dmmontal
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Master List Of Issues With XBox Music On WP8

[Eli - The below post was expertly managed by dmmontal, to help us move forward with investigations and notify you of resolutions we are going to close and split this thread up into smaller more easily managed threads.  You will notice below each category of issues is now linked to a thread.  Please use those threads to provide more details on those specific issues.  Please also make sure you select the "Me Too" icon, to help us show the impact. Thank you, Eli A.]

 

After seeing the multitude of similar complaints about the XBox Music experience on WP8, I decided to try to make a single list that summarizes many of the key issues. If you feel strongly about Microsoft correcting this experience, please feel free to add a post below. If this list grows at all I will try to keep it updated in the original post.

Like many other users I am frustrated by the removal of key features that were available and worked properly in the Zune software. Many of the issues below reflect this.

If you feel strongly about these issues, please cast your vote to keep Zune (or a re-branded Zune-like substitute) as the media manager for WP8: suggestion


UPDATE - 1/29/13:
The below post from Eli M. was edited, and subsequently marked as the Answer to this thread by Greg8.0 at Microsoft. The reasoning stated that though it was not actually answered, they wanted to show that Microsoft is responding to the thread.

I have unmarked this thread as being Answered, and instead opted to post these updates in the OP. While we can all agree that we appreciate any response from Microsoft, the thread should remain Unanswered until we actually begin receiving improved functionality through updates, or clear descriptions of when/what fixes will be made.



UPDATE - 1/15/13:

Eli M. from Microsoft responded to this thread on Page 23. He thanked us for the support and feedback, and said the team would provide updates as they became available. He announced that the WP Desktop App had a new version, though most users on this thread were able to discern no improved functionality.


Sorting/Management

- Device only sorts albums by Name, not Date (WP7 devices sorted albums by date). Can we have an on-device option to choose? Any other sort options (i.e. sort by Album Artist) would also be very useful.

- Cannot delete entire folders on phone at once (i.e. delete an entire Album, Artist, etc.) – can only check off and delete individual songs. WP7 did at least allow for the manual deletion of complete albums, playlists, etc. 


Podcasts

- Few, if any options, for Podcast management. Many podcast features stripped from WP7. Syncing Podcasts is difficult and often does not display in Podcasts section, similar to issues syncing with Playlists.

- Not possible to add Podcasts to the Xbox Music+Video hub by RSS url. Used to be able to add to WP7 using the Zune software. 

- Podcast playback position forgotten by device when switching to any other app that uses volume control (i.e. YouTube). 

- Occasionally volume control in Podcasts ceases to function (though continues to work in other apps that use volume), requiring a device reboot or other odd workarounds.


Metadata

- "Connect with XBox Music" option in Settings: if ticked on, this option will often completely overwrite existing user-defined metadata (i.e. album name, artist name, artwork, track listing, etc.) with incorrect info, for instance the wrong artist, track names, etc. In some cases it is even splitting albums in multiple parts. There is no option to only fill in missing info, as there was in Zune with WP7.

(edit: more on this specificly at this thread)

- Even with "Connect with XBox Music" option ticked, Album/Artist Artwork often does not download where missing, or wrong artwork is downloaded.

- WP8 device does not recognize any metadata for Multiple Discs, Song Ratings, Release Date, etc from existing music collections. Albums with multiple discs display tracks in order of 1,1,2,2,3,3, etc. instead of 1,2,3,1,2,3, etc. WP7 usually correctly recognized all data, and accurately reflected (synced) metadata between device and PC.


WP8 Sync App
- "Syncing" functions are very basic - virtually non-existent compared to the rich sync experience in Zune or even iTunes. 

- No icon indicating if media is currently on device or not. Have to navigate all the way back to the home screen of the app and click on a whole different subset of folders to see what media is on your device. 

- No manual syncing or management of Playlists. Cannot generate auto-playlists, like in Zune. 

- No visible folder hierarchy in navigation. 

- Very few options to actually manage media library.


WP8 Desktop App

- "Syncing" functions are very basic - virtually non-existent compared to the rich sync experience in Zune or even iTunes. 

- Can transfer Playlists, but they show up empty on device.

- Can only transfer at Artist/Album level, not Song level.

- Nothing to indicate what media is already on device or not.

- Software needs to scan entire media library every time it is launched. 

- If syncing to micro SD card, there is often a bug displaying multiple instances of the same song, even though there should be only one on the device.

- UI is totally spartan, lacks any sort of helpful options or organizational tools, such as seeing song ratings (or songs for that matter) and only syncing songs with positive ratings. Cannot use this software to manage actual media library on PC, alter metadata, etc.


Subscription

- Cannot transfer subscription content from Zune Pass to WP8 device - understood this is because these two systems use different DRM, however re-downloading previous Zune subscription content through XBox Music is a nightmare. XBox Music downloads incorrect music, including tracks that were never part of user's library. It also downloads doubles of non-subscription DRM-free songs that are already on user's PC, as well as any songs that the user once had in their subscription folder even if they deleted them long ago.

- WP8 devices don't seem to understand the difference between locally stored content and subscription Cloud content in many instances - music player often stutters while searching for Cloud content, even though the content is stored locally on the WP8 device. Other issues include "unable to play" error messages for DRM-free content that should work.

- Cannot rate streaming XBox Music content. 


Performance

- Sluggish delay (approx. 2 seconds) when navigating music library, skipping songs, loading songs, etc. on WP8 device. 

- Huge lag when using Play Music (shuffle all) button on device (or generally when playing large numbers of tracks) - audio plays after 5-10 seconds, but actual device completely locks up (becomes unresponsive to all touch/hardware input) for 30-60 seconds before regaining responsiveness.

- When shuffling all (or, again, when playing large numbers of tracks), there is a delay (approx. 2 seconds) when skipping tracks.

- Performance issues seem to be made worse when music is stored and read off of expandable memory (making the addition of expandable memory options to WP8 a fairly useless feature). However issues are still present (to a slightly lesser extent) when reading music off of internal device memory.

- Note that NONE of these performance issues existed on WP7, even when playing the same large number of tracks all at once, and/or using the shuffle all function.

MackBaczynski
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MackBaczynski replied on

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MS.... any comments would be appreciated here. Surely this is frustrating internally to those I know are using WP. Is this even being worked on? As others have stated, if I don't get any indication this will be fixed, I'll return my phone and switch to an iPhone. Its pretty simply. You've made a pretty great OS and put it on great hardware, but you removed an essential component that actually made me switch to WP in the first place. Syncing and the music app on WP7 so so intuitive I couldn't help but make fun on my friends who tried to manage music on the other platforms. Now I'm eating my words and cannot recommend WP to anyone who enjoys music (ie... most every soul in the world.)



Update History:

http://support.xbox.com/xbox-on-other-devices/windows-phone-8/music-video-release-details


Entegy
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Entegy replied on

I support and confirm all of this except for the last two points in the performance section (since I don't see it, but some people do). Sheesh, I didn't even realize multidisc sorting got broken (yet again!) until you mentioned it. So now we have Windows Media Player, a specific view in the Zune software (collection>music>songs, sort on album) and WP8 that can't do multidisc sorting of albums properly.

A mention of the suggestion to bring back Zune should probably go somewhere, which solves a lot of syncing problems.

 

My personal take: Scrap the desktop sync app and make a Zune 5, rebranded if needed to support new Xbox Music. It supports the syncing functions of Zune 4.8 and Windows Phone 7 (so this includes Music, podcasts, videos and auto-backup of camera roll/saved pictures/screenshots to the computer, update play counts, update song ratings and WiFi sync). Also have a one-click button to upgrade the DRM/redownload everything in the Subscription folder to match the changes made to Xbox Music.

Sync app for Windows RT is needed. Keep it.

Those who hated Zune still have the option of manual copy/paste.

 

I love the expanded selection of music that Xbox Music brought (and yay more artist pictures!) but it's really frustrating to have to remember to download a copy of new music to Zune on my PC and a copy on my phone separately. :(

"No matter where you are, everyone is connected"
dmmontal
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dmmontal replied on

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Much appreciated on the support. I think your reaction reaffirms my reasoning for creating this thread - that being there are so many individual complaints in separate threads that people are not even aware yet of all the issues together (I'm sure there are things I haven't noticed yet either).

You're probably right on the performance issues - I do believe this may be specific to me or my device (Nokia Lumia 822). I will leave it up for a while and see if anybody responds to those points.

Very good point on the suggestion to bring Zune back - I had meant to include that originally but forgot to copy the link.

It seems most people are in agreement that the best option would be to simply re-brand the Zune software as XBox Music, and use that as the desktop sync application. I wholeheartedly agree with all your suggestions in your personal take. I don't think anybody cares what it is called, as long as it functions just as well as the Zune software. I'll put it this way:

iPhone users have one piece of software (iTunes) that lets them listen to music, download music, manage their music collections (whether local or cloud), truly sync (not just transfer) media AND playlists with their device, and manage files on their device. We used to have this software - it was called Zune. The "replacements" do not even come close to matching the functionality we used to have.
SoloXCRacer
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SoloXCRacer replied on

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I'd also add, in regards with XBox Music connection turned on, that not only does it override the artist, album, song metadata, it overrides it with WRONG information at times.  Worse case scenario, it incorrectly identifies the artist and/or album name, so everything about that album is 100% wrong.  And other times it "splits the album in half" because on some songs the artist name is different.  Example:  

Artist:  Seventh Wonder
Album: Mercy Falls
Contains Tracks 1 - 15.

XBox Music will override with incorrect info.  So now there's "two" albums because of incorrect artist names in some songs:

Artist: Seventh Wonder
Album: Mercy Falls
Contains Tracks 1, 3, 5

Artist: 7th Wonder (incorrect spelling of the band name)
Album: Mercy Falls
Contains Tracks 2, 4, 7 - 15

This happens to several of albums in my music library with other artists.

dmmontal
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dmmontal replied on

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Thanks a lot - I've updated the master list with a couple additional notes to include the specifics you've suggested.

Come to think of it I did also have this issue with album, which was split into two separate albums labeled Disc 1 and Disc 2. For whatever reason it kept the Album Artist info, but changed the Contributing Artist on each track to the actual track name. And for me in this case the changes are permanent - even deleting the album from the WP8 device and re-adding it while "Connect with XBox Music" was ticked off did not correct the info. I even tried using my ID Tag editing software, but the tag shows correct on my computer. It seems XBox Music has simply decided that this album is as it is telling me even though the metadata says otherwise.
Entegy
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Entegy replied on

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When I had enough of the metadata nonsense, I ended up clearing all my music from the device, turning off Connect to Xbox and cloud features for Xbox Music and resyncing it from my local computer. I also started another suggestion to quit messing with the metadata because it's clear that it doesn't work. This is not a problem unique to Xbox Music though. No auto-matching service has ever properly worked and likes to overwrite good metadata with what it thinks is correct. The problem is more apparent on compilations, "foreign" and obscure music.

 

The only beneficial feature that comes from Connect to Xbox for me at this point is artist pictures, which I discovered I could still download by going to the store, choosing an artist, then downloading a random song from them. This adds the artist picture to the local Music + Videos Hub until that artist is completely deleted from the phone. :)

"No matter where you are, everyone is connected"
dmmontal
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dmmontal replied on

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When I had enough of the metadata nonsense, I ended up clearing all my music from the device, turning off Connect to Xbox and cloud features for Xbox Music and resyncing it from my local computer. I also started another suggestion to quit messing with the metadata because it's clear that it doesn't work. This is not a problem unique to Xbox Music though. No auto-matching service has ever properly worked and likes to overwrite good metadata with what it thinks is correct. The problem is more apparent on compilations, "foreign" and obscure music.

 

The only beneficial feature that comes from Connect to Xbox for me at this point is artist pictures, which I discovered I could still download by going to the store, choosing an artist, then downloading a random song from them. This adds the artist picture to the local Music + Videos Hub until that artist is completely deleted from the phone. :)

Thanks for the info. I can't speak for other music services, however this was not an issue using the Zune software. As stated in the above posts, the Zune software had a feature you could tick to "only fill missing information". If you had this option ticked the service would not alter any existing metadata - anything you had filled in would remain as you intended. It would only complete empty fields, such as downloading album artwork for an album you did not have artwork attached (it would not overwrite existing artwork if you had it). There is no such feature on XBox Music to only fill in missing info - it is either all or nothing, however the "all" option is essentially unusable for the reasons described.
poolc
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poolc replied on
Great List!

Ditto for me... After spending many frustrating days figuring out the best way to copy my large music and picture libraries to my Lumia 820 with 64GB micro SD card, I have now begun to actually use the Xbox Music App on the phone. I have experienced just about every issue listed except having my meta-data overwritten (or at least I have not noticed it yet).

Especially frustrating for me are:

  • All the documented Sync/App issues
  • Performance issues – I have all 3 of the listed issues exactly as described  (sluggish delays & hangs).
  • No background artwork + smart DJ button greyed out for huge portion of my music with no discernible pattern or reason why some show and others do not.
dmmontal
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dmmontal replied on

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Great List!

Ditto for me... After spending many frustrating days figuring out the best way to copy my large music and picture libraries to my Lumia 820 with 64GB micro SD card, I have now begun to actually use the Xbox Music App on the phone. I have experienced just about every issue listed except having my meta-data overwritten (or at least I have not noticed it yet).

Especially frustrating for me are:

  • All the documented Sync/App issues
  • Performance issues – I have all 3 of the listed issues exactly as described  (sluggish delays & hangs).
  • No background artwork + smart DJ button greyed out for huge portion of my music with no discernible pattern or reason why some show and others do not.
Thanks a lot, and thanks for contributing to the discussion here.

Not that I am happy this is happening to you, but I am somewhat relieved to know that I am not the only one experiencing the performance issues described.

If you have not yet experienced the metadata overwriting, and also your background artwork/smart DJ functions are not working, I'm guessing you may not have the "Connect With XBox Music" option ticked on under the Music settings on your device, as that setting manages all those things. Not that I'm suggesting you tick the option on - beware the metadata overwriting!

Unfortunately this and all of the other issues have prevented me (and it seems many others) from enjoying my WP8 very much. I am currently not using it for Music at all - instead of I've resynced all my Music to my old HTC Trophy running WP7.5 (which works perfectly) - so I am using the Trophy as an MP3 player and separately I'm using my Lumia 822 as a phone, which is pretty ridiculous. What a terrible drag. I am truly hoping Microsoft can correct these issues in the near future. I did not enjoy the media management experience on Droid either, so the only option if this doesn't work is to switch over to an iPhone environment (if you knew me at all you would know how desperate I am to even consider switching over to Apple).
Sven Johannsen
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Sven Johannsen replied on

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Agree with most everything there and have one sort of addition related to

- No icon indicating if media is currently on device or not. 

If it's on the device, play it from the device. Had an instance in poor connectivity conditions a track that was physically on my device would stutter and choke, as if trying to stream, until I turned off Cloud Collection altogether. Then it played fine. That setting is unfortunately kind of buried. It is also unfortunately where playlists are stored, so I can either have playlists, or consistant playback it seems.

MyEvilMonkeys
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MyEvilMonkeys replied on

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Agree with most everything there and have one sort of addition related to

- No icon indicating if media is currently on device or not. 

If it's on the device, play it from the device. Had an instance in poor connectivity conditions a track that was physically on my device would stutter and choke, as if trying to stream, until I turned off Cloud Collection altogether. Then it played fine. That setting is unfortunately kind of buried. It is also unfortunately where playlists are stored, so I can either have playlists, or consistant playback it seems.

Ditto.  I have had the exact same issue.  Although it is local content it seems to be attempting to stream it on my awful T-Mobile coverage and causes stuttering.
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