Converting Zune playlists into Windows Media Player playlists

For some inexplicable reason Zune playlists (ZPL) are different from Windows Media Player playlists (WPL). I foolishly made a Zune playlist and wanted to burn a data CD with it, but the Zune Burn feature only makes audio CDs. I tried loading the ZPL into WMP, but it failed. After 60 seconds of comparing two files, here is what worked for me. YMMV:

Open the ZPL in your favorite editor (e.g. Notepad). In the first line change

zpl version=”2.0″


wpl version=”1.0″

Save As the file with a wpl extension.

I could then load the new WPL file into WMP and easily burn a data CD, for use in my car.

WPL files at least are somewhat described on MSDN, I can’t find any definitions for ZPL files though they appear to be identical save for the header and the file extension. ASX files are yet another Microsoft playlist format which I have had some experience of.

Note that this shold not be considered Official Microsoft Documentation. But its the best I can do, hope someone finds it useful.

Comments (11)

  1. Mehar Gill says:

    Thanks for the tip Andy! I bought my Zune a few days ago so this could really come in handy in the near future.

    On a side note, I really hate the Zune PC software, it’s really clunky. I personally like the sync features in Windows Media Player better because it’s so simple but it’s not compatible with the Zune!

  2. Scott says:

    I’m frustrated when working with Vista Media Center because I would have expected the playlists to just carry over… I guess that at least I should be happy that the play lists appear to be easy to convert.

  3. Jason says:

    Thanks for the tip!

    I have to agree here that the lack of standards with WMP, ZPL and iPod playlists drive me absolutley up the wall.

    I prefer WMP when at my laptop, and only use the Zune software because I’m forced to (why MS had to create an entirely new software for Zune when Media Player is in place is completely beyond me).

    Plus I have an iPhone I like to sync just playlists to.

    So I need three completely different formats of the same playlist every time I come up with a new one.

    Astoundingly ridiculous.

  4. Adrienne says:

    i don’t get it. I opened it in notepad and erased the zpl=2.0 and changed it but it still didn’t work

  5. Andy-Pennell says:

    Adrienne: maybe there is something else in the Zunelist that is chocking WMP. Try this: make a trivial playlist of 2 songs in WMP. Load that into Notepad and compare to your Zune playlist you converted. See any obvious differences? If you figure it out then please share it.

  6. Rakunko says:

    Thanks a life saver! I dont understand why they felt like making a zune playlist filetype if the bloody thing is a simple difference…oh well…I just wanted to use the gtalk "share your music feature"

  7. Ben says:

    if u need to convert zune  into ipod playlist just type in itl in the place of zpl

  8. endriopatrik says:

    thanks dude, this trick helped me so much.

  9. Ben says:

    Thanks this worked perfectly

  10. Tyler says:

    thanks for the tip, worked great and very simple to do.

  11. phil says:

    i uninstalled the zunii before i saw your advise do i have to reinstall again to make the change