We've got some bad news for Lumia and Mix Radio fans in India. According to a new FAQ entry on the support section of Microsoft India's website, users will no longer be able to purchase renewals for unlimited download subscription.
While the ability to renew the premium option hasn't been available for several months now, the official word from Nokia/Microsoft was that the team was aggressively working on a resolution. This update brings a sad end to any hope that Lumia users were holding on to. Dean Pattrick, Evangelist for MixRadio at Microsoft, also confirmed the change.
MixRadio's unlimited streaming has been the highlight of the service, particularly for Indian users who long enjoyed unlimited download subscription free for a few months with a new device purchase, as well as affordable renewals afterwards. It worked well for a lot of us and you could download songs while on Wi-Fi and not run into huge data bills for streaming songs on the move.
FAQ - How can I renew my India MixRadio unlimited music download subscription?
You will no-longer be able to purchase renewals for your unlimited download subscription via Operator Billing, Credit/Debit Card or Voucher as this feature is no-longer available.
The streaming MixRadio service will still be functioning on your Lumia WP8 device without the unlimited download subscription, where you can enjoy all of your favorite artists and discover new ones.
But this doesn't just affect MixRadio, the news also hurts the Windows Phone ecosystem in India as a whole. As it stands now, there's no way to download music on Windows Phone right now. While similar Indian services like WYNK, Saavn, et al do not have Windows Phone apps as yet, Xbox Music, like other popular global music services, is not available in India.
As it turns out now, offline mixes is the only saving grace. I'm a big fan of offline mixes, but the unlimited download subscription is the best of course. There's always unlimited streaming and it's pretty good, but I acknowledge that a lot of users prefer downloads over streaming. Bring on the outrage!
Thanks Clifford for the tip!