Getting Zune recent, favorite, and artist info via RSS/Atom

Built-in playlists in the Zune ecosystem, such as “Recent Tracks” and "Favorites Tracks", can be consumed as Atom feeds at URLs such as:

(See this post’s comments to learn more about the URL’s structure.)

Unfortunately there a couple usability problems with the feed as is:

  1. According to, an Atom namespace qualifier used on the <feed> element will cause interoperability problems. It’s perfectly valid XML and Atom 1.0 but some consumption code, including some I saw written at work the other day, is looking for <feed>, not <a:feed>. I suspect this is what throws off FriendFeed‘s Atom importer, as well as others.
  2. <entry><link> has an empty href attribute. Hey Zune team, remember that social I mentioned earlier? If you don’t link to it, customers ain’t joinin’ it.
  3. <entry><updated> is the feed-generated date/time, not the date/time the track was added to the list.
  4. Most things support Atom, but not everything.

So I fixed it up with Yahoo Pipes:

  1. I put an end to interoperability problems by sourcing the Atom feed in Pipes as raw XML, then spitting certain elements back out as RSS.
  2. I use the Zune Social XML namespace track information to link to track info on
  3. There’s nothing much to be done about the date problem that I could see… that’s for the Zune folks to fix.
  4. Pipes exports as RSS. Easy.

The result is at

Then, the improved RSS equivalent, with parameters you can change in bold, is: