First, I love my W8P.  I loved my W7P.  The Nokia 9xx series is terrific.  That said, my experience trying to get my (carefully crafted) walking/running playlists (much if which is Zune Pass music) on my new 920 has been nightmarish and I decided I needed to save it so I wouldn’t have to figure it out again and to possibly help someone else going nuts.  First, I have the “old” Zune Pass – 6 devices (3 computers, 3 phones) and 10 song credits per month.  It’s a great deal, I love it and I’m not giving it up.  But the Zune app doesn’t work with WP8 and the WP8 app for PC (W7) doesn’t sync DRM content or playlists, WMP won’t sync DRM content and the W8 Metro app still isn’t quite there.  So….

Stupid that this should even be necessary, but playlists a.) do NOT import from Zune (and I’m not giving up my 10 credit 6 device legacy Zune account), b.) don’t allow for (get this) editing and c.) practically require a master’s degree in stupid to create.  It is unnecessarily convoluted and awkward.  But hey, it’s possible, just irritating.  I suggest testing out your playlist in the (beloved and sensible) Zune app or Windows Media Player (just change the .zpl extension to .wpl) to make sure you have it right (sigh) first.  Note: If all the songs you want are DRM free, you can create a WMP list and sync it but at this time Zune DRM is apparently not compatible with Xbox Music DRM for some unfathomable reason.

And crud – it appears that, no matter how carefully you add the songs, you are going to get alphabetical.  Le sigh.  Well, the instructions still let you set up a playlist.  I’ll keep following updates and see if there is a way to “fix” the order somehow – perhaps fiddling with WMP…

  1. Clear your History.  It’s easier this way.  Can’t be done “on purpose” in the W8P app, though you can helpfully (accidentally) clear your Now Playing by starting a new song while in the middle of this process or clicking a different album in History, causing you to have to start over.  Get a 3rd party app like Stop Music (free).  There are a bunch of them, pick your favorite.
  2. Go into the Xbox Music app and play the FIRST song you want on your playlist.  You can’t reorder them, so make sure you start with the first one.  (This will make it the only thing in your History and the only thing on your “Now Playing” list.)
  3. Go to Music ==> Songs and click the Select button (looks like a list).
  4. Select the songs you want in the playlist *in order* by clicking the checkbox next to each song.  Be careful, you can’t add or remove later without creating a new playlist.
  5. Click the ellipse (…) and choose “Add to Now Playing”.
  6. Press the up or down volume arrow (gets sillier, doesn’t it) and click the artist in the dropdown.
  7. Click the name of the now playing song under the album art.  (This will take you to the “Now Playing” list – no, there’s not a logical or simple way to do this.)
  8. Make sure all the songs you want are there, otherwise go back and select more – you can’t add later.
  9. Click the Save button and name your playlist.

Can you edit it?  No.  Can you add or delete songs?  No.  Can you sync with anything else you own?  No.

I hear you can do playlists with the new improved W8 metro app – but it still won’t sync your Zune DRM music unless you redownload.  I gotta admit, I would have tried to figure out how to keep my W7P if I’d known – music is a huge deal for me on my phone and this has been a shocking display of poor planning and horrific integration in the name of “better serving me”.  Meh.