08
Sep
XboxMusicLogo

There's yet another streaming music option on Android, and it comes courtesy of Microsoft. An Xbox Music app is set to debut today in Google Play. It will provide access to unlimited streaming to Xbox Music Pass subscribers, but the initial release is a little light on features.

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Users will have access to all the songs in Microsoft's library from the app, but there won't be any offline capability at launch. Microsoft plans to issue updates every 4-6 weeks, and says offline caching is going to be added in the coming months. The app meshes with the new Xbox One interface and provides access to all the usual music-type things like playlists, radio, and top charts.

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The web version of Xbox Music is adding free ad-supported listening today, but only through desktop browsers. It sounds like the Android app will not allow ad-supported listening like Windows 8 or the new web player. An Xbox Music Pass subscription is $9.99 per month or $99.99 for a whole year, if you're interested. The app isn't live in Google Play yet, but we'll keep an eye out for it. The app is also coming to iPhone, but we don't like to talk about that around here.

Update: The app has appeared in Google Play. Check it out below with some more screens. Also, device support seems pretty lacking. No tablets right now, and even some phones like the HTC One are blocked.

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2013-09-09 00_14_40-Xbox Music - Android Apps on Google Play xbawkshueg

Screenshot 2013-09-08 at 10.19.36 PM

[PR NewsWire, Xbox]

Ryan Whitwam
Ryan is a tech/science writer, skeptic, lover of all things electronic, and Android fan. In his spare time he reads golden-age sci-fi and sleeps, but rarely at the same time. His wife tolerates him as few would.

  • Michael Ta

    a little bit too late Microsoft. A little bit too late.

    NOT! WAY TOO LATE!

    • Hayden Lueck

      It won't be too late if it's available in Canada. Play Music still isn't being offered here.

      • David

        If they can get support for the HTC one and will enable Canadian android users to subscribe to the music pass, then google can kiss my ass when it comes to music and my next phone will be a MS phone.

      • IsaacW

        It is available in Canada! I am using it right now!

  • sri_tech

    Good to see them following HOLO.

    The app looks beautiful. They are also saying they will update the app every 6 weeks.

  • http://404err0r.com/ Henry Park

    Hmmm key would be who has the best collection of music???

    • Robert Castles

      This, and the recommendation engine. Pandora destroys Google play for picking music. It's pretty embarrassing for Google music. I use Pandora to find music and favorite those songs in Google, but Google doesn't get any better at finding songs. Instead, it plays the same old six bands and their old albums. Very weird.

      Also, Google play app often seems to be in the wrong place constantly. Sometimes to favorite a song playing is three to four "clicks"... pretty tedious. No real updates to the app in months now also.

    • PhoenixPath

      Pretty much boils down to this.

      They'll have feature-parity pretty quick since they're basically offering the same service. Catalog and interface preference are going to be where the real choices come down to.

  • Cpt. Yolo S. F. Jesus

    I can't help but think that there's a lack of faith in their own platform here.

    I'd have thought MS would want to keep the Xbox digital media services (or at least the non-webapp versions) localised to their own ecosystem; you don't see GPlay content on iOS or WP8, no iTunes/AppStore content on Android or WP8... Bit odd, eh?

    • Jonathan Seymour

      http://www.google.com.au/mobile/ios/ Looks like they offer quite a lot of contect on iOS...

    • Frettfreak

      No faith? More like finally waking up with some of their other services and relaxing if they are going to actually be successful they need all their services (or at least most) on all platforms.

      By your logic google should make Gmail maps YouTube, etc only for android?

    • Trina S

      I think part of it is that they're realizing the money is in diversifying. If someone had a Zune but now has an Android phone and a dead Zune but liked the music service, now they can still use that service on their Android phone. Getting offline playback is essential for Xbox Music to thrive, though. If they don't get it soon, nobody is going to bother with it.
      GPlay/iTunes/WP8 store are different environments, but there are many developers who develop apps for multiple platforms. Having a music service that spans multiple platforms is just smart money. Pandora, Spotify, Rdio are all on every platform. GPlay music isn't on multiple mobile platforms because the Android userbase is big enough, they don't have to. Same with iTunes/App Store. But the big music streaming services that people talk about a lot are multi-platform.

    • Cuvis

      Google already makes much of their content available on iOS; Gmail, maps, Youtube, etc.

      EDIT: I put something here about not putting Play Music on iOS, but it turns out they did that too. So yeah, I guess Apple backed off of that policy.

  • ProductFRED

    "No Offline Mode"

    THEN WHAT'S THE POINT?

    • miri

      I take it you haven't used the Play Music app since before the All Access update?

      • Michael Fontenot

        I believe I can still save music offline.

      • ProductFRED

        I have. I don't like the white background; that's one of my biggest gripes.

    • http://revanmj.pl/ Michał Jakubowski

      I've read somewhere that they are going to add it in an update. And new versions are supposed to be released every 4-6 weeks.

      • PhoenixPath

        Huh... wonder where you read that... ;-)

        • http://revanmj.pl/ Michał Jakubowski

          I don't remember now, but I think it was The Verge, Engadget or something like that.

          • PhoenixPath

            It could even have been AP. :)

            FTA:

            "Microsoft plans to issue updates every 4-6 weeks, and says offline caching is going to be added in the coming months."

    • fonix232

      No, they did not out-Holo Google. This is a kinda-good-looking merge of Holo and Metro, and it does not exactly match the previous colour or look scheme.

  • Willie D

    No one wants this... Not a single person I know who uses an Xbox has ever mentioned music, nor uses it anyway. Just another way for Microsoft to try and fail to show up All-Access which is better than Rdio, Spotify, Slacker, Pandora, and all the others COMBINED.

    • Morten Ulveseth

      I immediately jumped ship from Spotify to try out All-Access when it became available where I live. Its killer feature is for sure that you can upload all your own music to the service, which really fills the gaps of missing artists.

      However after a month, I decided to go back to Spotify, mainly because of gripes I have with the Google Music Andoid app. Spotify has some minor flaws too, but is an overall much better experience. Also, I highly prefer having a local windows app.

      Here are my complaints (about the android app):

      -Cover view gives poor overview and is inefficient, albeit pretty -Unclear what is downloaded and what isn't. "On device" veiw is broken (it shows stuff I unpinned) and even if it worked, it would be better to have one view and just have the downloaded on top, like spotify.

      -Very hard to move songs up and down a list, such as the queue (but the feature is very appreciated and necessary due to next point)

      -Queue is automatically made up of current playlist. Any song you add to the queue is added to be bottom of the entire playlist.

      -Default view is "listen now" and not your playlists

      -Delay before songs starts (even local).

      -No crossfading

      -No built-in import feature (Just let it import CSV files so devs can easily create working export features from other services)

      -No playlist folders

      -Social features limited (at the moment)

    • PhoenixPath

      "Just another way for Microsoft to try and fail to show up All-Access"

      I love these comments from people who never actually used the service they are slamming...

      Before it was tied to the Xbox, it was tied to the Zune. Yeah, I know...no-one you know ever used that either. :-S

      Funny thing is, Google copied the Zune Subscription feature-for-feature for All Access. Unlimited streaming, personal playlists, right down to Smart-DJ (Google's "radio" feature). The only bit they didn't being over was the "10 free MP3s per month" bit.

      It's not a bad thing... It would never have made it to Android had Google not done it, and it's always good to have some competition. Right now MS needs to play catch-up, and then we'll see who's got the better catalog.

      • Chris

        My original 30gb Zune was awesome, it was built like a tank too! I dropped it countless times without even a scratch. I was so sad the day it finally crapped out on me.

        • PhoenixPath

          Never actually owned one, but did love the Zune Subscription on my PC. By the time I started getting into smartphones, Zune was long gone, but I've always loved the interface and the features.

          Virtually jumped for joy when AA came out. Still wish there was a way to access either of these services with the Zune Player interface though....it was gorgeous.

          • Chris

            It was, to this day i can't stand itunes, there is no real organization in it and it's a pain in butt to move around. haha

  • cheeto0

    Microsoft wants to copy Apple's model on hardware and Google's model on services

    • PhoenixPath

      Nope.

      Google copied All Access pretty much feature-for-feature from the MS Zune Subscription service.

      Good thing, too. I was hoping someone (even MS) would do it eventually. Glad to have some options though.

      • cheeto0

        By copying the Google model on services I mean how they are going cross platform.

        • PhoenixPath

          Both Google and MS have had apps on the other's platforms for some time now. Bing has been on both iOS and Android for ages, as an example.

          This is natural progression....not copying.

  • Furyswrath

    S4 Is Blocked.. Oddly enough my Note 2 Isnt blocked..

    • Frettfreak

      So is the One. Pretty lame.

      • Chris

        Maybe it has to do with screen res?

  • miri

    Nice. It's a tad awkwardly designed* but it looks nice and streams music. Nice to have the app on the platform and I appreciate the effort to follow the guidelines.

    *"iOS-style" drawer icon at all levels of navigation rather than a proper drawer indicator that changes to an "up" button, context menus are hidden behind a long-press rather than a menu button, the abundance of horizontal navigation paired with a large touch target for the drawer makes it very easy to accidentally open the drawer, settings is horizontal navigation rather than vertical, improper use of action overflow buttons, etc.

  • Grant Barker

    Anyone got the apk? Please post a link (if you are allowed) or send it to grant at grantbarker dot com. It doesn't seem to be available in Japan at the moment. Cheers.

  • Пламен Терзиев

    Waiting for a light that neeever coomes...

  • http://www.yepi1.info/ Yepi

    creativity is limited, so they get the idea from google

  • Shawn Cheever

    Too little, too late.

  • ecblanco

    ICS Support not available! :S

  • Summy

    God, there are sooo many streaming services now.. But this doesn't actually sound better than spotify. In fact, sounds like they still have more work to do on it. I like the idea of free services too like pandora or torch music, so unless they really get it together, I don't see a reason to put down money for this.

  • Ark

    I guess the always-online thing didn't fly on consoles, but they can keep trying on other platforms. What a bunch of assholes.

  • MeCampbell30

    Is this better than Google Play All Access?

  • TikiGawd

    It's compatible with my Galaxy Nexus, but not my Nexus 7... But the piece of junk won't detect my whole collection anyway. It only sees three artists, out of hundreds that I have. Get your S together, Microsoft...

  • John O’Connor

    Sorry. LMFAO @ a "light that never comes."

    DING, I have a brand new idea, let's makes an android app with a monthly streaming subscription that we can tie into our other devices.