Microsoft has just sent email notifications to their Zune Music Pass subscribers notifying them of some changes to the service that will be happening this week on August 31st. Most of the discontinued features only affect the Zune PC desktop software, but a few will affect the Zune HD as well. Come the end of the month the following will no longer be available:
- Sending and receiving messages, inviting friends, sharing the songs, playlists, and albums you are listening to, and viewing past play history
- Mixview playback and channel playlists
- Apps for Zune HD
- Purchasing music videos or streaming them as a part of Zune Music Pass from the Zune PC software
- Re-downloading, re-activating, or re-licensing previously purchased music videos if / when you upgrade your PC
So, if you ever bought any music videos from the Zune PC software, they will not work on any new PC that you may upgrade to. The Mixview and Channel playlists will be missed as well since those were very innovative for their time. It’s sad to see the social aspect be removed as well since that’s something Spotify and iTunes have copied. Perhaps Xbox Music can re-integrate some social sharing features as part of something like Facebook instead.
Most importantly, if you’ve got a Zune HD, be sure to download and install all of the Zune HD apps that you want to continue to use since they will no longer be available by the end of the month.
It sounds like purchased music and movies will still work going forward, but I’m guessing the “10 free song credits per month” feature that some of us Zune Pass users are grandfathered on may be the next to get the axe (considering this feature is not availabe in the Xbox Music app on Windows 8).