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All posts tagged "rhapsody"


Friday, August 12, 2011

Have Music Subscription Service Finally Gone Mainstream?

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Digital Home Articles & Resources" @ 01:00 PM

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/glob...article2124186/

"Acquiring new music can be a very addictive and expensive hobby. Downloading an album or the new single from that hot new band from iTunes a few times a month can add up quickly. Which is why new subscription services are garnering so much buzz lately - for $5 to $10 a month these websites offer an easy, affordable (and somewhat legal) way to get all the music you want."

I can hear the people inside the Zune offices at Microsoft screaming "We've been doing this for years!?!" as they sob quietly in their cubicles. For whatever reason - likely because it's Microsoft - the Zune Pass option just never managed to gain wide-spread traction. The price probably had a lot to do with it - $15 is too expensive for many people, especially when the competition comes in closer to the $10 price point.

I've personally never really gravitated toward a service like this because my own collection of music is somewhere in the realm of 14,000 songs. When it comes to needing music to listen to, I've got it covered - however, I've shifted from purchasing full CDs to the more common practice of cherry-picking the tracks I want and the growth of that collection has slowed considerably.

The social aspect of these services may be their most compelling feature; I just signed up for a trial of Rdio, a service I'd heard of but hadn't tried, and I'm really impressed with how I can see what others are listening to and explore music in different ways. Yes, Zune has had similar features for a while now, but I've never found the Web-based version of Zune very intuitive or functional. Part of that is the ongoing struggle I have being a Canadian trying to use Zune services. I grew tired of the cat-and-mouse game with the Zune team making it increasingly more difficult for non-supported countries to access Zune goodness. But let's not get started down that road, or I'll be spitting at my screen in no time.

Do you subscribe to a service like Rdio, Spotify, Rhapsody, Zune Pass, etc.?


Saturday, May 1, 2010

The State of Subscription Services, As Outlined by a Seattlite

Posted by Adam Krebs in "Zune Media" @ 08:00 PM

http://www.seattleweekly.com/2010-0...apsody-in-zune/

"Months later, I was sitting at Café Presse reading an article that compared the songwriter Holly Miranda to Nina Simone. Normally, I would have added Miranda to my [LP] look-for list. Since I was in a wi-fi hot spot, I turned to my Zune, browsed the collection, and downloaded records from Miranda's former band, the Jealous Girlfriends, and a refresher course on Nina Simone. The albums—and any subsequent tracks I picked up that month—were all covered through Zune Pass."

Seattle Weekly's Chris Kornelis shares a recent anecdote with his positive Zune Pass experience and an overview of the subscription landscape. If you can wade through the thick hipster smarm on the first page, it's actually a decent read. And while not heaping praise on the Zune device, he seems to come away with a generally good attitude about the experience. He also discusses the competition from fellow Seattle company Rhapsody and what the future holds with Android and iPhone apps. Like Kornelis, more and more I'm realizing that "owning" music (downloading a la carte) isn't as important as I once thought. Tastes change, collections get too large, and computers get upgraded. Having access to thousands of songs on-demand is definitely the direction of the market. The question remains which company will lead us there.


Friday, November 3, 2006

MSN Music Hangs Up the Boots

Posted by Darius Wey in "Zune Talk" @ 08:53 AM

http://music.msn.com/help/customer.aspx

"Beginning November 14th, 2006, MSN Music will no longer offer music downloads through the MSN Music store. The "Buy" buttons that you are used to seeing on the MSN Music album and artist pages will change to links that connect you to Zune and Real Rhapsody."



If you were one of the many who said that some of Microsoft's existing music stores would die in favour of the Zune Marketplace, you get a brownie point. Starting November 14, customers of MSN Music (a giant in the United States, Australia, and parts of Europe) will be referred to the Zune Marketplace and Real Rhapsody for online music purchases. What will this mean for songs you've already purchased? Not much. They'll still play in accordance with the existing DRM rules (five authorised computers, support for CD burning, and transfer to compatible PlaysForSure devices), and will still receive support from Microsoft even after the store closes its doors. Furthermore, any existing credit will be refundable on or after November 14, though whether this will be able to be channeled into Microsoft Points is still uncertain.

On to the bigger picture, the death of MSN Music probably won't affect the US all that much. After all, with URGE, Rhapsody, and (soon) the Zune Marketplace up and running, customers will have plenty of choice as far as PlaysForSure and Zune devices are concerned. What's not yet known is whether MSN Music stores outside of the US will also hang up the boots on November 14. If so, this will be an extremely damaging move. In Australia, for example, nineMSN Music is the largest Microsoft-based online music store (the iTunes Store takes the cake for being the largest overall). Its death would force consumers to look at lesser offerings, at least while the Zune remains a US-only release. As you can see, there are many questions that remain unanswered. Hopefully, this will become clearer in the coming days.


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