Will The Zune HD Be Compatible with Xbox Music?

This is rather an interesting bit of information. We contacted Zune support via Twitter for an update regarding our beloved Zune HD, and to an extent, all other Zune hardware devices. It seems that all the commotion and attention has been gathering around the earlier reveal of Xbox Music. How that music service advances current Zune software and services is still vague is some sense, and promising in others as what Microsoft is doing with Smart Glass.

We know that Windows Phone 8 and Windows 8 will come with Xbox Music, and that the service will most likely take advantage of those devices and their fancy bells and whistles. But, seeing as Zune HD owners are still happily utilizing their players, the one thing not mentioned by Microsoft is if that slab of industrial metal will be able to play nice with the new Xbox Music service coming this fall.

We sent out a tweet to try and dig up that info, but to our chagrin Zune Support couldn’t give us piece of mind that our devices will not be left stranded.

Here is their response:

Zune Support ‏@ZuneSupport

@DarCam7 Thanks for Tweeting to us. We’re afraid that we don’t have any info about that to share. ^SM

That lack of info opens up a can of worms for current Zune owners. For example, will we have to download the Xbox Music player as a separate piece of software, or will the current Zune desktop software be updated to the new Xbox Music desktop client? If the later is true, will the Zune HD and other legacy devices still be able to connect and download music via the new Xbox Music service?

How Microsoft decides to go about this is still up in the air, but with less than four months til the end of the year, it would be nice to know what fate our Zune hardware will face. What will they be stripped off, feature wise, by not allowing to connect to the Xbox Music service, or the music and video marketplace for that matter?

If there is no connection at all between the new desktop software and the old devices, what will happen to file management between the device and files stored on the computer? We still have some time before the launch of Xbox Music, and with it, the answers that dictate the functionality that will be left intact.

Questions, questions…and no answers in sight. Although Zune Supports response isn’t an absolute and an indication of Microsoft’s willingness to cutoff support for its own device, there really hasn’t been much mention of how the legacy devices will transition into the Xbox Music space, if at all.

Here’s hoping for a happy ending, and a continuation of support for one of the true underdogs of the industry.