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Get to know the Zune software

This topic is about the Zune software—what it does and why you should install it on your PC. But first, a few definitions are in order.

When someone says "Zune," it can be hard to figure out exactly what they mean. That's because there are at least five things they could be referring to:

  • Zune player – Also known as a Zune device, this is a portable music and video player (what some might simply call an "MP3 player"). It's small and optimized for entertainment. It doesn't make phone calls or do most of the other stuff that Windows Phones can do.
  • Zune app – This is built into the Music + Videos hub on your Windows Phone. Essentially, it turns your phone into a Zune player.
  • Zune Marketplace – This is an online store where you can get music, videos, podcasts, apps, games, and more. The store is accessible from a variety of devices, including PCs, Zune players, and Windows Phone 7. Some of the stuff in Zune Marketplace is free and some costs money. Zune Marketplace is not available in all countries/regions.
  • Xbox Music Pass – This is a music subscription service that is available through Zune Marketplace. For a monthly fee, Xbox Music Pass subscribers can download and stream an unlimited number of songs to their phone, PC, and Zune player. Xbox Music Pass is not available in all countries/regions.
  • Zune software – This is a free program that you install on your computer. It's a digital media jukebox and a vital link between your phone and PC.

With that out of the way, here are the top three reasons why you need to install the Zune software on your computer so you can get the most out of your phone:

  1. To download stuff (such as music, videos, movies, TV shows, and podcasts) from Zune Marketplace to your computer.

  2. To sync stuff between your PC and your phone. This includes the music, pictures, videos, movies, TV shows, and podcasts on your computer that you want to copy to your phone. And it also includes the pictures and videos you've taken on your phone that you want to copy to your PC.

  3. To update your phone software (to get new features, performance enhancements, and so on).

There are a lot of other things you can do with the Zune software. For example, you can use it to rip audio CDs, import an iTunes library, and find out what music your friends are listening to. For more detailed info about the Zune software, go to xbox.com.

Note

The Zune software won't work on Windows RT.

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