The LimeWire peer-to-peer (P2P) file sharing network has been shut down by court order last week, leaving millions of users scrambling for a new source of music.
LimeWire lost a four year long lawsuit with Recording Industry Association of America (RIA), having been found guilty of copyright infringements, which resulted in the discontinuation of file sharing services associated with the company’s P2P clients.
Users mourning the death of LimeWire have also asked for alternative sources of music.
Some of the readers of the “No More LimeWire Downloads, the File-Sharing Network Shut Down by Court Order”
article posted last week, have pointed out that Apple’s iTunes is not a viable replacement for LimeWire, especially at the prices that the Cupertino company is charging.
As is the case with all legal music stores, iTunes charges for music that users download. Songs can cost as low as 69¢, but the vast majority are prices at 99¢, and prices can go as high as $1.29 for each item.
iTunes might not be the best alternative for users that have been downloading and sharing music free of charge, albeit illegally.
But there is a better offering available, and an excellent opportunity for LimeWire customers to get their music legally.
Microsoft is offering Zune Pass, which is a subscription-based service, designed to allow access to millions of songs at only a fraction of the cost compared to iTune downloads.
And the fact of the matter is that now is the best possible time to embrace Zune Pass. Normally, Zune Pass is available at $14.99 per month.
But the Redmond company is now offering a consistent discount for users with the new Annual Zune Pass
“A Zune Pass gives you unlimited music to stream or download, including 10 songs to keep every month. The new annual Zune Pass adds convenience and special value-pricing: pay once and get 12 months for the price of 10,” the company notes.
Zune Pass is a subscription service, which means that users get to listen to all the music they want as long as they keep paying the monthly rate. However, for $140.99 per year, Zune Pass subscribers also get to keep no less than 120 songs, namely 10 songs per month, which are not governed in any way by the status of the subscription and are available even if it expires.
“Zune Pass is a monthly music subscription service; some Zune Marketplace content may not be available via Zune Pass and may vary over time. On Xbox, Zune Pass allows for music streaming only and requires an Xbox LIVE Gold subscription (your 10 monthly song credits are still available for download on your PC, Windows Phone, or Zune media player).
“On Windows Phone, streaming feature requires wireless network access; carrier fees may apply,” Microsoft added.
With the recent worldwide launch of Windows Phone 7, the Zune services have been internationalized
Zune Marketplace is available in US, Canada, Mexico, UK, Spain, Italy, Germany, France, Switzerland, Netherlands, Ireland, Belgium, Austria, Singapore, New Zealand, India, Hong Kong SAR, and Australia.