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All posts tagged "marketplace"


Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Zune Marketplace Semi-Live in Canada, Official soon?

Posted by Adam Krebs in "Zune Media" @ 03:45 PM

http://zunited.net/2011/08/music-do...lease-imminent/

"So as you now know, traces of the Canadian music Marketplace have shown up a few times quite late at night. This time though, I was able to pull a digital “stakeout” and dig a bit deeper into the availability. As I had previously posted, purchases and individual artist pages were unavailable and would throw an error message back to me, yielding nothing usable or interesting. Last night at 11:24 pm I tried a search for The Bird and the Bee and to my surprise, it showed up with a picture and the artist’s albums available on the Marketplace. Before the network went back down I clicked on a song that I wanted to purchase and viola! It worked! No error message telling me that those services “are not available in my region.” The song downloaded without error and I have officially purchased my first song through the Zune Marketplace."

While Zune users in the U.S. have had the ability to buy and rent music, movies, and TV shows for as long as they've been offered on the Marketplace, international users (like our own Jason Dunn, from Canada) have generally been treated like second-class citizens, gaining access several years late or not at all. The situation was fixed somewhat in 2009 with the introduction of Movies and TV shows to Canada, U.K., France, Italy, and others, but still no music store. This seems to be changing, as Zunited's Josh Martin noticed that the Marketplace was often live in Canada during the night, an indication of them testing the service for a possible upcoming launch. That he was able to search for and purchase music is definitely a good sign of an international launch, but it seems a bit odd they'd flip the switch to allow public users before making an official announcement. Here's hoping we hear something soon. The Marketplace needs to go international. And fast.


Monday, January 24, 2011

The Windows Phone 7 Feature Availability Matrix, A.K.A. The Confusing Mess

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Windows Phone Articles & Resources" @ 01:08 PM

http://andrewtechhelp.com/andrews-t...lability-matrix

"Windows Phone 7 is available in many different countries across the world, but where you live depends on how much of the experience you are able to get. The 3 major features on the Windows Phone revolve around availability of online services and they are the Zune Marketplace, Xbox Live and Bing Local search. Microsoft has not made each of these 3 services available in every country that they are launching Windows Phone in and therefore have created a mess of what services are available on the phone in each country (with some countries even having partial access to some services)."

Although I'm enjoying using Windows Phone 7 for the most part, I start to get an angry twitch whenever I stop to think about how fractured the product experience is for people outside the USA. This isn't anything new - I've ranted about this on Zune Thoughts for years - but the core problem is still the same. If someone wants to buy a Windows Phone in Canada, they can't buy music from the Zune Marketplace. What kind of sense does that make then for them to use the Zune desktop software to manage their phone and media collection, but not be able to buy new music - and that's not even the Zune Pass, that's any music at all from Zune. I've heard for years how hard it is to negotiate rights in every country, etc., but at the end of the day it has to happen or the product isn't going to succeed. And the consumer doesn't care about what's hard or what's easy; they want a product that works for them. If Microsoft can't provide that, they'll go with someone that will.


Tuesday, October 19, 2010

CNet Matches Up Zune Pass and Spotify

Posted by Adam Krebs in "Zune Media" @ 10:50 PM

http://crave.cnet.co.uk/gadgets/zun...otify-50001134/

"If you're not ensnared in the bear trap that is iTunes, and you own a phone that doesn't have a lower case 'i' at the start, you might be wondering what to do about music. With Windows Phone 7 launching this week, Microsoft has finally brought its Zune store to the UK, and with it, the streaming and download service Zune Pass. Spotify is well established in the UK, with a multi-tier service that offers music for free -- ad supported -- and extra services if you're prepared to cough up £10 per month for its most feature-packed option. It's £1 more than Zune, and you don't get ten free downloads like you do with Microsoft's version, which is a shame. Let's have a look at both offerings and try to determine which one is worthy of your monthly subscription."

CNet's Crave UK is an awesome source for music tech news, and they always bring flair to their reviews and writeups. This time they're comparing subscription services Zune, Spotify, and Napster. If that second name looks unfamiliar to those in the US, it's because at the moment Spotify is strictly limited to customers in Europe. My friends who have used the service swear by it, and it's easy to see why the free/cheap unlimited streaming service is easy to love. At the same time, the Zune pass has made strides with web access, smart DJ, and of course the Zune Social over the last few years. If you happen to live in the UK and are looking for a subscription service, definitely give the article a read.


Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Get 3 Months of Zune Pass Free When You Pre-order WinPhone7

Posted by Adam Krebs in "Zune Media" @ 01:30 PM

http://www.neowin.net/news/pre-orde...-zune-pass-free

"Are you really excited over all of the Windows Phone 7 news? Can you just not wait to get your hands on one? Microsoft has a great deal for you that gets you the phone you want as soon as it is available and a little gift for pre-ordering. Microsoft is offering anyone who signs up to be notified of when they can pre-order Windows Phone 7, then use the same email to complete the transaction three months of Zune Pass for free. All you need to do as of now is shoot them an email, and follow through with the pre-order once it is announced then you get your three months of Zune Pass for free. Please note that the fine print states that it is only available to those in the United States."

Well this is a nice little bonus for everybody thinking about pre-ordering Windows Phone 7. There's no question that Zune is an integral part of the WinPhone7 experience, and it's certainly going to add a whole lot of value for folks who want to listen to new tracks on the go. A the moment it's US-only, but we'll keep our eyes open for some benefits to our friends in other countries too.


Monday, September 6, 2010

Aspiring Musicians Piggyback on Popular Artist Names

Posted by Adam Krebs in "Zune Media" @ 12:56 PM

http://www.rahulsood.com/2010/08/as...ms-name-to.html

Clever stunt or flagrant abuse? A hip hop group calling itself "Sign Us" has invaded the Zune Marketplace, naming each of their songs on their only (debut?) album "Eminem" after popular hip hop artists, and adding "(Sign Us!!!)" possibly to attract A&R attention. This keyword inflation has been common in search engines for years, but is this a start of a similar practice on the Marketplace?

Neither iTunes nor Rhapsody seems to have been graced by these budding entrepreneurs, who seem to have taken their name from the recent Drake song (or the Johnson & Johnson song, or possibly any number of other references). So the question is, why Zune?

It's no question that the strategy seems to be working. At least, searching for Eminem returns the Sign Us LP as the first result in albums section, as well as several tracks when searching for artist titles. The music seems to be of questionable quality, and the musical style of each track seems to have a tenuous connection to their namesake artists. Maybe a smaller label will reward the group's creativity, and have the good graces to pull the album or re-release it with proper titles. Until then, hopefully some of the mystery behind these odd search results will be solved.


Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Zune Pass Heading Across the Pond?

Posted by Adam Krebs in "Zune Media" @ 07:30 AM

http://www.liveside.net/main/archiv...to-uk-soon.aspx

"Thanks to tipster Greg, who has managed to sign up for a trial subscription to Zune Pass in the UK (although it doesn’t work yet), it looks like the “all you can eat” service may be coming soon to the UK. Along with the Trial Pass option, it looks like Zune Pass in the UK will cost £8.99/mo, with a 3 mo. subscription costing £26.97/mo."

An intrepid reader of LiveSide discovered a tantalizing yet inevitable detail on the UK Zune Pass website; It looks like Zune Pass will be coming to the UK sooner than we thought. This is an important first step for laying the groundwork of an actual strategy for WinPhone7 in the UK and overseas, and hopefully we'll begin to see more progress in the coming months. It's important to note that while the site allowed the tipster to register for a free trial, he wasn't able to log in and download music just yet. Though commenter Greg brought up Rafael Rivera's Zune Features Unlocker script to re-enable Marketplace, Channels, and Apps within the Zune software, which may have helped.


Sunday, February 7, 2010

What's Happening to Zune Pass Music?

Posted by Adam Krebs in "Zune Media" @ 10:57 PM

http://forums.zune.net/569624/ShowPost.aspx

"Zune Pass is just such a subscription service, and it's a pretty good one… but lately, Zune Pass subscribers have been seeing their music collections just disappear into thin air. This can be a single song, an entire album or even whole artists' collections. Disappearing acts included, but weren't limited to, popular artists like Arcade Fire, Vampire Weekend and Spoon. Now, when stuff like this happens, the usual culprit is that the record industry has re-negotiated its licensing deals with the service… which seems to be exactly what occurred. Microsoft has responded to customers' complaints by saying that their music has disappeared because record labels have pulled them."

This story's been making the rounds on the internet as of late. It appears that music from a number of artists is no longer available for Zune Pass download in the marketpace, and has been subsequently stopped working in Zune Pass holders' collections. Though Microsoft has stated that this decision is left up to the labels, there seems to be no larger reasoning behind what content has been pulled. For their part Microsoft has acknowledged the issue and promised to investigate. They are asking affected users to report missing music in the Zune.net forum thread.


Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Zune Video on Xbox Live Reviewed Down Undah: Found To Be Not So Bad

Posted by Adam Krebs in "Zune Media" @ 10:53 PM

http://www.gizmodo.com.au/2009/10/z...broadband-plan/

"When the US [Gizmodo edition] reviewed the beta [of Zune Video on Xbox Live] yesterday, they were a bit harsh on the Zune marketplace. They said: “Not a whole lot to write home about yet besides 1080p streams”. But they come from a country where VOD is commonplace and easy to get — Netflix, Hulu, Roku, Amazon, TiVo… all let you watch your entertainment whenever you want. Here in Australia, we have iTunes, we have TiVo and we have Foxtel, but the truth is that the Zune Video Marketplace is a much easier and superior experience to both of those."

With all of the competition here in US, it's often easy to forget that even parts of the Western world don't have access to a wide range of quality VOD services. As compared to their brothers in the US edition, who found nothing particularly interesting in the Zune video-on-demand offering for Xbox Live, Gizmodo Australia was excited to report that the Smooth Streaming technology worked as advertised, and moreover that the service was easy to use. It seems like Zune Video is definitely a viable solution for those readers who are overseas and don't have access to maybe a Hulu or Amazon service. Hopefully we'll start to see some strong advances for those of us in the US too.


Monday, July 20, 2009

Zune Marketplace Freebie: "The Killer" by Mobile

Posted by Darius Wey in "Zune Media" @ 12:55 AM

http://social.zune.net/my/ContentRe...933&mtype=Track

This week brings another Zune Marketplace freebie that you can download, play back, burn to a CD, and sync to your Zune device. You'll need a Zune account to download the free content. Clicking on the link(s) below will automatically launch the Zune software and take you to the artist's page, so please ensure that the software is installed on your PC.

  • Title: The Killer
  • Artist: Mobile
  • Genre: Rock
  • Length: 3:40
  • DRM-free MP3: No


Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Shot of Zune HD Marketplace Surfaces, Intrigues

Posted by Adam Krebs in "Zune Media" @ 12:00 AM

http://twitpic.com/9jywm

I know it's a little late by Twitter standards, but this is a Zune site so why not?

Engadget's Ross Miller doesn't think this picture is interesting by itself. I would both agree and disagree; the picture itself isn't too interesting, but taken in context it reveals a few key tidbits. For starters, it looks like they're retaining the Twist UI paradigm, which was introduced all the way back in Zune 1.0. It looks like the artist views are going to start imitating the "enhanced now playing" in the Zune software a little more, with band pictures and info popping up when you scroll through music (see a better shot here.) Also, it appears that the Marketplace and Collection will begin to look a little more closely related, with dynamically-generated previews of the tracklist shown below the album title and release year (see above.) September 8 can't come soon enough.


Friday, June 26, 2009

Zune Marketplace Freebies: "Hold the Line" by Major Lazer, "Heavy Cross" by The Gossip

Posted by Darius Wey in "Zune Media" @ 10:27 PM

This week brings two Zune Marketplace freebies that you can download, play back, burn to a CD, and sync to your Zune device. You'll need a Zune account to download the free content. Clicking on the link(s) below will automatically launch the Zune software and take you to the artist's page, so please ensure that the software is installed on your PC.

  • Title: Hold the Line
  • Artist: Major Lazer, Mr. Lex & Santigold
  • Genre: Reggae/Dancehall
  • Length: 3:39
  • DRM-free MP3: Yes

  • Title: Heavy Cross
  • Artist: The Gossip
  • Genre: Rock
  • Length: 4:02
  • DRM-free MP3: No


Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Zune Marketplace Freebies: "Quiet Dog" by Mos Def, "Light Through the Veins" by Jon Hopkins

Posted by Darius Wey in "Zune Media" @ 10:17 PM

This week brings two Zune Marketplace freebies that you can download, play back, burn to a CD, and sync to your Zune device. You'll need a Zune account to download the free content. Clicking on the link(s) below will automatically launch the Zune software and take you to the artist's page, so please ensure that the software is installed on your PC.

  • Title: Quiet Dog
  • Artist: Mos Def
  • Genre: Hip-Hop
  • Length: 2:57
  • DRM-free MP3: Yes


Friday, June 5, 2009

Zune Marketplace Freebies: "Dorchester Hotel" by The Sounds, "1901" by Phoenix

Posted by Darius Wey in "Zune Media" @ 12:33 AM

This week brings two Zune Marketplace freebies that you can download, play back, burn to a CD, and sync to your Zune device. You'll need a Zune account to download the free content. Clicking on the link(s) below will automatically launch the Zune software and take you to the artist's page, so please ensure that the software is installed on your PC.

  • Title: Dorchester Hotel
  • Artist: The Sounds
  • Genre: Rock
  • Length: 4:08
  • DRM-free MP3: Yes

  • Title: 1901
  • Artist: Phoenix
  • Genre: Rock
  • Length: 3:13
  • DRM-free MP3: Yes


Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Zune Marketplace Freebie: "Old School" by Hedley

Posted by Darius Wey in "Zune Media" @ 10:07 AM

http://social.zune.net/my/ContentRe...933&mtype=Track

This week brings a new Zune Marketplace freebie that you can download, play back, burn to a CD, and sync to your Zune device. You'll need a Zune account to download the free content. Clicking on the link(s) below will automatically launch the Zune software and take you to the artist's page, so please ensure that the software is installed on your PC.

  • Title: Old School
  • Artist: Hedley
  • Genre: Rock
  • Length: 3:42
  • DRM-free MP3: Yes


Monday, May 18, 2009

Zune Marketplace Freebie: "Put the Phone Down" by Pilot Speed

Posted by Darius Wey in "Zune Media" @ 05:46 AM

http://social.zune.net/my/ContentRe...933&mtype=Track

This week brings a new Zune Marketplace freebie that you can download, play back, burn to a CD, and sync to your Zune device. You'll need a Zune account to download the free content. Clicking on the link(s) below will automatically launch the Zune software and take you to the artist's page, so please ensure that the software is installed on your PC.


Tuesday, May 12, 2009

New Zune Pass Ad Pushes Subscription Benefits, Misses The Point

Posted by Adam Krebs in "Zune Media" @ 08:30 PM

http://www.zunepass.net/

Microsoft's newest Zune ad pushes the cost-benefit savings of using a subscription service over comparable a la carte purchasing option. With the economy in its current state, consumer budgets are tighter than ever. Will this be enough to sway consumers to come to Zune Pass? I don't think so, and here's why:

Yes, the Zune Pass is a great deal, but these over-simplified arguments aren't convincing anyone. Does anyone actually spend thousands of dollars on music from an online store? Of course not; you rip from CDs, download mixtapes and mp3s, and get friends to send you songs. I remember when the Zune launched, the argument that people weren't deeply entrenched in iTunes DRM (a reason they wouldn't want to switch to Zune) was countered by saying that people spend on average only $20 on music from the iTunes Store.

My other major issue with these ads is they don't highlight what's so great about Zune Pass. It's not just that you get a ton of music for only a little investment, but that you are truly freed from the limits of a regular music service when you use it. The ability to listen to a song and decide it's not for you, even before you download it is an eye-opening experience. Add in the personalized recommendations, integration with Zune Social (your friends), and 10 song credits a month and this may be enough to make people take a second look at subscriptions.


Friday, May 8, 2009

Zune Marketplace Freebies: "Cien Fuegos" by Wait Think Fast, "Let Me In" by Tech N9ne Collabos

Posted by Darius Wey in "Zune Media" @ 03:15 AM

This week brings two Zune Marketplace freebies that you can download, play back, burn to a CD, and sync to your Zune device. You'll need a Zune account to download the free content. Clicking on the link(s) below will automatically launch the Zune software and take you to the artist's page, so please ensure that the software is installed on your PC.

  • Title: Cien Fuegos
  • Artist: Wait Think Fast
  • Genre: Rock
  • Length: 4:50
  • DRM-free MP3: Yes

  • Title: Let Me In
  • Artist: Tech N9ne Collabos
  • Genre: Hip-Hop
  • Length: 5:53
  • DRM-free MP3: Yes


Sunday, April 26, 2009

Zune Marketplace Freebie: "Ballskin" by MF Doom

Posted by Darius Wey in "Zune Media" @ 12:00 AM

http://social.zune.net/my/ContentRe...933&mtype=Track

This week brings a new Zune Marketplace freebie that you can download, play back, burn to a CD, and sync to your Zune device. You'll need a Zune account to download the free content. Clicking on the link(s) below will automatically launch the Zune software and take you to the artist's page, so please ensure that the software is installed on your PC.

  • Title: Ballskin
  • Artist: MF Doom
  • Genre: Hip-Hop
  • Length: 1:30
  • DRM-free MP3: Yes


Saturday, April 25, 2009

Ed Bott Compares 6 Music Services: Can They Beat iTunes?

Posted by Adam Krebs in "Digital Home Talk" @ 11:00 PM

http://blogs.zdnet.com/Bott/?p=862

"Apple’s success in digital music is not for lack of competition, however. Over the past few months, I’ve been sampling all of the major U.S.-based competitors to the iTunes Music Store, as well as a few fascinating minor-league competitors. In this post, I’ll show you how each one stacks up against iTMS in terms of pricing and available features. After my testing was complete, I had a new favorite music service, and after you read my report you might decide it’s right for you too."

Bott compares services from Amazon MP3, Zune Marketplace, Rhapsody, eMusic, Lala, and Amie Street against Apple's iTunes digial music powerhouse in price, selection, and user experience. With three of the seven albums he tested, iTunes had the highest price. Lala.com snagged the lowest price point for each of the six albums it had in its collection. Clearly, there are advantages to each of the services; get a subscription (Napster, Rhapsody, Zune) if you care about listening to tracks before downloading. If indie music a la carte is more your bag, eMusic and Amie Street provide plenty of tracks by lesser-known artists, while Amazon MP3 and iTunes seem to be the more mainstream options for minimal fuss and iPod integration.

Tags: marketplace, music, mp3,

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Zune Marketplace Freebie: "La Di Da" by Asher Roth

Posted by Darius Wey in "Zune Media" @ 06:16 PM

http://social.zune.net/my/ContentRe...933&mtype=Track

This week brings a new Zune Marketplace freebie that you can download, play back, burn to a CD, and sync to your Zune device. You'll need a Zune account to download the free content. Clicking on the link(s) below will automatically launch the Zune software and take you to the artist's page, so please ensure that the software is installed on your PC.

  • Title: La Di Da
  • Artist: Asher Roth
  • Genre: Hip-Hop
  • Length: 3:47
  • DRM-free MP3: Yes


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