Free Xbox Music Pass now live for Windows 8 users

Microsoft sweetened the deal for all its potential Windows 8 users a few days ago when it announced that adopters of the new OS would get an unlimited free Xbox Music Pass. This is a good way for Microsoft to promote both its new OS and, perhaps more importantly, its new music service. The new Xbox Music rises from the ashes of the old Zune offering but brings much more - and it's consistent across the entire Microsoft ecosystem.

So if you're a Windows 8 user you might have noticed all of the updates for the first party apps that have been going on recently. One of them is for the Music app and if you haven't already updated you definitely should. Why? Well because this update brings the free music subscription that Microsoft mentioned a few days ago.

All you have to do after updating is to open the app, log in to your Microsoft account (in case it doesn't do it automatically) and start listening to music. There are no extra steps to go through which is really great - just open the app and go! The music you stream can also be added to your own music library of course, and you can also create smart playlists that incorporate both your own music and online offerings similar to what you're listening to. The only sign that you haven't actually bought these tracks is the cloud icon which you can see in the screenshot above. It actually resembles the Skydrive logo.

Being able to stream unlimited music out of the box is pretty awesome and should definitely sweeten the deal for those who are considering, but haven't decided yet on, a Windows 8 upgrade.

Thanks to our readers for the tip!

Report a problem with article
Previous Story

Trivia Tuesday: What if...

Next Story

Google Search app for Windows 8 launched

67 Comments

Commenting is disabled on this article.

Xbox Music on Windows 8 can't play Zune subscription downloaded WMA tracks.
Zune on Windows 8 can't play Xbox Music Pass downloaded tracks.

Well that sucks.

Not tested if my Lumia 800 can play the former yet but I doubt it.

Xbox 360 streaming via "Play To" doesn't work on Zune downloaded but does on Xbox Music/Unprotected.

Just to any UK people, updated my Music app via the charms - settings method and the new service is working for me. Shame my version of Win8 is only on my laptop (not upgraded my desktop yet) as the speakers on my laptop are quite rubbish

Munroe said,
Just to any UK people, updated my Music app via the charms - settings method and the new service is working for me. Shame my version of Win8 is only on my laptop (not upgraded my desktop yet) as the speakers on my laptop are quite rubbish

Update, strangely the "Add to my music" button doesn't work for the album, (just doesn't do anything) however I can add individual tracks to my music, for tracks that I do add, I don't see a cloud as specified in the article but a music note image.

I wish they could find a way to put an Xbox Music/Zune app on android. I'd love to go back to using their software, but my Zune HD died so i have to use spotify until a way opens up for me to listen to it on my android phone.

Tharp Daddy said,
I wish they could find a way to put an Xbox Music/Zune app on android. I'd love to go back to using their software, but my Zune HD died so i have to use spotify until a way opens up for me to listen to it on my android phone.

or just get a Windows Phone???

NerdyTech said,
I tried to install the music app (3 stars) from the app store. It says my computer doesn't meet the requirements????

same here. whats wrong there?

NerdyTech said,
I tried to install the music app (3 stars) from the app store. It says my computer doesn't meet the requirements????

I uninstalled it from my account a few weeks ago but on the same machine it is installed on a different user lol. I guess its a bug they need to fix

alexwichti said,
same here. whats wrong there?

Try going to the 'Your Apps' view in the Store app. It should show the Music app and allow you to install/update it. At least that's how I managed to circumvent the ARM-bug-thingy...

Music pass should be free with Xbox live gold. The music app has XBL account settings in the app. Not sure why that's their? $60+$99 = to much

Gotta be honest - they really improved the music app. I had to use Zune which kept me in the desktop. Obviously when I am doing research I'll stay in the desktop, but for browsing and "consuming" I like to stay in the new UI. I'll just snap the XBOX Music app to the side when I am writing stuff and creating stuff in the desktop, rather than using Zune at all.

Updated. Really enjoying this so far. Haven't found any limitations yet...
Looks like this is my new way to listen to music. Thumbs up!

Matthew_Thepc said,
Hey, can anybody confirm if it's working on the RP/CP? I know it works on the RTM, but I don't have a RP/CP device to test it out on

No, as they don't receive app updates.

TIP for EU users:

To Access the US Marketplace - Set your Regional Settings to USA on were your PC is located. Restart PC afterwards!

Works for me - I have full US Marketplace access -

Tryed this becouse there is a HP Printer Metro App that doesnt exist on the German Marketplace.

No VPN necessery!

Yours Truly

Val.

Valvaris said,
TIP for EU users:

To Access the US Marketplace - Set your Regional Settings to USA on were your PC is located. Restart PC afterwards!


This will only work if your Microsoft account is US based, you won't be able to log into your apps if it isn't.

Valvaris said,
TIP for EU users:

I'm using this method to access the US Windows (app) Store, but this method doesn't change anything with my music app.

majortom1981 said,
It says its only 30 day trial .Also its not for every song. only specific ones.
make sure you have the latest update for the music app, because the 30 day trial is for the old setup

dafin0 said,
make sure you have the latest update for the music app, because the 30 day trial is for the old setup

I have the latest one just updated and it still only lists 30 day

TruckWEB said,
Is it USA only?
working is Australia. im guessing if the Zune music service was in your country so should this be

TruckWEB said,
Is it USA only?

just updated the music app and its working in canada. listening to the new 3 days grace album right now

Spotify offers new users the same thing for six months then greatly restrict the amount of listening hours after that period. Again, only available on desktops like Xbox Music.

Premium sub is needed on phones like Xbox Music as well.

Laughable Gold sub is needed to use Xbox Music on Xbox even with a premium sub.

Basically, Xbox Music is Spotify, give or take.

I assume they'll stop this offer after a few months or so?

More importantly...I don't imagine they offer this in Aust yet -.-

UseLess said,
I assume they'll stop this offer after a few months or so?

More importantly...I don't imagine they offer this in Aust yet -.-

they do offer it in Australia, I've been using it since this afternoon

Jose_49 said,
Something to note. Not all Music works as playable. I have some that can be fully playable, others that don't.

Same here but most major artists seems to be included.

scumdogmillionaire said,
How is it unlimited free? What am I paying for as an actual paying user then? Somewhere there is a disconnect that you're not reporting.

You can listen to it on the 360 and Windows Phone. This only works for Windows 8.

scumdogmillionaire said,
How is it unlimited free? What am I paying for as an actual paying user then? Somewhere there is a disconnect that you're not reporting.
iv noticed it has some ads, fair trade i think

scumdogmillionaire said,

Ah, gotcha. Well that makes more sense. What were the ads for? Microsoft stuff?

it was an ad for the music pass or what ever they call it, ten seconds or so video

scumdogmillionaire said,
How is it unlimited free? What am I paying for as an actual paying user then? Somewhere there is a disconnect that you're not reporting.

unlimited for 6 months....

Jose_49 said,
I'm not seeing the music app update yet
in the app store go to settings (charm bar) and go to app updates to force it to check for updates

dafin0 said,
in the app store go to settings (charm bar) and go to app updates to force it to check for updates

Thank You. Did the trick.

just noticed this about 15min ago. i was a bit worried i was paying for music without knowing it so i did a bit of digging around on the net. from what iv read its only free for 6 months (still pretty dam good) after that it will only be free at set times or something like that.

Could someone post a screenshot how the music app looks with this xbox music service? Because I can't even see a clue for it. And there is no option to log in...

nyolc8 said,
Could someone post a screenshot how the music app looks with this xbox music service? Because I can't even see a clue for it. And there is no option to log in...

It's just the same! Have you updated your music app? To manually update go to store --> Charms --> Settings --> App updates --> check for updates, then install them!

ingramator said,

It's just the same! Have you updated your music app? To manually update go to store --> Charms --> Settings --> App updates --> check for updates, then install them!


I updated the music app, some options changed in the music app, the controls are smaller now on the now playing screen, etc... but there is no xbox music service at all.

Wait did I read that right? UNLIMITED?! Wow. That is awesome! Updated just before and enjoying the free pass! Thought it was just a promotional period!

ingramator said,
Wait did I read that right? UNLIMITED?! Wow. That is awesome! Updated just before and enjoying the free pass! Thought it was just a promotional period!

unlimited for 6 months, then 10hour free per month after that, unless you get a Pass for $9.99/month. It's actually a killer deal if you think about it. I think I'm correct on these points.

jimmyfal said,

unlimited for 6 months, then 10hour free per month after that, unless you get a Pass for $9.99/month. It's actually a killer deal if you think about it. I think I'm correct on these points.


Yes you are, it's only unlimited for the first 6 months..but hey that's still 6 whole months!

Timan said,
Free Halo 4 soundtrack, can't ask for anything more perfect

Meh, I just listened to it myself. Neil Davidge can't hold a candle to Martin O'Donnell. Free music pass is great though!

brent3000 said,
Its a shame this isnt going to be hitting Win7 users at all

There's many free music services on the net. I ain't worried.
Besides, I like downloading what I like, and I doubt XBOX Music would have anything I listen to.
Kinda sad that MS has just gotta intice people to actually downgrade to Windows 8.

brent3000 said,
Its a shame this isnt going to be hitting Win7 users at all

makes you wonder, if the start menu REALLY worth not upgrading. you think about that.

LUTZIFER said,
....intice people to actually downgrade to Windows 8.

Wow, that's a very childish comment.

Whether you like Metro or not (and it's easily avoidable given half a brain cell), the updates to OS itself and to the desktop are worth the price of admission alone

nyolc8 said,
I'm in the EU and updated the music app but no Xbox music

I should have learned by now that Neowin is USA based since they never specify where it is available so if it works for "me" it must be global.
Still Microsoft and Apple have probably the most horrid international support when compared to Google (they still don't have Google Music but at least many of their other services work).

I live in Romania which doesn't even have XBOX support although they keep selling it here. I had to become a "naturalized" US citizen to even make an account. I can't even buy apps from the app store.

If they expect piracy to go down at least get support to the countries that are more price aware.

SoulLance said,

I should have learned by now that Neowin is USA based since they never specify where it is available so if it works for "me" it must be global.
Still Microsoft and Apple have probably the most horrid international support when compared to Google (they still don't have Google Music but at least many of their other services work).

I live in Romania which doesn't even have XBOX support although they keep selling it here. I had to become a "naturalized" US citizen to even make an account. I can't even buy apps from the app store.

If they expect piracy to go down at least get support to the countries that are more price aware.


Neowin is EU based...
Only 40% of Neowin LLC is part of Stardock, but daily operations are done independently from Stardock.

GS:mac

SoulLance said,

I should have learned by now that Neowin is USA based since they never specify where it is available so if it works for "me" it must be global.
Still Microsoft and Apple have probably the most horrid international support when compared to Google (they still don't have Google Music but at least many of their other services work).

I live in Romania which doesn't even have XBOX support although they keep selling it here. I had to become a "naturalized" US citizen to even make an account. I can't even buy apps from the app store.

If they expect piracy to go down at least get support to the countries that are more price aware.

Unlike Nokia who are so global