How much people are dedicated to the things they purchase has always been interesting. When someone has paid their own hard-earned money for something – anything really – they become flip sides of the same coin. There are the users who’ve spent their money on something and loved it, and tell other people they love it too. Then there are the people who feel cheated; the people who know deep down that they’ve just been ripped off.

Ask enConnected is about answering questions, whatever they may be about. This column is also about preventing users from getting stuck in the “I hate that.” Or “I love it trap.” Submit your questions Ask enConnected concerning any of Microsoft’s entertainment ecosystem. That means everything from Xbox 360 to Xbox One, Xbox Music and Windows. Let’s do this.

Pre-loading on the Xbox One

Q. How does pre-loading on the Xbox One work? Do I still get to pay for the game when it comes out?

A.This is a big question, that I think folks all over are going to need help processing. Let’s dive in. Pre-loading is strictly a concept borne out of the digital games revolution. In the days where you could only expect digital versions of games to arrive months after their disc-based counter parts, you’d simply just hit a store and pre-order if you wanted a game on release night.

Now that digital games are getting the respect they deserve Microsoft needed a way to let users pre-order digital games through their console. That’s where this new pre-loading system comes in. Users pay in full for the game and get the pre-order extras that come with the game if there are any. In exchange, Microsoft makes the digital game available for download days before it’s due to be released. Users who pre-order a game can’t play it early, but it’s on their Xbox One’s hard drive waiting to be unlocked. On release day Microsoft unlocks the game – at midnight their time. On the East Coast of the United States that works out to be around 3 a.m. Eastern Standard Time.

Adding Songs to Xbox Music for iPhone

Q. I can’t add MP3s I already own to Xbox Music for iPhone.

A. You can’t add songs to Xbox Music on iPhone because that’s not something you’re allowed to do currently. Xbox Music for iPhone and Xbox Music for Android devices like the Samsung Galaxy S5. Are designed with streaming in mind only. They can’t see the files that are stored on your iPhone or Galaxy S5. For now, you’ll need to keep switching between the basic music player on the iPhone and the Google Play Music or Music app on your Android device if you want to play anything local.

Theatrically, you could add the songs you already own to your Xbox Music collection and solve the problem that way. Of course, if Microsoft does ever fix this and adds local play you’ll have two of everything. Sorry I can’t be more help.

Xbox One Price Cut

Q. Do you think there’s an Xbox One price cut on the way? I wanna get one for the holidays.

A. I personally don’t think the Xbox One could get any cheaper in the near future. With the $399 Xbox One arriving on store shelves in June, Microsoft’s problem is no longer competitive pricing. Don’t get me wrong – I don’t know what the exact problem is. I just know that it’s not that.

You’re in luck though. It’s my understanding that today is the last day to take advantage of that free game with every Xbox One deal. I’d order the Madden NFL 15 or Forza 5 bundle then redeem the free game. The console isn’t any cheaper, but you’re saving some on extras.

Xbox Music Payment Method

Q. I think Microsoft is discontinuing Xbox Music. I can’t edit my payment method online.

A. This is an interesting problem. As far as I know – don’t worry I’m contacting Microsoft to find out more – switching payment methods should work fine from the portal. I’d try there. Now, I have run into this problem once before. It happened to me when I had my payment option canceled and wanted to continue to get the free 10 songs that Microsoft used to gift users with Zune Music Pass. You don’t say how long you’ve been with the service, but perhaps that has something to do with it? I’d contact Xbox Music support on Twitter and see what they can do for you. Do not add a new payment method and switch to it as a default. It is my understanding that it will switch you to Xbox Music Pass and kill any free songs going forward. That’s what happened to me 10 free songs anyway.

Xbox Live and Windows Phone

Q. Any benefits to buying a Windows Phone for Xbox Live?

A. Respectfully, as a Windows Phone users I’d say not a single one. If you like earning achievements toward your Gamerscore, go for it. If not, don’t buy a Windows Phone alone for Xbox Live integration. The operating system doesn’t offer a single thing besides achievements that you can’t do with your iPhone or Android device. Again, Windows Phone is a great operating system and cool new devices are coming all the time, but don’t buy for this feature alone.

Thank you so much for your questions everyone! Until next time America. (Yes, that was a Maury Povich reference.)

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