Samsung paid millions of dollars, and their app won’t even work [Magna Carta Holy Grail]

Ready for another episode of “when ridiculously high-profile deals for exclusive music launches go wrong?” Many folks woke up early on the 4th of July, eager to download Jay-Z’s latest studio album which — for the first three days — could only be downloaded from certain Samsung Galaxy phones for free. The first million people to get in on it wouldn’t have to pay a dime. All they’d have to do is own a Galaxy S3, Galaxy S4, or a Galaxy Note 2, and download the official Magna Carta Holy Grail app from the Google Play Store.


That all sounded great… until it failed. Midnight came and went and many folks bum rushed the app to get a taste of the latest from rap’s biggest mogul, but for most people, the app did nothing but show a white screen with the MCHG logo sitting below Jay-Z’s name (as shown in the screenshot off tot he right). From there, it’s dead. You can’t even go back into the app and check out the lyrics or videos as you could before the countdown timer expired.

Some have resorted to listening to radio playbacks of the album, or — worse yet — pirating it. To be quite honest, I don’t blame them. When millions of dollars exchange hands for a major release deal like this you should have all your ducks in a row ahead of time. Sure, users didn’t have to pay for anything, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t entitled to what they were promised. We’re willing to cut Samsung some slack here, as we imagine even they couldn’t anticipate how much of a strain this would put on their servers.

Still, it’s a pretty big deal when you screw up a pretty big deal, and Samsung should have been more prepared to make sure this thing went off smoothly. It’s a shame, too — I heard the album was great. I guess I’ll be waiting until it hits Google Play Music before I get a chance to hear it for myself. Any of you experiencing the same issues?


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TAGS: Magna Carta Holy Grail

  • Chris Chavez

    Somebody mentioned the album being downloaded to the “music” folder on their SD card? Not sure what’s up but yeah…. #Androidlife

    • Tommy Thompson

      It is.

    • Daniel Tiberius

      lol I just checked and it’s there. Good eye!

    • idongacha


    • PhoenixPath

      It went into the Music folder?

      …odd place for it. *wicked grin*

    • blue720

      Don’t know who that somebody is but it’s not me. As far as the app, it worked like a charm for me. I downloaded the album and I could check out the videos.

    • plu

      In the app there was a button that said DOWNLOAD ALBUM. Then its on sdcardmusic. Note 2

    • Janice S. Roberts

      what James said I am blown away that a mom can earn $9686 in 4 weeks on the computer. did you look at this site w­w­w.K­E­P­2.c­o­m

  • slsf617

    Fortunately it worked for me and when it did download you could play from the app or find it in the Music folder to play it on Google Music or whatever you use

  • Tommy Thompson

    It’s working perfectly fine now. You are making a big deal out of nothing. Things like this happen all the time. Nexus 4 comes to mind, or Google I/O. You can’t always estimate the exact traffic something is going to pull.

    • PhoenixPath

      Yeah…It’s Samsung, guys. Why would we expect them to be able to handle mobile traffic…it’s not like their business revolves around mobile devices or anything…


      • Carl Rood

        It’s a simple fact that no matter how many load simulations you run, the real world throws something at you that was never expected. It happens.

        • PhoenixPath

          So give ’em a free pass?

          Sorry, they aren’t that kind of special. They don’t get excused for screwing up at what should be easy for them.

          Don’t be the kind of fan that excuses poor execution, that’s no different than a cult follower. Be the kind that expects the best from the best.

  • Go Hawkeyes

    I’m more amazed that there are that many people who want to listen to that crap.

    • Keith

      Way to have an open mind. What kind of “crap” do you prefer?

      • bob

        Non crap crap…

      • Robert G. Ingersoll
      • mmmmmbop

        Why is it that you are a closed minded bigot of some sort if you can recognize garbage?

        • OtisFeelgood

          Why is it that music you don’t listen to has to be labeled “garbage”?

          • mmmmmbop

            Odd that you feel the need to call that “music”.

          • OtisFeelgood

            Not surprising that you didn’t answer my question.

          • mmmmmbop

            Fine. Music I don’t listen to doesn’t have to be garbage. There is actually very little music I consider actual garbage. It just so happens that Jay-Z falls square in the very small segment of “music” that truly is garbage.

          • Good Bad Dad

            This coming from soneone who’s username is “mmmbop” ??

          • OtisFeelgood

            He’s a Hanson fan. lmao

          • Good Bad Dad

            Which kind of nulls his point, imo.

          • Keith
          • Joshhud

            I like how mmmmmmbop stopped responding after someone pointed out his handle was mmmmmmbop.. HAHAHAHAHAH

        • Keith

          What are you talking about? If you read carefully you will pick up on the fact I’m not seriously calling his preference of music crap. When it comes to music it’s a personal preference, you can’t expect everyone to have the same taste in music. So with an adult mind you should be able to take a different perspective on things…. but if people prefer being immature than that is their choice.

      • AGx

        Jay Z = Crap
        I think thats what he meant.

    • simpleas

      yeah, go watch more ironman rofl

    • blue720

      I’m even more that there are people like you who would expose the crap that is between their ears.

    • AfterDark DJ

      Rock,metal, jazz, and country is crap :P

    • Phillip Bee

      To each his own. If you dont want to hear it dont !! And dont comment, whats the point ?!?!?!

  • Glen Livet

    got it to work this morning on both my S3 and my roommates S4. took a little persistence but it was worth it

  • tyguy829

    If you get stuck on the white screen, press the back button twice, close the app from recents, then go into settings and force stop the app then clear the cache. then, re-open the app, and let it sit for 2-4 minutes. you will get through. when you click download the album, it will go to the sdcard/music folder

    • Patrick Polish

      worked perfectly for me, thanks

    • cdf3

      I’ve looked all over and still can’t find the files.
      On my Samsung Galaxy Note 2 I do not have a folder called.. “sdcard/music folder”

    • Chaim Halberstam

      Thanks for the tip, download wasn’t working for me until I did the app data an cache reset as suggested, it then worked perfectly :) tyvm again 4 the solution.

  • Nothing_Better_Than_CHOICE

    The app opened fine for me when I opened it at 10am (CST).

  • Jay

    Worked fine, for me

  • trevb30

    Everything seems to be ok I get past that first page and I can see everything and the album even downloaded…. but wait a second… none of the tracks are playing?!?! Anyone else having this problem?

  • MIX

    It’s a pretty spectacular launch in my world. It’s working fine on my S4. All songs are sitting in my music folder and playable.

  • simpleas

    After reading this, I opened the app and it works great.. whats the holdup?

  • WoodyGrape

    Works fine…

  • atomikpunk

    sounds like user error

    • uniquename72

      Sounds like usability error.

  • Lee McLaurin

    Worked for me.

  • Daniel Tiberius

    Worked fine for me, though I didn’t check it until like 11am. Downloaded fine and went right to the music folder on my Note 2. You can copy it off of there if you want, though it’s only 160kbps.

    • Jason Farrell

      160kbps? really? one more reason not to bother. flac, 320k, or nothing.

  • Shaggyskunk

    Works fine for me, and I didn’t download it until almost 4 pm eastern time.

  • ljhughes8

    It worked not a 9pm but 2am.

  • 9Johnnyn9ne9

    I downloaded it fine

    • idongacha

      got mine at 730 this morning.

      • 9Johnnyn9ne9

        Me too

  • Michael Foreman

    I got a couple of different error codes. Disappointing.

  • Bryan Sandoval

    Worked for me just fine

  • ace

    I downloaded it off of there about a hour ago

  • Bryan Yoshida

    Took me an hour of trying to get the app to work before i finally got to where i could download it. The app sucked. Pretty disappointing the quality was only 160kbps.

  • Sean

    I like music. So fortunately for me I had no interest in this whatsoever.


    What really sucks is the app only works w twitter or Facebook which I don’t have or care for.

    Ian B

  • Jay Rock

    Mine worked! my FB page is going crazy from itards asking for a link to the files :)

  • rick

    Worked fine for me, no problems at all. And it’s a great album!

  • ShangTsung702

    Hmmm… worked for me after midnight, but not prior. I got all the songs, but I can only play it via the Jay-Z app. I can’t find the files it downloaded. Oh well. It’s free.

  • CerealFTW

    found this on xda, it’s worth a shot (great album BTW):

    Alright … for those having issues … this is how it worked for me on my note 2….

    when it hangs

    click back twice

    hold the home button to bring up recent apps.
    swipe MCHG

    go into Settings / Applications

    then search for the MCHG app

    click on it and select clear cache and clear data

    next click force close.

    go back to the App and open it.

    NOW its NOT guaranteed that it will open up on the first try so if it hangs again, force close (through settings /apps) again and load the app again. Do this a few times until the app opens. i tried this three times … the first go around it opened on the 3rd time… 2nd time it opened on the 11th time. 3rd time it opened on the 6th

    When it opens its gonna ask you what it asked when you first downloaded the app… Twitter or facebook.

    Once you do this process it will count down 5,4,3,2,1 and open the app to a video and take you to the screen where the lyrics and videos are….

    you’ll see “Download” click that

    once you get to this point BE PATIENT while everything loads including videos and album… if you need to do other stuff on you phone just click the HOME button and if you want to check on the app just hold HOME to bring up recent apps and select MCHG…

    WHATEVER you do at this point DO NOT CLICK the BACK button ! this will make the app cycle back and hang for whatever reason… if this happens your gonna have to redo all the steps

    not sure what the app does but i think it bypasses the usual loading and loads as if you are opening the app for the first time so you go through the process again and lets you in direct.

    I dont advise that you delete the app. Not sure how the app works or how the count the million people… it might work as if we all have a place in line … it might not not sure but i wouldn’t delete the app ….

    BTW Holy Grail is sick … even if it features NSYNC haha

  • damon

    The music did download. You just have to transfer the files in your file application to your music folder

  • nemesys06

    Just got in the app and had no problem downloading it

  • jsolis

    Good job samsung, dont let anyone download $hity “music”

  • JH

    just downloaded it with no problem

  • AuXroid

    Who needs an app or a Galaxy? I just got it off a torrent. And deleted it because I hate rap.

    • NightAngel79

      Cool story Bro! :)

    • uniquename72

      I like rap, tho not Jay – Z, but I’d still get the torrent. The app sounds like a pain.

  • Samsung Fanboy

    worked just fine on my Wife’s S4., she’s no rap fan but its free and we wanted to support Samsung.

  • Mastermind


  • pregameonlinecom

    Worked just fine for me on my Note II. About ready to start listening to it.

  • ebo

    it was an embarrassment for samsung apple users where laughing on social media

    • z0phi3l

      Most iOS users are idiots, coincidence?

  • CerealFTW

    he had a verse in a song(I think somewhereinamerica): “might break your internet” coincidence? I think not

  • rustygh

    LMFAO! anyone downloading jay-z deserves this…

    • chris420o



    works fine for me

  • km75sr

    Worked fine for me. Although I had to wait until around 9:30 this morning. Was even able to move the files to a different folder so now I can access the music without opening up the Samsung app

  • coolbreeze03

    I tried til like 2am to get it then went to sleep. But when I woke up at like 10. It downloaded with out a problem. Been playing it all day

  • Jordan Caviness


  • Zinrion

    I had issues then realized the app needed to be updated. After that it worked just fine.

  • np6s4x

    so much hate and jealousy

  • Jason Crumbley

    Yeah. It was just massively slow. I got the download fine.

  • Phillip Bee

    App continuously force closed on me. 5 days and 4 updates later it finally worked. So I could view lyrics and promos. The night of the release nothing happened. No download available. I checked back periodically and later this morning it fiiiiinally was able to download it.

    Was not the best experience for me however it served its purpose, got the music when I was supposed to (which did download to my internal sd under the music folder), and will soon be deleted.

  • Cc Young

    Mines downloaded and plays as beautifully as one might imagine x Love my Samsung s3m :))x

  • hsamad

    thing worked perfectly…from the moment I downloaded the app until I got the album as promised the second I was able to. it worked within the app and went into the music folder on my phone. much ado about nothing. unfortunately a vast number of people have these high end phones just so they can say they have them and have absolutely no clue as to how to use them.

  • yankeesusa

    It worked fine for me. I understand that the beginning was not good but what do you expect when thousands of people hit one app at one time? I don’t think any other app would have acted better. Websites crash all the time when they get bombarded. Phandroid is making to much of a big deal for nothing. I waited till this morning and it worked perfectly. No need to complain about something that was essentially free. Cmon phandroid, I really enjoy your articles but making a big deal over this? Pathetic!

  • EasyEEE

    Who is Jay Z?

  • Joshhud

    … it worked for me at like 7am EST. Not a single problem except the CD isnt great.. It did download it to a weird spot but i just moved the files and im all good now.

  • Anthony Tran

    I’d be kind of pissed if I were Jay-Z. It’s not really good PR if his exclusive app isn’t working.

  • John Shaw

    Every time this Jay-Z app is mentioned I gotta see 100 posts about how his music is crap. If you don’t like the music don’t listen to it.

  • William Cochran

    Really surprised that Samsung or any company would tie their product and Company name to someone who uses the “N” word more than Paula Deen uses butter! Enough f-bombs also! Was looking forward to hearing one of the “great” musicians of our time but was sorely disappointed after trying to listen to the few three songs. Bad move Samsung in my opinion. Let the bashing begin!

    • chris420o

      grow up peter pan

  • Mike

    Get update, then it works fine.

  • guest

    I just downloaded it…. the app wants way to many permission, then you have to log in with your facebook or twitter account and it wants access to all your contacts and messaging system. I uninstalled before giving it this information. I wish they would put all that in the description on the play store so I dont waste my time.

  • simpleas

    They’re both crap to be honest, iron man and jayz. But lets be real here folks, i’d rather be listening to jayz then watching ironman again rofl

  • msladyc_

    I dont have an sd card on my galaxy 3s so where did the album go? Fml I can’t find it. Help!

    • JH

      look in your internal SD card under music

  • faceless128

    strange article… it was posted at 1:31PM when the app … which admittedly was hammered at midnight… was working fine by 1AM, over 12 hours before the story was posted… Quentyn, are you a Nas fan?!?

  • feztheforeigner

    Also compatible with my Nook HD+…But not my Galaxy Nexus…

  • Ron

    Yeah! I can at least still the lyrics but the play icon just flips between pause and play. Nothing else. Even though the album is downloaded. Really sucks.

  • hoz590

    who cares about jayz?

  • DYNK

    It worked for me fine. Didn’t need to use app after I finished downloading on my note 2. All my music players Inc stock can find them. It’s in for browser stock too. If it need maneuvering

  • Dave R

    I told it to download. It said the album was downloaded. I checked. It’s not there. I searched all of my storage (and I mean ALL). Not there. Wrote to Samsung 3 times, long, very descriptive emails, with screenshots of the app stating it was downloaded (I watched the bar as it did) and of my Music folder. Each time they wrote back to me, they ignored everything I said and gave me the same newbie answers, like, “Download the songs” and “It’s in your music folder”. And they actually said to me, “Make sure that you’re running the app when you try to download it’. I will not repeat what my last email said. I have spent tens of thousands of dollars with Samsung over the years. They have lost a customer. Nt because of an album. But because of how they handled it. And I even gave them yhree chances. I will never buy another Samsung product!

  • ac

    Very strange. I had a friend with a S4 that had problems, but I had no problems with my Note 2. I had more issues, early on, where the video previews were going to black screen and not loading, but had no problem downloading the album on my Note 2.

  • Mark2468

    I downloaded the album and it is weak compared to his other albums.

  • b0bbYx

    I had no issues. Worked for me on the 4th when I woke up. *shrugs*

  • dannydarko

    The app worked for me on the 5th, got the whole album downloaded to my phone in about 2 minutes. Its a great album I really like Crown.