I have always been a fan of the Zune ecosystem, even if it never really caught on. In particular, I loved its media store and streaming services in the later part of its life. That being said, Xbox Music seems to be taking everything I love and pushing it in the right direction.
While I’d still like to see a Microsoft-branded media player, it probably isn’t necessary in today’s world where most of us have our music library loaded onto our phones.
We knew Microsoft Xbox Music was coming soon, an now it has launched. This post covers a few last minute details about what to expect. It has been confirmed that the service will exist only on Windows devices and the Xbox 360– at first. Eventually it could roll-out to other competing mobile platforms or even to TVs and radios. You have to start somewhere, though.
Xbox Music – Free Streaming for All
Microsoft Xbox Music is becoming all the more exciting: it offers free streaming. While it isn’t the only service to do this, I always liked Microsoft’s selection during the Zune Pass days and wouldn’t mind returning as a customer.
Like most other streaming services, the free version is ad-supported and has other limits in place such as how many songs you can play at once, how many you can skip, etc. Still, it is free music streaming- hard to complain.
For those that want the full experience, it will cost just $10 per month. This included all-you-can-eat streaming and downloadable songs. It also means Xbox game console streaming and Windows Phone 8 streaming. Keep in mind that only PC and tablets running Windows 8 are compatible with the free version, though.
Can Xbox Music compete against iTunes?
With Apple hoping to get its own Pandora-like service sometime in the near-future and its existing firm grasp on the music ecosystem, does Xbox Music stand a real chance? Honestly, it really depends a lot on the success of Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8.
If there aren’t any tablet or phone users utilizing Microsoft Windows 8, the customer base will be very small and it won’t stand a chance. If Windows 8 on mobile is successful, consumers might decide to ditch iTunes on their PC as well, in favor of a more universal experience on all their devices.
I used to love iTunes but I got sick of their less-than-awesome UI and made a switch to streaming, since I listen to 90% of my music on my PC or streamed through Spotify onto my smartphone. I like the new UI with Xbox Music and truly think I’ve found something that might make me switch away from Spotify.
What do you think, do you like Xbox Music or not?