Errors when trying to play DRM-protected music or videos in the Zune software

Overview

Typically, media you download from an online service is protected with Digital Rights Management (DRM) technology. Protected media comes with a license 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

DRM and Zune Marketplace

Some media you purchase from the Zune Marketplace is protected. Purchased media often comes with a permanent license. However, MP3 files are "DRM-free," which means they are not DRM-protected, and there are no restrictions on how those files are used or distributed.

To find out whether songs are DRM-protected

  1. In the Zune Music + Video software, go to Collection, then Music, and click Songs.
  2. Right-click the column header area and click Choose Columns.
  3. Select Content Type to display the type of content next to each song (for example, files without DRM restrictions are listed as "DRM-Free").

To find out whether videos are DRM- protected

  1. In the Zune Music + Video software, go to Collection, then Videos, and click All.
  2. Click the Videos heading until it says Videos By Content Type to list your videos by the type of content.

DRM and Xbox Music Pass

All music that you download as part of an Xbox Music Pass (which includes Zune Music Pass) is DRM-protected. While your pass is valid:

  • You can download music to your computer and sync music to your Zune player or Windows Phone. For more information, see Using Xbox Music Pass to stream, download, and play music.
  • You can play music using Xbox Music Pass an unlimited number of times.
  • You can’t burn music to CD.

Licenses

Licenses need to be updated periodically, so be sure to connect the computer that has your Xbox Music Pass items to Zune Marketplace at least once every two weeks so that Zune Music + Video can refresh your licenses. If you sync protected songs to a device, you'll need to sync periodically to refresh those licenses as well.

If your licenses expire, you won't be able to listen to the protected songs until you restore the media usage rights. For example, if your Xbox Music Pass lapses, the licenses for Xbox Music Pass items will expire, and you'll need to renew before you can play your music using an Xbox Music Pass again.

More about Media Usage Rights and Zune Music + Video

In most cases, the Zune Music + Video software downloads media usage rights for you. In case it can't, Zune Music + Video will let you know what your options are. Just follow the instructions displayed.

  • If Zune Music + Video can't do something, it will display an error or an information button next to the protected song or video. When you see one of these buttons, click it or rest your mouse pointer over it to get more information.
  • If Zune Music + Video directs you to Zune Marketplace, you might need to enter your account name and password to proceed. Zune Marketplace might need you to update your billing information or pay a fee to download additional usage rights, such as the right to burn a song to CD.
  • If you get an error message that says you don't have the media usage rights for a song, you can restore the rights from Zune Marketplace, provided that you purchased or downloaded the song from Zune Marketplace and had the rights before.

Content usage rights for Zune Marketplace content

Usage rules for content that you purchase

  • By default, DRM-protected content that is purchased from Zune Marketplace is allocated five computer licenses per subscriber and unlimited device syncs. In some cases, additional licenses may be available if you use all five default licenses. To obtain additional licenses for content, contact support.

    A license will automatically be used in the following scenarios:

    • The content is downloaded and played on a computer for the first time.
    • Significant hardware changes are made to the existing computer.
    • The Windows Media DRM components are reset.
  • You are authorized to burn (copy) DRM-protected purchased music and playlists that contain DRM-protected purchased content to a CD or to a DVD for personal, non-commercial use only. There is no limit to the number of times that you can burn a single song. But you are authorized to burn the same playlist a maximum of seven times.

Note The MP3 format does not include DRM and does not include these restrictions.

  • TV videos:
    • Can’t be burned to a CD or DVD.
    • Do not include “send rights” between devices.
    • Cannot be streamed from a device to an Xbox 360 console.

Usage rules for content that you obtain by using an Xbox Music Pass or a Zune Music Pass

  • With a Zune Music Pass, you can stream or download content and sync your library to a maximum of three authorized computers or devices.
  • With an Xbox Music Pass, you can stream or download content and sync your library to a maximum of four authorized computers or devices.
  • You must sign in to the Zune Marketplace at least once every 30 days to update the digital licenses that are associated with each piece of Music Pass content.
  • If you transferred Music Pass content to a Zune device, you must connect the device to an authorized computer and sign in to the Zune Marketplace to update the device at least once every 30 days.
  • You can play subscription content only as long as you have a Music Pass. If your pass lapses, you can’t play any Music Pass content that you previously downloaded.
  • You can’t burn subscription content or playlists that contain Music Pass content to a CD. However, you can purchase content from the Zune Marketplace separately.
  • MP3s are not available for download by using an Xbox Music Pass.

Note Purchased content does not expire when your subscription ends.

For more information, see Xbox Live Terms of Use (includes Zune terms also).

For more information about the topics that are discussed in this article, press F1 on the keyboard when the Zune software is running to view the Zune Help file.

Error message for content no longer available in Zune Marketplace

You might receive the error message, “Usage rights are unavailable, please try again later.” after you:

  • Try to sync music content that you downloaded from Zune Marketplace to your Zune player or Windows Phone.
  • Try to download content that you previously downloaded using an Xbox Music Pass.
  • Try to download content you purchased.

You might be trying to access music content that is no longer available from Zune Marketplace. Therefore, you can't acquire additional rights to download, play, or sync the content to a computer or to a device.

Other scenarios in which previously downloaded content may no longer be available to you:

  • You have a new computer, and you can't download content that was previously available in Zune Marketplace either through a Music Pass subscription or that you purchased.
  • You rebuild your computer, and you can't download content that was previously available in Zune Marketplace either through a Music Pass subscription or that you purchased.
  • You deleted the content from your computer and can’t download content that was previously available in Zune Marketplace either through a Music Pass or that you purchased.
  • You deleted the content from your device; the content is available in your collection online, but you can’t sync the content back.
  • You restore your device and then try to sync content from your Zune collection to your player or phone.
  • You exchange your device through Zune warranty device exchange and then try to sync content from your Zune collection to your device.
  • You reset the Digital Rights Management (DRM) system on the computer, and you can't download content that was previously available in Zune Marketplace either through a Music Pass or that you purchased.

What To Try

If the content is no longer available for download by using a Music Pass subscription, but it is available for purchase, you must purchase the content to continue accessing the content. If you decide not to purchase the content, we recommend that you remove that content from your collection to prevent this error from appearing every time that you try to sync the content.

      Troubleshooting digital rights issues and fixing media files on a Zune player

      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 licenses for your content via a wireless connection:

      1. On the home menu, select Settings, Wireless and then Networks. If you are 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 Licenses to refresh the licenses for content on your player.
      picture

      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 Marketplace or other content stored on your player before you try the following steps.

      For information to help you sync and back up your player’s content, see:

      After you’ve backed up your content, follow the next set of steps to get your player working.

      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 is 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 is causing the digital rights error, and then select Delete from <player name>.
      picture

        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. 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.
      picture
      1. When you are 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 they appear 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

      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, 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 is causing the digital rights error, and then select Delete from <phone name>.
      picture

          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

      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 Zune Marketplace or if you get an error message that indicates a problem with usage rights, you can use this feature to refresh your licenses. The Restore feature helps you download the content again from 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 by using your Microsoft account (formerly known as Windows Live ID).
      2. Follow the appropriate steps:

        Restore purchased content

        1. Click Settings at the top of the screen.
        2. Click Account in the upper-left 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 shows
          • 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 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.

          Note If you Restore All purchased content, you’ll receive an error message when you try to re-download non-Digital Rights Management content, such as an MP3 file. For more information about this error, see Usage errors when trying to play DRM-protected music or videos in the Zune software.

      3. View your collection to confirm that the content has been successfully added.

        Note Content that is downloading may not be immediately available in your collection. Some content may be still be downloading in the background.

      Error messages when you try to re-download or restore content from Zune Marketplace

      If you get one of the following error messages when you try to re-download or restore content from Zune Marketplace, you might have a digital rights issue.

      • C00D12EA [Zune Music + Video software]

        An error occurred while communicating to Zune Marketplace. Make sure the date and time settings on your computer are not set to a future date, then try again.

        You can't re-download or restore MP3 tracks that were previously purchased from Zune Marketplace, even if you've deleted or lost them. This error also occurs if your computer's date and time settings are set to a future date.

        Note It's a good idea to make a backup copy of all purchased MP3s onto a CD, DVD, flash drive, or external hard drive.

        Check that your computer's date and time settings are correct. If they aren't, click the date and time in your taskbar and make the appropriate changes. Read more about this error.

      • C00D135C [Zune Music + Video software]

        You’ve exhausted the maximum number of times you can restore this item.

        You’ve reached the maximum number of downloads for this item.

        Zune is temporarily unable to verify your media usage rights because of a communication error.

        • Wait a while and then restart your computer and try again.
        • Make sure that you're signed in to the Zune software so that it can verify your Zune account.
      • Zune Marketplace is temporarily unavailable, please check back soon.
        • You're trying to download something that isn't available or isn't available for download, or the Zune service is down. Check the status page for more information.

      Error messages when you try to play a song from your Zune collection

      You might receive one of the following error messages:

      • C00D0BBE [Zune Music + Video software]

        CAN'T PLAY

        Can't perform this operation because Zune can't verify usage rights.

      • Your Zune Music Pass info needs to be refreshed. Sign in on your PC and sync with your player. [Windows Phone]
      • Can't play this music because your Zune Music Pass has expired. To renew it, go to Marketplace > Music > Listen with Zune Music Pass. [Zune HD player]
      • Usage rights for this item have expired. Please sync with your PC. [Zune non-touchscreen player]

      This problem occurs after you download songs from the Zune Marketplace using your Xbox Music Pass (or Zune Music Pass) and then cancel your Music Pass. When your Music Pass becomes inactive, you can no longer access the songs you previously downloaded using the Music Pass.

      If you want to continue to play these songs, renew your Music Pass:

      1. Go to your My Account page and sign in, if prompted.

        Note Use the Microsoft account (formerly Windows Live ID) associated with your Music Pass.

      2. On the Select a Membership page, you can change or cancel your subscription.
        • To change your Music Pass, select a different subscription and click Next.

        • To cancel your Music Pass, click Cancel Auto Payment.

      3. To complete the change, click Confirm Purchase.

            If you no longer want to play these songs using your Music Pass, you can remove the songs from your computer or device. Here are instructions on how to remove songs and sync your devices:

            For information about purchasing songs instead of using a Music Pass, see Buy, download, and play music using the Zune Music + Video software

            Other DRM errors

            If you get one of the following errors when trying to play content while signed in to Zune Marketplace on your computer, you might have a digital rights issue:

            • Error code C00D12F5: Can't download. A media usage rights error has occurred.
            • A Windows Digital Rights Management component is corrupted.
            • The media rights system on your computer has encountered an error and needs to be manually reset.
            • Can't validate a required Windows Media Digital Rights Management component. You might need to reinstall the Zune software.
            • The DRM version on this computer is not up to date.
            • Error code C00D12F6: Can't verify your media usage rights.
            • Error code C00D12F9: A media usage rights error has occurred.

            If you get one of these error messages, the Digital Rights Management (DRM) system on your computer is corrupted and needs to be reset. Here’s how:

            1. Log on to your computer as an administrator.
            2. Go to Security component upgrade.
            3. On the page that opens, click the Upgrade button, and then follow the instructions.

              Note If the Upgrade button is inactive, see Manually upgrade your security component, below.

            4. Try signing in to Zune Marketplace or playing your content again to see if the problem is fixed.

            When finished with this upgrade, try signing in to Marketplace or playing your content again to see if the problem is fixed. If not, go on to Reset DRM below.

            Manually upgrade your security component

            1. Open Internet Explorer.
            2. Click Tools, and then click Internet Options.
            3. On the General tab, click Delete under Browsing History.
            4. Click all checkboxes in the window and then click Delete.
            5. Click the Security tab, click Trusted Sites, and then click the Sites button.
            6. In the Search box, type *.microsoft.com, click Add, and then click Close.
            7. On the Security tab, click Custom Level.
            8. Under Reset custom settings, select Low, and then click Reset.
            9. Click OK.
            10. Click the Privacy tab.
            11. Click the Sites button.
            12. In the Address bar, type *.microsoft.com, and then click Allow.
            13. Click OK.
            14. Close all browser windows.
            15. Try signing in to Marketplace or playing your content again to see if the problem was fixed. If not, go to the next step, Reset the DRM.

            Reset the DRM

            Note You do not have to perform this step if the manual upgrade instructions above fixed the problem.

            You may be able to resolve this problem automatically. Click the Fix this problem link, below. Then, click Run in the File Download dialog box and follow the steps in this wizard.

            picture

            Notes:

            • This wizard may be in English only. However, the automatic fix also works for other language versions of Windows.
            • If you're currently not on the computer with the problem, you can save the automatic fix to a flash drive or a CD. Then, you run it on the computer with the problem later.

            After you run the Fix it, the licenses should automatically refresh, and you should be able to play protected content.

            Frequently asked questions

            What is DRM?

            DRM is Digital Rights Management. DRM technology is used by content providers, such as online stores, to control how digital music and video files are used and distributed. Online stores sell and rent DRM-protected music and videos that have media usage rights to enable specific use of the content. The Zune Music + Video software, Zune devices, and Zune Marketplace support and use Windows Media Digital Rights Management 10 (DRM 10).

            What is a protected song or a protected video?

            A protected song or a protected video is a file that uses DRM protection. To play the protected song or video, you must have the media usage rights for it.

            Does Zune play all protected files?

            No. The Zune software and devices only play protected music files from Zune Marketplace.

            What are media usage rights?

            Media usage rights, also known as licenses, are permissions to use a protected song or a protected video in a particular way. Content providers can specify in the media usage rights how you can use the protected content that you obtain from them. For example, Zune Marketplace can grant the following media usage rights for content:

            • Play right - The right to play content on a computer.
            • Burn right - The right to burn content to a CD or to a DVD.
            • Sync right - The right to sync content to your Zune device.
            • Send right - The right to send the content to another Zune device.

            Examples of DRM-protected content in the Zune Marketplace

            • Music in .WMA format
            • Xbox Music Pass content
            • TV video

            Examples of DRM-free content in the Zune Marketplace

            • Music in .MP3 format
            • Music and video podcasts

            What is a license?

            A license is another name for media usage rights. By default, DRM content that is purchased from the Zune Marketplace is allocated five computer licenses and unlimited device syncs. In some cases, additional licenses may be available if you use all the five default computer licenses. To obtain additional licenses issued for content, you must contact Zune Support. A license is automatically consumed in the following scenarios:

            • The content is downloaded and played on a computer for the first time.
            • The operating system is reinstalled on a computer.
            • Significant hardware changes are made to the existing computer.
            • Your DRM component is reset.

            Are media usage rights stored in the music or video file?

            No. Media usage rights are stored on the computer separately from your music or video files.

            How does the Zune software use media usage rights?

            When you try to use a protected song or a protected video, the Zune software checks whether you have valid media usage rights for that file. If the media usage rights let you perform the action, Zune performs that action for you.

            If Zune does not find valid media usage rights for the file or if the rights do not let you to perform the action, Zune does not perform the action. Typically, you receive an error message that states why the action was not performed. You can also check the properties of the file in the Zune software to view the DRM rights that the content has.

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