John Paczkowski

Recent Posts by John Paczkowski

10 Free Songs a Month Sounded Like a Great Idea Until You Got to the Part About Owning a Zune

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Microsoft’s Zune digital music player isn’t going to best Apple’s iPod any time soon, so you’ve really got to give the company credit for soldiering on in the face of adversity, widespread consumer uninterest and ever-deepening economic gloom.

Earlier this week, Microsoft (MSFT) reduced the price of Flash-memory-based Zunes in the hopes of protecting holiday sales. And now it’s making Zune’s subscription music plan more appealing as well. Starting today, Zune owners subscribing to the $15 a month Zune Pass service will be able to keep 10 tracks a month of their choice as permanent downloads. “We’ve said for a long time that we didn’t think the current set of subscription models were the right formula, and we’ve been pushing hard to look at different models,” Adam Sohn, director of Zune marketing told TechFlash. “The labels have actually been super-cooperative with us on this stuff, and we’re pretty excited to get it out there.”

Microsoft typically charges 99 cents a track for the music it peddles. By including 10 free songs in a Zune Pass subscription, it’s essentially offering consumers an all-you-can-eat music service for $5. That’s a compelling proposition. Too bad you have to buy a Zune to take advantage of it.


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Nobody was excited about paying top dollar for a movie about WikiLeaks. A film about the origins of Pets.com would have done better.

— Gitesh Pandya of BoxOfficeGuru.com comments on the dreadful opening weekend box office numbers for “The Fifth Estate.”