Zune Pass

I listen to a lot of music.  Unfortunately, I don’t have much of an income at the moment, so my options for getting more are basically limited to pirating it and subscribing to an unlimited music service (e.g. Zune Pass, Spotify, Qriocity).  I’m not going to lie and claim that I’ve never taken the former route, but I prefer to use legitimate methods when I can.  The end result is that I am currently a subscriber to Zune Pass.

I’ve been enjoying it a lot.  The ability to listen to anything on a whim (and legally!) is really nice.  What’s special about Zune Pass, though, is the fact that, every month, you are given 10 credits.  Each credit can be traded in for an MP3 copy of a song.  This is the killer feature of the service.  If for some reason I eventually cancel my subscription, I’ll still have some music.  With, for example, Qriocity, I’d have nothing to show for my time using the service.  It is more expensive than most of the other services ($15/month vs. $10/month), but I think this makes up for it.

It’s not perfect, though.  The credits don’t roll over if you forget to use them before the month ends, so you have to keep on top of things.  That’s not too much of an issue.  The real problem is the lack of support.

Zune Pass currently works with Windows computers, Zune players, the Xbox 360 (provided you have Xbox Live), and Windows Phones.  Not too many people have Windows Phones just yet and the Zune never really caught on.  What Microsoft really needs to do is port the Zune software to Mac OS X and write apps for iPhone and Android.

There’s some hope of this; the Windows Phone Connector for Mac has some assets indicating that Zune will be coming to OS X in some fashion, but it’s still pretty murky.  As for the phones, I don’t know about the iPhone, but I’ve got some heavy doubts about that there’ll ever be a Zune app for Android.  Java is pretty easy to decompile, and the app would need to have the DRM scheme in it.  Then again, there are obfuscators (e.g. DashO), so who knows?  Maybe it will happen after all.

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Wednesday, July 20th, 2011 Thoughts No Comments