Microsoft updates Xbox Music for Android; adds offline playlists

Last week, Microsoft added in support for offline playback of songs to the Xbox Music iOS app. Today, the Android version gets the same treatment, plus a few more features, as a new version of the app is now available for download on Google Play.

Xbox Wire says that in addition to supporting offline playlists, the Android Xbox Music app now allows for faster access to music, stating, "Just tap on the cover art for an artist, song or album to immediately start playing music.  You’re never without music the second you want to jam." The app also has added a way for users to listen to their entire collection of songs on a shuffle mode. Finally, the app now supports playing all the songs in a collection from just one music genre.

Besides the iOS and Android apps, the company launched a web-based version in 2013. It's also available for Windows 8, Windows Phone 8, Xbox 360 and most recently the Xbox One. Microsoft has still not revealed just how many subscribers it has signed up to use Xbox Music since it launched in 2012. The music pass costs $9.99 a month or $99.99 a year.

Image via Microsoft

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21 Comments

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They've been updating the Win 8 app almost every month now. This is just simply giving the other OSs some of the features that the Win 8 app as well so it works properly with the xbox music service.

Nice update but I will probably stick to Pandora since it suits my needs for now. Have some friends that will find this handy tho.

I had to get an Android tablet for work. I was browsing the Google Play store and tried buying a few songs. What a complete mess. Error after error. Music that was bought but would give me an error saying it could not download. It would give 2 or 3 popups for each error with completely useless information or how to fix it. And this has been going on for days it was not just a momentary server hiccup, and from what I see other people had the same problems. Then I tried to download the music to my PC. That app looked like it was written with VB5, a tabbed UI with the giant Google logo, 5 tabs with only a few options, and if I purchased a new song, trying to download to my PC using their software would try to download the entire library. Only after downloading multiple times, did I discover that there was a download button in the slow, inconsistent web UI (which was very different than the online help).

I will mostly be using my Samsung tablet for work, but if I do, it will be nice using Xbox Music on that device which is must better. There was an article a few days ago about how Xbox Music was not good, an Google Play music article would be 5 times longer with many more issues.

I've never tried buying music off Google music. I've only used the free feature of uploading my own music to their cloud and listening to that. It works fine, no problems for me.

That being said, Xbox Music looks cool, but I refuse to use a service that FORCES you to pay a subscription to listen to your OWN music. Google music doesn't charge you to do this (They give you a 20k song cap, but at least its free)

greensabath said,
I've never tried buying music off Google music. I've only used the free feature of uploading my own music to their cloud and listening to that. It works fine, no problems for me.

That being said, Xbox Music looks cool, but I refuse to use a service that FORCES you to pay a subscription to listen to your OWN music. Google music doesn't charge you to do this (They give you a 20k song cap, but at least its free)

I never drove a Dodge, but I have driven a Ford so a Dodge must work really well.

With Xbox Music you are not paying to listen to your own music. You pay to listen to as much music as you want to, with the added feature of importing your playlists so you can listen to the playlists you have already setup.

My understanding of Google Play music is that you are uploading your actual music files, and listening to that streaming. They may do some matching in the background so they don't need to store the files, but you are only listening to the music you have already bought. I can listen to every single song on Xbox Music, not just the ones I own. If I only want to listen to the music I own, I would carry around an MP3 player. Google also only supports 20,000 songs. My library that I keep on my HDD at home is over 40,000 songs. I have 268GB storage total on SkyDrive, I could just upload my music to SkyDrive and then I would have the same thing that Google does.

And yes, I am being FORCED to use Xbox Music. There is a guy who works for Microsoft standing next to me with a gun to my head, telling me "use Xbox Music or face the music"

Oops, I stopped listeni...

greensabath said,
I've never tried buying music off Google music. I've only used the free feature of uploading my own music to their cloud and listening to that. It works fine, no problems for me.

That being said, Xbox Music looks cool, but I refuse to use a service that FORCES you to pay a subscription to listen to your OWN music. Google music doesn't charge you to do this (They give you a 20k song cap, but at least its free)

Ive gotten some of their free songs. Never had a problem with it or downloading either. I have some songs uploaded to Google but never really used the service. When I have used it tho, never had a problem. Streamed well.

@WhatTheSchmidt,

I was saying w/ Xbox music, you are forced to pay for their subscription no matter what. They do cloud-matching like Google, but in order to use it...you HAVE to have the subscription.

Google at least, lets you use the 'subset' of their full feature music service for free. Xbox should do the same.

techbeck said,

Ive gotten some of their free songs. Never had a problem with it or downloading either. I have some songs uploaded to Google but never really used the service. When I have used it tho, never had a problem. Streamed well.

Whenever somebody says they have a problem, be it with Apple, Google, or Microsoft there are a group of people who jump in to make sure that they never had a problem. Just because you didn't have a problem, doesn't mean that for others it did not work fine. When was it you used it, was it at the same time I did? Did you use it with my account? Perhaps there was something wrong with the G+ account that was FORCED (using greensabath's all caps) on me, and they wanted to communicate with that but it was down at the time. There could be 100s of reasons why it failed, maybe it was my fault, although it should have let me know why other than telling me to try to get to my music later.

I bought music and it said that the music could not be downloaded now, to try later. Then it would pop up with another window saying the server could not be reached, and gave the server name. Some music appeared a few minutes later, some a few days later, and some still have not been downloaded.

I was lucky in that I used the prepaid card that I got for buying the device, but for the music from that album that I bought and paid for but did not download, I will be using Amazon, Xbox music or iTunes to buy those missing songs.

WhatTheSchmidt said,
Just because you didn't have a problem, doesn't mean that for others it did not work fine. When was it you used it, was it at the same time I did? Did you use it with my account?

I never questioned you had problems or that others may.

greensabath said,
@WhatTheSchmidt,

I was saying w/ Xbox music, you are forced to pay for their subscription no matter what. They do cloud-matching like Google, but in order to use it...you HAVE to have the subscription.

Google at least, lets you use the 'subset' of their full feature music service for free. Xbox should do the same.

As techbeck wrote, Google has a free version and a paid version. Microsoft also has a free and a paid version. You do not HAVE to have the subscription.

"As techbeck wrote, Google has a free version and a paid version. Microsoft also has a free and a paid version. You do not HAVE to have the subscription."

Umm...no, you HAVE to have an Xbox Music subscription to use the app on iOS or Android devices. Everywhere I have read says this. If you find otherwise, let me know

Edited by greensabath, Jan 14 2014, 11:54pm :

greensabath said,
Umm...no, you HAVE to have an Xbox Music subscription to use the app on iOS or Android devices. Everywhere I have read says this. If you find otherwise, let me know

Free service appears to only work if using XBOX Music via the browser. The APP requires an XBOX PASS and they give you a 30day trial.

greensabath said,

Umm...no, you HAVE to have an Xbox Music subscription to use the app on iOS or Android devices. Everywhere I have read says this. If you find otherwise, let me know

I typed xbox music free into my browser, up came bing with the very first page listed:

http://www.xbox.com/en-US/Music

Clicking on the big green box at the very top of the page in the middle labeled "Listen for free now" streams music for free.

"Clicking on the big green box at the very top of the page in the middle labeled "Listen for free now" streams music for free."

Gotta love how apparently you don't know the difference between an app and a webpage. But if you scroll down, and you see the icons to 'Get the app on Google Play', and you click that to bring up the app on Google Play, you see this first thing under Description:

***An Xbox Music Pass is required to use this app.***

greensabath said,
"Clicking on the big green box at the very top of the page in the middle labeled "Listen for free now" streams music for free."

Gotta love how apparently you don't know the difference between an app and a webpage. But if you scroll down, and you see the icons to 'Get the app on Google Play', and you click that to bring up the app on Google Play, you see this first thing under Description:

***An Xbox Music Pass is required to use this app.***

Google refuses to give us Win8 YouTube and other Google apps, they even go out of their way to force out of the WP8 store Google apps made by others, and that is OK, besides you can use the browser. But when Microsoft gives Android and iPhone users an app, but to use one feature you need to go through the web browser. And to you that makes it unusable. Oh the irony of it all.

Also, re-read your first comment to me. Nowhere do you mention anything about an app. You claim that Microsoft does not have a **service** where you need to pay. You simply slipped the part about an app in later, and now you are using it as a defense.

Well, considering the services part, you are right with that.

In using the services, I should have made it clear that I use the services inside each respective 'app' (Either xbox music app or google music app).

Oh, and to talk about your bigger issue of MS vs Google practices, I am by no means defending Google vs MS. Both companies do the same things and people bash one or the other selectively.