Play, add, and delete media in your Zune collection

Overview

Your Zune collection is where you can access all of your media files. There, you can play a song, see pictures, burn to a CD, or sync content to your Windows Phone 7 or Zune player.

Solutions

Go to your collection in Zune software

  1. Open the Zune software, then click Collection at the top of your screen.
  2. Click the area of your collection you want to see, such as Music.

You can also browse by artist, album, genre, song, or playlist by clicking the menu options in the upper-right section of the screen.

Add media from your computer to your collection

After you first install the Zune Music + Video software, it automatically adds the music, videos, pictures, and podcasts on your computer to your collection, as long as they are in a supported format.

Zune organizes all content from your computer in the Windows Library (if you’re using Windows 7 or Windows 8), or as Monitored Folders (if you’re using Windows Vista or Windows XP). The Zune software doesn’t actually store media content from your computer or move folders around. Instead, Zune monitors how the folders are organized and then lets you access them as you arrange them.

Add or remove monitored folders from your Zune Windows Library (Windows 7 and Windows 8)

  1. In the Zune Music + Video software, click Settings at the top of the screen, click Software in the upper-left corner, and then click Collection in the left column.
  2. Click Manage next to the media type you want.
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To add a folder to your Zune library:

  1. In the Music Library Locations window, click Add.
  2. A window appears, and you can browse your computer for the folder that you want to add. When you find the folder, click Include folder, and then click OK. The folder is added to your Zune library.
  3. Note If a folder contains mixed media types, the folder has to be added to each media type in your library. For example, if you have pictures and videos from your digital camera in the same folder, you’ll have to add that folder to Pictures and to Videos.

To remove a folder from your Zune library:

  1. From your Music Library Locations window, highlight the monitored folder that you want to remove from your library.
  2. Click Remove, and then click OK. Zune will remove the items in that folder from your collection, but will not delete the folder or its content from your computer.

Manage folders separately from Windows Libraries (Windows 7 and Windows 8)

If you're using Windows 7 or Windows 8, anything in the Windows Music Libraries also appears in your Zune music collection. However, you can break this automatic default link between Zune and the Windows Library and specify exactly which folders you want Zune to monitor and make accessible to you. For example, let's say your library contains a folder of audio files that you don't want to include in your Zune media collection. You can choose to have Zune manage your media without automatically reflecting everything in the Windows Libraries, and then you can choose exactly which music folders to monitor and which to ignore.

Manage Zune's monitored folders separately from Windows 7 libraries

  1. In the Zune Music + Video software, click or tap Settings at the top of the screen, click or tap Software in the upper-left corner of the screen, and then click or tap Collection.
  2. Scroll down and click or tap Manage Separately. You’ll now have a Monitored Folders screen where you can add and remove folders (instead of the Windows Libraries).
  3. If you want to go back to the more automatic style of Windows Libraries, go to your Collection (click or tap Settings, Software, then Collection), and then scroll down and click or tap Align Folders.

Note If you are using Windows XP or Windows Vista, Zune already manages your folders separately.

Add or remove monitored folders from your collections (Windows Vista, Windows XP)

  1. In the Zune Music + Video software, click Settings at the top of the screen, click Software in the upper-left corner, and then click Collection in the left column.
    • To add a folder, click Add folder next to the genre you want to add to, find the folder in your computer files, and then click OK.
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      Note If a folder contains mixed media types, the folder has to be added to each media type in your library. For example, if you have pictures and videos from your digital camera in the same folder, you’ll have to add that folder to Pictures and to Videos.

    • To remove a folder, click Remove next to the folder you want to remove, and then click OK. Zune will remove the folder content from your collection only, not from your computer.
    • To change the default folder where Zune will save media items (such as music you rip from CDs), scroll down to Zune folders, click Change Folder next to the media type, find the folder, and then click OK.
    • Note We don’t recommend selecting an external drive (such as a USB drive) as the location for your Zune folders. If you do, you might experience issues and errors if the drive becomes unavailable or if antivirus software is running.

Add media from Zune Marketplace to your collection

Buying content

Whenever you buy music or a video from the marketplace, the media files download to your computer and then are added to your collection. You’ll find them organized by genre.

Downloading content

If you have a Zune Music Pass or an Xbox Music Pass, whenever you download songs from the Zune Marketplace to your computer, the songs are added to your music collection. You can play these songs and files while your Zune Music Pass or Xbox Music Pass subscription is valid. (Songs you stream, which don’t get downloaded, are not added to your collection.)

To add media from the marketplace:

  1. Open the Zune software, and then click Marketplace at the top of the screen.
  2. Click the media type you’re looking for, such as music, videos, or podcasts.
  3. You can browse until you find something you want to add to your collection. Or, you can search for a specific item and then add it to your collection.

You can see which songs in your music collection were downloaded for free with your Zune Music Pass or Xbox Music Pass, and which songs are yours (DRM-free). Here’s how:

  1. In the Zune Music + Video software, click Collection at the top of the screen, click Music, and then click Songs in the upper-right section of the screen.
  2. At the top of the left column where your songs are listed, click the downward-pointing arrow next to Show. Click one of the options in the list, and your song list will show you all the songs that match that type (DRM-free, protected, or Zune Music Pass and Xbox Music Pass content).
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Add music from your CDs to your collection

Ripping CDs to your collection

  1. With the Zune software open, put an audio CD into your CD drive. When the CD icon appears, click it to display a list of songs.
  2. Clear the check box next to any song that you don't want to rip.
  3. Click Start rip.

If you put CDs into multiple CD drives on your computer, the additional CDs appear in the upper-left corner of the CD view. Click the CD you want to rip.

Adjusting audio quality for ripped music

You can adjust the compression quality used during ripping to balance between quality and file size. If you're not sure which settings to use, try ripping with different formats and bit rates, and then play the files. To do this:

  1. From your Zune software, click Settings at the top of your screen, click Software in the upper-left corner of the screen, and then click Rip in the list at the left.
  2. Make your selections on the Audio format and Audio quality menus.

Add media from an external hard drive

You can add media from external drives, including USB and flash drives, to your Zune collection. Here’s how:

  1. Connect your external drive to your computer, and then look for a sign that the drive is turned on.
  2. In the Zune software, click Settings at the top of your screen, click Software in the upper-left corner of the screen, and then click Collection in the list at the left.
  3. If you’re using Windows 7 or Windows 8, click Manage next to the genre that you want, and then browse to your external hard drive to select the folders you want to add to your collection.
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    If you’re using Windows Vista or Windows XP, click Add folders next to the genre that you want, and then browse to your external hard drive to select the folders you want to add to your collection.

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Note If a folder contains mixed media types, the folder has to be added to each media type in your library. For example, if you have pictures and videos from your digital camera in the same folder, you’ll have to add that folder to Pictures and to Videos.

Play your collection on your Xbox 360

By setting up everything to run on a wired or wireless home network, you can stream your Zune collection of music, videos, and pictures to your TV and stereo system using your Xbox 360. You can control it all with the Xbox 360 controller or the Xbox 360 Media Remote. Here’s how:

  1. Make sure that your Xbox 360 is connected to your home network.
    • From the Xbox Dashboard, go to Settings, then System.
    • Select Network Settings.
    • If your Xbox is not connected to your home network, select Configure Network and follow the on-screen instructions.

  2. Share your Zune media collection on your computer with your Xbox 360.
    1. In the Zune software, go to Settings, Software, then Xbox 360
    2. Select the media collections you want to stream to your Xbox (Music, Video, or Pictures).
    3. Enter a name for your collection.
    4. Choose whether to share your Zune media collection with all Xbox 360 consoles on your home network or just with the consoles you select.
    5. Click OK.
  3. Verify that media sharing is enabled on your computer.
  4. For Windows 7 and Windows 8:

    Note To follow these steps, you must have a homegroup already set up on your home network.

    1. If you’re using Windows 7: Click Start, type homegroup in the search box, and then click HomeGroup.
    2. If you’re using Windows 8: From the Start screen, start typing control panel, and click or tap the icon when it appears. Click or tap Choose homegroup and sharing options in the Network and Internet heading.

    3. Make sure the Stream my pictures, music, and videos to all devices on my home network check box is selected.
    4. Click or tap Choose media streaming options, verify that Xbox 360 is set to Allowed, and click or tap OK.
    5. If you made changes to your homegroup settings, click or tap Save Changes. Otherwise, click or tap Cancel to close Control Panel.

    For Windows Vista:

    1. Click Start, click Control Panel, click Network and Internet, and then click Network and Sharing Center.
    2. Under Sharing and Discovery, make sure that Media Sharing is set to On. If it is set to Off, click Change. Then, in the Media Sharing dialog box, select the Share my media check box and click OK.
    3. Restart your computer to update it with your changes.
    4. Note If you’re using Windows XP, make sure you have Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005. To download it, or learn more, see Using Windows Media Center with Windows XP .

  5. Stream media to your Xbox 360 console.
    1. From the Xbox Dashboard, do one of the following:
      • If you want to stream video, select Video, My Video Apps, and then Video Player.
      • If you want to stream music, select Music, My Music Apps, and then Music Player.
    2. Under Select Source, select your computer's name. The computer name with a Zune icon indicates your Zune collection.

    Note If your computer is listed twice, one just links to the Windows version of that media library. Both computer links contain the same items unless you manage Zune Music + Video and Windows libraries separately.

Import media from iTunes

You can import music and videos from iTunes directly into your Zune collection as long as the files are not protected with digital rights management (DRM). Follow these steps to import your DRM-free iTunes media directly into the Zune Music + Video software.

To import music and videos from iTunes

  1. In the Zune Music + Video software, click Settings at the top of your screen, click Software in the upper-left corner of the screen, and then click Collection in the list at the left.
  2. If you’re using Windows 7 or Windows 8, click or tap Manage next to the type of media you want to add, find your iTunes folder on your computer, click or tap Add, and then click or tap OK.

    If you’re using Windows Vista or Windows XP, click Add folders next to the type of media you want to add, find your iTunes folder on your computer, click Add, and then click OK.

    The Zune Music + Video software automatically adds the files from these folders to your collection.

Zune audio and video formats

You can add audio and video in a variety of formats to your Zune collection. Just download media from the web or rip songs from a CD, and the Zune software automatically adds the downloaded or ripped items to your collection and syncs them to your Zune device.

You can find the format of your media by looking at the file name extension—the characters to the right of the dot in the file name. For example, an MP3 file's extension is .mp3.

You can play, burn, or sync audio and video files on the Zune software that are in the following formats.

Audio formats File name extension
AAC audio created with AAC-LC audio codec .m4a and .m4b
Windows Media Audio .wma
MP3 audio .mp3
MP3 playlists .m3u
Zune playlists .zpl

Video formats File name extension
MPEG-4 media created with the H.264 video codec and the AAC-LC audio codec .m4v and .mp4
MPEG-4 media created with the MP4pt2 video codec and MP3 audio codec .avi
QuickTime movie created with either the MP4pt2 video codec or the H.264 video codec and the AAC-LC audio codec .mov
Windows Media Center DVR .dvr-ms
Windows Media Video .wmv

Some media on your computer may not show up in your Zune collection even if they are in one of these formats. For example, if you buy protected .m4v and .wma files from somewhere other than Zune Marketplace, they won't work with the Zune software and won't be included in your Zune collection. Zune plays only protected content from Zune Marketplace.

Songs or other audio content in formats that Zune doesn't use can be converted into one of these formats and then added to your Zune collection. You can search the Internet for media conversion tools.

Note The Zune Music + Video software will convert many video formats during sync so they can play on your Zune device. This automatic transcoding can take a while.

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