Rumor Patrol: Xbox Music To Debut This Month

Oct 4, 2012 by  

It’s been a year since Microsoft’s Zune media players ceased to be a going concern, and – if new reports are to be believed – the device’s namesake music service will follow suit before the end of the month. In its place, Microsoft will roll out Xbox Music, an updated, flexible streaming music platform revealed during the company’s E3 2012 Press Conference.

The first rumored details about Xbox Music surfaced last April – at that point, the service (allegedly) went by the codename “Woodstock.” Similar to Spotify and Sony’s Music Unlimited, Xbox Music will offer a library of more than 30 million songs, and will initially be accessible from Xbox 360, Windows Phones, and PCs running Windows 8 . In fact, the service is expected to launch right alongside Windows 8 – and Microsoft’s new Surface tablets – on October 26, 2012. Further down the line, Xbox Music is expected to add support for iOS and Android platforms.

Xbox Music

According to The Verge, a free, ad-supported version of Xbox Music will be available, as will an ad-free, subscription-based option. While there is no word yet on what a monthly subscription will cost, a current Zune Music Pass runs $9.99 a month ($99.99 a year). Considering that both Spotify and Music Unlimited also offer $9.99 a month standard subscriptions, expect Xbox Music to stay in that price range. Finally, Xbox Music will reportedly offer users the option of saving music and playlists to Microsoft’s cloud-storage solution, SkyDrive.

Keep in mind, Microsoft has yet to confirm any of these details – beyond the trailer at the top of the page, which debuted at E3 2012, the company has been notably quiet on the subject of Xbox Music. If the service is indeed set to launch on the 26th, an official announcement can’t be far off.

If Xbox Music exists exactly as rumored – free and premium versions, SkyDrive storage, support for a wide variety of devices – it should be a competent, though hardly revolutionary, music service. The question is: will that be enough? After all, Apple’s iTunes – love it or hate it – is practically ubiquitous; the unprecedented success of iPhone has made iTunes the default source for legions of music lovers. Meanwhile, both Spotify and the Amazon Cloud Player have managed to attract significant audiences in recent years, and are already accessible from a wide variety of devices (game consoles sadly excluded). Why would a music fan who has invested in any of the current options want to “start over” with Xbox Music, particularly after the failure of Zune? Would you?

Ranters, are you looking forward to Xbox Music, or would you rather see Microsoft (and Sony and Nintendo, for that matter) offer console apps for existing music services like the Amazon Cloud Player and Spotify? Let us know in the comments below.

Xbox Music is rumored to launch October 26, 2012.

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Follow me on Twitter @HakenGaken.

Source: The Verge

 

14 Comments

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  1. I wonder if it will be possible to run music from Xbox Music while playing a game, like music streamed from a PC. If it is possible, I see this being used quite a bit by many gamers who like to listen to music while gaming.

    Also, this will most likely launch on Xbox 360 alongside the annual dashboard update.

  2. That’s exactly the thing, no one will start over. Music lovers already have so much invested in what they currently use, whatever service/platform that may be.

    This is just more groundwork for Xbox PC… err… 720.

  3. wouldn’t it be nice if they focused more on gaming and less of other bs that barely anyone cares for or uses, that way it would feel worthwhile paying $50+ per year for gold membership (which atm doesn’t do much besides give me discounts on some games).

    i know they want the system to be as wide an entertainment unit as possible, but they fail to realise that most poeple only buy the console to play games, not listen to music or watch sports…

    • They already have dedicated servers for multiplayer matchmaking in hundreds of games, as well as supporting coop, and a growing number of arcade titles and games on demand. What else could they do on the gaming side that they don’t do already? Just because you or “most people” won’t utilize these features doesn’t mean other people won’t.

      • I don’t fully agree with jwalka but I should be able to watch HBO Go and Netflix without gold. The fact that I need gold when I don’t play multiplayer games just to watch those two programs always annoyed me.

        • That’s a fair proposal, actually. I don’t really know why it’s required to have Gold to use any of the video apps. It doesn’t bother me, though, because I use Gold for all its purposes, so I’m getting my money’s worth, but for someone like you, I think it’d be best to use a PC to watch HBO Go and Netflix.

          By the way, is HBO Go worth it? I don’t know much about it and I don’t know what kind of movies they offer.

          • My PC’s power supply just went out and my laptop skips when playing videos so it’s out of the question for streaming movies.

            HBO Go is actually nice to have. Its free if you already get HBO from someone like Direct TV. All HBO original series are on it now like true blood. They also have boxing and a lot of the movies that HBO plays now.

            The only thing I don’t like about HBO Go is that I can watch Netflix moves in full HD without any skips but if I tried to watch an HBO Go movie in full HD it stops to buffer alot.

          • There’s no question of “worth it” for HBO Go, since it’s free if you have HBO, and entirely unavailable if you don’t.

          • I didn’t know it was unavailable if you don’t already have it in a subscription package through cable/satellite. I’ve never looked at anything on it, I’ve just seen it advertised on the dashboard a lot.

          • Yeah, I imagine the cable companies pay HBO a lot of money to keep them from offering HBO Go as a standalone thing. HBO’s probably a big part of what keeps some people from “cutting the cord.”

  4. …and it still won’t have anything I want to listen to.

  5. What’s a Zune?

  6. It is interesting, the “why would people start over” thing. And it’s certainly a valid argument, but it’s not quite airtight. There was a time, after all, when a lot of us had profiles on MySpace. If you can differentiate your service enough, you can always have a chance of grabbing users away from their existing service or what have you. And for this kind of service — where you can only stream stuff and don’t actually make any lasting purchases (which is what this service sounds like it is?) — there’s not really much of a reason not to switch if the new thing offers even slightly better prices or convenience or some other benefit.

    • Yeah, I don’t know why GameRant is making such a big deal about people not wanting to switch. Why wouldn’t they want to? People switched from Last.fm to Pandora to Spotify, not to mention all the smaller ones. Why wouldn’t they switch to this? What’s stopping them? A lot of people enjoy the act of building playlists, as said in numerous Spotify ads.

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