Ruh-roh! Burned by the Zune Marketplace :(

So, I’ve been getting my newly-acquired Zune HD hooked up and synced up.  We’ll discuss that at another time.  Meanwhile, I’m syncing my music — about 30% of which is Zune Pass (subscription) content — and it’s mostly going fine.

Yeah.  I said mostly.

ZunePass_sad

For the first time, I’ve found an instance where an album I downloaded via my Zune Pass subscription is no longer available at the Zune Marketplace, and thus no longer playable in either the software or on the Zune player. 

It typically works like this: you have a subscription to the Zune Pass, you log in, find an album, download it, and you are granted about 30 days to listen to that album.  Subsequent launches (and logins) to the software will renew that license, such that you essentially never notice it.  It’s part of your library and that’s that – playable whenever you like.  If you sync it to your Zune player, which most folks will, the license is copied there as well.  If you don’t re-sync your player within 30 days, the music will actually expire and be unplayable.  This has happened with my wife, who uses her player regularly, but doesn’t sync very often.  Otherwise, if you sync your player at least every now and then, it will renew the license on your player as well, and then give you uninterrupted access to that music.

Such is the life of subscription-based music, I suppose.  Love it or not.

Anyhoo… I’m syncing my music library and am greeted with fourteen items that won’t sync properly.  What’s the deal?  The album ‘About Face’ from The Working Title appears to be in my collection with no issues, but it just doesn’t sync.   Hmmm.  Double-clicking on one of the tracks gives me this error message:

zuneError

The message pretty much says it all: This item is no longer available at Zune Marketplace.  (Error Code: C00D27E1)  We don’t know why it’s not available, or who’s fault it is.  Presumably, some contractual agreement between Zune and the record label of this band has lapsed or changed in some way.  I really don’t know.  I *do know*, however, that I can’t get this album on the Zune Marketplace anymore, which is a real bummer.  Hopefully it’ll come back some day soon.

For those out there who are dead-set against subscription-based music, then this will no doubt serve as ammunition for their argument.  On the other hand, I’ve download some 1,200 tracks via my Zune Pass, and this is the first instance of this that I’ve come across.  The odds are definitely in your favor to not have this issue. 

Besides… you can always go grab the full album from Amazon MP3 for $6.99 like I did.  🙂

Enjoy.

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UPDATE:  I thought it only fair that I report some other strangeness that I recently found on the Zune  Marketplace.  Specifically, a number of albums that are no longer available to me.  In my syncing of approximately 1,200 Zune Pass tracks, about 10 albums would no longer sync as they were not available to Zune Pass subscribers any longer.  I think perhaps two of these albums just no longer existed on the Zune Marketplace, whereas the other 8 albums (or so) had gone to a ‘purchase only’ mode.  In other words, those albums were still available on the Zune Marketplace, but not to subscribers.  A bummer, to be sure.

Just thought I’d get that out there.

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