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Old 07-12-2008, 08:24 PM
Jason Dunn
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Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 29,160
Default Is The Zune Pass Living Up to the Hype?


"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?

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