New details of Windows Phone Mango: Music + Video Hub

Today new information has been shared by Microsoft's Josh Phillips (a program manager on the Windows Phone Engineering team) about the upcoming 'Mango' update to the Windows Phone platform. This time we have heard about updated functionality in the Music + Video Hub in Mango.

Currently, Windows Phone 7 already has two unique features when compared with it's three biggest competitors (iPhone, Android and Blackberry) - Zune Music Subscriptions and Wireless Sync. According to a post on the Windows Team Blog today, Windows Phone Mango is set to add a number of new features:

  • Wireless Podcast subscriptions and direct downloads
  • Smart DJ - Auto-generated playlists drawing music from the Zune catalog
  • Improved marketplace search
  • More discoverable playback options
  • Improved History and new
  • Better mini-playback control
  • New lock-screen options
  • New artist wallpapers

Neowin has used Smart DJ on the Xbox 360 and PC and it's a great feature which seems to actually pick music in an intelligent manner. Neowin understands that a huge amount of tweaking has gone into the Smart DJ feature, it therefore delivers genuinely relevant results.

Also of note is the capability to have artist images automatically pushed onto your Windows Phone the lock screen. This is a great way to personalize your handset without having to lift a finger.

And inside the music player portion of the hub there are a bunch of improvements too:

  • Better playback controls
  • Better artist images
  • More playback info
  • More playback options
  • New playlist option
  • Better data management
  • More video options

The only unfortunate issue with the new features is that some music and video capabilities on Windows Phone are still limited by region. Currently there is a major limitation with the Podcast features being limited to US only. It is easy to work around this however that is not ideal, Microsoft should be providing full Podcast access to their users globally.

Image Source: Windows Team Blog

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12 Comments

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Looks like some worthwhile improvements. I still wish you could just purchase songs from Zune like you can with iTunes... That would be enough for me to switch, but I just don't buy enough music to warrant a subscription service...

Napalm Frog said,
Gapless playback! I don't care about anything else in Mango, but I need my gapless, yet no word!

That would be a nice feature and I hope it's coming as well.

the1himself said,
Still no EQ? C'mon microsoft!

I don't have a WP7 device yet (Verizon JUST got one finally), but I thought it had EQ... That's rather important. I hope they get that in as well...

chAos972 said,
Yeah, international access.... kinda pointless without!

Then petition the labels and your country for licensing deals and regulatory approval. Microsoft has been pushing for Zune Pass licensing and broadcast regulated features in several countries for years - some going back to the original PlaysForSure days before the Zune subscription replacement.

It isn't like they don't want to offer the features or don't have the money to pay for the rights or the approval processes. (Some are goverment restrictions and some are label business restrictions and usage in the countries.)

Seriously, blaming the company trying to get stuff to work and fight the red tape?

thenetavenger said,

Then petition the labels and your country for licensing deals and regulatory approval. Microsoft has been pushing for Zune Pass licensing and broadcast regulated features in several countries for years - some going back to the original PlaysForSure days before the Zune subscription replacement.

It isn't like they don't want to offer the features or don't have the money to pay for the rights or the approval processes. (Some are goverment restrictions and some are label business restrictions and usage in the countries.)

Seriously, blaming the company trying to get stuff to work and fight the red tape?

+1 It's really a shame that there are so many roadblocks to getting this working everywhere.

Sounds great, I am Canadian and would like access to the music store without having to change me region on phone, wl account and desktop/worktop/laptop...