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Expired Zune Pass sub blocks music

Downloaded tracks off limits till reactivation.

Gamers who download songs with the upcoming Zune Pass will be blocked from listening to their music if they allow their subscription to expire.

It means gamers could lose access to DRM-free music downloaded from the Zune catalogue under the £8.99 per month subscription scheme, set to hit European Xbox 360s this autumn.

Yesterday Eurogamer brought you the news that European Xbox 360 owners will be able to buy digital rights management free songs and stream download-to-own movies when Microsoft updates the expanded Zune Marketplace.

A Microsoft spokesperson confirmed to Eurogamer: "Zune Pass is a music subscription service. At £8.99 per month, it will allow unlimited downloads and streaming of music from the eight million available on Zune Marketplace.

"If your Zune Pass expires, you will lose access to this music. However, it will all be stored and waiting for you the next time you reinstate your Zune Pass."

Movies purchased from Zune Marketplace, however, "are yours to keep". Zune Pass is a music subscription service only and does not include movie rentals or purchases.

The European expansion of the Zune Marketplace brings the previously US-only experience of listening to music and buying download-to-own movies through the Xbox 360 to the UK.

When the service launches you'll be able to buy DRM-free MP3s from the Zune Marketplace and listen to them on your PC, Windows Phone – due out in the UK by Christmas - and Xbox 360.

When Kinect launches on 10th November, you'll be able to control the whole operation with your hands and voice commands, too.