Last night I used Xbox Music’s free download offer for Eminem’s The Marshall Mathers LP2 – Deluxe, available via the Xbox Music Windows 8.1 and Windows phone apps. I downloaded the album, only to find that Xbox Music doesn’t reveal local file paths. Bringing up the Properties of a local file in Xbox Music produces this barely helpful result:
The omission of file path info seems to be part of Microsoft’s subtle move away from (exposing) traditional file/folder hierarchies/trees (to users). This is also indicated by the lack of an NUI File Explorer equivalent and Microsoft exec Ed Ferron hint to me back in July:
This, of course, is problematic for users who might want to know exactly where their files are. The answer is they’re stored at C:\Users\YourUsername\Music\Xbox Music\Purchases\ArtistName\AlbumName.
As for the properties of the downloaded files themselves, they’re 320 kbps 44.1 kHz MP3 files with ID3v2.3 and v1 tags. Encoder details are a bit murky: while dBpoweramp guesses FhG, the file metadata lists AZURE along with a legacy “Purchased from Zune (…)” comment. An ISRC is also included in the tag.