If you’ve ever sat in a McDonald’s [MCD] munching on a quarter-pounder and thought, “man, I really wish I could download music right now,” you’re finally in luck. A new Zune software update from Microsoft [MSFT] will give Zune owners free Web and download access at about 9800 McDonald’s locations nationwide. Wouldn’t it be cool if there were a new reason to buy music online, too? You got it: listening to the Zune’s FM radio now allows you to select songs you like and buy them right then and there. Even Apple’s [AAPL] ubiquitous iPods can’t do that.
The Redmond folks have also added a “Marketplace” tabl to the main screen of the Zune, which will allow users to access the online music store, as well as Zune Pass — a subscription service that allows user to stream albums from Marketplace through the Internet connection. That subscription will cost you $15 a month, but you get access to 4 million songs, as well as almost 18,000 music videos.
Microsoft also took the opportunity to announce new pricing for Zune models. The 4GB is now $130, the 8GB is $150, and the 16GB runs $200. If you need higher capacities, the 80GB and 120GB models are selling for $230 and $250 respectively.