Understanding 10 Downloads Per Month (Part 2)

Zune Social: solar257 | By: Neville Williams | 11/20/2008 |

Continued from part 1, and still inspired by Zunerama's new subscription model FAQ. The process I went through with this album is a little different from the the previous one. It is not because Zune makes the process any different. Simply, I waned to try out a different purchase scenario. I would recommend you check out this walk through as well.

With a DRM'ed Album

Lets try this again, selecting an album with DRM attached to it. This time I'm going to use Jay-Z's "The Black Album." I have heard of Jay-Z and listen to him occasionally.


This is how the album looks to an individual without Zune Pass. We can tell this is a DRM'ed album because there is no'MP3' symbol to be seen around the 'Buy 800' button. Now lets see what this looks like through the lens of Zune Pass.


This album is interesting as you'll notice, not all the tracks are available through Zune Pass. The fact that some have simply the word 'Buy' indicates this fact. For the time being, lets focus on those tracks that are available through both Zune Pass and digital download.


Selecting track four, 'Encore,' brings up the 'Song Credit Available' dialog. Notice how I have 9 credits remaining? If you will remember, I just used one credit to purchase 'Once Beyond Hopelessness' by The Flaming Lips. I'm going to download this track first, via Zune Pass and then I will use a credit to purchase the track.


Downloading through Zune Pass gives me a DRM'ed WMA file @ 192 kbps and a license expiration date of 12/17/2008.

... Sorry, no screen shot. See note at end of article.

Since I have downloaded it via Zune Pass, you'll see that the track appears under my subscription history. Now I am going to buy that same track using one of my 9 song credits.


Since I used the 'Song Credits' dialog box last time I thought I would switch it up so we can see what using the 'Confirm Purchase' feels like. In using the 'Confirm Purchase' dialog, a few different things happen. To get to the above dialog you have to right click on the track and select 'Buy.' Keep in mind this means the Zune Pass track is still in my collection when I am making the decision to purchase 'Encore' for keeps.


This time the download happened instantly. By instantly I mean there was no download progress bar, after I clicked the purchase button it simply said 'in collection.' I noting the file location and DRM status, I now own a DRM'ed WMA @ 192kbps.


Noting my purchase history, we can see that I do in fact own Jay-Z's 'Encore.' I have doubled the amount of songs our family has purchased from the Zune Marketplace today. Question, since I didn't delete the Zune Pass copy of 'Encore,' what happened to it?


Answer, the file got deleted.


In the final file comparison, we can see that the files are the same. I believe the only difference between them is their licensing period, as one expire indefinitely while the other expires on 12/17/2008.


Note: I did not want to wait to have my subscription history refresh in the middle of this experiment, so I continued on without capturing a screen shot of 'Encore' within the subscription history' window.


After I finished clipping the final file comparison picture, I went into subscription history, to find 'Encore' missing. It wasn't listed. So I deleted the full rights digital download and tried to restore the Zune Pass version.


From the Recycle Bin, I right clicked on the song and used the 'Restore' option on the Zune Pass file to put it back to its proper location in the Subscription folder. Instead of getting a DRM'ed file I got a DRM-free file in the location of the old Zune Pass track.


When I went back to the Marketplace, I got this, a dialog box telling me I had already purchased the track, with the option to use another credit greyed out. So really I do not think there is any way to be confused, loose your full rights digital download, and get stuck with a Zune Pass copy after you have used a credit to purchase a song. That's a good thing. This to me this 10 song credit deal seems pretty fool proof. As a final note, one thing I'm noticing is that you have to go through your 10 credits before you can use points to purchase a song, this makes sense since it's the same as purchasing.


That's it, I hope these are helpful. If I've missed anything or something seems off, feel free to post a comment.

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