1. Xarok's Avatar
    Hello

    I'm looking to dive in to Xbox Music and pick up a sub. I have a few questions first though and I'm comparing it to Spotify.

    One of the features that is important to me is downloading songs to listen offline. Where do the files download to? (On both PC and Windows Phone)
    I'm doubtful, but will I be able to use these files like I would any normal mp3 file I own? I like to "own" music to use in video editing and mix in DJ software, but like I say I doubt I would be able to do this with the "offline download feature".

    I'm currently buying songs individually, but think a subscription service would be more financially viable and offer me a wide range of music.

    Thanks
    08-02-2014 09:06 AM
  2. Alex Rodriguez Jr.'s Avatar
    You only own the music as long as your subscription is active. Some of us are grandfathered into a plan where we get to permanently own songs.
    08-02-2014 09:08 AM
  3. berty6294's Avatar
    When you download a song for offline listening as part of a subscription service like Xbox Music, the file itself has DRM on it. What this means for you, that audio file can only be played with selected devices for a selected period of time (both of those being up to Microsoft and your subscription). Xbox Music can only be played on Windows Phones, Xboxs, Windows via Xbox Music or Zune (I believe WMP will play them as well) or Zune MP3 players. It will not work with your DJ software or other MP3 players.
    08-02-2014 09:12 AM
  4. Ebuka Allison's Avatar
    On windows phone devices, music apps that use XNA can play Xbox Music DRM. Those that don't, can't. Especially the new 8.1 win RT APPS (One Music, ModernMusic, VLC)
    08-02-2014 09:24 AM
  5. Xarok's Avatar
    Thank you guys, I did assume there would be some sort of DRM system so people cant just "take" the music.

    How does this compare to Spotify if anyone knows? I'm assuming its a similar system but it may be more relaxed, as in I could use the downloaded songs in another music player i.e. DJ software
    08-02-2014 09:30 AM
  6. berty6294's Avatar
    Sorry, never used Spotify. I've been using Xbox Music/Zune Pass for probably 6 years or more now.
    08-02-2014 10:52 AM
  7. onlysublime's Avatar
    Spotify is klunky in the Windows and Windows Phone world. On Windows, you're expected to run it in the browser.

    If you want a smoother, more integrated experience for a Windows world, really check out Xbox Music. In Windows 8/8.1 and WP8/8.1, it downloads to your default Music folder/library. So for my desktop, it's set to drive G (not going to waste my SSD on music!!!). On my Surface Pro 2 and Surface RT, it's set to my microSD cards.

    Now, your cloud collection is synchronized between all your devices. But you can download individually for each platform (because maybe your phone doesn't have as much storage as your HDD?).

    Note there is a limit of 4 machines per subscription for unlimited downloading. So I have 2 Windows Phones (521 and Icon), a Surface Pro 2, a Surface RT, and my 2 desktop PCs. So right now, I cannot get unlimited downloading any all my machines. I had to pick and choose. For the machines left out, they can only stream (so one of my desktops and my Surface RT are the streamers).

    My 521 is used as an MP3 player, my biking computer, and my offline GPS. My Icon is my daily phone. My Surface RT only has 32 GB onboard and a 64 GB microSD so space is at a premium so I stream on that. My secondary desktop is always connected to the Internet so streaming is fine.

    The Xbox's do not count against your 4 machines. But they cannot download the songs either. Streaming only.
    08-04-2014 11:07 PM
  8. Xarok's Avatar
    Spotify is klunky in the Windows and Windows Phone world. On Windows, you're expected to run it in the browser.

    If you want a smoother, more integrated experience for a Windows world, really check out Xbox Music. In Windows 8/8.1 and WP8/8.1, it downloads to your default Music folder/library. So for my desktop, it's set to drive G (not going to waste my SSD on music!!!). On my Surface Pro 2 and Surface RT, it's set to my microSD cards.

    Now, your cloud collection is synchronized between all your devices. But you can download individually for each platform (because maybe your phone doesn't have as much storage as your HDD?).

    Note there is a limit of 4 machines per subscription for unlimited downloading. So I have 2 Windows Phones (521 and Icon), a Surface Pro 2, a Surface RT, and my 2 desktop PCs. So right now, I cannot get unlimited downloading any all my machines. I had to pick and choose. For the machines left out, they can only stream (so one of my desktops and my Surface RT are the streamers).

    My 521 is used as an MP3 player, my biking computer, and my offline GPS. My Icon is my daily phone. My Surface RT only has 32 GB onboard and a 64 GB microSD so space is at a premium so I stream on that. My secondary desktop is always connected to the Internet so streaming is fine.

    The Xbox's do not count against your 4 machines. But they cannot download the songs either. Streaming only.
    I am currently using a 30 day trial of Spotify premium, and yes, the WP app is quite bad. It randomly crashes, its slow and unresponsive, It doesn't show "music", only playlists, so I had to go through all songs I added to "music" on the desktop and add it to the "starred" playlist so it would appear on my phone.

    I will definitely try a month of xbox music and see how it is, im sure it will be a better experience.

    I am quite surprised how many obscure songs xbox music actually has that I searched for, very pleased. And its cheaper than Spotify premium :)

    The only thing I am hesitant about is if I actually want to pay monthly for streaming considering I would really like to own the mp3 files and do what I want with them.. :/
    08-06-2014 08:02 AM
  9. RTGent's Avatar
    On my fifth year with Zune/Xbox Music, and I'm highly satisfied with the selection I have for my diverse and extensive music tastes, and I'm much more often surprised by what I find, than not find, in expanding my collection, in both breath and depth. To "do what you want" with tracks, with any service, you have to buy the tracks. Evidently, you've already done some of this: you may want to target a set of 10-20 artists and see, first, how complete your selections would be with each service, and, secondly, what price differences there may be for your sample. The other key factor is reliability. I truly, very rarely, have interruptions or other issues with Xbox streaming, purchasing, account matters, etc. For this, reports like mine and The Ambassador's are probably your best data.

    Xbox downloads are in the form of protected 192Kbps WMA files; when purchased, they convert to 320Kbps MP3s. They play beautifully in both forms.
    08-06-2014 09:26 AM
  10. jmshub's Avatar
    In the past, I have been able to use the DRMed WMA tracks and import them into DJ software.
    08-06-2014 09:41 AM

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