Microsoft announced it is to disable more Zune features as the service continues to make way for Xbox Music. Music video won’t be able to be streamed through desktop software and channel playlists will also go.
If you’re using Zune then it may be time to reconsider option because Microsoft continues to remove functionality from the dead service
Microsoft is launching Xbox Music this year to go alongside Windows 8, and is effectively a replacement for its now-dead Zune. At first it appeared the service would remain for users subscribed to the service, though it now seems Microsoft will continue to wind down support.
Mixview playback and channels playlists will be gone from Friday, along with the aragubly more important functionality so stream and purchases music videos from the desktop software. Additionally, you’ll see the ability to send and receive messages to friends, invite friends, along with the ability to share songs, albums, and playlists. So it seems like the Zune community is being encouraged to move on.
Crucially, though, is the ability to redownload previously purchased music videos when upgrading to a new computer. I imagine if you’re invested in the service and don’t mind the dwindling support this is going to be a big issue. Microsoft could at least keep select basic functionality running, because it is clearly aware there is a good number of customers using Zune.
However, Microsoft added that users subscribed to the Zune Pass service that the ability to download and stream music from the Zune marketplace will remain, stream music videos on Xbox 360 consoles or impact music purchases from Zune Marketplace. So at least the core function of a music playback devices remains untouched.
Features also being disabled include apps for Zune HD. Again, there will be the Windows Store for downloading apps in Windows 8 come October.
Xbox Music is Microsoft’s cross-device music service and, as mentioned, a replacement for Zune. Microsoft said during E3 2012 in Los Angeles during June that the service includes 30 million tracks. With Microsoft pushing out services across Windows 8, Windows Phone 8, and Xbox 360/Durango Xbox then it seems like a sensible move to revamp its music offerings. Cross-device music and video playback is becoming an essential feature, or at least integrated software on multiple devices.