Microsoft Giving Away 100 Music Albums For The Holidays


Microsoft’s generosity of late has been nothing short of astounding. Not only did they give away Visual Studio 13 Update 4 and Microsoft Expression Web  last week, but they are now giving away a ton of music. I just downloaded nearly 4GB of titles and didn’t put a dent in the list of songs they are offering. Amazing!

Go to Microsoft Is Giving Away Very Expensive Software for the previous VS Studio and Expression Web giveaway article.

Of course, you’ll need a Microsoft account and the XBox Music Player installed on your Windows 8.x computer. You are not limited to listening online, however. You can download all these tunes as MP3 files to listen to when you’re off-line if you have an MP3 player you’d prefer to use. That’s what I do.

You can get the Music Deals App at the Windows Apps Store.

For the Windows Phone 8/8.1 go here:

Note: I’ve read comments by non-US citizens saying they weren’t able to get these apps and/or the deals. Give it a try anyway– maybe you’ll get lucky. You might also try a VPN to pretend you live in the US, although I’m pretty sure that is illegal. Just like good-tasting food, it’s probably bad for you and I don’t condone its use. Always eat food that tastes terrible. You’ll probably be a lot healthier for it.

Once you’ve installed  the Music Deals app, find the Holiday Freebies and click on one you’d like. If you don’t have the XBox Music Player installed, you will have to do that as well. Don’t worry, it’s free too.

After jumping through these few simple hoops, you will be able to download all this music to your computer. I must point out that this offer is not a list of lame music titles from the early 1900’s nor need they be listened to on a cassette player (remember those?). It is a very good list that will undoubtedly provide you with a great start towards building a well-rounded, top-quality music library.

Many of these deals expire in 20 days or so. Don’t sit on your thumbs and forget about them.

I first saw this great deal on Paul Thurrott’s WinSuperSite. Thanks for the heads up, Paul!



31 thoughts on “Microsoft Giving Away 100 Music Albums For The Holidays”

    1. Hi sirpaul2,

      I’ve had Windows 10 Technical Preview installed in a virtual machine (VBox) for a little while now. In the past few weeks there have two major updates and several patches. The latest update has been buggy for many. I find it entertaining to play around with these previews but their current state is not etched in stone. Many changes are likely.

      This preview is basically a beta and I see little point in reviewing a system that will most likely change before it is released. As is usual for Microsoft, they aren’t talking. This time around, however, I must give them credit for seemingly listening to feedback. After the Windows 8 debacle, they’d better!

      There are many sites that have published posts about this preview and I find most of them speculative at best. If you are interested in articles posted by writers guessing about what Windows 10 will become, then Internet resources abound.

      I think I’ll wait until the final release in 2015 before I start offering opinions. I have to say it all looks very promising and think there’s a lot to be excited about.

      Thanks for your interest,

  1. It seems that the giveaway was very short-lived. I could not find the Holiday Freebies, even after opening a Trial Xbox Music Pass.

    1. Hi Brad,

      The music album giveaway is still going on and will continue to do so through most of December.

      You must open the Music Deals App in the Windows 8.x Start Screen and you will then see the Holiday Freebies section.

      Incidentally, you don’t need the XBox Music Pass, but you do need the XBox Music Player App to download the albums/tracks.

      I hope this helps,

      1. Thanks Richard,
        I tried to use a web browser to see the deals, opening the music deals from the start screen worked!

  2. Guess I didn’t make the “nice list”. Only seeing 50 freebie songs. Good to get free music, but not too impressed with the app 🙂

    1. Hi C Dunbar.

      Guess I don’t know what the “nice list” is. Perhaps Santa had something to do with it? Maybe he fell down, laughing himself to death when he heard you say you were not naughty this year? 🙂

      All joking aside, if you’re having problems, please let me know and I’ll try to steer you in the right direction.
      There are indeed 100 albums, with all the tracks, available for download.

      If that weren’t the case, I would never have said it. I only say what I believe to be true. I may be wrong at times and in those instances I will happily stand corrected. I want to learn,too.

      That is what this whole exercise is about,

      1. Thank you Richard! That would be great. I have no doubt you are correct, I just seemed to have a booger of a time getting the app squared away lol. Guess my naughtiness has caught up with me 😉

        1. My screen does say 50 Holiday Freebies. Not sure what I’m doing wrong 🙁

      2. Hi RIchard,

        I hope you can help me. I’ve only been able to find “50 Free Albums” offer so far. I think i’ve done everything right (I have Windows 8.1 laptop, the Music Deals app and Xbox Player installed) and I’ve gotten about 26 albums that I wanted. But where is the 100 albums offer? Also, I heard there was huge Led Zeppelin box set for $2 but I’ve not found that in the $2 box set section. Is MS roatiting these titles in 50 Free albums offer to eventually add up to 100? Frustrating … Thanks, Chris

        1. I did see many of the 1.99 box sets, including Led Zeppelin under the 80% off banner

        2. Hi Chris,

          When I wrote this article there were 100 albums on offer. Now there are 50.

          I have no idea what MS is up to with this giveaway.

          You know as much as I,

  3. First off I’m curious why Microsoft offers for Windows 8/8.1 in which case I reverted back to Windows 7 like many have done and MP3 is inferior lossy audio.

    1. Hello Wutevercanada,

      First – I don’t know that MP3 is terribly “lossy”. I think it is a brilliant packaging method and has been happily used with great satisfaction by many folks for decades. Its ubiquity speaks for itself.
      Second – This offer is for Windows 8.x users only — sorry
      Third – I’m not sure why anyone in their right mind would revert to Windows 7 after enjoying all the perquisites allotted by Windows 8. It merely requires a humble effort to learn a new system.

      I am probably one of the few on this planet who actually liked Windows 8. So be it. This article has nothing to do with a debate over Windows versions or their various virtues, or lack thereof.

      I hope this clears things up,

  4. Wutevercanada

    So you’re saying that converting CD to MP3 is the same sound? I convert to FLAC and hear a big difference. But I’m a studio musician and an Audiophile that records in high quality digital and still listen to vinyl. For those who download MP3 iTunes and listen on their Smartphone on earbuds are used to the sound of MP3. When you convert a file from a lossless format to a lossy format – say, ripping an audio CD (a lossless format) to MP3 files (a lossy format) – you’re throwing away some of the data. If you listen to lossless on a good audio system with good headset there’s a huge difference.

    1. Hi Wutevercanada,

      In a long-ago past I was a musician. I played bassoon with the St. Paul Civic Orchestra (MN, USA). I will be the first to admit that I can’t tell the difference between MP3, FLAC. CD Studio Quality, or any other of the countless available formats .

      Perhaps I could have heard the difference back then, but my ears have gotten old along with the rest of me. Aging sucks. It isn’t something anyone should look forward to and I don’t recommend it as a goal.

      My only point was to say that for most people’s ears it won’t make one jot of difference. Granted, for the more-attuned in this area, there will be a noticeable difference. I am not one of those discerning people any longer and am therefore perfectly happy with MP3 output.

      Perhaps my weakness is your strength, and your strength will be my ultimate gain,

  5. Although I found the Holiday Freebies, only 50 albums show, not 100, which is still nice. I have started downloading the music I like.

    1. Hi Brad,

      You are correct– only 50 showing today. I don’t know what gives with that. And they expire in 15 days, too.

      Things have changed, and not for the better, since I wrote this 🙁

  6. I see that the free Xbox Music Player will no longer be available as of December 1st. Will this music still be playable after that?

    1. Hi Brad,

      Boy! They sure are messing around with this giveaway.

      To be sure you can play the music, I would definitely download all the MP3 files you are interested in.

      That should cover you,

    2. The music I am downloading is going to the “cloud”, is there a way to actually download that to a device (PC, Phone, Tablet)?
      From what I am reading it’s the ad supported free streaming that is ending, so I don’t know how that will affect the player.

        1. Hi Richard,
          The “Mp3” box no longer shows on the albums I downloaded to the cloud. I tried downloading another album, but the Mp3 box is grey, the green “Get it Free” area is what downloaded the albums to the cloud, at least in my case.

        2. Hi Brad,

          This has been a most frustrating experience all around.

          Try right-clicking a song. A menu should appear at the bottom of the screen allowing you to download the file.

          Good luck!

        3. Ok, I was wrong, although it shows in the player that the music is in the cloud, the music was also downloaded to my pc.

  7. I was excited…until I saw I had to have Win8. I wouldn’t care if they were giving all of the music ever written since the beginning of time PLUS every tune written until the end of time…I don’t want it bad enough to f**k up my machine with that POS operating system.

    Thanks anyway.

    1. Hi Steve,
      While I am not a big fan of Win8, it has not messed up any of my computers. I mostly run Win7, and used classic shell on Win8.

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