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All posts tagged "zune pass"

Friday, August 12, 2011

Have Music Subscription Service Finally Gone Mainstream?

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Digital Home Articles & Resources" @ 01:00 PM


"Acquiring new music can be a very addictive and expensive hobby. Downloading an album or the new single from that hot new band from iTunes a few times a month can add up quickly. Which is why new subscription services are garnering so much buzz lately - for $5 to $10 a month these websites offer an easy, affordable (and somewhat legal) way to get all the music you want."

I can hear the people inside the Zune offices at Microsoft screaming "We've been doing this for years!?!" as they sob quietly in their cubicles. For whatever reason - likely because it's Microsoft - the Zune Pass option just never managed to gain wide-spread traction. The price probably had a lot to do with it - $15 is too expensive for many people, especially when the competition comes in closer to the $10 price point.

I've personally never really gravitated toward a service like this because my own collection of music is somewhere in the realm of 14,000 songs. When it comes to needing music to listen to, I've got it covered - however, I've shifted from purchasing full CDs to the more common practice of cherry-picking the tracks I want and the growth of that collection has slowed considerably.

The social aspect of these services may be their most compelling feature; I just signed up for a trial of Rdio, a service I'd heard of but hadn't tried, and I'm really impressed with how I can see what others are listening to and explore music in different ways. Yes, Zune has had similar features for a while now, but I've never found the Web-based version of Zune very intuitive or functional. Part of that is the ongoing struggle I have being a Canadian trying to use Zune services. I grew tired of the cat-and-mouse game with the Zune team making it increasingly more difficult for non-supported countries to access Zune goodness. But let's not get started down that road, or I'll be spitting at my screen in no time.

Do you subscribe to a service like Rdio, Spotify, Rhapsody, Zune Pass, etc.?

Monday, January 24, 2011

The Windows Phone 7 Feature Availability Matrix, A.K.A. The Confusing Mess

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Windows Phone Articles & Resources" @ 12:08 PM


"Windows Phone 7 is available in many different countries across the world, but where you live depends on how much of the experience you are able to get. The 3 major features on the Windows Phone revolve around availability of online services and they are the Zune Marketplace, Xbox Live and Bing Local search. Microsoft has not made each of these 3 services available in every country that they are launching Windows Phone in and therefore have created a mess of what services are available on the phone in each country (with some countries even having partial access to some services)."

Although I'm enjoying using Windows Phone 7 for the most part, I start to get an angry twitch whenever I stop to think about how fractured the product experience is for people outside the USA. This isn't anything new - I've ranted about this on Zune Thoughts for years - but the core problem is still the same. If someone wants to buy a Windows Phone in Canada, they can't buy music from the Zune Marketplace. What kind of sense does that make then for them to use the Zune desktop software to manage their phone and media collection, but not be able to buy new music - and that's not even the Zune Pass, that's any music at all from Zune. I've heard for years how hard it is to negotiate rights in every country, etc., but at the end of the day it has to happen or the product isn't going to succeed. And the consumer doesn't care about what's hard or what's easy; they want a product that works for them. If Microsoft can't provide that, they'll go with someone that will.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Annual Zune Pass: Pay for 10 Months, Get 12 Months

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Zune News" @ 09:34 AM


Like having a Zune Pass? Like saving money? Here's a no-brainer offer for you then: if you sign up for a year of Zune Pass, you get 12 months worth of goodness for 10 months - and you still get to keep 10 songs a month even if you don't renew the Zune Pass later on. Nice! Now if only if were available in Canada. Or Germany. Or many of the other countries out there on this planet...

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

CNet Matches Up Zune Pass and Spotify

Posted by Adam Krebs in "Zune Media" @ 08:50 PM


"If you're not ensnared in the bear trap that is iTunes, and you own a phone that doesn't have a lower case 'i' at the start, you might be wondering what to do about music. With Windows Phone 7 launching this week, Microsoft has finally brought its Zune store to the UK, and with it, the streaming and download service Zune Pass. Spotify is well established in the UK, with a multi-tier service that offers music for free -- ad supported -- and extra services if you're prepared to cough up £10 per month for its most feature-packed option. It's £1 more than Zune, and you don't get ten free downloads like you do with Microsoft's version, which is a shame. Let's have a look at both offerings and try to determine which one is worthy of your monthly subscription."

CNet's Crave UK is an awesome source for music tech news, and they always bring flair to their reviews and writeups. This time they're comparing subscription services Zune, Spotify, and Napster. If that second name looks unfamiliar to those in the US, it's because at the moment Spotify is strictly limited to customers in Europe. My friends who have used the service swear by it, and it's easy to see why the free/cheap unlimited streaming service is easy to love. At the same time, the Zune pass has made strides with web access, smart DJ, and of course the Zune Social over the last few years. If you happen to live in the UK and are looking for a subscription service, definitely give the article a read.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Get 3 Months of Zune Pass Free When You Pre-order WinPhone7

Posted by Adam Krebs in "Zune Media" @ 11:30 AM


"Are you really excited over all of the Windows Phone 7 news? Can you just not wait to get your hands on one? Microsoft has a great deal for you that gets you the phone you want as soon as it is available and a little gift for pre-ordering. Microsoft is offering anyone who signs up to be notified of when they can pre-order Windows Phone 7, then use the same email to complete the transaction three months of Zune Pass for free. All you need to do as of now is shoot them an email, and follow through with the pre-order once it is announced then you get your three months of Zune Pass for free. Please note that the fine print states that it is only available to those in the United States."

Well this is a nice little bonus for everybody thinking about pre-ordering Windows Phone 7. There's no question that Zune is an integral part of the WinPhone7 experience, and it's certainly going to add a whole lot of value for folks who want to listen to new tracks on the go. A the moment it's US-only, but we'll keep our eyes open for some benefits to our friends in other countries too.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

The New Xbox 360 Dashboard with More Zune Goodness

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Zune Software" @ 11:05 AM


"I have had a chance to use the new Xbox Dashboard over the last week and the new Zune Music Marketplace has been by far my favorite. Docking your Zune to the TV worked but the UI was really awkward with that tiny remote. This solves everything as far as the 10 foot Zune experience in the living room. The Zune team has done a fantastic job with this and has really rounded out the 3 screen strategy for Zune Music. I will mention that this is all streaming and cloud based, you will need a Zune Pass to take advantage of this feature on Xbox. It will not connect to your PC or Home Server. It is unknown if or when that will happen, but for now, it is still a great addition to the Xbox."

An awesome overview video by my friend Grahm - there's lots of good stuff here, but guess what? It looks like it's mostly predicated on having a Zune Pass...which I still won't be able to get in Canada this year, and only some of Europe will be able to get. Sigh. Zune, you are so hard to root for right now!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Zune Marketplace Expands Elsewhere in the World - Sort Of

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Zune News" @ 05:44 PM


"REDMOND, Wash. - Sep. 20, 2010 - Microsoft Corp. today announced the further international expansion of Zune, its digital entertainment service. This fall, Zune will expand its music and video footprint and bring the free Zune software, Zune Marketplace online store, Zune Pass music subscription service and enhanced features on Zune.net to new markets, providing a comprehensive entertainment experience on Windows-based PCs, on the go with Windows Phone 7 and in your living room through Xbox LIVE. "The integration between Zune, Windows Phone 7 and Xbox LIVE is an exciting expansion in our entertainment offerings," said Craig Eisler, corporate vice president, Interactive Entertainment Business Group at Microsoft. "Zune enables users to access the entertainment they want, wherever they want it - and now, more people than ever will be able to enjoy the freedom and flexibility that the Zune service offers." "

No surprises here, except perhaps that Microsoft has failed to expand the world-wide reach of the Zune Pass as much as I'd hoped they would. I live in Canada and was hoping - no, expecting - to be able to get a Zune Pass to go along with my upcoming Windows Phone 7 purchase. Here are the highlights:

  • The Zune Pass is coming to the U.K., France, Italy and Spain - consumers in that country will get the full subscription package for £8.99 / €9.99. However - and this is a bit of an issue for some - there are no free 10 tracks per month.
  • Music purchase is available in the U.K., France, Italy, Spain and Germany - this means MP3s from the Zune Marketplace.
  • Video purchases from the Zune Marketplace for the U.K., France, Germany, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.
  • Movie rentals from the Zune Marketplace for the U.K., France, Italy, Spain, Germany, Austria, Belgium, Ireland, Netherlands, Switzerland, Mexico, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.

Is that a confusing mess, or what? As a Canadian, I can buy videos from the Zune Marketplace, and rent them, but I can't buy music? Or can't get a Zune Pass for the Windows Phone 7 device I'm pretty sure Rogers is going to be launching here in the next 90 days? Ridiculous. And why can someone in Ireland rent a movie, but not buy one? The Germans will be able to purchase MP3s from the Zune Marketplace, but they can't get a Zune Pass? And my head will explode if I try to figure out who can do what with Xbox Live - I've been able to rent movies from Xbox Live for months, but I can't rent them or purchase them on my PC.

This not the unified vision I was hoping to see from Microsoft. This is a slapdash, fragmented effort that fails to deliver a solid entertainment experience to everyone in the countries Microsoft is supporting. Yeah, yeah, I know that this is complicated legal stuff, but if Apple can get it done, why can't Microsoft? I'm tired of having to use a loophole to purchase music from Amazon. I'm tired of iTunes being the only source for video purchases I have available. I was hoping Microsoft was going to deliver a solid solution here, and they haven't. It's no wonder Apple is kicking ass and taking names when this is the best their competition can do.

The glimmer of good news in all this is that there's finally a new release of the Zune desktop software; I hope they've added useful features and improved performance, both of which are sorely needed.

What's your take on this? Am I being too hard on Microsoft? Should I be patting them on the back for achieving a tiny fraction of the digital entertainment unity that Apple has been able to create?

The remainder of the press release is after the break. Read more...

Monday, September 6, 2010

Aspiring Musicians Piggyback on Popular Artist Names

Posted by Adam Krebs in "Zune Media" @ 10:56 AM


Clever stunt or flagrant abuse? A hip hop group calling itself "Sign Us" has invaded the Zune Marketplace, naming each of their songs on their only (debut?) album "Eminem" after popular hip hop artists, and adding "(Sign Us!!!)" possibly to attract A&R attention. This keyword inflation has been common in search engines for years, but is this a start of a similar practice on the Marketplace?

Neither iTunes nor Rhapsody seems to have been graced by these budding entrepreneurs, who seem to have taken their name from the recent Drake song (or the Johnson & Johnson song, or possibly any number of other references). So the question is, why Zune?

It's no question that the strategy seems to be working. At least, searching for Eminem returns the Sign Us LP as the first result in albums section, as well as several tracks when searching for artist titles. The music seems to be of questionable quality, and the musical style of each track seems to have a tenuous connection to their namesake artists. Maybe a smaller label will reward the group's creativity, and have the good graces to pull the album or re-release it with proper titles. Until then, hopefully some of the mystery behind these odd search results will be solved.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Zune Pass Heading Across the Pond?

Posted by Adam Krebs in "Zune Media" @ 05:30 AM


"Thanks to tipster Greg, who has managed to sign up for a trial subscription to Zune Pass in the UK (although it doesn’t work yet), it looks like the “all you can eat” service may be coming soon to the UK. Along with the Trial Pass option, it looks like Zune Pass in the UK will cost £8.99/mo, with a 3 mo. subscription costing £26.97/mo."

An intrepid reader of LiveSide discovered a tantalizing yet inevitable detail on the UK Zune Pass website; It looks like Zune Pass will be coming to the UK sooner than we thought. This is an important first step for laying the groundwork of an actual strategy for WinPhone7 in the UK and overseas, and hopefully we'll begin to see more progress in the coming months. It's important to note that while the site allowed the tipster to register for a free trial, he wasn't able to log in and download music just yet. Though commenter Greg brought up Rafael Rivera's Zune Features Unlocker script to re-enable Marketplace, Channels, and Apps within the Zune software, which may have helped.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

What To Do About Zune?

Posted by Adam Krebs in "Zune Software" @ 10:00 AM


"After almost four years, the standalone Zune player has something like 2 percent of the MP3 player market. Ballmer should face it: the iPod is unstoppable. But Microsoft already has a mobile-phone business--even if Windows Mobile is the Atari 2600 of mobile platforms, it still shipped on more than 15 million phones in 2008 and 2009, and the vastly improved Windows Phone 7 could help Microsoft double that number in 2011. Every Windows Phone 7 will have the full Zune HD interface built into it. Microsoft should market the heck out of this feature: the Zune HD is a better MP3 player than the iPod in many ways--wireless sync, the "now playing" queue and Quickplay feature, the Zune Pass all-you-can-eat subscription service, cool rolling displays of album and artist art, and better PC software. I'm willing to bet that phones running Windows Phone 7 will be better MP3 players than the iPhone, too."

As a longtime Zune owner, it pains me to admit that the product hasn't sold as well as it probably should have. With the single-function form factor on the way out, will a strong integration with Windows Phone 7 be enough to stave off tough competition from Apple? There's no doubt that the Zune HD interface is both beautiful and perfectly optimized for touch, and in a way it has served as a testing ground for some of the UI conventions within Windows Phone 7. With wireless syncing, the "pins" metaphor, and of course the Zune Pass, the Zune HD is in many ways a stronger media player than the iPod Touch. Putting this combination into every WP7 device will certainly shake up expectations of cell phone media players, but will people be willing to fork over another $10 or $15 for a Zune Pass on top of their monthly cell bill? Rosoff brings up the old "sure you could pay $3000 for 3000 songs, or just $15 a month" as a possible marketing tactic, but Zune has gone there before to no effect. There's little doubt that Zune on WP7 can be a winner, the question is whether they can execute on it and if this will be enough to save Zune.

Zune Pass Price Coming Down?

Posted by Adam Krebs in "Zune Media" @ 09:42 AM


"Microsoft Corp., the world’s largest software maker, may cut the monthly fee it charges for streaming music on its Zune portable player, senior product manager Terry Farrell said in an interview. Zune Pass, which features unlimited music streaming and 10 song downloads a month, now costs $14.99. Farrell didn’t say by how much Microsoft may cut the service’s price. “It’s definitely a challenging business,” Farrell said, referring to competition in online music. Microsoft is contending with rivals that offer music at little or no charge, while striving to erode Apple Inc.’s lead in the market for digital music players and downloadable songs. RealNetworks Inc.’s Rhapsody service in April slashed the monthly price of a premium music service to $10 from $14.99."

This would be great if true, but I'm not sure that cost is what's holding people back from buying into the subscription service. Zune Pass is already a great deal with 10 credits/$15 unlimited, and I'm not sure how Rhapsody is faring with its price cut. I know that Napster hasn't seen a huge uptick since it went 5 credits/$5 a month. I think the problem is more in how to market such a service, which all three of these companies have struggled with in the past.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Zune Racking Up Frequent Flyer Miles

Posted by David Tucker in "Zune News" @ 09:30 PM


"Starting this summer, United Airlines will include 21 Zune music channels as an in-flight listening option. Passengers will be able to listen free of charge by plugging compatible headphones into their armrest and dialing in the channel of their choice. Channels will be offered commercial-free on both domestic and international flights, with each channel loaded with three hours of unique programming."

With the Continental - United Airlines merger coming up, I wonder what the chances are of replacing the Continental logo on their aircraft with the Zune logo? Yeah, probably pretty slim. It’s nice to have some Zune news about Microsoft getting some good marketing in for a change. I think this is a pretty good place to showcase Zune and it sounds like it’s been implemented pretty nicely on board. On the international flights that always have video on each seat, I wonder if the screen will have any Zune branding on it?

Since the Zune brand is moving beyond the hardware players with the launch of the Kin and soon Windows Phone 7, its definitely important that Microsoft keeps people aware of the music service it offers with Zune. There are a lot of good offerings out there but the Zune desktop experience is one I really do like so I hope we see more stuff like this. CNet has all the details!

Saturday, May 1, 2010

The State of Subscription Services, As Outlined by a Seattlite

Posted by Adam Krebs in "Zune Media" @ 08:00 PM


"Months later, I was sitting at Café Presse reading an article that compared the songwriter Holly Miranda to Nina Simone. Normally, I would have added Miranda to my [LP] look-for list. Since I was in a wi-fi hot spot, I turned to my Zune, browsed the collection, and downloaded records from Miranda's former band, the Jealous Girlfriends, and a refresher course on Nina Simone. The albums—and any subsequent tracks I picked up that month—were all covered through Zune Pass."

Seattle Weekly's Chris Kornelis shares a recent anecdote with his positive Zune Pass experience and an overview of the subscription landscape. If you can wade through the thick hipster smarm on the first page, it's actually a decent read. And while not heaping praise on the Zune device, he seems to come away with a generally good attitude about the experience. He also discusses the competition from fellow Seattle company Rhapsody and what the future holds with Android and iPhone apps. Like Kornelis, more and more I'm realizing that "owning" music (downloading a la carte) isn't as important as I once thought. Tastes change, collections get too large, and computers get upgraded. Having access to thousands of songs on-demand is definitely the direction of the market. The question remains which company will lead us there.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Updated Zune International User's Guide

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Zune Talk" @ 08:00 AM


A quick note to let you know that I've updated the International Zune User's Guide. I spent a couple of hours on Saturday going through every part of the article, seeing what was new, and what was the same, updating it for the Zune HD era we now live in. About a month ago I had my buddy Grahm Skee from ABI send me a couple of Zune Pass cards in the mail - the one-month pre-paid cards that sell for $14.99 - and guess what? They worked! So if you live outside the USA and want a Zune Pass, this is the only way I'm aware of for you to get it. Sadly, there's still no way to get any video content other than music videos - hell, I can't even watch the movie trailers. Really Zune team? Even the movie trailers have to be IP-blocked? Sheesh. :-(

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Zune Affiliate Program

Posted by David Tucker in "Zune News" @ 02:53 PM


"This is your opportunity to join an affiliate program from one of the most recognizable brands in the world! A Zune Pass offers unlimited access to download or stream music. And as affiliates you'll benefit from recurring payouts, high commissions, great customer incentives, plus full support from Microsoft Affiliate Services."

Microsoft is starting an interesting new program for people to become Zune Affiliates. As members of this program, you will earn a commission for people you have brought into the Zune Pass program. I'm not sure of all the monetary details since they're not on the affiliate website. All you have to do is fill out a short application to get approved and you're in!

I'll be filling one out. The only thing that I'm really bummed about is that I have at least two friends who are Zune Pass users and I was an influencing factor in that decision. One friend uses Zune Pass entirely because I sold it pretty hard to her (and she's not sorry I did!)

Hopefully I can pick up some others.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

New Zune Pass Ad Pushes Subscription Benefits, Misses The Point

Posted by Adam Krebs in "Zune Media" @ 06:30 PM


Microsoft's newest Zune ad pushes the cost-benefit savings of using a subscription service over comparable a la carte purchasing option. With the economy in its current state, consumer budgets are tighter than ever. Will this be enough to sway consumers to come to Zune Pass? I don't think so, and here's why:

Yes, the Zune Pass is a great deal, but these over-simplified arguments aren't convincing anyone. Does anyone actually spend thousands of dollars on music from an online store? Of course not; you rip from CDs, download mixtapes and mp3s, and get friends to send you songs. I remember when the Zune launched, the argument that people weren't deeply entrenched in iTunes DRM (a reason they wouldn't want to switch to Zune) was countered by saying that people spend on average only $20 on music from the iTunes Store.

My other major issue with these ads is they don't highlight what's so great about Zune Pass. It's not just that you get a ton of music for only a little investment, but that you are truly freed from the limits of a regular music service when you use it. The ability to listen to a song and decide it's not for you, even before you download it is an eye-opening experience. Add in the personalized recommendations, integration with Zune Social (your friends), and 10 song credits a month and this may be enough to make people take a second look at subscriptions.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

What Freebies Did You Get So Far?

Posted by David Tucker in "Zune News" @ 09:05 AM


Phillip Dyson, a regular contributor to the forums, made a great post (I think anyway!) and I thought I'd give it a shout out here on the front page. His question is simple enough: What 10 songs have you purchased with your 10 freebies that you get every month as part of your Zune Pass? I've actually gotten 20 songs at this point since it renews your credits every billing cycle. I'm probably due for another 10 sometime soon too! What did Phillip get so far?

  • Follow You Home by Nickleback
  • Photograph by Nickleback
  • Savin' Me by Nickleback
  • Next Contestant by Nicleback
  • It's So Hard to say Goodbye by Boys II Men
  • The Crossroads by Bone Thugs N Harmony
  • Don't Let Go by Envogue
  • Don't Go Envogue
  • Mama Said Knock You Out by LL Cool J
  • Ring of Fire by Johnny Cash

I'll post my 'buys' to Phillip's thread which is where all the posts should go. BTW, you have good taste!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Zune 4GB Digital Media Player with Zune Pass Subscription Reviewed

Posted by Ron Hostetter in "Zune Hardware" @ 07:00 AM

Product Category: Digital Media Player
Manufacturer: Microsoft
Price: $149 USD
In the Box: 4GB Zune Player, earphones with three earpiece covers, Zune sync cable.
Specifications: 4GB flash memory, 1.8 inch color LCD screen, 320 x 240 screen resolution, 802.11b/g wireless connectivity, FM radio with RDS, dimensions 41.4 x 91.5 x 8.5 millimeters (1.62 x 3.60 x 0.334 inches), 48.2 grams (1.7 ounces).


  • Small, light, fully functional media player;
  • High resolution LCD screen with beautiful colors;
  • Zune Pass subscription allows for unlimited music downloads.


  • Large border around screen seems to make the screen smaller than it needs to be;
  • Very few accessories available;
  • Difficult to limit access to explicit content using Zune Pass.


Microsoft's family of Zune players now includes smaller flash memory players with the full functionality of the larger, hard-drive players. The smallest of the bunch is the 4GB model. These small devices include wireless networking, video playback, and FM radio, just like their bigger brothers. The sound quality is good, even through the cheap earbuds included in the box. The Zune Pass subscription is a great value, allowing subscribers to download unlimited music for only $14.99 per month. The Zune Pass can be shared with three Zunes, allowing a family to enjoy as music as they like. The small 4GB Zune's screen has fantastic resolution, but the screen is too small to really enjoy watching videos.


Friday, July 25, 2008

Zune Pass: Not Always Perfect

Posted by David Tucker in "Zune News" @ 10:38 AM


“This post has nothing to do with the Zune device itself as I really like my Zune and enjoying listening to it, but has more to do with the state of digital music. I have a Zune Pass which means that for a certain amount of money each month I am renting the music. I like this over having to buy everything in my collection as it allows me to try out songs and albums I might never take a chance on otherwise. It also provides a steady stream of money to the music business since I am not likely to purchase these albums anyway. The problem is that the record labels can pull the rights to the music at any time. On Friday I was driving home from work, and plugged my Zune into my car stereo system. I quickly discovered that a large amount of the music I listen to has be pulled from the Zune Marketplace. On my Zune itself I get a message that, "The item is missing or can't be played."”

First of all, Dale, you work for Microsoft man! If you have a problem with something here shouldn’t you be coming up with a solution? Or talking to someone involved with the Zune? The problem here seems to be that sometimes the record labels pull the rights to have music be part of the Zune Pass scheme. Personally I’ve never experienced this but it wouldn’t surprise me one bit to hear that it happens. I still don’t think the music industry knows what it’s really doing in the electronic realm.

That said, Zune Pass users do need to keep in mind that we are simply renting the songs. Suggestions such as letting the Zune Pass users get the expiring songs at a discount or keep them after they aren’t generally available just isn’t realistic. While I understand Dale's frustration, the benefits of the Zune Pass still far outweigh issues like this.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Zune Pass: All You Can Eat - Usually

Posted by David Tucker in "Zune Talk" @ 07:00 AM

Angels & Airwaves is currently one of my favorite bands so I was very excited this past Tuesday when their new album was released. In fact, I’m listening to “I Empire” right now. When I got home from work I went straight to the Zune Marketplace and sure enough, there it was. I was very eager to add it to my music collection so I clicked on it and was greeted with a very unpleasant sight.

In case you’re not sure what I’m talking about, look closely at the “Download Album” option. If I could download it for Zune Pass, then there would be a white arrow that’s currently grayed out. I don’t know why, but while AVA’s first album is available, the second is not. Both were put out by Suretone so I don’t see what would have changed.

My only other option was to purchase the tracks. While I have no problem subscribing to Zune Pass and being bound by the limitation of DRM for subscription music, I just don’t want to buy music that way. Not when I can buy at F.Y.E. the CD for nearly the same price and have more flexibility with it. So today I ended up buying the album because I really wanted to hear it.

Fortunately this isn’t something I often face. I can think of only three other bands off hand that I find to be a problem. One is Creed and the other is Evanescence. The final one is Metallica and I’m sure that will surprise no one. At least it shouldn’t if you’ve kept up with their very ‘anti-digital’ stance. Its unfortunate and something I imagine Microsoft would make go away if they could since it’s a bigger sell if they can say all of their music is available for Zune pass.

But it is what it is and while it makes me look down on any bands that prevent me from fully utilizing my Pass I can’t deny that I still love the music. So for the occasional album, I’ll buy it if I really want it. Angels & Airwaves is the only one I’ve bothered to so far. And, by the way, if you haven’t listened to AVA yet, go check them out. If you liked blink 182 then you’ll love Tom DeLonge’s new band.

Tags: zune pass

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