We just received our email notification from Microsoft about the soon-to-happen changeover from Zune Pass/Zune Music to Xbox Music. While most of the features seem to remain, including being locked in your $10 or $15 a month subscriptions (the latter for old school users), there are some significant changes that we’re not exactly too excited about.
The changes are due to rollout August 31st, leaving little time to adjust to those new adjustments. The features that we will be losing in a few days are the following...
- 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
That means under-baked features like Zune Social, something we always wanted for Windows Phone, will be going away in addition to those Zune HD apps, which are finally being given the axe.
It is also surprising to see that video purchases or streaming via Zune software will no longer being supported, as presumably Microsoft transitions to a yet undefined Xbox Video service this fall for Windows 8.
The big kicker is the in ability to re-activate or re-license previously purchased music videos, putting users like ourselves in a bit of a rush to make sure all our music videos are unlocked and DRM free between all our PCs.
What bothers us the most, we suppose, is all of these changes are removing features while we are getting nothing in return. Will that change once Xbox Music goes live? We sure hope so.