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  1. iamtim's Avatar
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       #1  
    One of the threads about Xbox music not syncing properly prompted me to download the Zune software and see if I could re-create the issues people were having. I never owned a Zune, and WP8 has been my first Windows "mobile" experience since I sold my VX6900 (a Verizon-branded HTC Touch) and moved to the iPhone. The Zune software is amazing, though... it's *really* good. Since I installed it I keep playing around with it and trying to figure out why MS dropped it. After a couple of days of contemplation, I think I've figured it out:

    The iPod was wildly successful. Hugely. When you say "the iPhone doubles as an iPod" or "the iPhone has a built-in iPod" that means something because of the iPod's success. The Zune - on the other hand - was a commercial flop. The only MS flops bigger than the Zune were Bob and the Kins, heh. Saying "Windows Phone 8 has Zune built-in" would probably garner grimaces (at worst) or blank stares (at best) in reply from all but the most diehard MS/Zune fans. Xbox, however... that's wildly successful as well. Hugely. How many Xbox consoles were sold on black Friday? Some ungodly amount? Anyway, "Xbox" has TONS more recognition and positive vibes than does Zune; saying "Windows Phone 8 has Xbox music built-in" is much better.

    So yeah, now I get why MS dropped Zune for Xbox Music. I can't imagine that MS is going to sully the Xbox brand with poor performance on WP8 devices. I have faith that they'll fix all the issues that are being encountered.

    Anyway, just some thoughts I've had recently, thought I'd share 'em. :)
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  2. gsquared's Avatar
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    #2  
    It was a good move for going forward. Unfortunately the change is causing some short-term pain.
  3. iamtim's Avatar
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       #3  
    Yeah, exactly.
  4. tk-093's Avatar
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    #4  
    The problem is not that they dropped the name 'Zune'.. Nobody cares about that. The problem is they took a program that was awesome and instead of keeping some of the key insides, they started over on Windows 8. Yes, the market share for Zune and Windows Phone 7 was not huge, but it is still was millions of users. All these users were using Zune to sync their devices..

    For years Microsoft has had Zune pass, not called XBox Music pass or whatever.... It's been on Xbox now for a little while as well. People like me have downloaded tons and tons of subscription music to play on our Zunes, or Windows Phones or just on our Windows machines. I have a Zune plugged into my Ford Sync that I use all the time. If you have a Zune for as long as I have you're a true fanboy. :)

    With Windows Phone 8 there is no way to get any of that locally stored subscription music onto my phone. No way at all. If I want it, I have to download them one at a time on my phone.. How lame is that? That sync tool is truly terrible. Is it the end of the world? Obviously not. The people I do really feel sorry for are the ones who actually have purchsed Videos from XBox Live that are unable to actually view them on their phones. Three screens and the cloud? False. :)

    It's all a perfect example of Microsoft silos and I'm so glad Sinofsky got shown the door. Those big wigs that don't work with other divisions need to go.
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  5. iamtim's Avatar
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       #5  
    Yeah, I grok. I think that'll change, though.
  6. Reflexx's Avatar
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    #6  
    MS really does need to work on their 3 screens thing.

    I expect to be able to buy a movie/video on my Xbox and view it on my phone or Surface tablet.
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  7. Rhody#WP's Avatar
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    #7  
    Quote Originally Posted by tk-093 View Post
    The problem is not that they dropped the name 'Zune'.. Nobody cares about that. The problem is they took a program that was awesome and instead of keeping some of the key insides, they started over on Windows 8. Yes, the market share for Zune and Windows Phone 7 was not huge, but it is still was millions of users. All these users were using Zune to sync their devices..

    For years Microsoft has had Zune pass, not called XBox Music pass or whatever.... It's been on Xbox now for a little while as well. People like me have downloaded tons and tons of subscription music to play on our Zunes, or Windows Phones or just on our Windows machines. I have a Zune plugged into my Ford Sync that I use all the time. If you have a Zune for as long as I have you're a true fanboy. :)

    With Windows Phone 8 there is no way to get any of that locally stored subscription music onto my phone. No way at all. If I want it, I have to download them one at a time on my phone.. How lame is that? That sync tool is truly terrible. Is it the end of the world? Obviously not. The people I do really feel sorry for are the ones who actually have purchsed Videos from XBox Live that are unable to actually view them on their phones. Three screens and the cloud? False. :)

    It's all a perfect example of Microsoft silos and I'm so glad Sinofsky got shown the door. Those big wigs that don't work with other divisions need to go.

    I know it hurts, but they are trying to phase out your way of syncing. For a person just now being introduced to mobile music, Xbox Music makes a lot of sense. They will not even bother with the USB cable or the terrible WP sync software. They will just wait until their library populates on their phone and then they will stream their music. If they listen to a song often enough, they will hold down on that song to select "download." That's it. They will never even contemplate tethering their phone to a PC.
  8. iamtim's Avatar
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       #8  
    I think you'll be able to do that, it just needs some ironing is all. :)

    EDIT: Er, that was to Winning Guy.
  9. tk-093's Avatar
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    #9  
    Quote Originally Posted by Rhody#WP View Post
    I know it hurts, but they are trying to phase out your way of syncing. For a person just now being introduced to mobile music, Xbox Music makes a lot of sense. They will not even bother with the USB cable or the terrible WP sync software. They will just wait until their library populates on their phone and then they will stream their music. If they listen to a song often enough, they will hold down on that song to select "download." That's it. They will never even contemplate tethering their phone to a PC.
    I hurts bad. :) I kid, I kid. It does bug me a bit, but I'm also trying to play devil's advocate here too because I enjoy the debate as long as we all stay nice. :) I disagree that getting rid of local sync is a good idea. People have data caps.. Heck, even cable broadband providers in the USA are starting to put data caps on people. I shouldn't be expected to download a large library of music down to my computer, then the only way to get that on my phone is to also download it again over the 'net. You're also going to have to cater to the 80% or so of consumes who use iTunes locally and will probably forever. May as well show a little love to the rest of us..hehe.
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  10. #10  
    Quote Originally Posted by tk-093 View Post
    I hurts bad. :) I kid, I kid. It does bug me a bit, but I'm also trying to play devil's advocate here too because I enjoy the debate as long as we all stay nice. :) I disagree that getting rid of local sync is a good idea. People have data caps.. Heck, even cable broadband providers in the USA are starting to put data caps on people. I shouldn't be expected to download a large library of music down to my computer, then the only way to get that on my phone is to also download it again over the 'net. You're also going to have to cater to the 80% or so of consumes who use iTunes locally and will probably forever. May as well show a little love to the rest of us..hehe.
    The bigger picture is how it ties into other ecosystems. If you don't need to plug the phone into the computer, you don't need to worry about supporting the computers it's being plugged into. The device is more capable as a stand-alone product because of that.

    With that said, try to picture the local sync software as a benefit, not a necessity.
  11. Shobiz's Avatar
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    #11  
    I've been a Zune owner since day 1. Got a 30, 80,120, and a 64HD. I'm a big music fan. I like to buy music. So storing it locally is the only way for me. Having my Lumia 900 sync for me the way my Zunes do is great.

    I won't upgrade to the new phones until this is ironed out.
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  12. Rhody#WP's Avatar
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    #12  
    I have had Zunes too. I still have a Zune HD, which is a very good music player. I like the Zune software. I felt a little anxiety when I plugged my Lumia 920 into my computer and the Zune software didn't recognize. I tried the new sync software and was shocked by how bare-bones it is. I can't even drag and drop an individual song onto my phone?

    Then I realized how I'm supposed to use my phone in the age of the cloud. People don't buy albums anymore. We just hear a song we like, use bing to recognize it, and download it directly to our library. We use SmartDJ to hear new music, hear a song we like, and download it directly to our library. Soon, we will tell a friend about a cool new song and use NFC to share it. MS is expecting people like you and me to adapt.

    That being said, I am disappointed with the SmartDJ feature. I don't want to start with just a song or just an artist. I want to create a playlist and create a SmartDJ from that. I want SmartDJ to be more diverse. I like the Pandora or Slacker way of creating stations. I want to be able to use sliders to tell Xbox Music how much of my local music to play, how much to stream, how much new music to mix in, etc.
  13. #13  
    Quote Originally Posted by Shobiz View Post
    I've been a Zune owner since day 1. Got a 30, 80,120, and a 64HD. I'm a big music fan. I like to buy music. So storing it locally is the only way for me. Having my Lumia 900 sync for me the way my Zunes do is great.

    I won't upgrade to the new phones until this is ironed out.
    I'm not sure what it is you have a problem with. No one said it could not be stored locally. In fact, if you buy music, WP8 should make you want to upgrade even more lol.

    The point is, you can do everything you need to from the phone. You don't need a computer for anything.
  14. #14  
    Quote Originally Posted by Rhody#WP View Post
    I have had Zunes too. I still have a Zune HD, which is a very good music player. I like the Zune software. I felt a little anxiety when I plugged my Lumia 920 into my computer and the Zune software didn't recognize. I tried the new sync software and was shocked by how bare-bones it is. I can't even drag and drop an individual song onto my phone?

    Then I realized how I'm supposed to use my phone in the age of the cloud. People don't buy albums anymore. We just hear a song we like, use bing to recognize it, and download it directly to our library. We use SmartDJ to hear new music, hear a song we like, and download it directly to our library. Soon, we will tell a friend about a cool new song and use NFC to share it. MS is expecting people like you and me to adapt.

    That being said, I am disappointed with the SmartDJ feature. I don't want to start with just a song or just an artist. I want to create a playlist and create a SmartDJ from that. I want SmartDJ to be more diverse. I like the Pandora or Slacker way of creating stations. I want to be able to use sliders to tell Xbox Music how much of my local music to play, how much to stream, how much new music to mix in, etc.
    1.) You can still download full albums. Seemed like you were trying to say you cant.

    2.) I'm a little confused as to what functionality you expect from Smart DJ that Pandora has. Doesn't Pandora create stations based on what you type in? Artist, song, etc.?
  15. Rhody#WP's Avatar
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    #15  
    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Carpenter View Post
    1.) You can still download full albums. Seemed like you were trying to say you cant.
    I didn't mean to imply that. I meant that in today's culture, people don't go to the CD store and buy an album. Kids today seem to hear a song they like and just want that one song.

    2.) I'm a little confused as to what functionality you expect from Smart DJ that Pandora has. Doesn't Pandora create stations based on what you type in? Artist, song, etc.?
    Pandora and Slacker allow you to add multiple artists or songs to a station and then ban artists or songs you don't like. They fine tune your stations as you like and dislike songs. They learn about you as you use them. SmartDJ is not nearly as smart as Pandora or Slacker.
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  16. iamtim's Avatar
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       #16  
    Quote Originally Posted by Shobiz View Post
    I won't upgrade to the new phones until this is ironed out.
    As far as I can tell, and what my testing has supported, is that if you have your music local it syncs problem free. Using the Zune app, drag-and-drop, and the Windows Phone app I synced not only music bought using the Zune software, but MP3s out of my iTunes collection. The problem only seems to occur with streaming "Zune Music Pass" subscriptions.
  17. SoloXCRacer's Avatar
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    #17  
    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Carpenter View Post
    The point is, you can do everything you need to from the phone. You don't need a computer for anything.
    Except that you can't. There's a lot of dissatisfied customers being vocal on the interwebs. XBox Music and syncing is broken. It does not work. Period. This just one thread that documents the MANY issues that users are having.

    Master List Of Issues With XBox Music On WP8 - Microsoft Community

    The Zune software synced music, videos, pictures, podcasts, etc. It did a fine job of doing that with my WP7 devices. Now they got rid of that, and created these stupid connector apps that are still in beta that crash all the time. There's Windows Media Player, and regular file transferring. What MS did was kill off a great syncing app that did a great job of doing everything and then replaced it with multiple apps that don't do everything, and of top of that, do what they do very poorly. It's more than just music. Read through the threads.

    Personally speaking for myself. I don't give a flying !@#$ about XBox Music, Pandora, Spotify, or streaming music. I don't listen to music that way. I have my own library of music I listen to. If I like something I'll buy it and download it. And I expect to put it on all my devices with very little to no effort. I don't want it eating up my data plan through streaming. When I want to listen to a certain song or album, I don't want to run a situation in where I have a crappy connection or I can't download it locally because I'm on a plane or whatever. It's pretty simple really. They should have just kept the software, renamed it to whatever they wanted, updated the logos, and added support for WP8 devices. WP7 never had issues like the ones described and it certainly did not completely screw up the metadata on my music library. Wrong album art, wrong artist names, wrong song titles, wrong track orders, etc, etc, etc. The Zune software never did any of that.
  18. #18  
    I just got my Lumia 920 in the mail (after having a Samsung focus for 2 years). I'm confused at how I"m supposed to get my Xbox subscription music on my phone.

    Is the only way to download it wirelessly? I ask because on my Samsung Focus it seemed that if I downloaded music over the air it would download a (noticeably) low quality version. Is that different in wp8?
  19. #19  
    Quote Originally Posted by Rhody#WP View Post
    I didn't mean to imply that. I meant that in today's culture, people don't go to the CD store and buy an album. Kids today seem to hear a song they like and just want that one song.



    Pandora and Slacker allow you to add multiple artists or songs to a station and then ban artists or songs you don't like. They fine tune your stations as you like and dislike songs. They learn about you as you use them. SmartDJ is not nearly as smart as Pandora or Slacker.
    The multiple artists.... ok, wasn't aware of that. And that is very useful.

    As for liking and disliking songs, have you taken any notice to the "heart" icon above the repeat and shuffle icons? It has 3 settings: a full heart, empty heart, and broken heart. I'm guessing that these might mean: like, mutual, dislike. I know nothing about it and I'm curious myself. It would make sense to me that they influence Smart DJ.
  20. gsquared's Avatar
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    #20  
    Quote Originally Posted by Matthew Shapiro View Post
    I just got my Lumia 920 in the mail (after having a Samsung focus for 2 years). I'm confused at how I"m supposed to get my Xbox subscription music on my phone.

    Is the only way to download it wirelessly? I ask because on my Samsung Focus it seemed that if I downloaded music over the air it would download a (noticeably) low quality version. Is that different in wp8?
    Unfortunately Zune DRM music and WP8 do not play nicely together. You will need to download the music directly to the phone or if using Win8 download to the PC again and sync to the phone.

    Though WP8 is going in this direction, you still have the option to not use the cloud. There are a few steps you will need to take in advance to keep you from having a mess on your hands.

    First, turn off Xbox Music cloud collection on the phone. There is also a setting on the Xbox Music app for Win 8 PC that you will need to turn off. I'm not at a Win 8 PC atm and cannot remember the setting. Actually, I think there are two settings that need to be turned off on the PC side.

    Since WP8 now shows up as a mass storage device you have more options to sync the device than previously. I have used Media Monkey in the past and its a great program. Its not free though. I know this is incomplete but so is this whole topic.
  21. Rhody#WP's Avatar
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    #21  
    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Carpenter View Post
    As for liking and disliking songs, have you taken any notice to the "heart" icon above the repeat and shuffle icons? It has 3 settings: a full heart, empty heart, and broken heart. I'm guessing that these might mean: like, mutual, dislike. I know nothing about it and I'm curious myself. It would make sense to me that they influence Smart DJ.

    I use the heart icon just in case it does something. It used to be handy in that if you disliked a song, it would "unsync" that song the next time you connected your phone to your computer. I wonder if it has some equivalent function now. As far as it improving SmartDJ results, I haven't noticed a difference, but I admit I don't use SmartDJ very much. I'm curious if people have noticed improved SmartDJ results after using the heart icon over a period of time.

    I still would like more customizable SmartDJ stations. On Slacker, I have a work channel, a heavy music channel, and a channel for my girlfriend. Each is seeded with many bands that define the station, each is very different from the others, and each gets better and better the more I listen and rate songs. Slacker also allows me to customize what gets played on a channel. SmartDJ is like Pandora or Slacker for beginners.
  22. runam0k's Avatar
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    #22  
    Quote Originally Posted by Rhody#WP View Post
    I know it hurts, but they are trying to phase out your way of syncing. For a person just now being introduced to mobile music, Xbox Music makes a lot of sense. They will not even bother with the USB cable or the terrible WP sync software. They will just wait until their library populates on their phone and then they will stream their music. If they listen to a song often enough, they will hold down on that song to select "download." That's it. They will never even contemplate tethering their phone to a PC.
    Which I understand, but the feature set still isn't up to par when compared to e.g. Spotify (not that there's a WP8 app for that!).

    First, streaming is not always possible (it's not always good - often long pauses between tracks, etc). Unlimited data is certainly not the norm and what about periods of limited/zero reception or expensive data roaming? In short, people need to be able to manage the music on their phone quickly and easily. Drag and drop doesn't really cut it IMO, so you either use the awful sync app (and even then, selecting music is a pain) or you download directly to the phone (where you have to select each track from a long list of songs sorted only in alpha order). Why not just sync/download whole playlists of songs?

    Second, virtually all my listening is done on a WP8 phone... and yet nothing I do on the phone seems to sync to the cloud or my other devices - it doesn't seem to note the songs I stream to or download to or delete from my phone, nor do the heart/full heart/broken heart ratings sync. Managing playlists on the phone is impossible too.

    It all adds up to an unreasonably difficult and disappointing experience. It should just work, but it doesn't. I will not be renewing my Xbox Music sub, put it that way. I am left praying Spotify bothers to make an app for WP8!
  23. #23  
    Quote Originally Posted by gsquared View Post
    Unfortunately Zune DRM music and WP8 do not play nicely together. You will need to download the music directly to the phone or if using Win8 download to the PC again and sync to the phone.

    Though WP8 is going in this direction, you still have the option to not use the cloud. There are a few steps you will need to take in advance to keep you from having a mess on your hands.

    First, turn off Xbox Music cloud collection on the phone. There is also a setting on the Xbox Music app for Win 8 PC that you will need to turn off. I'm not at a Win 8 PC atm and cannot remember the setting. Actually, I think there are two settings that need to be turned off on the PC side.

    Since WP8 now shows up as a mass storage device you have more options to sync the device than previously. I have used Media Monkey in the past and its a great program. Its not free though. I know this is incomplete but so is this whole topic.
    Man what a mess :-/. So does music downloaded directly on the phone download at a lower bitrate than Zune?
  24. tk-093's Avatar
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    #24  
    Quote Originally Posted by iamtim View Post
    The problem only seems to occur with streaming "Zune Music Pass" subscriptions.
    Zune/XBox music pass isn't streaming... well, you can stream, but what we are talking about is you download song to your machine just like you would if you paid $.99 for it. It's a normal music file, it just has DRM on it so you can only play it on Zunes, or Windows Phone 7 or Windows Phone 8.
  25. Bryan_J's Avatar
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    #25  
    Quote Originally Posted by SoloXCRacer View Post
    Personally speaking for myself. I don't give a flying !@#$ about XBox Music, Pandora, Spotify, or streaming music. I don't listen to music that way. I have my own library of music I listen to. If I like something I'll buy it and download it. And I expect to put it on all my devices with very little to no effort. I don't want it eating up my data plan through streaming. When I want to listen to a certain song or album, I don't want to run a situation in where I have a crappy connection or I can't download it locally because I'm on a plane or whatever. It's pretty simple really. They should have just kept the software, renamed it to whatever they wanted, updated the logos, and added support for WP8 devices. WP7 never had issues like the ones described and it certainly did not completely screw up the metadata on my music library. Wrong album art, wrong artist names, wrong song titles, wrong track orders, etc, etc, etc. The Zune software never did any of that.
    I think I love you lol.

    I agree with every single thing you've written. This music system they've gone and created is just plain bad. Way to go MS... you took something that was elegant, simple and flexible and made it like getting a colonoscopy performed by a jackhammer dipped in lemon juice and salt.
    Neibl and jptbay like this.
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