Microsoft’s much awaited music service: the Xbox Music, is going to be launched on 16th October. You might think, with the “Xbox” tag on, it might be restricted only to Xbox gaming consoles. But no, if you consider Microsoft’s strategy for the coming decade, it is trying to make Xbox an entertainment brand, with everything from gaming to music under it. So Xbox Music is not just restricted to Xbox gaming consoles, it will also come pre-installed in Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 devices (which will be available towards the end of October). And Microsoft is not going to stop at just this, there are plans of rolling out Xbox Music for other platforms as well in the coming years.
So what makes the Xbox Music different ? We have iTunes for music download, Vevo for music videos, Spotify for streaming songs, Pandora for internet radio and many more music applications, so why do we need Xbox Music ? Here is why, Xbox Music combines together features like on-demand streaming of songs, purchase songs or whole albums from Xbox Music Store, stream music videos, cloud storage of music files etc, all of which, till now were not available on a single application. Microsoft claims that Xbox music will offer 30 million tracks which is “on par with iTunes” and will also offer 70,000 videos which is more than what Vevo offers. So for all music lover, the Xbox music looks like a neat application to have.
Xbox Music offers three service models: free, Xbox Music Pass, and Pay-per-Song. The free mode lets you stream music from its database without paying a penny. But you will have to put up with ads and this service is only available on Windows 8. Xbox Music Pass on the other hand is a monthly subscription package with which you get unlimited access to all the songs. The Xbox Music Pass comes with a monthly fee of $99.99. The Pay-per-song mode lets you buy a specific song or whole album from Xbox Music Store.
Xbox Music will be available for Xbox 360 user with 2012 console update. And like i said earlier, it will come pre-installed with Windows 8 and Windows 8 Phone devices towards the end of October. For other platform users, you will have to wait.