Stillwater News Press

Our World

October 16, 2012

Microsoft to begin rolling out Xbox music service

Microsoft's Internet music service will roll out starting Tuesday on Xbox and next week on computers with Windows 8, as the company looks to compete against Pandora Media and Spotify.

Xbox Music will offer free, unlimited advertising-supported streaming of music on computers and tablets. For those seeking access on the Xbox gaming console and mobile phones, the service costs $9.99 a month, said Scott Porter, principal program manager for the product.

Customers who prefer to buy music, rather than just playing it online, can also purchase albums and tracks. By offering music streaming and downloads, the world's largest software maker is betting it can attract users from Apple's iTunes and Amazon.com's music store, as well as listeners of streaming services such as Pandora, Spotify, Rdio and Rhapsody International.

"This gives Microsoft a strong music story which they've lacked for years and extends the Xbox brand to media and entertainment," said Michael Gartenberg, an analyst at market research firm Gartner Inc. "A free streaming service with ads every 15 or 20 minutes is pretty compelling. This is will put a lot of pressure on the Spotify's, the Rdio's and Pandora's."

The application will also be available on new handsets with Microsoft's Windows Phone 8 software, coming in November. Mobile apps for Apple's iOS and Google Inc.'s Android are planned for next year, Porter said.

Redmond, Wash.-based Microsoft had already added television and sports content to its Xbox Live service in a bid to push into the consumer entertainment market.

Xbox Music features touch controls and the tile design of Windows 8. It will also be the default music service on the operating system. Customers who want to use the streaming service without ads on PCs and tablets will also have to pay $9.99 a month.

When a customer creates a playlist or downloads music on one device such as a PC, the account is automatically updated if they access it using a phone, tablet or Xbox because the data is stored in the cloud. That's an advance over Xbox Music's predecessor the Zune music service, Porter said.

Initially Xbox Music will lack some of the social features seen in a service like Spotify, which tells users what music their friends are listening to. While those will come next year, Porter said, Microsoft is also mulling how to make those features useful without "spamming" your friends with constant notifications about a user's listening choices.

The service will have a worldwide catalog of 30 million tracks, and in the U.S. there will be 18 million tracks available.

 

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Our World
Must Read
Buy & Share Photos
NewsPress e-Edition
NewsPress Specials
AP Video
Plane Crashes in Taiwan, Dozens Feared Dead Republicans Hold a Hearing on IRS Lost Emails Raw: Mourners Gather As MH17 Bodies Transported Robot Parking Valet Creates Stress-free Travel Raw: MH17 Bodies Arrive in Netherlands Raw: Fight Breaks Out in Ukraine Parliament Disabled Veterans Memorial Nearing Completion Last Mass Lynching in U.S. Remains Unsolved Home-sharing Programs Help Seniors Ex-NYC Mayor: US Should Allow Flights to Israel Clinton: "AIDS-Free Generation Within Our Reach" Judge Ponders Overturning Colo. Gay Marriage Ban Airlines Halt Travel to Israel Amid Violence VA Nominee McDonald Goes Before Congress US Official: Most Migrant Children to Be Removed Police Probing Brooklyn Bridge Flag Switch CDC Head Concerned About a Post-antibiotic Era Courts Conflicted Over Healthcare Law Raw: Truck, Train Crash Leads to Fireball
Stocks
NDN Video
CDC Director Warns Of A World Where Antibiotics No Longer Work Whoa! Watch "Housewives" Star Do the Unthinkable Raw: Fight Breaks Out in Ukraine Parliament Chris Pratt Interrupts Interview To French Braid Intern's Hair Shirtless Super Mario Balotelli Dances While Ironing - @TheBuzzeronFOX LeBron apologizes to neighbors with cupcakes Justin Bieber In Calvin Klein Underwear Shoot Samsung Pre-Trolls The IPhone 6 With New Ad Jimmy Kimmel Introduces His Baby Girl Swim Daily, Nina Agdal in the Cook Islands Guilty Dog Apologizes to Baby for Stealing Her Toy Prince George Turns 1 and is Already a Trendsetter Train Collides With Semi Truck Carrying Lighter Fluid Kanye West Tells-All on Wedding in "GQ" Interview Tony Dungy Weighs in on Michael Sam Scarlett Johansson Set To Marry In August New Star Wars Episode XII X-Wing Revealed Obama: Putin must push separatists to aid MH17 probe Michigan inmates no longer allowed to wear orange due to 'OITNB' Adam Levine Ties the Knot