Back before the Zune was announced and rumors were circulating about a mysterious Microsoft MP3 player with Wi-Fi, many users expected the device to allow them to buy music online or download songs from PCs wirelessly. As it turned out, the Zune’s Wi-Fi capability is limited to song sharing between users, and shared songs are limited to either three playbacks or three days residence on a guest Zune. But there’s apparently yet another limitation that might make the Zune’s song sharing more of a gamble than an actual feature.
Zune blog ClicZune cites reports from Zunerama and ZuneThoughts that suggest a substantial number of songs purchased from the Zune Marketplace simply can’t be shared at all. Both reports have found that the Zune refuses to share around 40% (±2%) of songs from major artists. Worse, many of the prohibited songs are licensed from Universal, the very same label that struck a deal with Microsoft in order to get royalties on each Zune sold. Artists with prohibited songs include Blue October, Eminem, Gwen Stefani, Snow Patrol, Jay-Z, and JoJo. Thanks to Engadget for the tip.