Don’t risk losing your purchased music by using Groove Music to store them

Updated on 3 October: In favour of Spotify, Microsoft discontinues Groove Music Pass and Music section of Windows Store, which are becoming unavailable on 1 Januray 2018. See here for refund policies, backup and migration instructions, Groove Music app update information, etc.

Updated on 7 October: I have revised my Groove Music Pass collection and purchased most of the songs from iTunes. As of now, I am not considering any music streaming subscription, including but not limited to Spotify and Apple Music.

I have always been a Microsoft user and I am constantly getting mad at Microsoft. Today, I indefinitely lost 5 songs previously purchased from Microsoft. The nightmare was with Groove.

Groove Music, formerly known as Xbox Music, formerly known as Zune Music, is Microsoft’s music service. Despite its several renaming, its necessity never changed — a music marketplace and a streaming service. Ironically, the ‘music video’ feature recently added to Groove Music was quite available around the Zune era. It was only cut when Microsoft renamed the service to Xbox Music. Frequent renaming and removing users’ favourite features are bad, but are not the topic of today’s entry. With so much appetite, let’s go to the main point.

If you have been a long-term user of Groove Music, you might find some music unavailable with just Music Pass subscription. Usually these songs are available for purchase, or at least available when you purchased the whole album. Groove Music also keeps track of your music collection in the cloud, including those added via your Music Pass, those purchased from the marketplace. The app also shows the music from your OneDrive ‘Music’ folder as well as your local music. All these are good and fine.

So you might think, if Groove stores my purchased music in the cloud, I won’t have to back them up locally because on whichever platform I can always download Groove Music app and reacquire my songs.

NO! You’re as wrong as I was.

Some music might become unavailable by the request of copyright holder. When that happens, you cannot redownload the music from Microsoft — the files have been purged from the server.

Today I reinstalled Windows (I don’t really recall why, what I can remember is that the image became quite dirty at one point in the sense that some important software was not functioning normally, plus I will have to have a fresh new environment for my new term). When I opened Groove Music, selected all of my collection, clicked ‘download’, I was told some songs are no longer available.

What?! No longer available? Those are the songs I PURCHASED! I OWN a copy of those songs!

The five lost songs are:

  • Papa t’es plus dans l’coup from L’école est finie (Remastered) by Sheila
  • L’école est finie from L’école est finie (Remastered) by Sheila
  • Internet Stalker from On My Face by Taryn Southern
  • I Think I Farted from On My Face by Taryn Southern
  • Wrong Hole: the Untold Story from On My Face by Taryn Southern

The first three are among my favourites. Good job, Microsoft!

I contacted Microsoft for refund of those five songs as I unluckily have no other devices that have the back-up of those five songs. Unfortunately my request was denied, as such refund is only possible if the music is removed within 7 days of purchase, or the purchase is made within 30 days. Logician asking: what’s the point of the first rule, given the second one? I also suggested to the representative that Microsoft warn the users that the purchased music might not be available from Microsoft and a refund might not be possible, so back yourself fuck up.

I have copied all purchased music for backup and reacquired some of the lost songs from iTunes.

P.S. Further investigation shows that Taryn Southern is putting effort in transforming her image as ‘presentable’ as possible. She unpublishes those ‘obscene/dirty’ songs and albums. What’s funnier, she even republishes (rebrands, renames) Internet Stalker as Crush. Her ability to ‘rewrite the history’ is almost as strong as Engsoc’s ability to unperson someone! And her marketing team might be formerly working in the Renaming Department of Microsoft!

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