Tag Archives: zune pass

Swapping Out My XM Radio for a Zune

Zune-playerI’m a long time XM Radio customer, starting over five years ago with a $9.95/month plan. Since the merger with Sirius, I’ve seen my plan increase to $12.95/month. A few days ago I received an “Important Information About Your XM” email from XM Radio saying that my monthly rate will increase by $1.98/month for a “U.S. Music Royalty Fee.” (I guess they didn’t make it $2.00 because they thought I would notice the increase.) So, now it will cost almost $15/month for a service that has increased 50% over the past five years. This is after the merger with Sirius that was going to make the service more affordable for everyone.

After the iPhone 3.0 launch, I found a free Sirius/XM application for the iPhone that allows you to stream Sirius/XM channels. I though this would be a great thing until I found out that this free application requires you to be a Sirius/XM subscriber and to play an additional $2.99 for a “Premium” upgrade.  This would push up my monthly cost to $18!

So where does the Zune come into all this? I purchased a Zune when they first came out and used it for a while but it was replaced by an iPod Nano and iPod Touch. The Zune desktop software (Windows only) is now up to version 3 and Zune software has much improved. The Zune Pass is a monthly subscription service that gives you unlimited access to music in the Zune Marketplace for $14.99/month. In addition, you can download 10 DRM-free songs each month.

I mainly use my XM Radio to listen to music in car and I’m thinking I can save some money and get 10 free songs a month by switching out my XM service for a Zune Pass. By bringing back my Zune and signing up for a monthly Zune Pass, I can download lots of music on my Zune for trips in my car and build up my DRM-free music collection (for use on my iPod). As an added bonus I can download and play songs on multiple (Windows) computers. I generally use my Mac for day-to-day use, but I also have a couple of Window machines nearby, so this is not a problem.

I think Satellite Radio is a great thing and would love to keep the service but I feel it’s pricing itself out of business. Before you had a choice between two satellite radio services but now we are down to one, and a costly one at that.

Now, if I can just figure out where I put my old Zune player and hope that it still works.

73’s, Tom



Zune – CES 2009

ZuneLogoA team member from Zune catches us up on what is happening with Zune and talks about some of the new great media players out there.Zune-player

Zune MP3 comes with new colors Black, Red and Blue. The 120GB hard drive can store up to 30,000 songs, 25,000 pictures, or 375 hours of video. They enabled the “buy from FM feature” so when you are in a wireless hot spot you can buy the song and instantly download it to your device. The biggest feature in Zune is when you have Zune pass subscription: dock your Zune and stream 3 million songs wirelessly. A Zune Pass subscription is a great deal for music lovers becaue you can download all the music you like and pick 10 MP3s to keep forever for only $14.99 a month. There’s also another feature that they enabled where you can subscribe in Zune Channels —  combining the best features of podcasts and playlists, subscribe to channels by Billboard, The FADER, and radio stations like KROQ and KEXP channels. Mixview is dynamic representations of your collection, as well as artist and song recommendations based on what you and other members of the Social are listening to. There are great reviews of the Zune software and its available to download for free at www.zune.net