Bad news today, as Microsoft has announced that it’s finally shutting down the Zune music service. What’s that? You didn’t even know the service was still alive? Well, it won’t be after November 15th. Oh, you mean you’ve never even heard of the Zune? Well, it was a line of MP3 players that Microsoft sold from 2006 to 2011, trying to compete with the iPod, along with an accompanying service to stream and download music to the devices.
If you’re still a Zune fan and enjoy using the MP3 player and service, you’re probably in trouble. After the shutdown date, Microsoft says the service won’t be able to stream or download any content, and any purchased music with DRM may no longer play due to un-renewed licenses. Fortunately the Zune devices will still continue to play any MP3s that a user owns.
For those with Zune Music Passes, the service’s subscription plan, they will automatically be migrated to the Groove Music service, Microsoft’s replacement that is compatible with Windows 10, Xbox One, Android, and iOS. That migration will take place sometime between October 15th and the shutdown date, with those on Zune’s 1 or 3-month plans moving to Groove’s $9.99 monthly plan, and yearly subscription users switching to the $99 per year Groove Music Pass.
The legacy of the Zune has had a long, slow death. Microsoft stopped selling the MP3 players in 2011, while in 2012 the Zune Music website began automatically redirecting users to Xbox Music, along with its own content. In 2013 the Xbox Video service stopped supporting Zune devices. And now, nine years after the debut of the semi-iconic brown Zune, the brand can finally rest in peace.