In commemoration of today's Microsoft Store Daily Deal—half off an Xbox Music Pass subscription—I'd like to offer an early look at Paul Thurrott's Xbox Music 2.0, which I'll be making available for free online and via Kindle and NOOK for the lowest-possible price on those e-book platforms.
First, about that special deal. I believe it's US-only (so don't shoot the messenger), but for today only Microsoft is offering a full year of Xbox Music Pass, normally $99.99, for half off at just $49.90. If you follow me on Twitter, you may have seen that the first 5000 people who signed up for the deal got it for an even better $29.90. But still, half off is half off. And Xbox Music Pass is a great deal at the normal price.
I've been writing about updating Paul Thurrott's Xbox Music in recent days. It's been something I've been meaning to do with the releases of Xbox Music apps for iOS and Android, and of course the vastly improved Xbox Music app for Windows 8.1. And then Microsoft released yet another Xbox Music client with Xbox One, and it was like ... ugh. So as I noted in Rethinking "Paul Thurrott's Xbox Music", it was time to reorganize the book and not just add on content for the new platforms. Maybe a new structure was possible.
As evidenced in Xbox Music: Add Music from Xbox Music Store to Your Collection, Xbox Music: Download Music for Offline Playback, and Xbox Music: Display Only the Music that is on the Device, which are excerpts from this early version of Paul Thurrott's Xbox Music 2.0, I think this structure is going to work, and makes tons of sense. It should also make it easier to track changes to the platform and its many apps as they come. We'll see.
In the meantime, here's an early look at Paul Thurrott's Xbox Music 2.0. It's very incomplete with lots of gaping content holes. The top-level task list will likely be reordered, added to, and otherwise edited over time. I'm writing this while working on "Windows 8.1 Book," which for what I assume are obvious reasons is getting more attention, but the underlying point here is a good one: Aside from the fact that I think Xbox Music is excellent and getting more so as other computing platforms come on board, it's also representative of how Microsoft is/can support its own services on different platforms. So when it comes time to do similar books about bigger topics—Outlook.com/SkyDrive, Office 365, whatever—this book should serve as my template for how to tackle them.
On that note, I'm very curious about any feedback you may have, structurally, content-wise, whatever.
And while I won't post updates to this book as frequently as I do with "Windows 8.1 Book," I am hoping and expecting to finish it relatively quickly, and I'll use it as a guide to figuring out the Kindle and NOOK publishing processes. See, there's another great reason to do this.
This early, incomplete peek at Paul Thurrott's Xbox Music 2.0 is available in PDF, MOBI (Kindle) and ePub (NOOK) formats.