Commercial Break: Microsoft make prize fools of themselves. Again.

Surprise surprise; here’s some more raspberry-blowing and name-calling in the increasingly childish war between Microsoft and Apple. This time, in an American ad for Microsoft’s Zune Pass music download service, Wes Moss (USA Apprentice winner reject) explains how, if you were to fill an iPod with music purchased from iTunes, it would cost you $30,000 at $1 a song.

Right – because that’s how it works isn’t it? You don’t have a collection of CDs or mp3s before you buy the iPod do you? Of course not – you start from scratch then rack up a $30k bill filling the bloody thing. Morons.

It gets better – let’s take a look at the Zune Pass small print:

“With a monthly Zune Pass music subscription, you can download millions of tracks from Zune Marketplace for the price of one CD a month ($14.99). Play them whenever you want on up to three computers and three players, for as long as you keep your subscription up to date.

You also get to keep 10 of your favorite songs each month to add to your permanent collection. That’s $10 worth of songs you know you already love.”

So… unless you maintain your ZunePass subscription, all you’ll keep are the 10 songs a month that you added to your permanent collection – for $14.99 a month. Which is… erm… £$1.49 a song! 50% pricier than iTunes. When they say $10 worth of songs, they mean iTunes prices! Of course! Duh.

Some smart aleck has already spoofed the ad (below), adding some pertinent stats to it and balancing things out a bit. Sort of like what we’ve just said above but with clever graphics and stuff. No room for one that says ‘Microsoft = wankers’ though.


  • Ian
    I wish there was such a subscription service in the UK. If with this Zune Pass thing, it actually fills your Zune with ALL the music available, so you can listen to it on the go, then that sounds absolutely amazing. On the other hand, if you need an internet connection to connect and then stream that song to your Zune - not so cool. There is going to be a Zune announcement this summer, so fingers crossed.
  • James R.
    What's the fuss about - they're both thieving shit bag Companies
  • Jack
    I think he got fired from the Apprentice - Check your facts first
  • Jack
    Also may I just defend Zune Pass. I know DRM bad etc bla bla, but you are basically renting the tracks, you do not own them, you havent paid for the actual song itself. So lets do some maths, as I believe Zune pass offers value for money if you are a music fan. Lets say there are hundreds of song you want, I think the songs cost 99c each on itunes in the USA. So lets say you want 1,000 songs, thats $990. For this price you can get Zune pass for 5 and a half years, and keep 660 songs as you get to keep 10 every month.. So instead of those 1,000 songs you wanted but dont love, you cant love that many songs, you could have sampled those and unlimited others, having a bulging MP3 player, while having the ability to keep 66% of the songs you were going to buy already if using itunes Now tell me that that isn't value.
  • Jill
    That looks pretty good to me. $10 for 10 iTunes tracks or $15 for 10 Zune tracks + a months worth of unlimited free music.
  • Jill
    The equivalent product in the UK is Napster which costs over $22 a month - plus you don't get the 10 free tracks every month. (I do agree that the $30,000 claim is completely stupid though)
  • Jake
    So basically $5 for a months unlimited music, sounds pretty good to me
  • aaron
    completely off topic, dont his hand actions piss you off?
  • Wes M.
    You DO realise that once you stop subscribing to ZunePass, you lose ALL of your songs apart from the 10 per month you've kept. So you're paying $1.49 per song but are tied in for LIFE. You DO realise that don't you? Suckers!
  • dan k.
  • barry
    Essentially the argument is do you value music (buy CD/MP3) or do you think music is disposable (rent). Who wants to pay for something (that you traditionally owned in some format) that is never yours - like renting a flat, it fills a short term need but in the long run its unsustainable.
  • Ian
    Very aware Wes Moss.
  • so m.
    Jack, whilst I generally agree that the zunepass is better value than itunes (although both are a rip off) I have to disagree with the "you can't love that many songs". I love more than a 1000 songs, never mind 660. I have a core of ~200 favourite tracks that I like to listen to every week and then another ~500 or so that I like to always have available. Another ~500 on top of that that I listen to quite regular too. They are just in my favourite 5 genres there are obviously other tracks I like, but don't "love" (nonsexual ;p ).
  • jon j.
    "Right – because that’s how it works isn’t it? You don’t have a collection of CDs or mp3s before you buy the iPod do you? Of course not – you start from scratch then rack up a $30k bill filling the bloody thing. Morons." They were hardly going to be extremely impartial and balanced during the advert were they.
  • Morons
    No-one heard of bit torrent or usenet?
  • Andy D.
    @jon jonson - No, but they might have tried being rational.
  • Anna L.
    >>I wish there was such a subscription service in the UK. The Napster 'to go' service allows unlimited downloads to 3 PCs and 3 portable devices for 15 quid a month. Yes I know I'm renting the music not buying it, but ideal for me and my two teenaged daughters.
  • so m.
    I don't really see anything unrational about it - they are just showing how much it would cost to fill it from scratch. Then compare how much to fill a zune from scratch. It's a crap comparison, as one is a rental service but still..
  • Jill
    Wes - yes, I am fully aware how a music rental system works. All I'm saying is I see paying £3 a month for unlimited access to all the music I want is good value. I could equally ridicule someone for paying for sky when "you don't get to keep the programmes".
  • Colin
    I think that's bloody good value.
  • matt b.
    Looks like fantastic value for money, now they've added in a 'keep ten songs a month' clause. Let's not forget that itunes tracks are also rentals. You only get to download them five times, and then you're screwed. My wife's had a few computer problems and used up all her downloads, so all the itunes music she's paid for is gone. Thanks a bunch, Apple. At least the Microsoft scheme is honest about the rental side of things, even if that 30K claim is misleading (and bollocks).
  • superduper
    Same thing happened to me Matt, but I think that's all changed now because Apple got rid of DRM?
  • Mike H.
    £1.49 a month? Is the pound strong against the dollar or summit?
  • Jack
    Some good comments there. Yeah, the argument is a bit irrational with the whole, you need to spend $30,000 - which doesnt include podcasts which are free, and any video content you may want, along with songs you have. However if you are a user starting from scratch it does make a bit of sense, and offers a very strong alternative. To those that are saying you are paying $1.49 a song and are tied in for life, thats not how it works!! You get 10 songs a month, to keep, which means technically you are paying $1.49 a song for them, but you do get to keep them if you unsubscribe. However, included in this cost is unlimited downloads to use on three devices while you are a subscriber. People rent DVD's and go to the cinema don't they? This just means you get to rent and keep a few. Another way to look at it is the way others have explained it. So you are paying $15 per month, $10 of that could be take off due to the track downloads, which would have been $1 each if using itunes or other similar legal download sites. Which means you've paid $10 for 10 tracks - cheap and competitive. Then you have paid $5 for unlimited music downloads and listening for a month. Thats is an awesome deal, about £3.50 for unlimited music on your device and computer. Therefore people on Zune Pass are not "suckers" as someone suggested, it is just another way of downloading music. Both services have their pros and cons, but I seriously believe if you can see yourself listening to a lot of music, and wanting a lot, then Zune Pass is a great idea - however, if you want to keep the majority of music, and may only download music short term, then perhaps iTunes or similar programs would be better. We dont even get the choice because we are in the UK. I'll just have to get mine for free until they offer a competitvely priced service here, similar to the U.S.
  • Andy T.
    Notice how right at the end the Microsoft logo in the bottom right switches its s to a $ to make Micro$oft..... I'm pretty sure thats what their heads are filled up with. Btw you said 1.49 a month and not 1.49 a song: "for $14.99 a month. Which is… erm… £1.49 a month!" "for $14.99 a month. Which is… erm… £1.49 a song!"
  • Darren
    like some other posters already said SPOTIFY! free, as long as you're online............and has a very vast selection
  • Andy D.
    @Andy T - thanks - now edited.
  • Hairy S.
    Surely the easiest way to get tunes is to download them on one of those Torrent thingy's (personally i only use CD's). Apparantly its illegal, but i do not see why people will pay for a service that is limited by copyright and legal stuff, rather than get the exact same service for absolutely free!!
  • Jack
    @AndyT. Its also not £1.49 per song. It is $1.49 per song, or just under 99p with todays conversion. Also you haven changed who Moss is, he was an Apprentice reject.
  • Jack
    oops AndyT, I meant Andy D(awson) lol
  • Andy D.
    @Jack - you're subbing skills are unparalleled.

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