Then I saw her face, now I’m a subscriber….

Sadly, that title was supposed to be clever, but it just came across as really creepy.  Sorry for that.

Anyhooo…… I’ve mentioned previously that I’ve been interested in the Zune Pass “subscription” model.  Others have offered similar services for a while now — Rhapsody, Yahoo! Music (now owned by Rhapsody), eMusic, Napster, and so forth.  Essentially, you pay a monthly fee and have access to nearly all of the music that the Zune marketplace offers!  I say “nearly all”, because there are the occasional albums, though rare, that aren’t available via that method.  This is usually decided by the label, not the music provider.  But I digress…

The real “gotcha” in the the subscription model, of course, is that you don’t own any of the music that you download.  If you stop paying the monthly fee, you lose the music.  In essence, you are “renting” the music, which was a big turn off to me for a long time.  On the plus side, however, is that for only $14.99/month — about the cost of a single CD — I have access to literally millions of songs and can download as many as I like.  Wanna grab the entire discography for Love & Rockets?  Do it.  Grab ’em all.  Want the latest from your favorite band? Click, download, and love it.  It’s really easy, and seriously opens up a whole new world of music.

After some thoughtful pondering *and* a good conversation with my buddy Ken (thanks, Ken!), I decided to take the plunge.  I plunked down my card and paid for 3-months of the Zune Pass.  Within the first few hours, I had downloaded 10 or more full-length albums and slapped them onto my Zune player.  Not only that, but my son — with his Zune 30 — has access to all of the same music for no additional money!  That’s pretty cool.  I’ve also been able to download “deluxe” versions of albums — such as The Cure “The Top” (remastered) — that would’ve really hacked me off to have to repurchase, since I already own the original version on CD.  I’m also pretty stingy about purchasing new albums, so I’ve really found myself *not* buying new music most of the time.  Unless you have access to free iTunes dollars or something *cough* Marcus *cough*, buying new albums all the time can cost a pretty penny.

Without belaboring the point, I’ve been really happy with this choice so far.  Will I be happy in a year when I’m (perhaps) considering “dropping” the subscription method?  Who knows.  Maybe it’ll never come to that.  In the meantime, I’m checking out a lot of new bands and albums, and enjoying every minute of it.


10 Responses to “Then I saw her face, now I’m a subscriber….”

  1. 1 Marcus Taylor September 20, 2008 at 6:35 am

    Hey, I don’t have access to free iTunes money ALL the time, ya know! I only get the iTunes PINs when my sister gets them from her friend, and it’s been a couple of months since I last got some.

    Also, I still have to be smart about what I get, even though it’s free to me, because I don’t wanna be filling up my hard drive with stuff I’ll never ever listen to.

    Regardless, even with what I have, there’s still stuff that isn’t available on iTunes’ store. I recently purchased the “How It Feels To Be Something On” CD by Sunny Day Real Estate because I had heard and really liked a few songs from that particular album, and I would’ve gotten it from iTunes, but nooo… yeesh.

    Speaking of that, I’m curious, is there any Poor Old Lu at all available on the Zune Marketplace? I can imagine maybe Waiting Room, at least.

  2. 2 yipcanjo September 20, 2008 at 3:13 pm

    “The Waiting Room” is available, of course, but NONE of our old catalog. I’m trying (and hoping) to alleviate that situation, but no guarantees. It’d be awesome to have our full catalog available, though!

  3. 3 Marcus Taylor September 20, 2008 at 6:25 pm

    That would be pretty awesome. You might look into doing the same for iTunes considering that they too only have The Waiting Room.

    Although, I notice that on Amazon you can find a lot of POL CDs for a fairly cheap price (plus a few dollars for shipping + handling). Still, that stuff usually takes at least a week to arrive in your mailbox, depending on where you live, and you can’t always depend on the sellers being completely honest with you on the stuff they’re selling online.

    Aaanyway, download anything good since you got Zune Pass?

  4. 4 yipcanjo September 20, 2008 at 7:28 pm

    If the Lu catalog were released for digital distribution, it would *likely* be to all of the major players — iTunes, Zune, Rhapsody, Amazon, and so on. That’s be sooooo awesome!

    I have downloaded some good stuff on the ol’ Zune Pass. Let’s see…

    – Interpol, “Our Love To Admire”
    – Starflyer 59, “Old” and “Talking Voice vs. Singing Voice”
    – P.O.D., “When Angels & Serpents Dance”
    – Damien Jurado, “Caught In The Trees”
    – She Wants Revenge, “Save Your Soul”

    …and others, of course! Good stuff 🙂

  5. 5 Marcus Taylor September 21, 2008 at 5:14 am

    That’s cool.

    Some of my more recent downloads:

    -Andy McKee, “The Thing That Came From Somewhere”
    -Clutch, “Robot Hive/Exodus”
    -Jars of Clay, “Good Monsters,” “Furthermore…”, “Who We Are Instead”
    -Muse, “Haarp” (new live album)
    -One Day As a Lion, s/t LP
    -They Might Be Giants, “The Else”
    -The Who: The Ultimate Collection
    -Ultimate Chopin

    And others, but I don’t feel like listing ’em. I also downloaded a few TV show seasons, and I plan to get some House M.D. next time, because oh man, Hugh Laurie is full of awesome.

  6. 6 yipcanjo September 21, 2008 at 1:44 pm

    I’ll have to check some of those out, since I haven’t heard of three of those artists! 😮

    That Muse album is incredible. I watched the DVD, and it is *amazing*!!!! So awesome.

  7. 7 Marcus Taylor September 21, 2008 at 7:19 pm

    Andy McKee is a classical guitarist who, in my opinion, is best either as somebody you watch (such as on YouTube, “Drifting” being a particularly good video to start with) or just as somebody you listen to in the background of whatever you’re doing on you computer. He’s very very talented though, I’d recommend a download or two from him.

    In fact, here’s a video he did a couple of years ago:

    Clutch is really good, even my older brother likes ’em and he generally goes for stuff like Nick Drake, Gentle Giant, They Might Be Giants, stuff like that… so if you like funky metal/rock type music, then you should like Clutch pretty well.

    One Day As a Lion — kind of an indie rock/rap type deal going, which I guess makes sense considering it’s Zach de la Rocha from Rage Against The Machine and the drummer from The Mars Volta. Good for if you’re in the mood for angry political rap.

    And the rest you likely know.

    You may also check out The Black Mages, which was formed by Nobuo Uematsu (composer for the music of the Final Fantasy games). It’s all Final Fantasy music, but metal style with mostly no vocals. If nothing else, check out “Dancing Mad,” very epic, and a little over 12 minutes long, but it’s very nice.

  8. 8 yipcanjo September 21, 2008 at 11:51 pm

    Coolio! I’ll have to check those out 😉 Thanks.

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