As a Windows Phone owner, I make a lot of use of the Zune application. When it went belly up recently and stopped playing some of my music, something had to be done.
If you’re a Windows Phone user, the chances are that you make use of the Zune software on Windows 7 (or Windows Vista). Required by Windows Phone owners to sync data to and from their PCs, Zune is also a multi-purpose media management application, providing a media library, playback and editing of file properties.
It’s a pleasing application to use, more efficient than Windows Media Player, and offers an early version of the Metro user interface. But like any other piece of software, when it doesn’t work properly, it’s pretty useless.
Initial Fixes to Try
There are several problems that can occur with the Zune player, from hanging to blocking access to tracks downloaded with the Zune pass.
You should begin with the basics: reinstallation.
Reinstalling Zune should also be accompanied by a reinstallation of Microsoft .NET Framework 4, so work through the process as follows:
- Close Zune (force if necessary via Task Manager, which can be opened by right-clicking the Windows taskbar.)
- Go to Start > Control Panel > Uninstall a Program, highlight Zune and select Uninstall.
- Once this has completed, find the following programs in the list and uninstall them:
Microsoft .NET Framework 4 Client Profile
Microsoft .NET Framework 4 Extended
Microsoft .NET Framework 4 Multi-Targeting Pack
- Next, restart Windows.
- Head to this link and follow the provided instructions to download and install Microsoft .NET Framework 4 (or use Windows Update, although this might take longer).
- Finally, head to the Zune website and select Download now. Install the application – everything should now run fine!
Other issues and persistent niggles, meanwhile, may need to be dealt with in other ways.
Zune Pass Issues
Probably the most annoying issues that occur with Zune are those concerning the Zune Pass. This is a tool for downloading music, limited to keeping a certain number of tracks per month (depending on your chosen plan) and these tracks are of course DRM-protected.
Problems with Zune Pass can include missing data/music, but this issue can be resolved by re-downloading the tracks.
To do this, open Settings > Account > Purchase History, select Songs to display all previously-purchased tracks and then click Restore All. Wait while your music is downloaded again, and a few minutes later you’ll be able to enjoy it once more!
Zune Library Continuation In A New OS
Should you find at any point that you need to reinstall Windows, you will of course need to take steps to protect your Zune library. While the MP3 files themselves should be backed up (or stored permanently on a second physical device) there is a way of retaining the settings for your Zune library.
Before reinstallation of your OS, open Windows Explorer and go to C:\Users\yourusername\AppData\Local\Microsoft and copy the Zune folder. This should be saved to a remote location – after you have installed your new operating system and the Zune software, copy this folder back to your PC into its original location.
After restoration of your library, launch Zune and check your files are there. Next, head to the Collection view and in the top-left corner click Show all content to display the other options – you should select Protected Content to find out whether or not the files purchased with your Zune Pass are still present. If not, check the previous section of this article for steps on how to restore them.
Although usually a stable piece of software that is vital to Windows Phone users, Zune has a couple of quirks that can be easily fixed.
While there is no full library database backup tool available in the software, copying the library in Windows Explorer will allow this data to be restored at a later date.
What issues have you encountered while using Zune Player and how did you resolve them?