Windows Phone app for Windows 8 gets updated with ringtone support

We aren't sure as to the "when" but the Windows Phone app/tool for Windows 8 was recently updated. The update adds the ability to transfer playlists and ringtones to your Windows Phone 8 device and watch videos you've taken with your Windows Phone.

Ringtone files must be .m4r format any non-DRM protected music file that the phone can play, no larger than 30MB and can not be protected with digital rights management. When you transfer the ringtones to your Windows Phone 8 device, they will appear in your Settings under Ringtones and Sounds as any other tone would be.

If you haven't installed the Windows Phone app to your Windows 8 computer or tablet, it's a free app that you can find here (opens in new tab) in the Windows Store.

Thanks, Andy, for the tip!

George is the Reviews Editor at Windows Central, concentrating on Windows 10 PC and Mobile apps. He's been a supporter of the platform since the days of Windows CE and uses his current Windows 10 Mobile phone daily to keep up with life and enjoy a game during down time.

  • ugh, when's this getting updated to zune..?
    the one sour spot for me moving from wp7 to 8 has been the media syncing experience (both with this app and its desktop equivalent).
  • Custom message tone support? :P
  • That would be nice
  • Can you just drag and drop using file explorer?
  • yes, but try doing that with a large collection and syncing playlists (which I frequently update).. explorer drag+drop is nice, but nowhere close to making-up for the headache that is wp8 music syncing.. it used to be I'd just drag items (playlists, songs, albums, artists) into a little icon in zune and anytime my phone was home and charging it'd all sync-up beautifully (never even had to plug my phone into my pc)..
  • The Zune client isn't coming back, but your feedback is heard and they're working on making you happier.
  • They don't seem to be... 3 updates since this was released?  The app is horrible and I wish wpcentral would write something up on how they can save WP8 syncing app or how they can save xbox music on windows phones, instead how they can save xbox games on wp....
    IMO, Microsoft isn't working or moving fast enough with these issues.  And they are BIG issues.  It would be nice if they would give some kind of update so that we KNOW our feedback is being heard.  Because right now, I have nothing.  The only thing they've updated to the app was playlist syncing since it was released?  Big deal!  Where is all the other stuff that I had in Zune?  Playlist syncing should have been released when the wp8 syncing app was released.
  • Ha ha, nice. You used their bullshit excuse to shut us up.
  • Yeah, that message, "Mr Balmer" is very comforting and make us happier, seeing that we are all as patient as you are and that we all belive everything MS says even when they do exactly the opposite of their claims. The desktop client has been out long enough and sucks bad enough that Microsoft should have released a proper functioning client for both Windows 7 and 8 months ago. I've been one of Microsoft's biggest supporter especially for mobile device and even I am fed up and considering going to iOS for my next device.
  • ^^ THIS ^^
  • They shouldn't have to be working to make us happier. We should never have been in the situation where buying a new phone results in a complete downgrade as far as music experience goes. XBM is so unwieldy to use and full of massive bugs. How on earth did this get through QA?
    I also agree with bguy_1986, I wish WP Central would give this as much air as the XBox Live games issues. There are so many people for which this mess of a system delivers daily grief!.
  • Complain enough and remember your reference numbers and for the time being they're handing out 1000 ms points!
  • really?!  Who do we complain to?  Xbox Support, Windows Support?
    Might have to check into this.  1000 ms points would be nice...  Although I'd give up those points if it meant we got some big improvements!
  • Complain to Xbox music on the online chat, tell them your issues, get a reference number, in a week complain again and hive them the reference number and they should give you the points. Or you could just try and snag em up front, your call how you go about doing it.
  • Wait, why are they handing out MS Points just like that?
  • Your so right about this, the music app on 8 is terrible. Barely usable and is the Only issue i have with 8. why not just rename Zune and call it Xbox music? How hard os that? Silly mr.ballmer
  • I Miss Zune can microsoft just update Zune instead or rebrand it either way i want Zune support back tbh
  • +8
  • They won't do it because if they do, that would mean that they would also have to deal with folks that have an actual Zune device. I think its fucked up that they are rebuilding a system from scratch when they already had an uber good music management system. They pissed a lot of people off for no reason except for nor wanting to provide support to Zune played.
  • We need to keep up the pressure on MS to bring back Zune. ADD YOUR VOTES to the Uservoice suggestion:
  • Not everybody has a Windows 8 computer at home and it still sucks that  I can't use Zune with my Lumia 920. But I guess that this is nice for Windows 8 users.
  • You don't need Windows 8, the Windows phone desktop app works on Windows 7 and you can also try media player to sync music and playlists.
  • No, the "metro" app sucks just as bad as the desktop app. To echo everyone else, bring back the Zune software!
  • trust me, as a w8 user, this is not nice.. I only use the (marginally better) desktop app, same one as you have on w7 as this one's pretty much useless. and yes, the ideal solution would be to axe these dedicated apps and had zune rebranded to 'xbox media' for desktop, and update the standalone music/video/photo metro apps to also sync directly.
  • Yes please bring back Zune...actually no. I'm so glad to be free of Zune. Syncing automatically despite having set it to manual sync only! Can't drop movie files in to Zune without converting them to mp4! Super slow transfer rates! Why the hell would I want Zune back? For playlist?
  • That's probably because you had it set to high quality, which does warn you that it will take longer. Duuuh.
    But with the progress that pc's have made, simply updating the goddamn zune app to work with the current would make everyone's lives waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay easier.
  • Yes, that's exactly what we need.
  • Playlists? Can I finally transfer non DRM tracks to my phone?
  • Ha, the simple answer no. They aren't trying to make tour music listening experience any easier.
  • Can someone please detail the added playlist support?  Are these the playlists created in the Windows 8 Music app or playlists created in WMP?
  • It accepts M3U, ZPL (zune) and WPL (wmp). When you send a playlist to the phone it looks for all of the tracks in the Music library (because modern Win8 app are not allowed ad hoc filesystem access). It transfers the songs it can find/access and then creates the playlist on the phone. 
  • Does this mean autoplaylists would work now??? If yes, I'm buying an 820 and 64GB chip TODAY.
  • I'll accept ZPL playlists, and sync them, but when you try to play or view it on your WP8 phone, it's empty.
  • Are the playlists made up of DRMed music files?
  • Yes they are because I have purchased Microsoft's XBox Music, which for some odd reason still isn't fully featured and then playlists don't sync and there is incompatibility with Zune Music and XBox Music.... totally whacky way to release a product.
  • But can the app find the playlists created via the Windows 8 Music app?  That's what I'm really curious about...
  • I too would like to know, because i had about a dozen playlists made in Zune that aren't worth sh*t in WP8.... 
  • Is it that bad guys ?
    I haven't used the Windows 8 app or Zune , but the "Windows Phone - App Preview 3" for Windows 7 works fine for me  , It Syncs indvidual playlists & can sync checked songs only ...
  • There you go. It works "fine". Not really good or omg this is an amazing system (that's how Zune was).
  • Well , I just plug-in my 8x & start the App , It brings my iTunes libary & playlists , I hit SYNC & it notifys me when its done .
    That's "Fine" by me , Which is all I want , SYNC my iTunes playlists to my 8X .
  • Are on win 7/8 or mac?
  • Give me Zune back! I'm stuck with splitter albums or mixed ones, even if change the details...
  • God I hate that crap. Xbox Music can't tell what my 2 disk "In your Honor' CD is cause they have it listed as one CD in their library.
  • Yeah.. it's fucking annoying. Plus, there's no way or app on WP to modify details or classify music/albums. I have Pink Floyd music on my phone and Xbox Music took songs from many albums to put them in an "Best of" album that I don't have (Echoes). And it divided "The Wall" in two versions with the rest of the songs instead of two CDs. So some songs are in the "The Wall" album and the others are in "The Wall (2011 Remaster)"... It's fucking stupid.
  • I had this - turned off all of the Xbox music junk in settings, deleted all the music files from my phone and re synchronized - all was well. If you have the Xbox crap on it overrides your own tags with the data from the service, which sucks.
  • Available for Win8 RT as well?
  • Yes this works on Windows RT.
  • Need Zune client back. The Win8 solution is so unpolished...its an extremely poor experience that MSFT should be raked over the coals for putting out...
  • First, what the what is an .m4r file? Second, I used to be able to listen to podcasts on my PC, pause, and resume playback on my phone. I never had to plug my phone in w/ USB because I had wireless syncing. Zune may not be coming back, but until MS steps up their game, the sync experience foe WP8 is a massive step backwards.
  • Podcast is bad, justplain bad. With Zune and WP7.X I could listen to a podcast on Zune, stop, get in my car, and resume where I left off on my phone. No more.
  •  I have no idea about .m4r either.   I cut all my own ringtones as MP3s, save them to my ringtones folder via file explorer... no problems.
    I understand the poor management of music collections, but  I genuinely don't get the idea of needing to sync ringtones and hows its any easier or worse with proper sync software.  Even if you have, let's say, 500 ringtones... why would anyone want to sync all 500 at once?  I have about 40 ringtones myself and pick and choose around 6 to 10 to be on my phone at any one time.
  • I honestly could care less now what they do with wp8 syncing on Win8. Since geting win8 and my Lumia, I've not plugged my phone into anything. I'm going completly wirless. All my music is accessible on my phone via the xbox music account cloud, I download apps and such through my phone, and everything else(email, pictures, skybox, etc) is all sycned automatically through wi-fi. I love being comepletly wire free(aside from the cord attached to my wireless charger and the headphone plug I use in my car).
    What I'd really like for them to fix is the fact that I have ads come on WHILE I'M LISTENING TO MY OWN MUSIC THAT I OWN ON MY COMPUTER! Wtf is that shit? I could understand if I'm streaming music with the music pass, but I'm not. I'm listening to my music that I paid for and put on my pc. This is one of the main reasons why I still use Zune player(aside from Zune being way nicer looking and way easier to use).
  • What? I don't think that's supposed to happen, are you sure you're listening locally?
  • By the way, your ringtone doesn't need to be M3R, it can be any supported format.
  • So, do they finally accept changing the text tones? If not, i think ill get a blackberry z10 when att gets it
  • A black background would be amazing with the Zune client as well :)
    I also liked Zune because it also tells me what exactly I had synced to my player without having me to look back and forth from collection to collection.
  • since were on minor cosmetics, am I the only one bothered by the 'now playing' tile placed above the 'collection' list. I find it looks really weird having a tile above a list of text.. thought it worked much better as an even larger tile in the 'history' section, and it also helped visually differentiate 'history' and 'new' sections...
  • Since we're on cosmetics..rather off-topic, but all of x-box branding. I hate it.
    I wish Zune was the more succesful one and they carried it over to gaming. Zune Box!!!
  • All these ringtone customizations, but damnit I want custom text tones
  • ZUNE PLEASE, instead of this stupid piece of alpha software that repopulated 7 gigs of duplicate files on my desktop.  I don't know what you could call this junk, its not a media player, or organizer, or media sync software.  Its just interested in giving you some gloss with some ads.... Zune was wondermous and while not perfect it was the best I ever used for most media functions and was absolutely stunning for media sync, info, etc.  Killing ZUNE for this garbage shows in so many ways MS is the epiteme of a Blind, Arrogant,  Behemoth, Corporate, Mindless, Entity Stepping and squishing its customers so it can deliver to them what IT wants.  I thought MS had evolved with its discover of ZUNE and using it to design WP but apparently the jealousy was just too much for the other divisions to take and they came in with their scalpels.... OK, lost my mind there for a minute but you probably get my drift
  • Very cool,can add ringtones to my 920,but still using Windows Media Player to add playlist.
  • vote!
  • 1st, you do not 'install' the WP8 app, when you plug in your phone it installs itself and just shows up (or at least that is how it worked for my wife and I).
    2nd, the app is entirely and totally worthless.  It is much simpler to simply use Windows Explorer to move files around between the PC and phone.
    3rd, why on earth are things like playlists not synced wirelessly?  I have 2 desktops and my phone where I am signed in with my LiveID.  I love the desktop integration as it makes it very easy to find my apps, all of my psersonalization (gackgrounds, themes, etc.) gets carried over, and as I use skydrive as a syncing client on the PCs it makes it so that all of my documents get updated every time I sign in. We need this kind of integration for the phone as well so that when changes are made, then they are applied and updated in real time.  There are some things that carry over, so that when I use my LiveID to sign into my phone then it automatically brings over things like my contacts, email, calendars, etc.  But they need more things synced between devices, be it through the LiveID, or the specific software used.
    The is particularly annoying on Music and IE.  I hate that I am listening to a podcast in the car on the way home, and then when I get home there is no nice way for me to stop playback on my phone, and continue on where I left off on my desktop.  Even some form of Smartglass between the phone and PC would fix this.  Or if I find a neat website on my phone that I cannot save a favorite which shows up on my desktop (or vice versa).  I am sure a lot of this is in the works with the Windows Blue project, but it cannot get here soon enough.  I love IE10, it is nice and quick and clean... but my computer usage is spread across several PCs and my phone.  The only thing keeping me from switching over to IE is the lack of some sort of Google Chrome style sign-in which would carry my browsing history, ad filters, and favorites... but I suppose that is what IE11 is supposed to bring later this year.
    Better integration could also be had on things like Messenger.  While not a huge deal, I hate that when I get a message via FB then I have to clear it on both my phone and my desktop.  Surely the system should have some way to know that I viewed it on one device, so it can be cleared on all devices.  They have the big picture interface stuff looking fairly similar across all Windows devices... they just need to work out all of those little details that make it a polished expierence when you are working within the ecosystem.
  • U forgot to add to ur rant that they still dont allow custom text tones... BB 10 comes in less than a month, im probably jumping ship
  • I have a lot of ringtones I cut myself, saved as MP3s.  The thing is, I don't want to save them all to my phone at once... on the other hand, I don't want to have to plug in my phone every single time just to switch a few out.  Then I found the solution that fits me perfectly.
    After making a ringtone, I upload it from the PC to Skydrive.
    There's a 3rd party app in the Market called 'Skydrive Ringtone Maker'.  With this app, I can go into my ringtones folder on Skydrive, choose which ones I want to store on my phone and the app will automatically save the file into the correct directory on the phone.  (My biggest gripe is why the hell the proper Skydrive app couldn't do this on its own? Seems silly!  All you can do from SD app is stream/play the ringtone!).
    So... I literally can have around 50 ringtones I can switch in and out, but don't have to store all 50 on my phone at once.
  • M4r format?? Some one is still desprate to be like Apple. What happend to MP3 files?
  • 1. Use an SD card. XBM recognizes all music. No syncing needed.
    2. Defeating 1, use an Android. I LOATHE the need to SYNC files. I just open the files directly in Ex... haha, stupid MS. Android for multimedia...
  • Go to the Windows Phone Marketplace (on WP8) and download an app called "MPATool". Then, go to settings in the Xbox Music player and turn OFF "Connect to Xbox Music Service". Put your music on your phone (I just copy-and-paste) and use MPATool to download artist backgrounds and any missing album art. It's cumbersome & time-consuming, but no more having your music totally f**ked-up by the Xbox Music Service!
    If you're not happy, and you're half as choked as i am that this beautiful phone was saddled with such shit music syncing capabilities, then SIGN IT NOW. MS pays attention to that board way more than these comments...