BPuhl’s Blog

A little bit of everything without actually being much of anything

Zune Subscriptions…

Posted by BPuhl on September 23, 2008

I’ve got 3 Zunes in my house, that are used by 3 different people.  Here are my options for a Zune Pass subscription:

– Pay $16 per month each so that each Zune user can have their own subscription, friends, and “social experience”
– Pay $16 per month total for the unlimited music downloads, but use a separate/shared LiveID that each person needs to log in to. 

Let’s just get this clear right off the bat – I don’t want to share my 16 year old daughters “social experience” – In fact, I don’t even want HER to participate in it, but that’s a different tangent…

The thing is, that even though the Zune Pass subscription service is restricted to “3 Zunes and 3 computers”, the reality is that the Zune subscription is also restricted to a single LiveID.  From a user experience/scenario perspective, then this the wrong identity to be tying it to.  Of course, if you’re in marketing and trying to maximize profits, then this makes perfect sense.

So why bother with all of this?  Because in previous posts, I’ve talked about different federation scenario’s, and where the authorization policy gets applied.  In this case, what we really want (we, being me, the guy paying the bill) is for the subscription (authz policy) to be tied to the Zune (policy enforcement point) themselves.  And if you’ve got a Zune, then you know that it actually has it’s own identity (just try plugging it into a new computer), and the relationship of the validity between the Zune and the music which is DRM’d on it (ie. the data) is really the one that you want to enforce. 

Of course, that’s what I’d like.  I’m sure the marketing people are/were expecting that a single user would have multiple Zunes, and that is the target market that they were shooting for.  But it also demonstrates a fundamental concept that’s always been lacking in LiveID – the ability to group multiple LiveID’s together for shared access to common resources.

Instead, I’m forced to flip between different LiveID’s for different purposes, because I’ll be damned if I’m going to pay $50 a month so that each Zune can have it’s own separate subscription.


(edited 9/24/2008 8:30am to add:
And for all of the iPod bigots out there who are going to leave me a bunch of comments about how getting an iPod will solve the worlds problems (overnight there have already been a few), kindly explain HOW that would help here since I tried iTunes about 6 months ago and it did the same thing – I’m deleting all ‘get an iPod’ comments, which is something that as a general rule I don’t do)


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