How to buy Music and get the Zune Pass in Australia

How to buy Music and get the Zune Pass in Australia

While this post is useful, the Zune Pass has officially been launched in Australia now. You can sign up for it from the Zune software. If however you want to stick with the USA version of the Zune Pass and account, then this guide will still work.

The Microsoft Zune software is a great piece of software you can download for free via the Zune Website. Users who own the Zune HD or Windows Phone 7’s require Zune to sync their music, videos, pictures and other files to their devices and frankly the Zune experience is actually a pretty good one. What Zune basically is, is Microsoft’s reply to Apple’s iTunes, their own digital media player if you will. What’s great about the Zune software is that it is full of animations, from Artist pictures, to bio to related artists and so on. It’s very Visually stimulating which is why it is my default media player of choice.

Now I originally downloaded Zune when I purchased the Zune HD from The United States while on holiday there in 2009. To have the Zune HD registered, since it was only being sold in America, I needed an American address, which I had since I was staying at my Uncle’s for that period. I also used my email account, which is also the default email for my xbox live account, my Zune software account, and it’s my most used email for this kind of activity.

So the problem arose when Windows Phone 7 made it’s way to Australia late last year. I used that same email to sign into my phone and use it to be connected to all my services on the phone. The problem? That Hotmail Email was registered to The United States as it’s country, and if you know anything about Hotmail email accounts, its that each Hotmail account can be linked to only one country. When Windows Phone 7 came to Australia, we knew that we could NOT buy music from the Zune Marketplace either on the phone or the Zune software, and worst of all was that we could not buy the Zune Pass. The Zune pass is actually a pass you can purchase, for $15 a month, where you can keep 10 songs permanently, and as long as you continue subscribing to the Zune Pass, you can download as many songs as you want. In short, unlimited songs for the duration of your Zune Pass (and once you cancel that service, they all expire except for the 10 per month you can keep). It’s a brilliant service that we in Australia have longed for, for far too long.

So what was the problem? Having an American Based Hotmail Account linked to my phone, my xbox and all that, it would not let me put in my Australian Credit Card because the country’s validation method’s detected it as Australian. So what I was basically left with, was a Windows Phone 7 which was brilliant, but I couldn’t download Apps, Music, or Videos (videos only from computer). And no, you can’t download anything using Xbox Live Points from Windows Phone 7 yet (hopefully that will change soon). Now I was hesitant about sharing this method with people because I didn’t want people abusing the system or risk Microsoft finding about this loophole and cancelling it for people like me who are stuck, since I didn’t want to have to create a whole new email just for WP7.

So why am I sharing it now? Microsoft have this stupid system of not being able to change your country with which your email is linked to (Because when I created it 2002, it defaulted to USA as a country and I didn’t think it mattered.. it was 10 years ago!), so I was stuck using this method. Creating a new account would have spoiled my entire experience.

So what are the benefits of this method?

  • With My Zune Pass I am currently able to download music that is available on the Zune Marketplace.
  • I can download unlimited songs for $USD15 a month.
  • App prices are cheaper since USA App prices are much cheaper than Australian prices.
  • Since our Australian Dollar is stronger, I am actually buying Apps (or Music without Zune Pass) for a cheaper price than people in the USA are buying it for (and that’s AFTER currency conversion fees).
  • Did I mention Unlimited Music Downloads?

You WON’T be able to download videos anymore with that ‘American’ account as video’s have higher protection that I was unable to find a workaround for.

What you need for this to work?

  1. Zune Media Player (PC Download)
  2. Windows Phone 7 (optional really)
  3. Internet
  4. Xbox 360 (yes unfortunately you need one or access to one for this to work) (There may be another way if you don’t – read below)

So without further adieu, let’s get started on the Guide! This should work, no matter which country you are in. (Do note, that I am not sure if this method will work for everyone, but it worked for me after lot’s of online research and trial and errors over the last 6 months. It may not work for you, I cannot guarantee it). Do note this method does require you to create a new email account, if your Current Hotmail/Windows Live account is not already locked to ‘United States’ like mine. Do remember, I got this mainly for buying Apps, the Zune Pass was an extremely big added bonus. I must warn you, this process requires you having to hard reset your Windows Phone device so you can enter in your new email to get be able to download the Zune Pass on your phone. If you do not want the music from the Zune Pass on your phone and just the Zune Media Player, the you do not need to restart your device.

If you have more than 1 Hotmail/windows live account, check to see which country/region settings it is in. If it’s already set to USA, skip to step 4.

Click here to go to Page 2 (Step’s 1 – 9)


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Founder and Chief Editor of Techin5, currently based in Melbourne Australia. Has always had a deep appreciation of Technology and how it helps people, which led to the birth of Techin5. You can follow me on Twitter at @jubbing and on Instagram
  • Wearsy

    In the same boat here in Canada.  I just wish Microsoft would open up the Zune pass to more countries. 

  • http://twitter.com/jubbing Jubbin Grewal

    Yea I’m sure they will, but if they expect to 1. Beat iTunes and Apple, and 2. Have Zune and the WP7 become popular they ‘need’ to open up to more countries. Until then this workaround will do for me, but this at the expense of video’s I guess… 

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  • http://twitter.com/mr_internet Loren W

    Good thorough story

  • http://twitter.com/jubbing Jubbin Grewal

    Thanks Loren, took the longest to do as well!

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Shaunnabis-Evans/591994368 Shaunnabis Evans

    I tried this method using a debit Mastercard and it worked however even though I picked apps that were around $2.99 i was being charged 94 cents and because of this Westpac cancelled my card as having fraudulent transactions.  I also have a Visa card too but that didn’t work.  Did you have any issues with the bank cancelling your card?

  • http://twitter.com/jubbing Jubbin Grewal

    Nope, I use Westpac as well and I’ve bought at least 5+ apps and I get charged transaction fees as well, but nowhere near 94 cents. For a $2.99 purchase I get charged 8 cents fee, for a total of $2.91 due to our Dollar being higher. The Zune Pass is $14.80 something and that’s on the same card, and I’ve never had a problem.

    Don’t know why yours would say that, perhaps tell the bank you’re travelling to USA and it will be in the system, like I did when I went 2 years ago.

  • Anonymous

    Going to try this, thank-you!

  • http://twitter.com/jubbing Jubbin Grewal

    You’re Welcome!

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  • Snowdown

    Is it possible to just change my current Windows Live account from Australian to American?

  • Anonymous

    Unfortunately not mate, you’ve either got to create a brand new account or stick it out with the Australian one. Don’t fret because I hear Zune Music might be coming to Australia within the next 6 months, but might just be a rumor!

  • Snowdown

    Alright, thanks mate!

  • Charlesalmskou

    a giant thanks from Denmark!

  • Techin5

    Welcome!