was MS hoping it'd take off and they'd be able to start talking about the Zuneiverse, and other such witticisms…? Perhaps if they'd given it a name beginning with any letter prior to 'I', they might've stood more chance…? Who am I kidding…?! The thing was shit.

    Perhaps if Ballmer'd got there first, we'd all be saying the same about iPods, but somehow I doubt it - seems to me that, in many respects, MS is shit at marketing.

    I seem to recall seeing one and the colour put me off - weren't they a kind of shit brown…? Perhaps if they'd come in a wide range of fashionable shades…

  13. Henry Wertz 1 Gold badge

    Too shabby -- down with DRM!

    "Well, they continued to support the Zune service for three years after they killed the Zune."

    Given the amount of resources a DRM server should require (basically none), three years is poor.

    "And instead of dumping the remaining customers (Shout out to Ballmer and his kids!), they're transferring them to an alternate service. Not too shabby."

    Yeah, they're transferring people from a service they signed up for to one they didn't, that does not support their device.

    "Now, does the DRM'd stuff transfer as well if it's also on Groove*?"

    Nope, per TFA, this supports XBoxes, Win10, ios, android, and Sonos. No Zune. And this is a "music for $x a month" service, not letting you buy music (which is just as well, since any music you bought would probably be deactivated in a few years anyway, when Microsoft got bored with this service and pulled the DRM servers for it.)

    This provides a good object lesson in why you should make sure whatever you get is NOT in a rights restricted format. Anything bought and paid for from Microsoft for your Zune, you're screwed out of it now. Those MP3s you got... wherever... will continue to be moveable on and off the Zune and play fine on it.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Don't jump to conclusions!!!

    As a matter of fact, according to the Microsoft CSA manager (and several CSAs) I spoke with yesterday, nothing is changing with the Zune subscription, aside perhaps from WIFI streaming (I'm guessing) and the fact that some "purchased" WMA files will not be playable. Almost all the purchased content I have is MP3s (still playable). Tracks can still be downloaded and synced for offline listening on the Zune, if you have a Microsoft Music/Groove subscription. It's only a rebranding. That's what they assure me.

    When I check the status of my Microsoft account, it says Groove, yet I can still download subscription tracks and sync them using the Zune PC software. All my devices are listed; even 10 track credits expiring December 1 in the Zune software. Groove is playable on my PC through the web, too. I have Zune 64 Gb here, and it plays fine. I'll let you know otherwise; the DRM are likely to expire in a couple weeks without proper syncing.

    I've been billed for another year - and if stays the same I'll keep it. Don't believe everything you read, I guess (and hope).

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Don't jump to conclusions!!!

      Subscription syncing till works for me. Plus I took advantage of the 3 month free trial of Groove, together with my adjusted annual subscription to have subscription service through Feb. 2017 for an additional $50 ($99 annual - prorated refunded portion). And 10 free downloads per month. Zune lives on!

  15. G.Bell

    Update from author of the last two posts. The 10 free downloads per month finally went away, but the virtually unlimited downloading of DRM subscription tracks and syncing with old school Zunes still work fine. The rate went down from $15 (with 10 downloads) to $10 (no downloads) so I'm still good with it. If I want permanent tracks, I use Emusic.

  16. G.Bell

    Another update. I've been using Zunes for past few months and have some more observations, for anyone interested.

    The latest Zune software available here:

    does work for downloading music for Groove Music subscribers (formerly Xbox Music, formerly Zune Pass), but does not allow streaming. My workaround on the two Windows 10 PCs I've installed the Zune software on is to use Groove to stream and make choices about which tracks to download for offline listening and syncing with my Zune, then use the Zune software to download and sync. You can have Zune software installed (and Groove operational) on two different PCs and sync with two different mobile devices including Zunes. You can delete PCs and/or Zunes but only after 30 days of deleting another. So it's not as practical to use with more than two computers or Zunes (works with Windows mobile phones, too), but it's very practicable for two PCs/Zunes, a total of four devices capable of listening to offline music.

    The change is going from three PCs and three Zunes, so there is a reduction in service, but the price is only like $10/month, $99/year, and the Zune HD device interface is great. What other portable devices allow you to listen to offline music on a subscription basis?

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