Microsoft to update Xbox Music for Windows Phone 8.1 next week

The release earlier this week of the developer preview build of Windows Phone 8.1 has been the subject of much discussion by fans and developers of Microsoft's mobile OS. One thing that many users have commented on is that the Xbox Music app still needs some work. Now, Microsoft has revealed that a new version of the app for Windows Phone 8.1 is due to be released sometime next week.

In an unusual move, at least for Microsoft, the company has revealed a change log listing what will be included in the Xbox Music update in a post on its Answers forum. Normally, users of Windows Phone and Windows 8 apps get a change log only after it is update, if at all.

The list of improvements and changes coming in this first update is as follows:

  • Numerous stability fixes, including many of the reported black screens
  • Cortana integration is complete and now supports playing playlists by name
  • UI polish to improve animations and transitions between UI views
  • Improved messaging for encountered errors, such as unplayable content in collections
  • Background initial sync of local and cloud content

Microsoft says they are working on other improvements for the Xbox Music app that will be released every two weeks. They include Live Tile integration, Kids Corner support, QuickPlay improvements for "recent" lists, and a number of UX, stability and performance improvements.

Source: Microsoft Answers via WPCentral

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For real dude. They have a wider social community now with Xbox live. They pretty much have access to all the major social sites. and then some. Most people on Xbox Live have the major ones like FB,Twitter,Instagram. Now with XB1 you have even a wider audience with Twitch and YouTube. They can just piggy back and pick up more users.

My friends list was maxed out on zune social. I'm still friends with a bunch of people from all over today. South America, Europe. Asia. I also was introduce to a bunch of music from those regions. MixView was the ish.

I wish they would bring back some of those features you mentioned. I had 240K Play count when the service was killed off.


In addition to gapless playback and better handling of multi-disc CDs....

You'd think they'd bring back the "achievements" from their Zune days, given it's freakin' XBOX... those were fun, and drove discovery, finding "music buddies" (people with similar tastes) to encourage even more discovery, etc. There are STILL so many Zune features that were good, that are missing. How about letting us edit some metadata to help fix weird things like one Album appearing as two due to a minor change in punctuation or spelling or wording of a song title, artist, etc. ( B-52s vs. B-52's, for example).

And finally, they really need someone to work on their collection. There are SO many popular CDs I have that cannot be matched. Like most of "the Fixx" (very popular in the 80s... seriously, "Stand or Fall", their second biggest hit, cannot be matched).

Tangentially to that last point, allowing users to upload tracks that cannot be matched to their cloud storage (OneDrive) so that they can be streamed just like anything in the Xbox Music Marketplace -- a feature most other competing services offer -- seems over-due here.

Actually, the matching thing needs to go away (at least as far as media we have ripped, etc.). There is no reason that music that I own can't be noted in the cloud, allowing it to stream as well as having content on my device.

I hope they fix the issue where a song in the local collection (for whatever reason) can't be played, and instead it streams a cloud copy, even though "Show streaming music in my collection" is set to "Off"

"Cortana integration is complete and now supports playing playlists by name"

I tried to do this last night... didn't work. On the ball, MS seems to be.

DClark said,
"Cortana integration is complete and now supports playing playlists by name"

I tried to do this last night... didn't work. On the ball, MS seems to be.

This is the feature list that will be added on the 22nd April.

glad that they're moving to a two-week release cycle, hopefully the Xbox Music app can get up to Zune-level performance sooner than later :\

Indeed, I am glad the "core apps" have been separated from the chains of the OS itself so they can be updated with more frequency.

No mention of the audio glitches I've been getting with it. Only started with 8.1.

Is anybody else getting them? After most tracks it plays a split second of music again before the next song starts. Like a buffer that's not flushed or whatever.

protocol7 said,
No mention of the audio glitches I've been getting with it. Only started with 8.1.

Is anybody else getting them? After most tracks it plays a split second of music again before the next song starts. Like a buffer that's not flushed or whatever.

Yes, it happens to me too. I'm a heavy music listener and I hope this app gets all the improvements it needs. Gapless playback should've been there long ago.

protocol7 said,
No mention of the audio glitches I've been getting with it. Only started with 8.1.

Is anybody else getting them? After most tracks it plays a split second of music again before the next song starts. Like a buffer that's not flushed or whatever.


The fact that its a dev preview and its missing the accompanying firmware from the OEM and the apps need updating tells me that all of us developers using 8.1 should really be expecting a few issues that will hopefully be ironed out by full release.

I know it's a preview. I just hadn't heard anyone else say they had the same issue (until now). At least now I know it's not just me.

I've noticed that it can sometimes turn off the right audio channel randomly when using headphones. I've never experienced that before. It's not the headphones either, because once you restart the phone, both channels start working again.

How quickly everyone forgot this is a Developer PREVIEW and piled on how bad some of the apps currently are. :) Let em' get thing squashed for prime-time RTM.

scorp508 said,
How quickly everyone forgot this is a Developer PREVIEW and piled on how bad some of the apps currently are. :) Let em' get thing squashed for prime-time RTM.

Hasn't this build been released to manufacturers?

Cosmocronos said,

Hasn't this build been released to manufacturers?

Wasn't the Xbox One software released on the hardware but updated software had to come later and was installed on first boot?

mastercoms said,

Wasn't the Xbox One software released on the hardware but updated software had to come later and was installed on first boot?

I do not know about XBox, I play on the computer only. It happened with W8 though. My point was that RTM means... released to manufacturer.

Cosmocronos said,

I do not know about XBox, I play on the computer only. It happened with W8 though. My point was that RTM means... released to manufacturer.

Yes, but it does not mean final version like it used to be.

As others said, releasing the build to the device OEMs isn't quite the same. No devices have hit the streets with 8.1 on it, yet. I have to imagine MS knows when the first devices will be hitting the streets and would plan to have critical updates in the store by then just as they did with Xbox One. At least that's my hope, and I've been proven wrong before. :)

Cosmocronos said,

Hasn't this build been released to manufacturers?

Yeah, but do you see any 8.1 phones in the stores? By the time they are out all these apps will be updated (and hopefully) much better. You realise we are all guinea pigs with the dev preview.

Actually this separate app has been out in preview for months. I had recently gone back to the Music & Video hub because of the lag and problems with the app.

I am one who is anxiously waiting without blubbering too much.

However, considering the importance of separating all these hubs from People to Music to the new Podcasts, one would think some attention to updating this essential app would have been taken more seriously.

The old app had an option that only allowed streaming over wifi. I really hope they bring it back, it's a pretty vital feature with an app that is capable of using so much data.

Better yet, I'd like to be able to control which apps had access to cellular data at the OS level.

We never have to update apps now, They are getting updated in the background. I just hope it happens only when we are in WIFI.

TAKEITBILL said,
We never have to update apps now, They are getting updated in the background. I just hope it happens only when we are in WIFI.

It's WiFi only by default, you can disable it.