Microsoft’s “all-in-one music service,” designed to allow users to listen to music wherever they are and on any device will be available to consumers Oct. 16 on the Xbox 360, and on Windows 8 Oct. 26.
The all-in-one service will eliminate “service hopping,” says Yusuf Mehdi, corporate vice-president of Microsoft’s Interactive Entertainment Business Marketing and Strategy. Xbox Music, which will have a catalog of 30 million songs, combines free-streaming radio, music subscription services and music purchasing options.
“There are a lot of individual services that do a good job, but today there isn’t a service which can pull together the benefits of download-to-own, music subscription, or free streaming services,” Mehdi says. “With Xbox Music, what we wanted to do is bring all of that value in one simple, easy-to-use service, then build some additional value on top — make it really beautiful, and have it work across all of your devices. We’ve been able to simplify the music experience in a really powerful way.
“I’m excited as a consumer because I myself am a big music fan and this really will replace all of those other services I’ve been using. From a business perspective, Xbox Music is a great way to show the world what Xbox means for broader entertainment on their phone, tablet, PC or console.”
Users will be able to listen to individual songs or full albums for free on their Windows 8-based tablet or PC. They also can invent music mixes and playlists, fashion artist-based Internet radio stations, use Smart DJ to make playlists with unlimited skipping and buy the music they wish to own.
Xbox Music, a cloud-based service, allows users to listen to music how they choose and on the device they choose.
Purchasing an Xbox Music Pass for $9.99 a month will allow users to store their music in the cloud, says Scott Porter, principal program manager for Xbox Music.
“All they’ll need to do is sign in, and they’ll instantly have all of their content on that device, including access to the playlists they’ve built,” Porter says.
Xbox Music, which comes pre-installed and is the default music player for the new Windows 8 operating system, offers free, ad-supported streaming of the whole catalog on PCs and tablets provided users are connected to the Internet.
The Xbox Music app will also be available on platforms such as Android and iOS in the future.