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:
@jdrch agree, given all the remote access tech, sync capabilities and search tech, folder hierarchies are quickly becoming legacy tech.
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.