[sc:mobile-category ]Ok, time to take off the gloves, let’s talk about the biggest hole with Windows Phone 8… syncing music!
First things first, Windows Phone 7 came with the Zune music client which managed all the syncing to the phone. Of course there was no other way to do it so everyone had to use Zune.
Windows Phone 8 takes a step forward with the fact you can now use pretty any music client to sync your music to the phone, including just good old File Explorer.
The problem is that while that step forward is good, it comes with a massive leap backwards by dropping the Zune client for two new clients. One for the traditional Windows desktop and one for the new Windows 8 Apps. Both of these clients are badly broken.
Lets start with the Windows 8 App, you can move music and photos over to the phone, but you cannot create or manage new playlists in it. Likewise it only talks to the Windows libraries. On one PC I have it won’t even talk to the phone at all. It says to reboot the phone to resolve the problem but it doesn’t. It has no settings and doesn’t pick up the album covers or existing Zune/Media Player playlists.
The Windows Desktop Client is a beta, when it starts up it has to scan through your entire library of music, pictures and videos. On my system this takes over 20 minutes and it does it each time you load it. It can at least understand the Zune/Media Player playlists, but trying to sync them runs all the way through to the end when the playlists get synced and then the whole app crashes.
I eventually resorted to using Windows Media Player to sync across my playlists, which works, but WMP isn’t the best app for this but at least it worked.
I have to admit that I actually LIKE the Zune client, it was slick and provided a much nicer interface than WMP. I hope Microsoft brings it back in some form, perhaps as a replacement to WMP.
It’s so bad that I’m almost at the point that I’m considering writing my own player/sync client. That will be a last resort though and I’ll live with it like is for the time being.