Microsoft has announced new changes to the Zune Pass program that will allow subscribers to get up to ten free tracks a month. Subscribers will be able to select tracks they have downloaded to keep even if they stop the subscription.
Microsoft also announced that, soon, up to 90% of the marketplace will be MP3. The rest will be WMA only.
So far, EMI, Sony BMG, Universal Music and Warner have signed on to the new terms, so not all of the subscription music will be available for the 10 tracks a months program. (note: several independent labels will also participate.) The participation of these companies is, no doubt, a snub of the nose to Apple and iTunes. They are also going to provide DRM-Free MP3 files for purchase.
The changes make Zune Pass an even better deal since the ten tracks equal about ten dollars, making the Zune Pass a more reasonable $4.95 a month. Not too shabby at all.