Music for the masses - except in NZ

, posted: 11-May-2009 17:28

Well that sounds like a negative way to start a post!  Especially when it's over a year since my last blog entry, but wait, it's not all bad.  I'm going to look at subscription music and what I love about it, and why the only (legal) solution in NZ appears to be MusicStation on Vodafone.

But wait... a lot has happened in a year since I last posted, and I can't believe how many people actually read and responded to my last post(s) so I figure I owe it to my public Laughing

Windows Home Server
Yes it's back in my life.  After they fixed the data corruption issue I cautiously reinstalled and now have 2Tb of happily managed data streaming all over the house and a robust backup solution.  It's still really really good.  A solid product, I really haven't had to touch it since I (re)installed it over 6 months ago now.

You won't believe how seriously I take music / video / media.  Not seriously enough for this (oh but if I could...) just serious enough to want to listen to whatever I want, when I want, where I want.

And so we come to music by subscription.  I'm addicted to my ZunePass, and if they take it away from me I'll probably shrivel up and die.  But I'm not really supposed to have one - afterall I live in NEW ZEALAND.

Basically it lets me download any music from the Microsoft Marketplace and keep it as long as my subscription stays current.  And I can play it on up to three Zunes (I have two) and 3 PCs, my XBox360 and oddly enough my Sony Ericsson phone, but I think that's a bug in the DRM because it only started doing that after a recent MS update addressing DRM issues... ahem... but I digress.  And I get to pick 10 tracks (normally mp3) to keep each month too.  All for US$15 per month which is awesome.

When will we get this?
This really has to be the future of music - as long as the artists are getting looked after which I also care about - it's a no brainer.  MusicStation on Vodafone is really quite good, and decent value at only $10 per month but it's limited to your phone and sounds to be rather skimpy on bit rate.

Zune is apparently going international at the end of the year ( and - well at least the marketplace will be, if not the device.  But it remains to be seen if NZ will be included, even if Australia is.  Though MS say (in that article) that licensing issues are not the constraint, which is good news.

Time will tell...

In the meantime, the Zune software is free and I think it's one of the best media players / searchers around.  (Windows only, but I guess you knew that).  So give it a shot.  It'll be nice to know I'm not the only Zune user in NZ!

More information

Other related posts:
eMusic FAIL
Radiohead yesterday... free music?
Radiohead tomorrow?

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John Curtis
New Zealand

Vital Statistics:

  • John Curtis
  • Male
  • 35 < x < 40
  • Software developer / IT Consultant
  • Weta Digital + Numerous Sideline Businesses
  • Bass Guitar
  • 1 wife
  • 2 kids
  • 2 dogs
  • Hawkes Bay Merlot