Zune Thoughts - Daily News, Views, Rants and Raves

Be sure to register in our forums! Share your opinions, help others, and enter our contests.


Laptop Thoughts

Loading feed...

Windows Phone Thoughts

Loading feed...

Digital Home Thoughts

Loading feed...





All posts tagged "Zune Pass"


Monday, November 24, 2008

A Different Perspective on the New Zune Pass

Posted by Adam Krebs in "Zune Content Creation & Management" @ 09:30 AM

http://www.microsoft-watch.com/cont...nely_cheap.html

"Microsoft has effectively dropped the price of Zune all-you-can-download subscriptions to $5.09 a month. That's how I'm viewing the new Zune Pass pricing, where subscribers keep 10 songs a month. Forever. That's $9.90, figuring 99 cents a song. Subtract from the monthly $14.99 subscription fee and you've got a net cost of $5.09 a month. Cheap. Dirt cheap."

Joe Wilcox at Microsoft Watch has an interesting perspective on the New Zune Pass. He breaks it down with an example of two teens, Jacko and Junie:

"Let's assume that both teen's parents paid for everything as part of the holiday giving. Jacko's mom and dad spent $99.99 for the Zune (online with no tax and free shipping) plus $44.97 for three months of Zune pass, for which Jacko keeps 30 songs. They paid $144.96, although the 30 songs have $29.70 value. Jacko downloaded 1,376 songs under unlimited download subscription pricing. Meanwhile, Junie's parents paid $149 (no tax because they live in New Hampshire) for the iPod nano and another $137.60 for just the music Junie wanted in the first month. They spent $286.60, and Junie is already asking for more music."

Wow. Never thought of it like that...


Thursday, November 20, 2008

What Does That Zune Pass 10 Credit Purchase Look Like?

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Zune Software" @ 09:34 PM

If you have a Zune Pass, it's not immediately obvious how you claim your ten free song credits, so since I have a three-month Zune Pass trial (courtesy of a kind soul on the Zune Team), I figured I'd see how this worked. When you see a song you want, you click on the Download button like you normally would. Only instead of just downloading the track, you'll see the pop-up windw above, which gives you the option to use a song credit or just download it as part of your Zune Pass account. If you click Use Credit, one of your ten credits will be used. Here's the weird thing I noticed though: nowhere in the process does it show you/tell you what format the song is in, MP3 or DRM'd WMA. If, when you're browsing the album you see the small MP3 icon, the download will be in MP3 format. If you don't see the MP3 icon, the download will be in DRM'd WMA format. An even though 90% of the catalog is in MP3 format, it didn't take me long to find an album that was in the WMA DRM'd format.

I'm really liking this 10 free tracks a month deal, but the Zune team shouldn't hide the fact that some tracks are DRM'd. I don't consider any music truly mine to keep as long as it's poisoned by DRM, because as we've seen several times this year, all it takes to make that music stop working is for a company to decide they're going to turn off their DRM server.


Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Zune Pass Now Offers 10 Tracks Per Month to Keep

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Zune News" @ 10:12 PM

http://zuneinsider.com/archive/2008...ks-to-keep.aspx

"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?

Tags: DRM, Zune Pass

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Is The Zune Pass Living Up to the Hype?

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Zune Talk" @ 12:24 PM

http://waltl.spaces.live.com/blog/c...861F!1257.entry

"I had some free time the other day, and thought I would get some "interesting" music from the Zune Marketplace on my pass. With "over 3 million songs" in the catalog, these things might turn up. I actually found one of the albums: Kraftwerk's Autobahn. This obscure album somehow managed to get the only popular track blacklisted from the Zune Pass. I would have to pay more money to download the relatively popular track from the album while the rest of the album was available on the Pass. I checked early albums of the Doors, the Stones, other artists. Apparently, Microsoft has decided that if a track ever had more than a handful of listeners on the radio, or sold some albums, it would be much too valuable for those scruffy Zune Pass subscribers. Same thing for new releases from slightly-known artists. At this point I am idly wondering if the Zune Pass still covers "over a million" tracks. Is it possible that Microsoft should update that effusive marketing hype? My survey of the Zune marketplace showed about 1% coverage of tracks (and I had to really look for those) which would translate to about 30,000 tracks. Somehow the real figures just wouldn't sound the same."


Walter Lounsbery makes an interesting point in his blog post about the Zune Pass: it's just not providing enough value for him. I don't have a Zune Pass, and since Microsoft is a bit slow when it comes to getting it up here in Canada, I continue to wait. When the Zune Pass was first launched with the v1 Zune, it was one of the more important differentiating features that the Zune had over the iPod. But what's the point of the Zune Pass if it doesn't give you access to the music you want? If you're a Zune Pass subscriber, how has your experience been with it?

Tags: Zune Pass

Reviews & Articles

Loading feed...

News

Loading feed...

Reviews & Articles

Loading feed...

News

Loading feed...

Reviews & Articles

Loading feed...

News

Loading feed...

Reviews & Articles

Loading feed...

News

Loading feed...

Reviews & Articles

Loading feed...

News

Loading feed...

Sponsored links