Having access to the full cuts of millions of songs and classical performances with the Zune Pass has changed how I experience music, and at three weeks into a Zune Pass I think I can draw some conclusions.
Below are the additions to my Zune Collection since I became Zune Pass Man. My tastes aren’t yours, but here are some observations about what’s different with The Pass that you can probably relate to.
First of all, none of the items below were “purchased,” yet I can listen to them until I’m sick of them. MP3 Download Retail for the album grid below is probably around $200 bucks.
Not shown are at least 10 albums I downloaded from the Zune Marketplace that I liked but afterward decided against keeping them on my Zune. Right-click, delete. One of those behavioral shifts; you don’t have to download and store the music you like just because you can.
Another aspect of The Pass is that all mp3 files are treated the same. Yo-Yo Ma playing the Bach Cello Suites is the same value as, say, an obscure Brecker Brothers jazz fusion album that I wanted to purchase forever (I got rid of the album years ago) that I was surprised to discover in the Zune Marketplace. Needless-to-say, it’s great hearing Skunk Funk again.
You’ll see that I added a few albums to my Christmas 2008 music collection. My favorite is, of course, the soundtrack of Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer featuring Burl Ives. (When faced with a tough life decision, I always ask myself, “What would Burl do?”) Oscar Peterson’s version of White Christmas isn’t bad either, but it’s tough to top Burl Ives in my book.
Music discovery is another Zune Pass behavioral change. Zune Marketplace’s “Related Artists” is very good and leads you to lots of new music. And with the draw of being able to instantly download the entire library of any new discovery, it’s easy to while-away latenight hours searching for new music. Of the artists above, I’d say the most enjoyable new discovery of the last three weeks has been Pitchshifter and their “Desensitized” album. Here’s the full cut of Diable from the Desensitized album on last.fm. Very tasty metallic stylings.
More on the discovery aspect of The Pass. I was searching for a particular cover of “In Your Eyes,” by Peter Gabriel. I remember stopping in my tracks listening to it in a Kohl’s Department Store in 2006, which was the first and last time I heard it. Zune Search brought it home for me. Jeffrey Gaines, from Harrisburg, PA. Below is the “In Your Eyes” search result. Gaines was #2 in the list. Here is a 30 second clip of his Eyes cover on Amazon.
Adapting to the Zune Pass is adapting to music overload, changing the way you experience music through a seemingly unlimited choice. A Zune software download and 14-day trial Pass subscription gets you there. Think about it.
Postscript: Is it possible to become a Microsoft Zune MVP? Just curious…