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All posts tagged "music"

Friday, December 29, 2006

Zune Marketplace: Weekly Freebies

Posted by Darius Wey in "Zune Media" @ 01:10 AM

Another week, and another Zune Marketplace freebie that you can download, play back, burn to a CD, and most importantly, sync to your Zune device. A Zune account is required in order to download the free content. Clicking the link below will automatically launch the Zune software and take you to the artist's page, so ensure that the software is installed on your PC.

"Discotech" by Young Love
Genre: Electronic/Dance
Length: 3:54

And in case you missed last week's freebie, "2B" by Ror-Shak, you may be interested to know that it is still available at no cost.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Are You A Sucker for Zune Pass?

Posted by Darius Wey in "Zune Talk" @ 06:45 AM


"Last month the Zune was released, and now the way I listen to music has changed radically again. Music makes me really happy, and I’m listening to more of it and I’m discovering new types of music too. I do like the Zune better than the iPod, but that’s not the point of this post or really the reason that I’m listening to new music. Every Zune comes with a free 14 day free trial of Zune’s subscription music service - that's what changed everything. I may never buy another CD. I’ll warn you, if you try it you may get hooked just like I did."

Much like Terry Gold, I love music and I love discovering new artists, so I wasn't the least bit surprised to find that I was able to relate to his love for Zune Pass - an all-you-can-eat music service (similar to URGE et al.) that the iPod/iTunes ecosystem lacks. For the cost to own roughly one album per month, you gain access to many, and that's a hard deal to beat. As "rented" music (good for as long as the subscription is active), the DRM isn't overly restrictive; while tunes cannot be burned, or synced to more than two devices, they can be played back on three computers and even the Xbox 360 (either via the Zune software or the Zune player). That's a reasonable amount of playback rights for most people. This new door to music is one edge that the Zune has over the iPod, and is even the reason that some people have chosen a Zune over an iPod this Christmas. Are you in that boat?

Monday, December 4, 2006

PvPonline.com: Welcome to the Social

Posted by Darius Wey in "Zune Talk" @ 12:00 PM


I couldn't help but chuckle at PvPonline.com's Friday comic (click the link to see the entire strip), which harmlessly stabbed the Zune and its sharing capabilities. It brings forth a question that's been on my mind for quite some time: how many of you have successfully shared music with a friend's or stranger's Zune, liked the music, and followed through and purchased it (either from the Zune Marketplace or your favourite 'brick and mortar' store)? I'm guessing not many, given Zune's current day infancy.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

How to Request a Refund for Unused MSN Music Credit

Posted by Darius Wey in "Thoughts Media Off Topic" @ 09:00 AM


The remaining FAQs concerning the retirement of MSN Music have just been updated - namely, the steps to take to have unused MSN Music credit refunded to you. Read on for the details.

"I have a promotional pin or song certificate for MSN Music, how can I redeem my certificate?

You may request a refund for the value of your promotional pin or song certificate. To do so, first activate you pin or certificate by following these steps:

1. Go to http://music.msn.com/redeemgift
2. Login using your existing MSN Music account or select the Create Account option
3. Enter the PIN on the certificate

This will add the available tracks on your pin or certificate to your promotional account balance. Then request a refund for your promotional account balance by selecting the request refund link from the following page http://music.msn.com/user.

I have an unused promotional account balance with MSN Music, what should I do?

You can request a refund of your unused promotional account balance by selecting the request refund link from the following page http://music.msn.com/user. You will need to login in to your MSN Music account to access this page and request your refund."

Friday, November 3, 2006

MSN Music Hangs Up the Boots

Posted by Darius Wey in "Zune Talk" @ 08:53 AM


"Beginning November 14th, 2006, MSN Music will no longer offer music downloads through the MSN Music store. The "Buy" buttons that you are used to seeing on the MSN Music album and artist pages will change to links that connect you to Zune and Real Rhapsody."

If you were one of the many who said that some of Microsoft's existing music stores would die in favour of the Zune Marketplace, you get a brownie point. Starting November 14, customers of MSN Music (a giant in the United States, Australia, and parts of Europe) will be referred to the Zune Marketplace and Real Rhapsody for online music purchases. What will this mean for songs you've already purchased? Not much. They'll still play in accordance with the existing DRM rules (five authorised computers, support for CD burning, and transfer to compatible PlaysForSure devices), and will still receive support from Microsoft even after the store closes its doors. Furthermore, any existing credit will be refundable on or after November 14, though whether this will be able to be channeled into Microsoft Points is still uncertain.

On to the bigger picture, the death of MSN Music probably won't affect the US all that much. After all, with URGE, Rhapsody, and (soon) the Zune Marketplace up and running, customers will have plenty of choice as far as PlaysForSure and Zune devices are concerned. What's not yet known is whether MSN Music stores outside of the US will also hang up the boots on November 14. If so, this will be an extremely damaging move. In Australia, for example, nineMSN Music is the largest Microsoft-based online music store (the iTunes Store takes the cake for being the largest overall). Its death would force consumers to look at lesser offerings, at least while the Zune remains a US-only release. As you can see, there are many questions that remain unanswered. Hopefully, this will become clearer in the coming days.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Zune Battery Life Figures Revealed

Posted by Darius Wey in "Zune Talk" @ 07:30 PM


Microsoft has just revealed battery life figures for the Zune. First, the good news: wireless doesn't suck much juice, and the hours you can get out of a single charge are very similar to the 30GB iPod. With music playback, the Zune will give you 13 hours with wireless on and 14 hours with wireless off (the 30GB iPod offers up to 14 hours). With video playback and picture slideshows, you'll get up to 4 hours (the 30GB iPod offers up to 4 hours and 3.5 hours respectively). So, what's the bad news? Truth be told, I would have preferred something more. It's great that the Zune doesn't lose out to the iPod, but a little disappointing that it doesn't do any better. Microsoft could have easily packed a better battery into the device to get 50% more hours, without adding any extra bulk. Well, I guess we'll wait and see what the second generation delivers.

Tuesday, October 3, 2006

Sharing Songs and Pictures with the Zune

Posted by Darius Wey in "Zune Talk" @ 09:52 PM


Figure 1: Discovering neighbouring Zunes (and what the user is listening to). Privacy alert! ;-)

And the videos just keep flowing. Duncan Mackenzie from on10.net, and his buddy, Brian Johnson, got their hands on two pre-production Zunes and decided to put Microsoft's 3 plays / 3 days sharing to the test. Everything seems quite fluid, though don't expect it to work all that great outside of the US, where come November 14, the Zune will be almost non-existent. Duncan's video is five-and-a-half minutes long. If you don't have time to watch it, check out some of our screen grabs after the break.


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