ZunePass Just Got Upgraded

One of my passions is music, especially the discovery of new music. Back in the day I used to walk into Wax Trax Records in Denver or Albums on the Hill in Boulder and walk out with a stack of CDs that I’d grabbed for no other reason than I liked the album art or the tight-pants wearing clerk behind the counter nodded vaguely in its direction. Sometimes it worked out; Mentallo & The Fixer, Arctic Monkeys (before they were big, bought only because the word Monkey was in their name), and a few others. Other times it was a huge waste of money.

That is one reason I love the Zune Pass, I no longer have to waste $30 to $80 a month just to discover if I like an album or not. I can give it a listen a few times and then I decide if it’s worth my hard earned coin. Yes, even though I have an all-you-can-eat music subscription I still buy all my music as MP3s in the end. Oddly enough I’m still saving money compared to my previous random sampling method, because sometimes that tight-pants wearing bloke likes some right proper shite.

Enter the new Zune Pass upgrade, which is that you can still listen to everything in their catalog but you now get 10 tracks free a month. No DRM, you own them even if you cancel you Zune Pass, they are yours. This is awesome, it’s like free money and I believe it’s the first of its kind of all the online services. When you break it down you’re really only paying $5 a month to have full listening access to the entire Zune catalog.

I’m also a member of eMusic (which rocks and makes a nice compliment to Zune, especially now that they’ve added audio books), which has a similar concept of paying a fixed price for a fixed number of tracks per month but they only offer 30-second clips of the songs. Next are the iTunes/Amazon but again, 30-second previews. Being able to fully absorb an album as well as own 10 of them free and clear, well, I just saved myself $10 a month.