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  #1  
Old 11-20-2008, 06:12 AM
Jason Dunn
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Default Zune Pass Now Offers 10 Tracks Per Month to Keep

<div class='os_post_top_link'><a href='http://zuneinsider.com/archive/2008/11/19/zune-pass-now-with-tracks-to-keep.aspx' target='_blank'>http://zuneinsider.com/archive/2008...ks-to-keep.aspx</a><br /><br /></div><p><em>"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."</em></p><p>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.</p><p>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 (<a href="http://www.allaboutsymbian.com/news/item/8194_Nokia_launches_Comes_with_Musi.php" target="_blank">check out what Nokia is doing</a>), 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.</p><p>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?</p>
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  #2  
Old 11-20-2008, 06:15 AM
David Tucker
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That's pretty nifty! Man, someone at MS woke up this week and decided they just wanted to make everyone happy. Zune updates, this, NXE...what's next??
 
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Old 11-20-2008, 06:49 AM
Darius Wey
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jason Dunn View Post
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.
To my understanding, this is new. There's a rumour that Apple is now engaged in discussions with the same distributors in hopes of having DRM-free versions of their tunes on the iTunes Store. Yep, the store wars are on.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jason Dunn View Post
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?
My guess is whatever format they're available in on the Marketplace is the format you get to keep. It would seem odd for Microsoft to have a separate library of DRM-laden WMAs just for this purpose, although I've seen stranger things before.

If signing up for a Zune Pass wasn't such an arduous task outside North America, I'd be all over it.
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Old 11-20-2008, 07:43 AM
Alber1690
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Extremely tempted now....extremely!
 
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Old 11-20-2008, 11:17 AM
Derek Snyder
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The 10 you can keep will not be DRM-laden. Again, 90%+ of the catalog is DRM-free MP3 and that applies to the songs you can keep.
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Old 11-20-2008, 01:35 PM
mcwilliams132
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Make it $10/mo and I'd be sure to jump on it; I'm cheap like that.

In the mean time, I have some eMusic month long/30 free song trials to use up.

The zune guys at Social Circle state:

Social Circle (Inside the Circle): Hot News for Zune Pass Users

Quote:
"Those of you with Zune Passes are about to love life. You’re now gonna be able to keep 10 s ongs free during each month that your Zune Pass remains current. That’s right! For each month that you’re Zune Pass is active, you’ll be able to keep 10 songs, at no additional charge… free.. like, you can burn it to CD and everything!"
So I'm guessing that your 10 free tracks won't have DRM attached. At least the majority won't.

Last edited by mcwilliams132; 11-20-2008 at 01:38 PM..
 
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Old 11-20-2008, 02:14 PM
Stinger
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This is the kind of thing is what would tempt me to swap. Good work, Microsoft.
 
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  #8  
Old 11-20-2008, 03:13 PM
onlydarksets
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Nice job, MS.
 
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  #9  
Old 11-20-2008, 05:12 PM
Jason Dunn
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Derek Snyder View Post
The 10 you can keep will not be DRM-laden. Again, 90%+ of the catalog is DRM-free MP3 and that applies to the songs you can keep.
In talking with Cesar Menendez last night, whether or not the tracks have DRM will depend on the tracks you pick - if the track is in MP3, there's obviously no DRM. But if the track you pick is only available in WMA format, it will have DRM on it. You'll be able to burn a CD, and use it like you purchased it, but there's still DRM on it that could be turned off at some point in the future like all those other DRM servers...so you take your chances.

Let's remember here that even if 90% of the catalog is DRM-free, we're still talking about 400,000+ tracks that have DRM on them, and those tracks may very well be most of the top albums. It's easy to brag about being DRM free when it comes to old obsure music that nobody wants - it's quite another to have the top 100 songs in MP3 format, which is what Amazon offers.

Until the Zune catalog is 100% DRM free, I'm going to remain sceptical about the number of tracks in MP3 format.
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Old 11-20-2008, 05:20 PM
David Tucker
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Its definitely not 90% of the top tracks but I do notice more and more of my favorite artists have MP3 tracks available.
 
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