World of Zune

Rhapsody and Zune HD
An Alternative to the Zune Pass?



A common question we get is if Rhapsody and Zune HD are compatible. Let's find out...

What is Rhapsody?

Rhapsody is a very popular music subscription service. It's parent company is Real Networks.

Music subscription services are the future of music. For music lovers they offer a very cost effective way to listen to just about unlimited music. From their humble beginnings of just allowing you to stream music on your PC, they have evolved to now support home audio systems and portable MP3 players.

Music subscription services are great because now your music downloading is limited only by the size of your hard drive and no longer by the money in your wallet.

Rhapsody should not be confused with other illegal download sites. It is perfectly legal. They offer two music plans. The basic subscription allows you to download unlimited music to your PC. You can also stream unlimited music through a web browser on Linux, Mac or Windows computers. The basic subscription costs $12.99 a month.

For an additional $2 per month ($14.99) you can upgrade to Rhapsody to go. This allows you to also take your music with you on supported portable MP3 players.

Unfortunately the Zune is not one of players it supports. Rhapsody and Zune HD are not compatible since it uses a different version of Windows Media DRM to protect the music files from piracy.

However, note that music purchased from the Rhapsody MP3 store is compatible with the Zune.

Zune Pass

Fortunately for Zune owners, Microsoft has it's very own music subscription service called Zune pass. For the same price, $14.99 a month, you can download unlimited music from the Zune Marketplace and take it with you on your Zune HD or legacy Zune MP3 player. You can also stream all of the music through a web browser without having to download it.

The Zune pass is actually a better deal than Rhapsody, since in addition to unlimited downloads, you get 10 song credits a month. You can use these credits to purchase 10 songs.

Buying songs from Rhapsody is pretty expensive at $1.29 per track. So at this rate you are essentially getting $12.90 back in terms of music credits with a Zune pass. Effective cost would then be only $2.09 per month for unlimited music. What a steal!

The Zune pass is the best music subscription service available online and it's exclusive to Zune owners. You can learn more about the Zune pass here.

Sign up for a FREE 14-day Zune pass trial




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