Oct 23, 2012

Posted by in Tech Tips | 4 Comments

Migrating Zune Pass downloads into Xbox Music

Update 24/10/12: After leaving the Xbox Music client overnight it seems to have now “discovered” all my Zune pass music by itself so before trying the technique below you might want to try leaving it for a bit to see if it finds anything new (or reboot a few times).

Today (October 23rd) Microsoft released it’s update to the Xbox Music app for Windows 8 and for the first time have enabled the application for it’s “new” Xbox Music (more a rebrand of Zune Pass but if your reading this you knew that already).


While the app has a lot going for it there are some weak points and features that are still missing… Things like the lack of ability to view an Artist’s albums that you have downloaded from the “Explore artist” screen.


Anyway after playing about in the app for 5 minutes I noticed that my collection of music seemed significantly reduced from the collection I had in Zune. After a bit of experimentation it became clear that Xbox Music was only showing MP3’s or non-DRM files from my music libraries & that it wasn’t possible to play any Zune Pass content from the App. I assume they have changed the DRM process so that the files aren’t compatible between both apps any more.


At first glance this seems like a bit of a pain & that you might have lost all the hard work you put into your Zune collection but worry not, there is a fairly simple process you can use to make Xbox Music re-download (or stream) the collection that you have built up in Zune. Just follow the steps below and let me know how you get on….:


  • Open Zune and go to the “Collection” screen
  • Use the drop down filter to show only “Zune Pass content”


  • Click on the “Artists” column and select all (Ctrl+A)
  • Then repeat the process for the “Songs”
  • Right click on the songs and “add to playlist”


  • Make a new playlist called something like “Zune music”
  • The playlist needs to be saved in your Music Library so if it’s not go find it (you can see in Zune settings where it wants to store things) and copy it into the library
  • Next open on Xbox Music and navigate to the “My music” then “Playlists” screen


  • Swipe (or right click) from the bottom to get the context menu and choose “import playlists”


  • Accept the message and you should see your “Zune Music” playlist appear


  • You might also get some duplicates but you can right click to select and delete them


  • Now highlight (touch, or left click) on the “Zune Music” playlist
  • Have a quick scan up and down the list to make sure it looks like everything has been found (greyed out music can’t be matched online)


  • Click off the list of songs and then select your playlist using right click (or side swipe)
  • Bring up the bottom context menu & you should have the option to “Download”



This will now make Xbox Music go away and re-download all your old Zune Pass songs…

It will place them in your Music library in a folder called “Xbox Music\Xbox Music Pass”


Hope that helps a few people, do let me know how you get on or if you find a quicker way to do it!


  1. Xbox Music App does recognize DRM files ans is compatible with Zune as soon as you use the latest version of “Music App” from the store.
    Files downloaded from Zune or Music App are the same
    DRM licenses are different.

  2. I had no idea that the imported playlist had a “download” button, I’d hoped for one but hadn’t noticed it. You sir, have my thanks!

  3. This doesn’t seem to work anymore. The current version of the Xbox Music app (as of 12/2/2012) doesn’t have a Download option for a playlist anymore.


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