Earlier today, we unveiled a preview of the all-new look and feel for Xbox Music at the annual Microsoft BUILD Developers Conference. This new Xbox Music experience, set to launch later this year with Windows 8.1, is entirely redesigned from the ground up and will bring music lovers closer to their favorite experiences.
The new Xbox Music app will feature a navigation column on the left side of the screen that provides the core experiences that music lovers access most. It will enhance usability and performance by showcasing:
- Built-in Search: You’ll have faster access to your favorite songs, artists and albums with an in-app “Search” bar.
- Improved Collection Management: Simple access to your music starts in the “Collection,” where the music that you’ve saved in the Xbox Music cloud and your local music and will be at the forefront of the app.
- Streaming Radio Stations: “Radio” will offer seamless creation of new streaming Internet-radio stations based on artists you like and will give you faster access to your favorite Radio stations that you’ve already created.
- Exploring the Music Store: “Explore” will take you into the Music Store where you can browse millions or songs, artists and albums.
- Lists of Playlists: Your custom playlists will be available at a glance to quickly begin playback or make edits, and your playlists will continue to seamlessly sync to your other Xbox Music devices—like Xbox 360 and Windows Phone 8.
We’re making these new improvements, and more, based on feedback we’ve received from our customers to continue enhancing the Xbox Music experience—bringing you all the music you love, every way you want it. Here’s what doesn’t change: Xbox Music is still an all-in-one music service with free music streaming, artist-based Radio, a music store for buying and downloading, and a subscription option for unlimited ad-free music streaming.
Also demoed today at BUILD, the Windows team showcased new Bing search functionality for Windows 8.1 that will integrate seamlessly with Xbox Music. Using Windows Search, you will find musicians, bands and artists presented in a rich field of content, including top songs, albums, videos, images and relevant Web pages. If you select a track from the song list in the Bing results, it will immediately begin playing in the Xbox Music app. By collaborating with the Windows and Bing teams, Xbox Music on Windows 8.1 will make it easier than ever to find tons of great info about your favorite artists and instantly listen to the music you love without backing in and out of apps.
Windows 8.1 beta users can test out the new Xbox Music interface and Bing search integration beginning today. The redesigned app will be available in the 22 Xbox Music Pass countries when Windows 8.1 launches later this year on tablets, laptops and PCs.
The redesigned Xbox Music app in the Windows 8.1 beta is just a preview of what’s to come. In fact, it’s only about 50% of the new features that we’ll be adding. We’ve got lots more from Xbox Music in the coming weeks, so stay tuned for regular updates.
Unveiling the new Xbox Music interface for the Windows 8.1 app arrives on the heels of new features for Xbox Music on Windows 8. Last week we started giving all Windows 8 users 15 free song plays without having to log in, we re-branded the streaming Radio feature (formerly Smart DJ) and we added an easy-to-find Search button inside the app.
For more information on Xbox Music, go to http://www.xbox.com/en-US/music. For more information on Windows 8.1, check out the Windows Blog.