I recently came across a great review on the Zune Marketplace done by TopTenReviews. Overall, this is a truly great service with a competitively-sized music library; but there were a few complaints the reviewer had that are worth mentioning. For starters, the MP3 Music selection was lackluster, and it was more expensive than protected music. What this means is that unless you have a Zune player (or play on your PC through the Zune software), you won’t be able to play many of the songs unless they were MP3. It should be noted, however, that they had about 1 million MP3 tracks.
The Zune download software and integrated media player enables you to browse the Zune Marketplace. Their search capabilities are very good, but what keeps them from being great, according to the reviewer, is the inability to search specifically for MP3 DRM-free music. The music player itself is easy to navigate and intuitive, whether you are technologically savvy or not; however, it only syncs with Zune players, so if you are using a different MP3 player for your MP3 tracks, you’ll need to import them into say Windows Media Player.
In order to download songs, you need to purchase a batch of points, rather than purchase by title. Of course, the Music Pass eliminates this issue.
There are two music download options – per track or subscription. The subscription enables you to download as many titles as you wish to as long as your subscription remains active. You can also keep ten tracks every month, which are yours to keep even if you decide to cancel your subscription. Zune has several categories available, including radio channels, TV shows, music videos, and podcasts. However, they have limited selections available when it comes to movies and audio books.
Zune has a couple of features that set it apart; specifically the radio feature and the WiFi access. With the radio feature you can tag songs as you listen to identify as ones you may wish to buy, enabling you to add these tracks into a queue where you need not hunt for the song.