Wednesday, November 19, 2008
Posted by Jason Dunn in "Zune News" @ 10:12 PM
"The week just keep getting better for Zune owners: today we're announcing some amazing enhancements for Zune Pass. Starting today at about 11:00PM pacific time, everyone with a Zune Pass gets to keep 10 tracks from Zune Marketplace each month. These 10 tracks will be yours to keep, forever. Each month that you keep your Zune Pass current, you'll get another 10 tracks credited to your account. All this for the same price as your Zune Pass today: 14.99/month, or about the price of one CD per month. So each month as you discover and download new music in Zune Marketplace, you'll be able to keep 10 of your favorite tracks. One quick note: there is no roll-over, so make sure you collect your 10 tracks each month."
The blog post goes on to say that approximately 90% of the 4 million tracks in the Zune Marketplace are available in MP3 format. I don't know if that's something that has just changed tonight though, because the last time I checked I had a really hard time finding MP3s in the songs that I wanted - and that's why I purchase most of my digital music from Amazon's MP3 store. Still, I'm all for DRM-free music, so it's great to see them focusing hard on getting more MP3s into their catalog.
Back to the big news though: getting to keep approximately $10 worth of music per month, and getting rented access to a huge collection of music, all for $15 per month, is compelling. What I'm not sure about is what format the 10 tracks you get are - I suspect their in WMA format and DRM-laden, which makes them less interesting, but I suppose it's better than nothing. The Zune team isn't the first I've heard offering a subscription service with tracks to keep (check out what Nokia is doing), but I think it's a first out of the major players in the subscription industry - which I guess really only consists of Rhapsody and Napster at this point with pretty much every other player dying off.
So what do you think? Is this enough to make you want to sign up for a Zune Pass if you've been resisting up until now?