Zune Music comes to Canada

The digital music space—legal and less so—is getting mighty crowded

If digital music is your thing, you’ll have one more option come Monday. Microsoft is today announcing that its Zune Music service is finally coming to Canada, starting Oct. 3.

The service will offer 14 million download-to-own tracks at variable pricing, with no copy protection on them. More intriguing is the Zune Music Pass, which is basically an all-you-can-eat option for $9.99 per month (the U.S. store is also dropping its pricing today to that level from $14.99). If you buy a 10-month pass, you get the last two months free.

The pass is pretty cool because it extends across devices, so it can be enabled on a PC, Xbox 360 or Windows Phone.

Microsoft is usually pretty good at getting new products into Canada quickly, but it has been a bit of a laggard with Zune-related things. The original Zune music player was launched in the U.S. in 2006 and didn’t make its way north till 2008, by which point Apple’s iPod had all but cemented a monopoly. The device itself bizarrely launched without the music store to go with it.

The move finally puts Microsoft on par with Apple’s iTunes in Canada. Both now sell video and music across their respective range of devices, although Microsoft scores points by offering the unlimited music option. We’ll see if Apple addresses this at the iPhone 5 unveiling next week.

That said, the digital music space is getting pretty crowded with a host of different services available. I wrote up a short piece a few months back about the various options and business models being attempted, check that out here. The good news is, if you’re a music fan there is no shortage of choices for getting tunes, both legally and less so.

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