I’m not ashamed to admit; I used to own a first generation Zune 30, although my particular model was black instead of turd brown. The integrated Wi-Fi was a novelty at the time and I ended up keeping it for about a year (it served me well during its tenure) before I bought a 32GB Apple iPod touch to replace it.
Now, nine years after the first generation HDD-based Zune media player was released, and four years after creasing production of its hardware MP3 players altogether, Microsoft is finally shutting down the complementary Zune Music service. The Zune Marketplace was shutdown in November 2013, so we’re surprised that Zune Music lasted this long.
So what exactly does this mean if you’re still rocking a Zune? You obviously will no longer be able to stream or download content from Zune Music, and DRM-laden content that you’ve already purchased may not play if there is no longer a valid license attached. If you have an existing Zune Music Pass subscription, it will be converted into a Groove Music Pass, which is Microsoft’s latest incarnation of its streaming music platform.
If you have any other non-DRM content on your Zune, you have nothing to worry about — it will continue to play normally.
The Zune series of media players never really caught on with the public and have become the butt of numerous jokes over the years — even in mainstream media. The Zune never lived up to become an “iPod Killer,” and by the time things got interesting with the Zune HD, the smartphone movement was already in full swing. However, some of the UI design conventions of the Zune software would live on Microsoft’s Metro (Modern UI) design language.
So are any of you HotHardware readers out there still rockin’ a Zune in everyday use or have one tucked away in a desk drawer for safe keeping? If so, light up our comments section.