Saturday, December 29, 2012

Playing your Music in Windows 8 and Windows RT

Music playback in the Windows ecosystem is actually quite confusing. There were many changes on the overall offering and applications used to play your local music and stream music from online services. Zune is supposed to be gone in Windows 8 (it certainly is in Windows RT, but I’m still able to run it in desktop mode in Windows 8). Now we have Xbox music, which is an “evolution” of the Xbox Hub Application/Service converging with Windows 8, Windows RT and Windows Phone.

Now, we know it is a transitioning time for Windows, there are doing their best to get it right and think about how people might be using computers and devices in the next decade, but sometimes, you can’t just understand why the damn thing is so freaking confusing.

So, for starters, here’s how you add your beloved music collection to the Windows Store Music app (I mean, adding your local mp3 collection to the app, so you can play your songs in your local machine).

  1. Go to desktop mode by selecting the Desktop tile at the Windows 8/RT Start screen.
  2. Open Windows Explorer.
  3. Under Libraries on the left menu, select Music.
  4. Select Manage tab on the ribbon.
  5. Select Manage Library on the tab at the top.
  6. Select the Add button.
  7. Select the folder where your music is stored, and then select Include Folder.

In my case, I have the default Windows “My Music” folder inside the Music Library. I included my local music collection folder at the same level. Once this is done, you can go to your Start screen and run the Music app. All your local music should be listed there.

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Make sure to check the settings on the Music app (swipe from the right border into the screen to bring the Charms Bar and then select Settings, or move your mouse to the top or bottom right corners of the screen). The idea is to keep all your devices in sync, making sure that if you buy a song from Xbox Music service, all devices download the song.

I’ll try to keep posting more about the Music Windows ecosystem, as soon as I can figure out all this crazy stuff! Here is a link to the Windows site if you feel brave enough to take a look.

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