A newly posted Microsoft Patent Application appears to describe technology that would provide automatic downloads to a Zune media player if newly tracks from various artists whose work is already stored on Zune or on a user’s PC-based library becomes available.
Although the Patent App entitled Automatic delivery of personalized content to a portable media player with feedback does not address a payment mechanism for a user’s rights to this content, it does describe how this content might be automatically obtained.
My read of this Application’s literature introduces a typical scenario. Say you have five Dave Matthews Band tracks already stored on your Zune. Dave puts out some new tracks. A music service could flag a track for promotion, and that track could automatically be pushed down to a Zune- or your PC media library- in much the same way Windows Updates are pushed through to users.
With specific regard to direct downloads to Zune, this might be accomplished by equipping future Zunes with Wi-Fi hotspot or even phone capabilities that would sniff for signals from music content providers that new tracks presumably of interest to the user are available for retrieval.