Microsoft's Xbox Music service launching on the 360 tomorrow

By on October 15, 2012, 1:00 PM

Outfits like Pandora and Spotify have helped pave the way for a growing list of streaming music providers, once again changing the way we all access and consume our favorite songs. Microsoft will be next on that list as they aim to leverage their multi-platform presence with Xbox Music.

Microsoft’s Xbox Music service is set to go live on the Xbox 360 tomorrow before opening up for service on Windows 8 PCs, tablets and smartphones at a later date. The app will effectively replace the Zune branding and Windows Media Player on the console, we’re told.

Console owners will be the first to enjoy Microsoft’s 30 million song catalog (limited to 18 million in the US). For starters, you’ll need an Xbox Live Gold membership to participate. If you have an existing Zune Pass (now known as an Xbox Music Pass), you’re good to go for unlimited streaming.

The service otherwise costs $9.99 per month or $99.90 for a full year’s access in addition to whatever price you pay for your Xbox Live Gold membership. Microsoft will be offering a free 30-day trial subscription up front, however.

Xbox Music will launch on Windows 8 PCs and tablets on October 26 as a free ad-supported application. You’ll still need an Xbox Music Pass to bypass the ads and gain access to song-specific streaming. The free version will offer unlimited streaming for the first six months. After that, users will be limited to 10 hours of listening per calendar month.

Microsoft highlights features like offline listening and a “smart” radio station built around a specific song, artist or album. And since the service is tied in with your Microsoft login, you’ll be able to sync settings and preferences across all devices using the cloud.

A version for Windows Phone 8 handsets is expected to launch shortly after October 26.




User Comments: 6

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Gareis Gareis said:

Sorry mods, no Edit option,

Even if I purchased an Xbox, I would never purchase Xbox live...

It won't be long now until sony implements this into their playstations.

(Turns out there is an edit option, but it doesn't show on iPads, same with facebook -.-)

howzz1854 said:

Exactly like spotify... again... still following other's footsteps. until microsoft come out with something innovative, people aren't going to just switch over.

NTAPRO NTAPRO said:

Sorry mods, no Edit option, even if I purchased an Xbox, I would never purchase Xbox live...

It won't be long now until sony implements this into their playstations.

They didn't already have some kind of music streaming app thingie?

Gareis Gareis said:

They didn't already have some kind of music streaming app thingie?

Not as far as I know.

ikesmasher said:

They had zune which wasent really streaming.

And I own xbox and xbox live, and ill just stick to free spotify on my PC k thx.

2 people like this | Relic Relic, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

Exactly like spotify... again... still following other's footsteps. until microsoft come out with something innovative, people aren't going to just switch over.

They had the Zune Pass, which was actually the best service available for music lovers. For $14.99 a month you got unlimited music (offline) to your devices (PC/Zune/WP7), streaming for the 360, and you could unlock 10 songs a month DRM free to keep.

With them fading away from the Zune brand and turning it into Xbox Music, they dropped the price to $9.99, added the streaming option to other devices, removed the 10 songs you get to keep and upped the requirements necessary for the service.

So unless I'm missing something from Microsoft's press release, they transitioned away from a unique and arguably the best service around to a more standard streaming service which there are several of. From what I read some of the more popular Zune features may comeback, and Microsoft apparently plans on expanding this. But as of launch, the service at least to me seems like a downgrade, and I'm surprised no ones mentioned it.

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