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In a move that has been coming for a quite a while, Microsoft has announced that it will finally be winding down the Zune music service on November 15th. The company said that from that date the few remaining Zune devices still being used won’t be able to stream or download any music from the service, and any content that was purchased with DRM may not play if the license can’t be renewed. Any existing MP3s on Zune devices will continue to work as usual.
Anyone with a subscription to Zune music’s monthly or 3-month passes will automatically have them converted to the Groove music service’s $9.99 monthly plan, along with yearly subscribers who will switch to the $99 per year Groove Music Pass. Those on 3-month or annual plans wishing to cancel their subscription before it ends may be entitled to a partial refund.
Zune was a line of MP3 players that Microsoft developed as a rival to the iPod. They were sold from 2006 until poor sales saw the devices finally discontinued in 2011. In 2012 the Zune music site began to automatically redirect users to Xbox Music, and in 2013 the Xbox Video service stopped supporting Zune devices. It’s not known exactly how many Zune players are still being used today.
One thing that was unique to the Zune lineup at the time was their unfortunately titled ‘Squirting’ feature, which let users transfer songs between devices using a Wi-Fi network. Unfortunately, record company restrictions forced Microsoft to limit the feature so that transferred songs could only be listened to three times within three days before erasing them.