It seems that the music streaming industry is becoming increasingly popular, with the likes of Last.fm, Pandora and Spotify quickly emerging as household names. For most consumers, Spotify is the first choice in music streaming, but soon, that could all change, as Microsoft has announced Xbox Music, which is set to be a convenient service to rival Spotify as the choice of the people.
So, what is Xbox Music? Well, it’s the latest “all-in-one music service” to be announced, and although it comes from what is probably the most hated company in Apple culture (it’s Microsoft, pay attention), Xbox Music, on paper, will surely give Spotify a run for its money.
With a gargantuan 30 million tracks to be listened to for free (with ads) on Windows 8 devices from day one, with the ability to pay for an ad-free service with support for playback on Xbox 360 consoles and Windows Phone 8 products, I’m sure that Xbox Music will take off like a rocket, especially with WP8 lovers. However, that just scratches the surface of what Xbox Music will do, as Xbox users will be able to create playlists, artist stations, and purchase any tracks they wish to keep. Plus, it can all be stored in the cloud, so no more deleting tracks to download the latest app, or whatever else WP8 users like to do (I don’t know any myself).
Okay then, where does Apple fit into this? I’m getting to that. Microsoft has announced that Xbox Music will launch on the Xbox 360 on 16 October (tomorrow, at the time of writing), and on Windows 8 on October 26 (doubtless this release date also incorporates WP8, not that anyone uses it, obviously). Also -and here’s where Apple is involved – Microsoft is working on iOS and Android apps to roll out “eventually”.
If you’re interested in Xbox Music, and want to play it on all your devices (except your Windows Phone, because, as I have established, no-one uses them), then you’re looking at a fee of $9.99 per month. This means it is on par with Spotify, the king of music streaming services.
The question is, would you choose Xbox Music over Spotify, Pandora or Last.fm? It certainly seems tempting to me, and I’d probably opt for Xbox Music if I wanted such a service. Personally, I use iTunes, mainly because I’m not a fan of using apps on consoles, although that’s just my opinion.