Originally Posted by Machiventa
Hmmm everything I've read about XBox Music says it's streaming only, no downloads. To my knowledge MS (Zune) is the only service that allows downloads on a computer. MOG (and maybe some others) allows downloads only on a mobile device so I would imagine MS is going to take that route. I sure hope that's wrong though.
While nothing definitive is public (yet), MS claims all features of currrent ZunePass carry over into XBox Music. We are all going to transfer-into that program, from what I've read---no option to "grandfather". Also from good rumors, the feature-set of XBox Music is even larger than ZunePass is (streaming on non-MS devices).
I believe you can sign up for a paid account with Spotify and actually download songs. Whether these can transfer to an mp3 player---doubt it. Perhaps to a smartphone with the Spotify app installed. You can also save some Slacker stuff for offline, but those are "stations" and not individually downloaded tracks you can select without limit. I don't know of anything other than ZunePass that allows total freedom of downloads to an mp3 player (and I include PlaysForSure stuff such as Zen and Sansa because it works although "unsupported"). Edit---yes, I do. Rhapsody allows mp3 downloads to select players. I just quit that service when I joined ZunePass. I had a grandfathered "Yahoo Music Unlimited" account that did NOT allow downloads to an mp3 player--only to the computer.
Personally, I find myself using my WP7 more and more for music (also have a Zune HD and Sansa Clip+). With the exception of channel support, there is not much missing in the "Zune" implementation of Windows Phone. Audiobooks are an "outside" app (OverDrive, Audible).
UPDATE 8-29-12---just got email from XBox that channels, Zune Apps, MixView are all GONE in 2 days. No longer supported by any Zune, Zune software, etc..