Wow. The best deal in music just got a whole lot better, as Microsoft has announced that the $14.99 per month Zune Pass will now allow subscribers to download and keep 10 tracks per month, which is a $10 value. Those tracks are yours, permanently, even if your Zune Pass subscription comes to an end. Participating labels include EMI Music, Sony BMG, Universal Music, Warner Music, and independents like INgrooves, Independent Online Distribution Alliance, and The Orchard. Tracks downloaded from Sony BMG and UMG will be DRM-free MP3s, which tracks from EMI and Warner also include MP3 files, there are also some WMAs still hanging around. The Zune guys say that soon, 90 percent of the music in the Zune Marketplace will be in the MP3 format.
So when you break this down, if you subscribe to the Zune Pass, and download 10 tracks a month, you are really just paying $5 for unlimited access to the huge catalog of music available in the Zune Marketplace. We can’t think of a better, legal deal in music than what Microsoft is offering with Zune right now. Can you? At this point, we see no reason to fire up iTunes to do our music purchasing.
As if releasing a new dancing MP3 Player isn’t enough, Sony BMG has also teamed with the Universal Music Group and devised the Ringle, which contains 3 tunes and a ringtone in a slip-sleeved cover CD. At this point, Sony is the only company that will be offering them at retail outlets. They figure that if we can download tracks and ringtones individually, we will rush right out to purchase them for a $5.98 or $6.98 list price. Excuse our naivety here, but isn’t downloading the way to avoid overcrowded shopping malls?
Read More | Reuters
Sony BMG has released musika, a music visualizer game for those with Apple’s fifth generation iPods. You can simply watch its imagery or interact by pushing your center button in time with letters in your tunes’ titles to move up in levels, which then displays more visual effects. Designed by Masaya Matsuura, who came up with the “PaRappa the Rapper” for the first Playstation, it will be available at the iStore for $4.99. We’re just not sure that this game is as easy as it looks, so we might just stick to our elementary Scrabble for now.
Read More | ilounge