Stepping back in time to use Zune Music Pass

Since the Zune Music Pass finally arrive on the shores of Australia – a land beyond the grasp of modern civilization by some Microsoft standards, I had to try it out. I was enthusiastic until Zune displayed an error. “The media rights system on your computer has encountered an error and needs to be manually reset.”

Challenge accepted.

Even though Zune’s own “web help” link directed me to an entirely unrelated help page for an error I was not experiencing, I thought “This must be a test. A test of my devotion to how much I want Zune.” After years of anticipation, this was just a small detour in a much bigger quest.

After consulting the great Google and Microsoft Answers, I arrived at this

A Microsoft intern quips, “Hmm that doesn’t look very legit.”

Of course I knew it was. A Microsoft page styled with distinctive Windows XP-era logo and design dating back to 2001 might be a decade old, but it is most definitely legit.

I soon realized I would be facing an old nemesis, ActiveX where my Firefox was no good. Who would have thought ActiveX might actually outlive Flash.

In one last attempt to throw me off, the popup dialog clearly shows an “X” in the icon as if something wrong and I should give up. If I had been any less determined, I may just have. But I was strong until the end. Until I pressed “Play” in the Zune Music Marketplace and there was sound.

16 insightful thoughts

      1. Of course, but the way I did it was through the Xbox 360. I have a guide on my site, but I’m not going to post it here because that’s rude.

      1. I thought the negative space was to be interpreted as “I’m premium and luxurious. I can afford to waste this space.” :)

  1. sadly I’ve had to use this quite a bit for a few years. my install of Windows 7 never allowed me to play DRM’d content out of the box, after a few resets using that tool and a near decision to reformat and reinstall, I found a registry hack which got it working again. definitely worth bookmarking in case DRM goes wonky!

  2. even though they do credit card checks, that’s easy to bypass nowdays as well.

    anyway, if only they would support streaming to a Sonos player, I’d be in. they need to step outside of the “MS end point devices” mindset.

  3. sorry to say but this article just proves that Microsoft still needs to do a lot of catching up when it comes to usability.

    How they expect Joe Doe and his granny to make this work is beyond me.

  4. Sorry Long, just plain old worked for me (windows 7, ie9, normal updates applied, etc), though from what I can see, Australia doesn’t get Smart DJ ?

    I was hoping to say “Heres 5 gig of space, please keep putting new tunes I like on my WP7” but it seems to be a pretty manual process so far.

    1. You should be able to go to Settings->Phone and check “all items I choose” to have it automatically sync everything. Failing that, you could create a new autoplaylist that includes all recently added songs (music->playlists->new autoplaylist) and sync that to your device.

  5. Hey Long! I had the exact same process, except that fix did actually fail for me :/
    I mananged to fix mine by fixing some sync issues with my music library (for offline use). You’re not using offline folders are you?
    (Also where on Earth is Smart DJ for us?)

    1. Unfortunately no Smart DJ for Australian Zune Pass (I know.. I can’t see why that wasn’t put into the system, since it has nothing to do with anyone but Zune).

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