PSA: download your Groove Music Purchases by 12/31/17

The ghost of Zune has killed Microsoft’s Groove. Or more realistically, Microsoft’s cascading failures πŸ™‚ Regardless, you have until December 31st in 2017 to download all your previously purchased Groove music to your own devices. There are reasonable chances some titles may not be available for download.

About 5% of the albums I had purchased were no longer available in Groove because of licensing issues (or some other nonsense), thus I could not download them. Another reason to “trust” cloud music e-stores! I don’t know what the steps are to recover the unavailable music or at least get a refund – or if there are any steps. Googling may have some answers but I haven’t bothered to do so yet πŸ™‚

If you have the “Groove Music Pass” subscription, they are co-operating with Spotify so you can transfer your playlists and such to the Spotify service. The deadline for this is January 31st in 2018. I believe they are offering refunds for prepaid subscriptions after 2017.

3 Months of Amazon Music Unlimited for 99c

Just like every major company it seems has or wants or wanted a TV service, everyone also has a music service. Amazon has a few of them. Their premium service is called Music Unlimited, and for a limited time, they are offering a 3 Month Prepaid Subscription for $1 total. If you don’t cancel before it expires, it will auto-convert to a paying subscription. Prime members pay $8/month for it, and non-Prime members pay $10 per month for it.

This is an individual plan and the offer is available for new subscribers only. This is a full service subscription you can use on various available devices and apps. It should not be confused with their “Echo Plan” which costs $4/month and can only be played on an Echo device. Or their oldest of all, their “Prime Music” which is a free music streaming service (2 million songs, a subset a full subscription) that is available for free to all paying Prime members.

[DEAD] FREE: Scale Logic ad-free app (Google Play)

This limited time offer expired…

If you are tired of frequency and white noise and pink noise testing, how about some scale testing? πŸ™‚ Good until Thursday night, you can get the ad-free version of the Scale Logic app for FREE on Google Play.

Microsoft Music Store and Groove Music Pass going away, Pro-Rated Refunds for 2018+ prepaid subscriptions

The ghost of Zune is taking its vengeance on Microsoft’s latest half-hearted attempt at a music streaming service. Their “Groove Pass” subscription service will end 12/31/17. Anyone with a prepaid subscription will receive a prorated refund for their 2018+ portion. Microsoft has partnered with Spotify to transition users and playlists over there.

But that’s not all. Also dying is Microsoft’s Music Store (part of the Windows/Microsoft store) which allows you to buy and download music. So if you have any music purchases there, it may be a good idea to start downloading before they disappear. They mention this more clearly in the FAQ:

“After December 31, 2017, music won’t be available for purchase or download in the Windows Store or for streaming in Groove.”

This is the official announcement and this is the official FAQ on the transition.

OneDrive will continue to be able to play music, and the Groove app in itself will continue to play local music files, but NOT any previous Microsoft music purchases or Groove Pass subscription downloads.

[DEAD] Pay $10, Get 7 Months of Microsoft Groove Music Subscription

This Labor Day 2017 promotion expired…

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Free 3-Months of Pandora Premium

The last few years, many music services have converged on offering full service subscription, including Amazon and Apple. Another that went that route is Pandora, with their Premium service. You can get a FREE 3-month subscription to the Pandora Premium service through Groupon. This is not valid for current subscribers. New subscribers only! Check terms/conditions over there.

4 Months Prepaid Amazon Music Unlimited for $0.99 total (new subscribers; Prime only)

Prime Day festivities officially begin July 10 at 9pm ET but Amazon has already began a slow steady drip of offers of their products and services. Launched as part of the “pregame show” is a 4-Month Prepaid Amazon Music Unlimited subscription for $0.99 total. You pay 99 cents once and you get four months of their full service music subscription service. This is good for New Subscribers to the service only. Prime members only!

Speaking of music subscription services, you can get a free 3-month Apple Music subscription through Groupon. Google Play Music is also offering similar promotions through the Google Play store and other avenues.

If you are on the Spotify free membership, check your emails for offers to go on a prepaid 3-month Premium subscription for 99c total.

20% off two-step discount on Google Play All Access Music subscription using Gift Cards

Google Play does not offer discounts on their All Access monthly music subscription service once your free trial ends, however, there is a way to get a discount on a regular basis if you take an additional step: buy Google Play gift cards at a discount.

Once upon a time it was hard to find Google PLAY gift cards at a discount but these days both Rite Aid and Walgreens are including them in their virtual 20% off promotions. For this week, good until the close of business on Saturday 6/24/17 at Rite Aid brick and mortar stores, you can get $5 back in Plenti rewards points when you purchase a $25 GooglePLAY gift card. Limit two per customer. You pay full price, but you get $5 to spend in future purchases (but not gift cards) at Rite Aid and other participating retailers (Macy’s, Exxon gas stations, etc).

So how exactly does that get you a discount on the music subscription service? Simple! Once you load up the gift card to your Google Play account, you can go to your Account settings and have your monthly music subscription get paid by your gift card balance. Once that is depleted, it will switch back to your default credit card. Or if you keep reloading gift cards, it will keep using the gift cards.

I’ve been doing this for many months now, and it works just like clockwork!

When you consider that YouTube RED is included with the Music subscription, that’s a good value. YouTube RED includes access to the YouTube Music app that allows you to play in the background, play audio-only videos, and of course avoid all ads!

Sprint Customers: SIX FREE Months of TIDAL HIFI music streaming service

If you are a current Sprint subscriber, or if you are planning to start new Sprint service, Sprint launched a brand new promotion, you get SIX FREE Months of TIDAL HIFI music streaming service. That’s the full high resolution service $20 per month subscription, FREE for six months.

New Sprint customers have 90 days (from starting Sprint service) to begin their free six month Tidal trial. Existing Sprint customers can sign up for it using the links at the above page. There are FAQs at the aforelinked page covering most of the questions.

AFTER the SIX MONTH FREE TRIAL ENDS

After the six months are over, AND if you don’t cancel beforehand, you will be automatically converted to the $10 per month Premium subscription. If you decide you like the HIFI service, you have to manually upgrade from Premium to HIFI. If you don’t like it and forgot to cancel beforehand, you can cancel at any time in the future. I’m assuming you won’t get a partial refund for the month in progress (but I could be wrong).

Music Subscriptions: $10 credit with new Amazon Music Unlimited Free Trial

Amazon offers a 30-day free trial for its full service “Music Unlimited” music service. But for a limited time, they have a special promotion, enter coupon code MOREMUSIC get a $10 promotional credit added to your account. Essentially you are getting the second month FREE if you sign up for the standard $10/month plan.

I’m not sure what happens if you sign up for a Family plan. The coupon is good for first time subscribers only. This service should not be confused with the “Prime Music” service which is free for Prime members, or the dedicated music service for Echo devices which costs less and is more limited.

Coupon offer ends 5/31/17.

Free 3-month Apple Music (new members)

Groupon is currently offering a free three month Apple Music subscription for new customers only. If not cancelled during the free trial, the subscription will convert into a paying month to month. A credit card is needed to activate.

Free on Google Play: Ultimate Guitar Tabs & Chords (limited time)

The popular Ultimate Guitar Tabs & Chords app is FREE for a limited time at the Google Play store. This is a for-pay app that typically goes for $2.99. It has over 1 million installs. The app purchase price is $0 for a limited time. The in-app purchases are not free.

[DEAD] One month of Slacker Ad Free (TMobile Tuesdays)

This T-Mobile Tuesday promotion expired…

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[DEAD] FREE (Limited Time): White Noise app by TMSoft (iTunes)

This limited time promotion expired… For a limited time, the white noise app “White Noise” by TMSOFT is offered for FREE on iTunes. This is featured in Apps Gone FREE.

[DEAD] 1-Year Dropbox PRO + $50 Gift Card for $100 (ends Tue 3am ET)

I don’t know why Dropbox waited until AFTER the Amazon Gold Deal to announce their mobile folder sync option, because this is a great feature for music πŸ™‚ Regardless the Gold Box offer is now over…

If you like to store or backup or stream your music from a semi-DIY cloud, among the Monday gold box offers is a Dropbox PRO promotion. This is for brand new PRO subscribers, in other words, you can’t use this offer to add years to an existing PRO or Business subscriptions. You can use this to upgrade from the Free tier or start a new subscription. You get one year of the Dropbox PRO subscription (includes 1TB of cloud storage) and a $50 Amazon plastic gift card, together for $100. After the first year ends, this auto-renews at $99 per year unless you cancel it. Offer ends by Tuesday at 3am ET.

[DEAD] Buy a CD or Vinyl, Get $20 Amazon Music Subscription service credit

This promotion expired, but it’s a sign of how Amazon is planning to aggressively promote their Music Subscription service… I am guessing similar offers (at least in spirit) to this will appear in the future…

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12 months of Apple Music subscription for $99

The default price for full-service music subscription services is $10 per month, but sometimes there are prepaid promotions, such as this one, PayPal Digital Gifts (a PayPal e-gift card eBay store) is offering 12-months of Apple Music for $99, prepaid upfront. This is savings of $21 when paying monthly, according to the calculator a 17.5% discount. In addition to the usual assortment of Apple options (iOS, iTunes Mac or PC, Apple TV, etc), you can also use the Google Play Apple Music app for it. It is also compatible with the iTunes Match service.

NOTE: if you qualify for student discounts, you can get a $5 per month subscription, which handily defeats $99 per year.

New Full Service Music Streaming Option: Amazon Unlimited for $8/mo (Prime members) or $10 (non-members)

One more music subscription service has rolled out today, it is the Amazon Unlimited music subscription that is a full service like Spotify and Apple and Google Play Unlimited. You pay $10 per month if you are not a Prime member and $8 per month if you are a Prime member. You can cancel at any time. It just launched today and you can start a 30-Day Free Trial.

A family plan for $15 per month that includes up to six people for that one monthly price will be coming soon. Prepaid options are also coming if you are willing to prepay for 1-year ahead of time

This new service is different and should not be confused with the Prime Music service that is automatically included with a Prime membership. This will continue as it is. The Prime Music only includes a subset of what a typical music subscription service. In Amazon terms, this has 2+ million tracks, while the for-pay Unlimited service has 10+ million tracks.

Regardless of Prime membership status, Amazon’s Music apps also automatically (and retroactively) include MP3 versions of music CDs or vinyl LPs you purchased from Amazon through the years. Eligibility for this is two-fold: 1) the musician/publisher must be participating in Amazon’s “Auto RIP” program, and, 2) you must have purchased it from Amazon actual (not marketplace sellers), and in new condition.

Free 2-month Pandora One subscription

If you are Pandora-curious (double pun intended!), you can open the box at Groupon Goods where, for a limited time, they are offering a free 2-month subscription to the Pandora One subscription service (no ads) for FREE! You can get one for yourself and three additional as gifts for others.

PS: after the 2-month trial, this automatically converts to the $5/month plan regular price, so be sure to cancel if you don’t like it or upgrade to the annual plan to save on the monthly fees if you like it.

PS2: note that Pandora One is a radio service, not a proper streaming service like Rhapsody (ha!) or Tidal or Spotify or Google Play Music All Access.

PS3: I still have nightmares, helplessly trying to sync the Rhapsody music subscription Windows Client with the Sandisk Clip Plus mp3 players πŸ™‚

Share Google Play paid music apps with other people or Google accounts

If you buy a lot of music-related Google Play apps and want to share them with your family members and/or if you have more than one Google account (eg work, personal, hobby), you may be able to share paid Android apps among them without having to rebuy them. This because Google just launched the Family Library feature through Google Play. You can connect up to six Google accounts to it.

Paid music apps (eg Poweramp, PlayerPro, MusicFolder Player, etc; not subscription services) follow the terms and restrictions of apps, so whether you can share it depends on when you bought it. Purchases made after July 2 are eligible, while earlier purchases are at the discretion of the developer (it will be shown on the app’s details page). While you can share apps, in-app purchases cannot be shared, so how useful this is depends on how your favorite apps are structured.

In terms of Google’s actual music service, it cannot be shared through this feature, however, Google has a Music Family Plan for a reasonable $15 per month.

PS: I haven’t tested this feature yet, but I added it to my Todo list. So expect a post on this by 2030 πŸ™‚

PSA: You can now pay Google Play Music Subscription Monthly Fees with Google Play Balance

If you are a Google Play All Access Music service monthly subscriber, there is some good news! You can now use your Google Play account balance to pay for the subscription, you don’t have to use a credit card. I just noticed this today while I was shuffling through the settings in the Android app. I switched it there, and also double-checked with a Web Browser on a computer and indeed the option is there as well!

Here’s how it looks on the computer Web Browser (it’s a very tight screenshot because I don’t want to include the credit card numbers):

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Poweramp Full Version for $1 [Google Play]

The full version (no ads) of the popular Poweramp Android music player is on sale for a limited time for $0.99 on the Google Play store. This is not available on the Amazon app-store. If you are not familiar with it, they have a 15-day Free Trial of the Free Version. I do not know when the $0.99 sale ends.

Music Folder Player Full for $1.29 (no ads; Google Play)

If you are like to listen to music album by album (or folder by folder) and you are tired of busy-body Android music players that suffer from feature sprawl and resource hogging, there’s a folder player on sale at Google Play for $1.29, the Music Folder Player Full (no ads) by ZorillaSoft. This is the full app, not an unlocker. You can try it out by using their free ad-supported player (if you don’t hate ads with an unquenched passion). Obviously does not have the features and customizations of apps like Poweramp but sometimes more is less.

A couple of tips: 1) you can disable the Equalizer and also make it disappear from the UI, 2) turn off notifications if you get annoyed when each new track appears there, 3) specify music folders so the app doesn’t have to search for music everywhere. For more check the developer’s FAQ.