Microsoft Signs Deal With Labels To Offer Free Zune Music Downloads

Microsoft announced a new Zune music subscription which allows owners of its portable MP3 player to keep free songs. The Microsoft MP3 player currently offers millions of tracks. The free music plan comes with a new monthly rate for Zune customers.

Microsoft announced a new Zune music subscription which allows owners of its portable MP3 player to keep free songs. The Microsoft MP3 player currently offers millions of tracks. The free music plan comes with a new monthly rate for Zune customers.

Microsoft Corp on Thursday announced an update to its Zune music service. The new service allows owners of the Zune MP3 player to keep 10 free songs per month. In addition, customers can add the free music tracks to their permanent collection.

Zune music can be downloaded for $14.99. The current subscription gives customers access to millions of tracks. However, the software company has modified its subscription plan to allow Microsoft MP3 player owners to keep 10 tracks per month.

Microsoft Zune users can also add the free music tracks to their permanent collection. The modified subscription begins Thursday.

Music labels EMI, Sony BMG, Universal and Warner have signed agreements with Microsoft to allow the free music. The songs can be delivered in the MP3 format on the Microsoft Zune player.

Other music companies such as RealNetworks Inc’s Rhapsody already offer users unlimited access to songs for a monthly fee. However, if the subscription expires, the music on the MP3 devices will not play. Apple Inc currently has 71 percent of the MP3 player market.

Microsoft also offers the Zune desktop software to buy individual songs while the service keeps track of how many free tracks remain for the month. Subscribers can also share downloaded content to three PCs and three Zune MP3 player devices.

The downloaded music tracks can be burned to a CD or moved to other devices even if the subscription ends.

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