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Microsoft is – if you didn’t already know! – a massive and established corporation with a lot of experience in providing online services all around the world. Their child, Zune, is therefore a polished and well executed site which offers a couple of interesting xbox-compatibility features, perhaps best taken advantage of by avid games and music fans.
One of the finest and most unique features of Zune is its video options, which allow you to watch the music videos for the songs you’re most into. Given that your xbox acts as a conduit for using Zune, this means that you can watch videos through your xbox on your big screen TV or projector at home. Quite the party piece! That said, you don’t necessarily need a huge expensive specialised TV set, just one that works with an xbox. And of course you can do the same thing on your laptop or home computer. You can also use Zune on your Windows phone or from any device where your Zune account is accessible, such as a friend’s computer.
But not everything is perfect with Microsoft’s offspring. Zune’s search features, music quality and choice are satisfactory but the tracks are, more often than not, protected. This means that you can do little or nothing with them once your subscription ends with Zune. Also, Zune’s software is a necessity and without it your music is inaccessible. Though it’s difficult to get a hold on a human being if you have any issues (given Microsoft’s size they must be inundated with calls and requests for help) Zune’s support includes help forums and FAQs with a lot of pre-existing online advice and a community of people willing to help with any issues.
Zune offers a variety of payment options, from packages to pay-by-download and it might be useful to try out Zune’s 14 day free trial of their Media Pass. This lets you stream and download unlimited music without any subscription fee. You’ll have to remember to cancel it, though, if you’re not pleased with the service because subscriptions are automatically updated and you’ll be billed. If you choose to take out a subscription then Zune is reasonable, with a year’s contract giving you 12 months for the price of 10 (a month is $9.99). Given that this provides unlimited music and (particularly) music videos, that’s not a bad deal! If you’re a gamer then you can also buy songs using your Microsoft Points which you can buy online, in stores or through xbox live. It’s quite handy if you have spare xbox points hanging around and nothing to spend them on! This might also encourage you to try out a few new tracks. The points don’t have an expiry date either, and If you’re an avid xbox gamer you can still spent on game upgrades and downloadable content for your games.
Zune is a flash, accessible site with a choice of payment options, none of which are particularly expensive. Its xbox compatibility features are a nice touch because they make your music purchasing and gaming more flexible and interchangeable. That said, Zune demands that you keep up your membership or you lose a lot – if not all – of your music. Zune does some things right but a number of things quite averagely. One worth considering, particularly if you’re interested in music videos and gaming.
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