Microsoft has launched Xbox Music which combines free music streaming, music subscription and purchasing into an all-in-one service. On Tuesday, the service was rolled out on Microsoft’s Xbox 360 video game console and later in October it will be available on personal and tablet computers and smartphones. Xbox Music will come pre-installed as the default music player for Windows 8, officially launching on Oct 26.
“The launch of Xbox Music is a milestone in simplifying digital music on every type of device and on a global scale,” said Don Mattrick, president of the Interactive Entertainment Business at Microsoft. “We’re breaking down the walls that fracture your music experiences today to ensure that music is better and integrated across the screens that you care about most — your tablet, PC, phone and TV.”
The Xbox service will enable users to listen to streaming songs for free, from a catalog of over 30 million titles, on PCs and tablets running on Windows 8. They can also choose to pay $9.99 per month to get unlimited access to songs on various devices. The service includes an on-line store that allows users to buy single songs or entire album on their computers or smartphones. It also allows users to create the so-called “Internet radio” based on their favorite artists.
Since Xbox Music is a cloud-based service, users can access their carefully-created playlists and play their favorite music on any device. Yusuf Mehdi of Microsoft said,”There are a lot of individual services that do a good job, but today there isn’t a service which can pull together the benefits of download-to-own, music subscription, or free streaming services.”
Xbox Music is Microsoft’s new move to compete with technology giants, including Apple and Google, which have launched their own digital music services. According to Microsoft, Xbox Music will eventually be available on other platforms such as Google’s Android and Apple’s iOS as mobile applications.
Xbox is Microsoft’s premier entertainment service for the TV, phone, PC and tablet. It’s home to the best and broadest games, as well as one of the world’s largest libraries of music, movies, TV and sports.