What Does That Zune Pass 10 Credit Purchase Look Like?
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.