Microsoft Actually Did Something Downright Revolutionary With The Zune Today

Boy that should get some attention …

I typically place the day to day stuff about the Zune over at ZuneLuv.com but today’s news deserves comment here as well (don’t worry, we wrote about this over there too).

As reported at Cnet and explained at the Zune Insider, Microsoft added something very cool to the Zune Pass program. The short explanation is this:

The Zune Pass music subscription program doesn’t leave you empty after each month of use. Now each month in the program includes 10 tracks that you get to own at the end of each month. Cancel, and the tracks are still yours. You can even burn them to CD if you want.

This changes everything, and then some.

First of all, the Zune Pass subscription program now can stay true to it’s claim of being a “music discovery” engine. Someone could spend a year in the engine, spend the money one might associate with 12 CDs and walk out with the ‘experience’ of having tried thousands of tracks – and still having 12 CDs worth of music in the end for their efforts.

It is truly the best of both worlds.

Secondly, the Zune (and Zune Pass) suddenly became a really good deal for music lovers. Instead of being the industry’s “solution to that pesky portable media player problem,” the Zune can now become part of the solution – in a way that’s “good” for both the industry and the end-user.

I’ve been a Zune Pass subscriber since the Zune came out. Microsoft has never paid a dime of my subscription fees yet I’ve loved the chance at listening to what I want, when I want it. Personally, the $15 a month seemed like a good deal. The ability to end each month with 10 tracks that are mine is but icing on the cake for me, but will cause a lot of people to finally give that cake a second look (and bite).

I’ve said in the past that Apple would have to respond to the music subscription options offered by Zune. Now they have no choice at all – and will be playing also-ran to Microsoft’s revolutionary first move in this space.

Smart move Redmond.

It’s been a long time since I’ve said that.

It feels good, don’t it?

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