For one day only Microsoft Store shoppers will get the best deal ever on a year of Microsoft’s Xbox Music Pass subscription. Earlier today the company revealed it’ll end its 12 Days of Deals promotion in the United States with a half off sale on entire years of Xbox Music Pass.
The half off Xbox Music Pass deal kicks off at 8AM Eastern Standard Time, like past deals, and it’ll run until “supplies last” according to Microsoft. To be clear, buyers are emailed a code to redeem their year-long subscription. The best part about the Xbox Music deal is that shoppers don’t necessarily have to flock to a Microsoft Store to get it. It’ll be half off, $49.99 for those who purchase online. Those who show up at Microsoft Store locations will get an even cheaper $29.99 year of Xbox Music Pass.
Normally an Xbox Music Pass would cost users $99.99 for an entire year or $120 if purchased monthly at its $9.99 price. Microsoft launched Xbox Music as replacement for its Zune software and service. Whereas Zune focused on Windows PCs and devices, Xbox Music is built around today’s usage habits.
Xbox Music Pass lets users stream as much music from Microsoft’s Xbox Music Store as they like. In addition to that. The Xbox Music for Windows, Windows Phone, Android and iPhone all allow users to build cloud playlists that can be downloaded offline. There’s a cloud collection system too. When browsing the Xbox Music Store, users are allowed to purchase an album outright, add it to a playlist for inclusion or store it in their cloud collection. On Windows and Windows Phone users can download their entire cloud collection for listening offline. The Xbox Music smartphone apps are tailored for smaller storage. Users have to download songs for offline listening one by one or the entire playlist only.
It’s not impossible for a user to add a new album to their collection then open Xbox Music on a smartphone to find that same album is already there. For users on devices without an Xbox Music client there’s the Xbox Music Web app. It also provides access to cloud collections. Early this December Microsoft discontinued free Xbox Music streaming, which is why having an Xbox Music Pass is so important. Without one the Xbox Music Web app, iPhone and Android apps are useless.
Chances are if someone is planning on picking up an Xbox Music Pass it’s because they have Microsoft’s Xbox One or Xbox 360 console. Xbox Music on Xbox One and Xbox 360 allow users to add to their collection and stream music; they also have another key feature no other Xbox Music app has. Through them users can stream music videos in place of songs. This is a free perk of Xbox Music and hasn’t appeared in any other app since.
Whether you should rush tomorrow to pick up an Xbox Music Pass subscription comes down to your individual needs and the devices you have around you. If you have an Xbox One and want to stream music while gaming, Xbox Music Pass is the only way to do so besides Pandora Radio. There’s no free streaming for Xbox Music anymore. And the Xbox Music apps for iPhone and Android are pretty barebones. If you’re on Windows Phone or have a PC running Windows 8, there’s no better subscription service for you besides Spotify.
Spotify also costs users $9.99 a month and includes music streaming and downloading. Spotify has two big advantages; a bigger community for following users with similar tastes and a ridiculous amount of curated playlists already available.