Music + videos

Synchronising music FAQ

  • The Zune software used with Windows Phone 7 was designed to manage all of your media in one place. Windows Phone 8 is more flexible. You can get your music from the cloud using Xbox Music Pass, connect to your computer and move music files onto your phone in several different ways, or insert an SD card containing song files into your phone (if your phone supports an SD card).

    There are three different Windows Phone apps for your computer that you can use to move music files to your phone: the Windows Phone app for Windows 8, the Windows Phone app for desktop (which works on both Windows 7 and Windows 8 PCs) and the Windows Phone app for Mac. To learn more about how to use the apps, see Synchronising and moving.

    Unlike the Zune software, the Windows Phone apps are used only for adding and removing content. You don't buy or download music in the apps, and you can't use them to create playlists. Now you can do that sort of thing on the phone or in the Xbox Music app for Windows 8. You can also use a different app, like iTunes or Windows Media Player, to do those sorts of things, then use the Windows Phone app to move the content to your phone.

    You can also move music files from your PC to your phone using Windows Explorer (called File Explorer in some versions of Windows) and Windows Media Player. When you connect your phone to your computer, your phone will appear in Windows Explorer as a storage device. You can navigate to your phone's Music folder (or the Music folder on your phone's SD card, if it has one), then drag files to it from your PC. Your phone will also appear in Windows Media Player as a portable media player, then you can use the sync features in Media Player to move music and playlists to your phone.

    For more information about copying files using Windows Explorer or synchronising files with Windows Media Player, go to the Windows website and search in the How-to section.

    If your phone supports an SD card, you can also add song files by putting them on the SD card (using Windows Explorer) and then inserting the SD card into your phone.

    Note

    If you move songs that are protected with digital rights management (DRM) to your phone using Windows Explorer or Windows Media Player, you won't be able to listen to them. You'll need to use one of the Windows Phone apps instead.

  • Xbox Music is a cloud-based music service, so you don't physically connect to a PC to sync music. If you have an Xbox Music Pass, which requires a monthly fee, then you can stream or download music on your phone. If you don't have a pass, you can still buy music from the Xbox Music Store.

    If you use Windows 8 and have an Xbox Music Pass, you can manage your music in the Windows 8 Music app, and changes there will automatically sync to your phone as a cloud collection. Cloud collection songs appear on your phone in the Music + Videos Hub, but there are no actual song files on your phone. You can tell that a song is in your cloud collection by the cloud streaming icon Cloud streaming icon that appears next to it.

    For example, if you create a playlist using songs from the Xbox Music catalogue on your Windows 8 PC, the playlist and the songs in it will then appear on your phone in the Music + Videos Hub. If you make changes to the playlist in the Windows 8 Music app, the playlist on your phone will automatically change too.

    Cloud collection songs can be streamed over a mobile or WiFi connection, or you can download them as files to your phone – just tap and hold a song, then tap Download (or tap the Select Select button button to choose several songs at once).

    Of course, you don't necessarily have to use the cloud collection on your phone. If you want to see only the music files that you have stored on your phone, you can go to Settings Settings icon, flick to Applications, tap Music + Videos, then turn off Xbox Music cloud collection.

    Notes

    • You can use Xbox Music on a limited number of devices at the same time. If you've reached the limit, you can always remove a device to make room for a new one.
    • If you have an active Zune Pass subscription associated with the same Microsoft account that you use for Windows Phone 8, then you will automatically have an Xbox Music Pass subscription on your phone.
    • Xbox Music Pass and the cloud collection work only with Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8. Windows Phone 7 users should continue to use the Zune software to manage their media.
    • To save battery life and reduce data usage, the phone checks for new cloud content periodically. If you want to check for new content immediately, tap the Start Start button button, then tap Music + Videos Music+Videos icon to refresh the Music + Videos Hub.
  • If you have a Zune Pass subscription and downloaded songs protected with digital rights management (DRM), then you can listen to them on your phone. You need to move the songs to the phone using one of the Windows Phone apps and the Microsoft account on your phone must be the same as the one used for your Zune Pass on your PC.

    Once the songs are on your phone, Xbox Music will check to make sure that you have permission to play the songs. If you have added a lot of music with DRM, it may take a while to get permission – there's a chance that you'll get an error if you try to listen to a song with DRM immediately after putting it on your phone. You can help speed up the process by connecting to WiFi.

    Notes

    • If you move songs that are protected with digital rights management (DRM) to your phone using Windows Explorer or Windows Media Player, then you won't be able to listen to them. You need to use one of the Windows Phone apps instead.
    • If you have an active Zune Pass subscription associated with the same Microsoft account that you use for Windows Phone 8, then you automatically have an Xbox Music Pass subscription on your phone. You can always download music directly to your phone instead of moving files from your PC.
  • If you have existing playlists that you've created in Zune, Windows Media Player or iTunes, you can add them to your phone's collection using either the Windows Phone app for desktop or the Windows Phone app for Mac. Connect your phone to your computer, go to Music > Playlists in either of the apps, select the playlists you want, then click Sync.

    For more information about using a Windows Phone app to sync playlists, see Synchronising with your Windows 7 or Windows 8 PC or Synchronising with your Mac.

    Note

    If a synced playlist includes songs that are protected with digital rights management (DRM), you might not be able to play those songs on your phone. See "Can I listen to music from my Zune Pass subscription on my phone?" in this FAQ for more information about DRM in Zune and Xbox Music.

  • If you have a PC running Windows XP or Windows Vista, you can move music files from your PC to your phone using Windows Explorer (called File Explorer in some versions of Windows) or Windows Media Player. If your phone supports an SD card, you can also add song files by putting them on the SD card (using Windows Explorer) and then inserting the SD card into your phone.

    When you connect your phone to your computer, your phone will appear in Windows Explorer as a storage device. You can navigate to your phone's Music folder (or the Music folder on your phone's SD card, if it has one), then drag files to it from your PC. Your phone will also appear in Windows Media Player as a portable media player, then you can use the sync features in Media Player to move music and playlists to your phone.

    For more information about copying files using Windows Explorer or synchronising files with Windows Media Player, go to the Windows website and search in the How-to section.

    Notes

    • If you move songs that are protected with digital rights management (DRM) to your phone using Windows Explorer, Windows Media Player or an SD card, then you won't be able to listen to them. However, if you have an active Zune Pass subscription associated with the same Microsoft account that you use for Windows Phone 8, then you will automatically have an Xbox Music Pass subscription on your phone and you can download the songs with DRM directly to your phone.
    • To use Windows Explorer in Windows XP, your PC must have SP2 installed. To use Media Player to sync with your phone, your PC must have SP2 and Windows Media Player 10 installed.
  • If your computer is having trouble detecting your phone, see Windows Phone 8 is not detected by your computer for help on how to fix the issue.

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