What is Zune

Zune was a brand of digital media products and services developed by Microsoft. Zune included a line of portable media players, digital media player software for Windows PCs, a music subscription service known as a ‘Zune Music Pass’, music and video streaming services for the Xbox 360 game console via the Zune Software, music, TV and movie sales, and desktop sync software for Windows Phone.

The Zune hardware players were discontinued in October 2011. In June 2012, Microsoft announced plans to discontinue all “Zune” services; instead Microsoft will distribute its digital media content and services under the Xbox Music and Xbox Video brands available on its line of products including Windows 8 PCs and tablets, Xbox 360 game console, and Windows Phone smartphones. The ‘www.zune.net’ domain now redirects to Xbox’s website, but the software will retain the Zune name. The Windows Phone App succeeded Zune Software as the desktop sync service for Windows Phone 8, as part of Microsoft’s discontinuation of the Zune brand. However, Zune Software must still be used for Windows Phone 7 desktop sync, and is still available to download from the Windows Phone website for all Windows Phone 7 devices.

The operating system for the Zune devices is based on the Windows CE kernel for ARM architecture and uses a distribution similar to the Portable Media Center found on the Gigabeat S. Zune’s native file compatible formats are:

  1. JPEG for images;
  2. WMV (Used by Zune Marketplace)
  3. MPEG-4 – supported on all models except the Zune 30 device
  4. H.264 – supported on all models except the Zune 30 device
  5. AVI video (Xvid) support is included on the Zune HD (firmware versions 4.5 and later).
  6. MP3 (used by Zune Marketplace)
  7. AAC (unprotected) not AAC (.m4a)
  8. WMA Pro (2-channel)
  9. WMA Standard (used by Zune Marketplace)
  10. WMA lossless