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Troubleshoot DRM-protected music or video in the Zune software and Xbox Music

Note As of 15 November 2015, the Zune service has been discontinued. This may cause errors when attempting to stream or download content or update the service. For more information, see the Zune retirement FAQ.

Overview

Typically, media you download from an online service is protected with Digital Rights Management (DRM) technology. Protected media comes with a licence containing media usage rights that specify how you can use the content. For example, media usage rights for a song might allow you to play the song on one computer and sync it to a certain number of devices, but might prevent you from burning the song to a CD or playing it on a different computer.

Solutions

Troubleshooting digital rights issues

Note Music Pass and Zune Marketplace not available in all countries or regions.

This section describes various ways to troubleshoot problems with digital rights or media files that are not playing correctly.

If you have a Zune HD

Update the licences for your content via a wireless connection:

  1. On the Home menu, select Settings, Wireless and then Networks. If you’re prompted to turn on wireless, tap Yes. Your Zune HD will automatically scan for available networks.
  2. Select a network to connect to. Enter the network password, if needed.
  3. On the Zune HD Home menu, tap Settings, Wireless and then Sync.
  4. Tap Licences to refresh the licences for content on your player.

If this step didn’t fix the problem, see Erase your player’s content and sync again, below.

If you have an Xbox Music Pass or a player other than a Zune HD

If you have an Xbox Music Pass or a player other than a Zune HD, refresh your media usage rights:

  1. Open the Zune Music + Video software on your computer and sign in.
  2. Click Settings, and then Account.
  3. Update your Xbox Music Pass subscription by following the instructions on the Account page.
  4. Connect your player to your computer to refresh the media usage rights.

If this step didn’t fix the problem, go to Erase your player’s content and sync again, below. If possible, sync your Zune player with the Zune Music + Video software on your computer to back up any Zune Marketplace or other content stored on your player before you try these steps.

For information on syncing and backing up your player’s content, see:

If you don’t have an Xbox Music Pass

If you don’t have an Xbox Music Pass, you’ll need to delete the media file that’s causing the digital rights error and then sync it again manually.

  1. Connect your Zune player to your computer.
  2. In the Zune Music + Video software, click Device and then click a category (such as Music) to find the media file.
  3. Right-click the file that’s causing the digital rights error, and then select Delete from <player name>.

    The item is deleted from your player but remains in your collection. The Zune Music + Video software won't automatically sync that item to your player again, so you’ll need to manually sync to get it back on your player.

  1. Drag the file to the player icon to sync it.

If you still see a media rights error message when you try playing the file, follow the next set of steps to delete everything from your player and then sync it with your collection again.

Erase your player’s content and sync again

This step should be performed only as a last resort. To erase all the content on your player and sync it again:

  1. Start the Zune Music + Video software on your computer.
  2. Connect your player to your computer using the USB sync cable that came with it.
  3. Click Settings, Device, and then Sync Options. Click ERASE ALL CONTENT.
  1. When you’re prompted to confirm that you want to erase the content on your player, click Yes.
  2. Now that you’ve erased all the content on your player, sync your content back to it. If you have a lot of content to sync, you may want to disconnect your player after you sync a few files to make sure that they’re appearing on your player. Once you confirm that syncing is working correctly, reconnect your player and continue to sync your collection.

Fixing media files on a Windows Phone 7

Note Music Pass and Zune Marketplace not available in all countries or regions.

If you get a digital rights error message on your phone, try these steps to fix the problem.

  • If you have an Xbox Music Pass, refresh your media usage rights:
    1. Open the Zune Music + Video software on your computer and sign in.
    2. Click Settings, and then Account.
    3. Update your Xbox Music Pass by following the instructions on the Account page.
    4. Connect your phone to your computer to refresh the media usage rights.
  • If you don’t have an Xbox Music Pass, delete the media file and sync it manually:
    1. Connect your phone to your computer.
    2. In the Zune Music + Video software, click Phone, and then click a category (such as Music) to find the media file. Right-click the file that’s causing the digital rights error, and then select Delete from <phone name>.

      The item is deleted from your phone but remains in your collection. The Zune Music + Video software won't automatically sync that item to your player again, so you’ll need to manually sync to get it back on your phone.

    1. Drag and drop the file to the phone icon to sync it.

Restoring DRM content in the Zune Music + Video software

Note Music Pass and Zune Marketplace not available in all countries or regions.

You can use the Restore feature in the Zune software to restore purchased Digital Rights Management (DRM) content, such as Windows Media Audio (WMA) and subscription content. If the content does not download when you make a purchase from the Zune Marketplace, or if you get an error message that indicates a problem with usage rights, you can use this feature to refresh your licences. The Restore feature helps you redownload the content from the Zune Marketplace without being charged again for the transaction.

To use the Restore feature, follow these steps:

  1. Open the Zune software on your computer and sign in using your Microsoft account.
  2. Follow the appropriate steps below.
  3. Restore purchased content

    1. Click Settings at the top of the screen.
    2. Click Account in the upper-left hand corner.
    3. Click Purchase History in the left column.
    4. To locate the content that you want to restore, click one of the following:
      • Songs
      • Movies
      • TV programmes
      • Videos
    5. Look at your list of content and click Restore All, or click Download next to the individual media files you want to restore.

    Restore rental or Xbox Music Pass content

    1. Click Settings at the top of the screen.
    2. Click Account in the upper left-hand corner.
    3. Click Rental history or Subscription history.
    4. Look at your list of content and click Restore All, or click Download next to the individual media files you want to restore.
    5. Note If you Restore All purchased content, you’ll receive an error message when you try to redownload non-DRM content, such as an MP3 file. For more information about this error, see Errors when playing DRM-protected music or videos in the Zune software.

  4. View your collection to confirm that the content has been successfully added.
  5. Note Content that’s downloading may not be immediately available in your collection. Some content may still be downloading in the background.

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