Microsoft today officially introduced Xbox Music, a digital music service for its Xbox game consoles that will be competing with Apple's iTunes and Amazon.com's Cloud Player.
Through the power of the cloud, the service integrates the music experience across your tablet, PC, phone and TV. Microsoft says it offers more than 30 million songs in a global catalog.
"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."
Xbox Music makes music is offering immediate discovery across the different types of devices you own, free streaming music on Windows 8 and Windows RT tablets and PCs, the ability to purchase songs and albums, a music subscription, and artist-based radio. The Xbox Music service includes the following:
- Free streaming music on Windows 8 and Windows RT. On-demand access to millions of songs for free on all Windows 8 and Windows RT tablets and PCs.
- Purchasing an Xbox Music Pass for US$9.99 a month will allow users to take that music to the cloud, letting them enjoy the collection they've curated on other devices such as Windows Phone 8 and Xbox 360.
- The Xbox Music Store is an MP3 marketplace giving users the opportunity to purchase a single track or entire album on their Windows 8 or Windows RT tablet or PC and Windows Phone 8.
- The Smart DJ feature is a quick and dynamic way to personalize a music collection, discover new favorites and create playlists by launching instant mixes based on favorite artists.
- Available in the coming year, a scan-and-match feature will take users beyond the 30 million tracks globally offered through Xbox Music. It will add all the music a user owns to his or her Xbox Music cloud catalog, including music acquired through other services.
- Xbox Music will also add social features in the coming year.
- Xbox Music will become available on other platforms in the coming year (Apple iOS and Google Android)
Xbox Music will be available on all Windows 8 and Windows RT tablets and PCs and on Windows Phone 8 smartphones, and it will be part of the 2012 console update for Xbox 360. Free streaming on Windows 8 and Windows RT tablets and PCs launches Oct. 26 in 15 markets worldwide. Xbox Music Pass will be available for Windows 8, Windows RT and Windows Phone 8 in 22 markets worldwide; it will begin rolling out today on Xbox 360 in the same markets. Xbox Music Store will also be accessible on Windows 8, Windows RT and Windows Phone 8 in 22 markets worldwide as devices become available.