The article really doesn't capture all the important points. Zune Pass was more than a streaming service...it was (is?) a streaming service, a subscription download service (unlimited songs, DRM protected, subscription downloads play as long as the subscription is kept active), and a purchasing service like iTunes (purchased songs are free of DRM protections).
For anything downloaded under subscription or purchased, no connectivity or data bandwidth is used to play music, which is the big advantage over streaming services.
Zune Players hardware, the Zune PC software, and the Zune Player app on Windows Phone 7 did all these things, quite well, with decent sync features. Windows Phone 8 replaced the Zune app with the buggy Xbox Music app, and replaced the Zune PC app and all it's nice sync features with some horrid mess that has all the appeal of a bad student project, and then rebranded it all as Xbox Music.
See http://windowsphone.uservoice.com/forums/101801-feature-suggestions/suggestions/3342058-continue-to-use-zune-for-media-sync-in-wp for many hundreds of comments expressing dissatisfaction over the changes.