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MS Music Deals: Region/Location Matters

Hey! It’s the holiday weekend so I’m departing from my usual more serious look at Windows platforms, tools, and technologies to dig into a vexing issue that momentarily impeded my pursuit of more usual Thanksgiving weekend activities last night — namely, shopping! For those of you who don’t already know, the MS “Music Deals” app (a Windows Store item available only to those running Windows 8 or higher) has been out since October, and has been offering major “album deals” every Tuesday since it went online. You can read about this app, and an additional add-on deal just for the Thanksgiving weekend in Brandon LeBlanc’s 11/25 post to Blogging Windows entitled “Massive Music Deals promotion just in time for the holidays.” This offer encompasses music compilations from some pretty amazing artists (including John Lennon, George Harrison, the Rolling Stones, James Brown, Elton John, the Eagles, the Grateful Dead, Radiohead, Nirvana, and more — over 50 in all) that the company calls “boxed sets” and is selling for the jaw-dropping price of $1.99 each until midnight on Sunday, November 30.

This sounded like a good deal to me, so I tried to take advantage of it. But although I looked for “Music Deals” in the Store app, I couldn’t find it. Shortly afterward, my son came to me to ask to purchase an item through the Microsoft Store, and that unrelated request led me to figure out what was wrong and ultimately, to fix the problem. The credit card I use for payment at the Store expired last month, and I’ve been updating my card info with all of my various creditors since then slowly but surely as auto-payments or payment data fail because of that outdated info. But when I went into the Store account to try to change my CC info, it wouldn’t accept my mailing address and told me my 5 and 9 digit ZIPs were “not valid postal codes.” That’s when I took a closer look at my account and saw that my country of location was identified as the UK not the USA. A quick online chat with the MS Store support team produced an immediate answer: I had to resort to the Location tab in the Region widget in Control Panel and change the Home Location setting from “UK” to “United States.” I’m not sure how this item got changed or set-up in the first place, but it is clearly an anomaly introduced in the wake of my system rebuild of two weeks ago that I hadn’t yet had cause to bang my head against.


Back in the USA: turns out location is important to Store offers of all kinds.

Turns out the “Music Deals” app is only available to folks in the USA right now, probably for reasons related to resale agreements and/or copyright deals or restrictions. Once I got my location straight, I was able to find and install the app immediately thereafter (it isn’t available in the UK, as my initial experience attests). After that I snarfed up so-called “box sets” (an amusing label, since these all digital downloads require no boxes of any kind) from Johnny Cash, John Coltrane, John Lennon, and others not named “John,” exercising my holiday yen to shop until I dropped right at my very own keyboard. Happy holidays, everybody!

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