Microsoft axes handful of Zune Music features

Users will lose many social features on Friday, including the ability to send and receive messages, invite friends, and share songs, albums, and playlists.

Microsoft Zune
The evolution of the Zune, starting with the brown, brick-like player Microsoft launched in 2006. Josh P. Miller/CNET

Microsoft announced today it will phase out some Zune Music features this week in advance of the launch of Xbox Music later this year.

Mixview playback and channel playlists will be eliminated Friday, as well as the ability to stream or purchase music videos through desktop software, the software giant told Zune Music users in an e-mail (see below). Users will also lose many of the social features of the service, including the ability to send and receive messages, invite friends, and share songs, albums, and playlists.

Also, users will no longer be able to redownload previously purchased music videos when users upgrade their computers.

However, Microsoft assured Zune Music Pass users that the changes will not affect their ability to stream or download music or music purchased from Zune Marketplace.

Unveiled at an E3 gaming event in June, the new Xbox Music service will be a revamped music service designed to better compete with Apple's iTunes, Pandora, and Spotify. Microsoft said the service will include 30 million tracks available on the Xbox, as well as Windows 8 devices such as PCs and tablets.

 

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