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View Full Version : Have Music Subscription Service Finally Gone Mainstream?

Jason Dunn
08-12-2011, 09:00 PM
<div class='os_post_top_link'><a href='http://www.theglobeandmail.com/globe-investor/personal-finance/household-finances/5-a-month-for-unlimited-music/article2124186/' target='_blank'>http://www.theglobeandmail.com/glob...article2124186/</a><br /><br /></div><p><em>"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."</em></p><p>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.</p><p>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.</p><p>The social aspect of these services may be their most compelling feature; I just signed up for a trial of <a href="http://www.rdio.com/" target="_blank">Rdio</a>, 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 <a href="http://www.zunethoughts.com/news/show/23576/an-international-zune-user-s-guide.html" target="_blank">ongoing struggle</a> 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.</p><p>Do you subscribe to a service like Rdio, Spotify, Rhapsody, Zune Pass, etc.?</p>

Sven Johannsen
08-13-2011, 03:45 AM
Love my Zune Pass. Don't think I really got into it until I got a Windows Phone, and only then because it seemed like the phone was so immersed in it I figured I'd try. Have had Zunes since they first came out (I liked my brown 30G) but like Jason had my own CD collection dutifully ripped to Media Player and sucked into Zune. Well actually just pointed Zune at the directories. Remember file systems?

I any case I have enjoyed the heck out of exploring new music using SmartDJ which mixes cloud tracks with those of my own, and Channels which bring mixes of distinct genres to my ears. I do see that $15 a month might be a little off putting, but you get to KEEP 10 songs a month for that $15 as well as listen to anything in the catalog. You don't have to be connected to listen BTW, you can download anything with DRM in force and listen disconnected to your heart's content....until you quite paying. The DRM license has a terminaation point, usually a month or so out.

The ones you choose to keep are totally DRM free and you can listen to them on your Zune, WP7, any PC (even Mac), burn them to CDs or listen to them in iTunes or on an iPod. Picking them up can't be easier either. You are listening to a track you like, you hit buy, it asks if you want to use credits, you have x left. You say yes and it's yours.

Shame that they are letting Zune players die. My phone is not my primary portable media machine, never has been. If I am going to get a dedicated portable media player, I would likely subscribe to the subscription service associated with it. If Zune players die, I bet the WP7 phones won't be enough to support the service, and if the service dies, that will be one less point in WP7s favor.

Once again it seems that MS has had a great idea that they failed to market. They have got to get over thinking that just creating it is enough.

08-13-2011, 04:48 PM
I've got Spotify. It works on Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, Symbian, Blackberry... pretty much everything apart from WP7. Being able to listen on pretty much any device is such a big advantage.

The social aspects and quality of the software doesn't hurt things either.

I've got a large music collection but Spotify is still worth of the money for me. I've been to a couple of music festivals this summer and being able to check out the bands beforehand has been very useful. In fact, a lot of British music festivals publish an official Spotify playlist of the bands on their website.

Kacey Green
08-15-2011, 01:13 AM
I started with MTV/MS Urge and got flipped to Rhapsody (I hate RealNetworks) so I dropped them and switched to Zune with Zune Pass just before the Zune 80 Launched