updated 05:45 pm EDT, Tue October 6, 2009
MS considers Mac Zune app an option
Microsoft today acknowledged that it has debated porting the Zune software and its according services to the Mac or even to portable Apple devices like the iPhone and iPod. Director of Communications for TV, Video and Music Jose Pinero explained to Mary Jo Foley that it's one of "a lot of options" for platform expansion but also stressed that the Zune platform isn't tied to players like the Zune HD or even necessarily to Microsoft. Its own platforms take highest priority but aren't exclusive.
"Zune is a music and video service from Microsoft. Period," the executive stated.
For now, the immediate priority will be Xbox 360 services such as the 1080p Zune Video Marketplace as well as porting elements of the interface to Windows Mobile. However, Pinero stressed that Microsoft has already begun branching out to non-Windows users by making the Zune Pass usable through web browsers on Linux and Macs in streaming form.
While converting the jukebox software would be relatively straightforward, moving the Zune Pass to Apple devices would require an about-face in Microsoft's choice of file format. Permanent downloads are MP3s and would work directly with all Apple hardware, but Zune Pass subscription music as well as all movies and TV shows are stored in a copy protected variant of the Windows Media format that will likely never play through Apple-developed products.