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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