Zune services taking a break next week, brb

Microsoft's Zune music and video streams and downloads are going offline next week for scheduled maintenance, returning within 24 hours.

Donald Bell Senior Editor / How To
Donald Bell has spent more than five years as a CNET senior editor, reviewing everything from MP3 players to the first three generations of the Apple iPad. He currently devotes his time to producing How To content for CNET, as well as weekly episodes of CNET's Top 5 video series.
Donald Bell

Photo of Zune computer software.
After some scheduled maintenance, your Zune software will need an update. Microsoft

I just received a heads-up from Microsoft that all of the Zune-branded services (Zune Pass, Zune Marketplace, Zune.net, and the Xbox Zune video store) are scheduled to go temporarily offline this upcoming Monday night (January 25) at 10 p.m. PT. The outage should last around 24 hours, during which time Xbox and Zune users will be unable to browse, stream, or purchase content from Zune Marketplace, Xbox video store, or access Zune.net. Existing content you've downloaded will not be affected, so if you're planning on a raging party Monday night, you should stock up on tunes now.

Once Zune services back online, Zune owners will be prompted to update their PC software. If you have an older Zune (anything that's not a Zune HD), you'll also be required to update your device firmware.

If you're thinking all these updates must mean that something big is on the horizon, don't get your hopes up. Microsoft is specifically saying that the downtime is focused on actual maintenance. The whole Smart DJ and AVI/XVID video support update isn't happening until spring.

That said, I'll be interested to see if Microsoft does make any sneaky little changes to the hardware or software. If you guys spy anything new after they flip the switch back on, please drop a note in the comments section.