"Zune Pass"

Discussion in 'iPod' started by Superman07, Dec 1, 2008.

  1. Superman07 macrumors 6502a

    Aug 28, 2007
    A friend was recently telling me about the new Zunes and some of the associated features. One that really caught my attention was the "Zune Pass".

    For $15 a month you have unlimited access to all of the music, which you can share with up to 3 computers and Zunes. Additionally, at the end of a month you get to keep 10 songs of your choice.

    I haven't downloaded the software, so I don't know what the content is like for Zune's store. Does anybody have any experience or has a Zune that can comment?

  2. Tallest Skil macrumors P6

    Tallest Skil

    Aug 13, 2006
    1 Geostationary Tower Plaza
    You can't use a Zune in OS X, so I don't know how much help we'll be.

    And you don't want to hear my take on the whole business model there.
  3. Sky Blue Guest

    Sky Blue

    Jan 8, 2005
  4. cenetti macrumors 6502

    Jan 30, 2008
    I signed up for trial (14-days) 2 days ago, and already downloaded 300 some songs....
    Putting my old 30g whitey to work, I have bootcamp, and wmware fusion. Works flawlessly..

    My impressions so far...

    -Loving it, I think I'll be getting a 120g, as 30g won't be enough

    -I use last fm alot, so marketplace is great because of the whole social thing
    (mixview function is great..seeing what others(friends) playing and downloading their songs etc)

    -LOVE the new zune software. M$ really pulled this one off, way ahead of itunes as far as the GUI, interface goes...

    -15 bucks is one album, I get to keep (my choice) 10 songs I like and download millions of others for 5 bucks a month. That's one hell of a deal if you ask me.

    -Love the whole wifi sync..Since downloading songs is one click via Zune pass, I get to choose say 10-20 new songs before I leave the house, and
    it syncs with the zune in the car wirelessly before I even get in the car...

    -With the zune pass, you don't even need to download songs, just browse the marketplace and start playing (streaming) whatever you like..you get to listen the whole song, not 30 secs....like a on demand radio...It's great especially if you're at the office and don't want to download to office computer.

    - Now you can stream marketplace music over wifi without downloading it to your device (just like the software). Not the 30 sec clips, the whole song!

    -You can download the music you hear on FM radio. (Very Cool!) again over WIFI on the device!

    Looks like my iphone, ipod touch and nano will be resting for a while...:D And I know I sound like a walking M$ zune commercial, but I really liked it so far.. Even I am a big Apple fan, I think zune/M$ will be getting my money this xmas...

    So if you buy at least 5-10 songs/a month or an album, this is the way to go. You already get 10 songs and access to millions.
    But if you're a cheap bast%^^ who steals music or downloads one or two tracks once in a while, then it's not for you.
  5. droalex macrumors member

    Mar 24, 2008
    I tried a Zune, the only thing I didn't like is that the software didn't read any of my tags from my Itunes songs. So I wasn't going to retag 20GB, other than that it was solid.
  6. estark macrumors newbie

    Jul 14, 2008
    Well, why I like to rent music is because I like to listen to a lot of different things. If you are happy with just chosing some songs you heard on the radio and want to listen to them over and over, then it might not be for you. Or if you just like to rip off the artists (I mostly care about the small and up and coming bands, not the super rich stars, but it still isn't cool to rip them off). Don't you rent DVDs?

    I used to buy two to three CDs a month to listen to based on some reviews or hearing one track on the radio. As you can guess there were a lot of misses. The cost was about $40-50/month.

    Now I generally listen to about 10 new albums a month (I get to keep one forever) and I listen to a bunch of random stuff too. I have nothing to risk except for some time. It's great!

    Also, the Picks (Zune's version of Genius) actually helps me find new artists that I like. It isn't limited to your library, which hopefully you already know you like since it's in your library! The Picks chooses from all available music in a catalog almost as large as the iTunes store.

    The "Mixview" is great. It displays graphically other music from the artist, music that influenced the artist and music the artist influenced, as well as people who like the artist where you can see what music they like. I can spend hours clicking through the Mixview and discovering new music.

    Once I am done finding new songs I like, I sync them with my Zune and take it with me! All of this for about the price of an CD a month. I have known several people who didn't understand renting music, but once they have tried it, they say its the greatest thing ever.
  7. cenetti macrumors 6502

    Jan 30, 2008
    I like to listen the album or track couple hundred times before I actually buy it..Make sure that I will be listening it for many years. Zune pass lets me do that. And guess what, most of the time after 10-20 plays, I realize I don't even want to buy it because I get bored.

    So with zune pass, I can build a library that I will be enjoying for many years.
    Can afford to get very picky with the songs/albums. My itunes library is full of useless junk I paid for no good reason.

    Say I download 10,000 songs in a year. With zune pass cost is $180..
    with itunes cost is $10,000 .... And I am sure I won't be keeping all that 10K songs forever. Most of them I won't even listen twice.

    for $180/year, I can enjoy millions of songs, listen them gazillion of times and keep the best 120 songs I like the most....again I think it's one hell of a deal....

    Last night, I got bored and decided to see what's new out there...in less than 30 mins, I downloaded 150 songs. I' ve been listening to those new songs all day today, and I don't think they're worth buying at all... see it would have cost me $150 with itunes...

    $5/ month for this luxury is well worth it....Because it's actually saving me money in the long run...
  8. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus


    Jan 9, 2004
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    The hybrid design -- being able to keep some of the songs (in essence, as long as you'd spend $10 a month in music anyways, you're only spending $5 more for the opportunity to rent the rest of it) definitely sounds more appealing to me than the pure rental approach, although the problem with it is still that my music buying is sporadic -- I buy plenty of music but I don't acquire it steadily month over month.

    Anyways, though, good idea or not, I think for now the idea of rental models is now firmly dead, as Apple significantly outperforms all of them. The Zune just isn't powerful enough in the marketplace at this time to leverage success of Zune Pass. They have to get a passing grade on the Zune itself first.
  9. iParis macrumors 68040


    Jul 29, 2008
    New Mexico
    I know someone who used to own a Zune.
    After I sold him my 80GB iPod classic he said he will never go back to a Zune.
    One of the many reasons, he said, is because the iTunes store has way over twice as much music as the Zune Marketplace.
  10. synth3tik macrumors 68040


    Oct 11, 2006
    Minneapolis, MN
    I do think the zune pass is better then just straight up rentals, but still why bother downloading 300 or so songs to only be able to keep 10. To me I would think you could only start scratching the surface of all those songs by the time they magically don't work anymore.

    To people who think that this is a great way to support the "smaller guys' your wrong, Remember most money goes to MS and the big 4. I doubt that the indie groups would see anything from the "rental" side of things.
  11. illtype macrumors member

    Jun 10, 2008
    i am thinking about getting a zune. How long do you get to keep the songs you rented?
  12. cenetti macrumors 6502

    Jan 30, 2008
    As long as you have active zune pass...
    And 10 songs you get to choose each month, they're yours to keep forever...
  13. ZiggyPastorius macrumors 68040


    Sep 16, 2007
    Berklee College of Music
    I like the idea of the ZunePass, I just want to be anal about your claim for a second here. An average song is probably 2:30 to 3:00 long, sometimes more, sometimes less. There are 525,600 minutes in a year. You're either telling me you listen to multiple songs at once at all times, or that you listen to extremely short songs. Even if thousands was more like it, if you assume you sleep 1/4 of each day, that's 131,400 minutes in a year. If you listen to five thousand songs each year, that means you only have 38 hours a week dedicates to school/work/anything else. Seems a bit unlikely to me :p
  14. estark macrumors newbie

    Jul 14, 2008
    I know someone who used to own a iPod.
    After he got 8GB Zune he said he will never go back to an iPod.
    One of the many reasons, he said, is because he could listen to hundreds of songs from the Zune Marketplace for the price of 15 songs at the iTunes store and the music that really mattered to him was on the Zune Marketplace as well as the iTunes Store.
  15. mosx macrumors 65816

    Mar 3, 2007
    The Zune Pass is definitely a better setup than iTunes.

    For one, the songs are all encoded using the latest WMA codec (equal in sound quality to AAC) at 192Kbps. Higher than Apple's 128kbps AAC.

    Second, with the 10 songs you get to keep every month, that includes songs from the DRM free portion of the store (most of the store).

    So not only do you get higher quality music in rental form, but your purchased music is also higher quality thanks to the fact that its generally 256kbps LAME MP3 or, more likely, VBR encoded LAME MP3 using the -v 0 -vbrnew settings.

    The 128kbps AAC in the iTunes Store just can't compare to either the rental stuff or the purchased DRM free stuff. And the iTunes Plus content doesn't sound as good as the VBR encoded stuff. Thats why I switched from 256kbps VBR AAC to LAME 3.98.2 -v 0 -vbrnew.
  16. RaisingCajun macrumors newbie

    Dec 9, 2008
    I used to have a Zune. The $15 a month for unlimited downloads was the only positive.

    Account setup a pain
    Software not user friendly
    Music selection slightly above average

    After my Zune died, I got an iPod Classic and never looked back. Yes I now buy all my music instead of renting. The way I look at it, musicians need to make a living also. They get pennies on the dollar per album sold. So I try to do my part and purchase music.
  17. OllyW Moderator


    Staff Member

    Oct 11, 2005
    The Black Country, England
    I've just had a look in my iTunes Statistician and over the last 21 months I've averaged 84 songs per day (average song length 4:34), which is around 30,000 songs per year.

    The music rental model is probably great for someone who don't already own a big music collection. I've been building up my collection for 35 years and don't need to be able to download 10,000 new songs a year. I'm perfectly happy buying a couple of albums a month to compliment my existing collection.

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