The Microsoft Zune Music Marketplace, also known as just the Zune Marketplace is boasting that they have something like 6 million songs. I know the name is long and isn’t as catchy as “iTunes” but hey, what do you want. It’s Microsoft.
I have recently purchased a Zune 120GB (which I will be reviewing later after some more use) and have been playing with the marketplace. Microsoft have put together a nice little music collection which is available at my finger tips. All I have to do is download this little program and I’m set to go. Ohh…I also forgot to mention the $15 a month charge for the Zune Pass which allows me to listen to more than a 20 second preview of each song.
You can however sign up for a 14 day trial and grab as much music as you want.
The way it works is, once you have pass you are able to browse and listen to full length songs and albums. You may also download and sync with your Zune so you can have it with you. This is great for me because I can get bored with an album in no time. Downloads are super fast and only takes a few minutes to get an entire album. You can search by song, artist, album name, etc.
There are a few drawbacks however. One of the major ones is that the music you download via the marketplace is DRM encoded. Therefore, if you don’t pay your monthly dues of $15 your music will go bad and you won’t be able t use it. There is one way around that but I might just leave that for later on in the post. Another thing that really bothers me is once I finally find an album I like. I think…SWEET and click the download button. Only to find out that I can’t download a few songs on that album for whatever reason and i have to buy them. Granted the songs only cost about 79 Microsoft points but I’m already paying $15 a month! I don’t want to buy 2 songs just so I can have a complete album. This also happens with entire albums. They have it…you just have to pay for it and then you can download it.
Overall, I think that it is a great system and is an alternative to anything that starts with a lower case “i” *cough* iPod *cough* iTunes
I say give it a shot. I personally will pay for one or two months just to find some new music.
As for getting around the problem of DRM encoded music. Two words put together. Sound and Taxi. I would not however, recommend this as it is probably illegal. Because a program that would take DRM encoded music and strip the DRM so the the songs don’t expire would be bad news for everyone. I for one will be paying my dues each month and if I don’t pay my music will expire.
On the other hand…there is always TPB.