Vista Parental Controls Slows Down Zune Marketplace

I’m a huge fan of my Zune and the Zune Marketplace. I have a Zune and my two daughters do as well. I’ve owned several iPods but I just love my Zune more; especially the subscription option for music. $15/month for all the music I want is fantastic. Yes, not everything is included in it and if I stop paying I lose the music but so what. It’s far cheaper in the long run and allows me to explore a lot more music that I otherwise would. I think this is a great way for artists to gain exposure. Anyway, this isn’t the point of the post.

Each of my daughters has their own login to Vista and I’ve setup Parental Controls on their login. This caused a severe performance slow down on the Zune marketplace. Searches and downloads were painfully slow. Running under a full admin account everything worked great. I found one potential solution where the person added 20-something URLs to the allow list. Yuck! That’s not a solution in my book. If one URL changes or another gets added in a software upgrade it’s back to the drawing board. I dug into the Parental Controls stuff in Vista and found a solution. There’s a list of programs that Parental Controls will completely ignore. I added to the list and viola everything works great. There’s no GUI for this in Vista so it requires editing the registry directly – this means do this at your own risk…

Using information from this site: <> I added a new value for c:\program files\Zune\Zune.exe under the hive: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Parental Controls\HTTPExemptions. This worked like a charm. What this does is exclude from Parental Controls. I think this is the best option as I can still control browser access but not impact Zune marketplace performance. It's unfortunate that MSFT doesn't provide a GUI to control this list of programs.

As I said, I love my Zune and so do my girls. They’ve already downloaded a ton of music and exploring a whole new world!