Microsoft Just Sorta Ruined Zune Pass

Illustration for article titled Microsoft Just Sorta Ruined Zune Pass

Hoping to remind everyone that they have a subscription service just like Spotify and Rdio, Microsoft's updated their Zune Pass subscription model. Too bad they destroyed the best thing about it.


Microsoft lowered the price of the Zune Music Pass from $14.99 to $9.99. Which is great! Cheaper is better.The price is more inline with the current offerings on the market from Rdio, Mog, Rhapsody, and Spotify. And, in addition to music, Zune Music Pass holders will have access to unlimited streaming music videos. Plus, you can sync songs to up to 4 different Zune devices. Also great!

Now for the terrible part. ZunePass is losing its most awesome feature, the one thing that differentiated it from every other subscription service: You'll no longer be able to download and own 10 free songs a month—which was effectively like buying 10 songs a month getting a subscription for $5.

The new subscriptions start on October 3, but current pass holders can keep their $14.99 subscriptions and keep on jamming on 10 free downloads a month. [Zune Insider]

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As a current Zune Pass user, I'm not too bothered about losing the 10 DRM-free songs a month. In fact, I'll be willingly lowering my subscription to the new $9.99 plan to save $5 a month. After using the service for a year, I can tell you that it's not that big of a deal because it's so easy to download an unlimited number of songs and sync them to your phone without even remembering which songs you actually own or not.

Still, Microsoft REALLY needs to release a Zune app for OS X, iPhone, and Android, and they need to improve the web app. After trying out Spotify, Rdio, and Rhapsody, I can say that the Zune desktop app is the best music app that I've ever used. Don't get me started on iTunes, I loathe booting it up when I'm syncing my iPad.