I have a Zune HD (don't ask).
Is there any alternative to using this in Ubuntu besides creating a virtual Windows environment (in say Virtual Box or VMWare) and running the Zune software there?
From what I understand, no one has been able to crack the ZMTP protocol. So unfortunately you have no other options.
My poor friend is facing the same problem. :(
Zune doesn't work with Wine (the Windows-Linux compatibility layer) and Windows Phone devices don't feature USB storage mode so your only option regarding Zune really is running it in Virtual Box + Windows. https://duckduckgo.com/?q=linux+zune+virtualbox