Microsoft quietly testing Zune Music in Australia

Earlier today, an anonymous user pointed out to me that Microsoft appears to have begun discretely testing the Zune Music Marketplace for Australian users. Zune 4.8 users who have their system location set to Australia and/or an Australian Live ID will now see the “Music” tab teasing the goods.

Since this is believed to be just a test, unfortunately it’s just a small and unusual collection of songs. Nevertheless, the test does reveal the pricing for songs and albums Microsoft may have settled on, with beloved Microsoft Points no less. Songs costs 129 Points (AUD$2.13) and albums appear to be priced per song capped at 1299 Points (AUD$21.43).

Even the pricing does seem unfairly high in contrast to the US store with the exchange rate in mind, it’s actually comparable to iTunes’ current pricing of AUD$2.19 per song.

With Windows Phone Mango just around the corner where the availability of Zune Pass subscription is also rumored to be expanding, Zune seems to be finally landing on our shores, somewhat five years later.

Update: Microsoft has also enabled “Podcasts” as we are now a country worthy enough to enjoy them.

32 insightful thoughts

  1. Hopefully NZ isn’t far away then, I really don’t want to miss out on the Mango lock screen.
    Any 4.8 users from NZ that can confirm?

    1. Hey Andrew,

      From my research in this Zune 4.8 beta, New Zealand is getting podcasts, but it doesn’t appear you’ll be getting Music. If you check out http://andrewtechhelp.com/andrews-tech-opinions/126-windows-phone-7-feature-availability-matrix-the-mango-edition you can see what new features appear in the Zune 4.8 beta for each country. This could and probably will change between now and release, but for now New Zealand just gets podcasts added to their list.

  2. Umm this has been there as far as I know since the Mango edition Zune Client was released as part of the DEV Mango Beta. As mentioned above – we were joking in Whirlpool re: labels like K-Tel appearing (anyone remeber them form 80s and their bad adverts lol)…all out of contract or “weak” Aussie licensing content being tested it would seem….

    Also per my Blog – a Snr MS Business manager also confirmed that there will be an announcement by MS on expanded global Zune Music availability in <6 weeks!

    Quote:

    "The Zune Marketplace for music, video, and podcasts is also expanding to more markets. We’re not quite ready to announce specifics just yet—expect to hear more later this summer."

    My Bog post :) http://www.wpdownunder.com/?p=1456

    Please let it be so! :)

  3. Hey Long,

    How did you get the picks and Social pivots to appear. I’m using the Zune 4.8 beta and I’ve had access to the music & podcast pivots for ages in the 4.8 beta, but I can’t see the Picks & Social pivots.

    Andrew

  4. ” Zune seems to be finally landing on our shores, somewhat five years later. ”

    Better late than never ! I should know, I’m still waiting for it to arrive here.

  5. Why do songs and other stuff cost more in Australia? Is there a national sales tax tacked on? Do you guys get paid more? I just don’t get it.

    1. Yes, we do get paid more, mostly, but it’s still slightly too expensive, I saw some figures on DVD prices a while ago, %-wise compared to salary income, a DVD in OZ cost 0.004 % of income vs 0.003 % income in USA (those aren’t the exact figures, but you get the idea).

    2. But we still do get stung on many things. The local price for games on Steam is far greater than the USD->AUD conversion, even with sales tax taken out of the equation.

  6. Step 1: Give us Zune Pass as well.
    Step 2: Allow us to also add our own music to Zune Pass, either via Skydrive, WHS 2011 or Internet streaming in Windows Media Player… or a combination of all.
    Step 3: Roll in movie and TV streaming. Make sure it supports Ultraviolet DRM.
    Step 4: Add social media discovery via Facebook.
    Step 5: Release Zune apps for Android, Web, iPhone, iPad, Mac etc

  7. I can confirm you dont need 4.8 or developer tools I can see music on zune 4.7.1.
    Although I have done the hack to see podcast a while ago.

  8. Come on Australia get with the times!! As a person living in the United Kingdom, I am usually envious of Australia getting cool new stuff before we do, but for once, it seems even one of the most technologically advanced countries in the world is lagging behind the times with the latest technology!

  9. Heres some good news for canadians as well! After updating my phone to mango and downloading the zune 4.8 beta software, I signed into my canadian account and can now access the music tab and podcasts!

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