Improved Windows Phone App for Desktop now available

Improved Windows Phone App for Desktop now available

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Starting today, you can download an improved version of the Windows Phone App for Desktop, a free program that syncs music, photos, and other media between your phone and Windows PC. Part of the suite of sync apps for Windows Phone 8, the Desktop App can be particularly useful for managing music in iTunes.

Preview versions of the app have been available since October, but today’s release includes some handy new features:

  • Expanded podcast support. Support for iTunes podcasts has been a useful feature in the preview versions of the app, but many people get their podcasts from other sources. Now, as long as your podcasts are saved in a folder, you can automatically sync them to your phone.
  • Simplified updates. Previous versions of the app required you to install updates from Now the app tells you when improvements are available, so you install them with a click.
  • Flexible library selection. To provide more flexibility, the app can now sync files from any library or folder on your computer, even if they’re on an external hard drive.
  • Many bug fixes. We’ve rolled up your feedback on the preview versions and made fixes to improve performance.

As I hinted, there are several options for moving files to your phone. If you’re new to Windows Phone 8 and need some help figuring out the best sync strategy, our online wizard can help point you in the right direction.

The improved Windows Phone App for Desktop

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  • Just moved from Lumia 800 to Lumia 925.   WP8 sync software is terrible compared to Zune.  It is not an easy way to move/search and categorise music.  How can you expect people to become XBox Music Pass subscribers with such terrible software.  With Zune I could easily search for new music.  WP8 Sync has no such feature and is featureless.

    Please make a Zune-like product for WP8.  It was superior in every way.

  • This is the worst bit of software I've had the misfortune of using.

    I Use Zune for media management and all media is stored on a NAS drive, this program does not  list any of the music or playlists usually have to resort to uninstalling reinstalling.  Cannot select individual podcasts and limited selection criteria.

    I love my Window's 8 phone, but the lack of a good sync tool ruins it.  If this is not improved, my next mobile phone will have to an Apple or Android.

    Come on MS you can do better than this, Bring back Zune.

  • yeah, and xbox music sucks too. why can't I edit metadata in one place and have it sync to everywhere like it did with zune? this is BS! you need to add dropdown menus back to the windows experience! Just got a Lumia 820 to replace my 32GB Zune and I have to say I am in hell now. Oh and your windows 8 version of this app is even worse than the desktop app. is this how you are promoting your new OS? Wake up and start sniffing for coffee Microsoft. This new company reorg better show some decent results before the end of the year.

  • This updated app does not work. Beware! do not download it. There is an unexpected error every time you press sync button. The problem has been there since the update was launched and Microsoft has not put up a fix as yet. Its been more than a month and I cannot sync my Lumia 920 with Windows 7 laptop because of this app issue.

  • Agosto
    0 Posts

    I've had a Podcast Library since I've installed the Zune software for my Windows Phone 7.5 (Mango), but the Windows Phone app for my Windows Phone 8 removed the Podcast Library's icon today, it now shows a white paper instead of a beautiful microphone :-(

    I would like to suggest to Microsoft to implement the Podcast library as a pre-installed library to Windows and enable podcasting support to Xbox Music.

  • Still buggy.  I agree with other commentators that said they would prefer making Zune compatible with Windows Phone 8 and Windows 8.


  • BRING BACK ZUNE!! It worked so well.....

  • Hope most of the issues in the previous version have been fixed. :O

  • It would be nice if we had a "delete all music files from the phone" button either on the phone, or in the desktop app.

  • AS147
    1 Posts

    I have also just seen that on the MS uservoice feedback site "Bring back Zune" is the number 1 request under the music and videos category!!

    Whilst I am not particularly aligned to Zune but it was MUCH better than this. Please MS at least explain why you took this step. We are after all your customers and you have given us the vehicle through which to ask questions. Do you not feel that such a significant user response deserves a real answer as against the bland non answer on the uservoice forum through which you asked us for our honest feedback?

  • AS147
    1 Posts
  • AS147
    1 Posts

    Disappointed, truly let down but this software.

    Its as if this is a first time development project from someone straight out of high school! Never mind that the functionality is woeful, but the design, the UI and the experience is primitive at best.

    I only have one question and if MS is listening I think as customers we deserve an answer.

    Why do they think that droppping the previous investment in a working and highly functional product like Zune and providing this as a replacement was the right thing to invest time and money in?

    Perhaps if we can see the plan we might agree!?

    p.s. I uninstalled it 10 minutes after trying it and am still waiting for anything that comes close to the functionality of Zune. This as an effort on what is meant to be their "all in bet on mobile" is appalling

    I am not the only one saying it, the feedback on this blog gives you some insight as does this story

  • Windows Phone sync app should by now support WP7 also, at least since Zune brand is off, why can't legacy hardware enjoy a light-weight app???

  • Seriously guys/gals at Microsoft. I've been a long time user of zune since December of 2006, I've use all the iteration of the zune desktop client, What happened?

    My first Windows phone was in 2010, A Samsung Focus and the syncing experience was 1000 times better than what we have today. The whole experience from those older clients is a great step backward.

    Now I know there are some technical difficulties moving from WP7 to WP8. But for goodness sake put some more resource into updating the current zune client, Make it the default multimedia application on W8 desktops and going forward.Name it Xbox Music+Video. The current Zune client that I use on my W8 desktop still hold it's own over iTunes in looks and functionality.

    Also I have a Surface RT and that syncing app is just as bad. Right now I basically use explorer to sync content on and off my Nokia Lumia 920. Going from such a rich client to these makeshift apps is not worth my sanity.

    Please update the current Zune Desktop client and make it work with Windows Phone 8.

  • Andrew
    3 Posts

    I miss using Zune to sync files to my Windows Phone but I'm glad to see the new app getting some updates. Polish it up some more and it can be as rich a user experience as Zune was. Looking forward to that. Keep it up.

  • ErBlack
    0 Posts

    WillSullivan, thank you. I alredy clicked on this stupid link and get error message "Can't find podcast library..."

    Iy useless. Бля.

  • Ashgeh
    0 Posts

    Imagine if one day, say Iphone 6 launches and decided to junk itunes, for something far crappier. Does it make sense? No. Thats what u guys at MS did...

    Why... not just allow wp8 to sync with zune?! This app is still a horrible step backwards. It still won't sync playlists, and all my album art, not to mention support for podcasts. In terms of media management, its functionality is still sorely lacking, and with no graphical interface to view files. Why does this app gives so much emphasis on syncing with itunes? ...and not at all with zune? I mean who in the world still uses windows media player.. it deserves to go the same way as msn.

    Heck if i have to live with this app, i might as well switch to android...

  • vinzxalvin!  You are an idiot!  Look at your phone--you have to type in your pin to unlock it!

    ErBlack!  There is a link to the right of the dropdown (it says "All Episodes" by default, I believe).  It doesn't look like a link, but you can click it to open a dialog that allows you to select folders.The link says "Add or remove folders"

  • About goddamned time.  Seriously, this app is an amateur hour, and it is shameful how long it has taken to get to this point.  I mean, what the hell are you doing in this thing?  Its trivial file management stuff!  You aren't even connecting to the goddamned store!  And it took you half a year, maybe longer, to push out this pitiful update!  You are DAMAGING the platform with this inaction!  This app should be under heavy development, not just an afterthought!  Seriously, you people blow my mind with this bullshit.  SHAPE UP or this kind of crap will prevent the WP platform from ever becoming a major player.

  • I can't browse my phone files. It says that my phone is locked. I have Huawei Ascend W1. Please Help >.<

  • iand
    170 Posts

    Nice to see the app updated but its not a patch on the old Zune software. I noticed the Windows Store app has been updated today but the release notes haven't been updated yet.

  • Elkjaer
    0 Posts

    Dear MS

    Why do you make different programs for WP7 and WP8? Why are you not joining forces across WP7 and WP8 teams and try to make ONE piece of software that people will embrace instead two half made ones?. I have a Lumia 800 and was extremely dissappointed when I had to used Zune. The Nokia suite was/is way ahead. I only use Zune when I have to, it's that bad. I was therefor happy to see that a dedicated piece of software for my phone was available, or so I thought.. It only Works with WP8. I'm quite happy my phone, but experiences like Zune and the missing experience with the new app makes me wanna find a different phone. Has anyone heard of using different versions of Itunes with different versions of Iphones?.

    Come on MS, you can do better than that right?!.

    A frustrated user from Denmark.  

  • ErBlack
    0 Posts

    - Now, as long as your podcasts are saved in a folder, you can automatically sync them to your phone.

    What folder? How can i manage it.

    Message "Can't find podcast library..." and no options (

  • Still would like a way to subscribe to podcasts, whether that's by copying a xml file over to the phone with the link. Or being able to subscribe to an rss feed in the browser. Unfortunately the community driven podcast store seems to not exist in any country except America, so we need a work around.

  • C'mon...

    I still can't sync individual songs.  I can choose by Playlist (but that doesn't always bring over the songs), Genre, or Artist.  Just let me choose the darn songs I want to sync!!!  It's not that hard!!!  I love my Windows 8 Phone!  You are making it really difficult to keep loving it!

  • goneale
    0 Posts

    Microsoft - come on, just look at the comments at the bottom of this article, you will have to start stepping it up if you wish to compete with iPhone and Android. People have a list of a bunch of things which is still wrong with this app.

  • I hate this software. I can't do nothing using this. I can't see photos, movies or listen music before synk. I can't backup my phone. I can't do nothing. I don't know why Microsoft did this.

    Sorry about my english.

  • Willie
    0 Posts

    Bring back Zune, update it, and give a new name and you won't have to deal with this extremely bad syncing program. Getting rid of Zune was seriously the worst decision Microsoft has made in the last 5 years.

  • Plus, the Metro "version" of this app is in need of some serious updates.  For those that have Windows RT devices, it's just a pathetic experience.  You folks NEED to fix this glaring hole in device management.

  • I'm glad to see this app become more polished, but syncing DRM content IS STILL BROKEN.  Content is transferred to my device, but it still errors during playback "Unable to confirm media usage rights."  THIS NEEDS TO BE FIXED NOW, as it has been broken since the WP8 launch.  I DO have an MS Support Case open for the past 2 months WITH NO RESOLUTION in site.

  • AS147
    1 Posts

    I am a new user to WP8 having used WP7 on Windows 7 for a short period.

    Can you tell me why Zune support was canned with Windows Phone 8? Moving to this client was to say the least a real shocker. The rich user experience no linger exists I.e. I can't see file previews to help me select the correct files to sync, I can't see how to sync music lists and the general feeling is that of a mildly enhanced file explorer with less feedback. In my opinion this product has half the functionality and usability of Zune.

    I don't know why MS invested effort in moving from a perfectly functional solution. I don't mind if they had a good reason to do so but at least replace it with something equally (if not more) functional.

    Therefore can you confirm if some of the missing features will be added to this client please?

  • Great! Looking forward to downloading!

    I wish DRM would let me put music I have already purchased via iTunes onto my other devices. It's a shame I'm being penalised for using a different device.

  • dalydose
    11 Posts

    I hope the music issues have been solved or are close to being solved.