Bypass Zune 3 Play Rule for Shared Music
One of the early complaints about the WiFi sharing ability on the Zune was the rule that limits playback to 3 days or 3 plays on shared tracks. The Zune team eliminated the 3 day rule but left the 3 play rule intact with the latest firmware update. Many musicians who record their own music in the garage would prefer to share it free of this Zune 3 play DRM restriction. Now there is an easy way to do it.
After tagging the files in Windows add them to the PC Zune library. Obviously they will appear in the podcast menu rather than the music menu. The option to send an entire podcast album is missing but the tracks can be sent free and clear of DRM. The receiver of the file may choose to reverse sync and properly tag the file as music later on.
During hands on tests performed here at Zune Scene, music files tagged as "podcast" in the genre field have no 3 play restriction. To enable this tag right click on one or more files and select properties. Assign the tag as shown.
I have a younger brother who owns two Zunes and he records his own guitar music and sometimes gets together with friends to record "jam sessions" (although they aren't that good). He indicated this will be a good way to share his hobby because many friends and family are getting a Zune for Christmas. It will be interesting to see if the Zune team slaps new restrictions on podcasts with the next firmware or leave it alone.