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Install and Set Up Windows Zune Software

The first time you plug your Windows smartphone into a PC, you’re prompted to install the Zune software to help you manage your phone. It lets you get updates, find apps and sync media. The Zune software offers more than just managing your Windows smartphone too. You can use it to replace your current desktop media player.

Plug your smartphone into your Windows PC. The following message comes up to get the Zune software. Click Get Software. You’ll need to be running Windows XP SP3 or higher.

Get Software

You’re directed to the Zune software page. Either sign up for free Zune Music and Video and download the software. Or just download it without creating the account. If you’re new to Windows Phone and Zune, I recommend just downloading the software. Then you can decide later if you want get the Zune media account.

Zune Download Site

Next install the Zune software. Installation is basic following the wizard. But there are a few configuration options to be aware of.  First accept the Microsoft Software License Terms.

Accept EULA

Next decide if you want to send your usage information to Microsoft’s Improvement Program or not. If you’re concerned about privacy, uncheck the box to send info.

improvement program

Now wait while the Zune software is installed.

installing

Launch the Zune software and select automatic or manual setup. I prefer to configure it myself. This lets me choose specific directories where my media is. It also lets me select the files I want it to be the default player for.

sshot-1

Next, for each media location, click manage.

Manage Folders

Now you can add or remove directories you want it to play media from. The cool thing with the Zune software is you can easily select network locations from Windows Home Server.

add or delete folders

After configuring each media location, click Next. Then choose the file associations. Choose which types of files you want Zune to be the default media for. Since I have VLC as my main media player, I only want Zune to play Microsoft file types.

file associations

After you’re done configuring Zune software, click Next.

Next

Now you’re ready to use the Zune Player as your Desktop media player if you want. If will let you play your music, videos, podcasts, picture and purchase content from the Zune Marketplace.

full player

Sign in with your Windows Live ID as you do essentially every Microsoft software and services these days.

signin

This gives you access to purchase music via the Zune Marketplace, social networking and manage your profile. You get a free two week trial for the Zune pass if you haven’t tried it already. It gives you extra features like Smart DJ and lets you stream millions of songs to your computer and devices.

zune music pass

You can use the Zune software to watch movies, listen to streaming music, watch videos, manage podcasts and more.

Watch Video Zune

It lets you rip CDs to your collection too. In fact, you can replace Windows Media Player with the Zune software.

music on Zune Player

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