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Old 08-12-2011, 09:00 PM
Jason Dunn
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Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 29,160
Default Have Music Subscription Service Finally Gone Mainstream?

"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.?

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