Xbox Music app for Windows 8 gets update

Microsoft continues to be pretty quick to release new updates for its in-house Windows 8 apps. Today, it's the Xbox Music app's turn for an upgrade, which can be downloaded right now via the Windows Store.

The release notes for the Windows 8 update state that this new build is supposed to have "improvements to simplify access to streaming music for free." The new version is also supposed to make it easier to move from a free trial subscription for the Xbox Music Pass service to the paid version. There's also been some fixes for "occasional playback concerns" and Microsoft has adding in additional bug fixes that have not yet been detailed.

All in all, this seems to be a relatively minor update to Xbox Music and while it may have some performance boosts, this new version may not be enough to satisfy the many users of the app who have complained about it in Neowin's forums since it launched. They have commented that Xbox Music does not have the same amount of functionality that Microsoft's Zune player once had.

Hopefully, we will see more features and improvements made for Xbox Music in the weeks and months ahead.

Source: Windows Store | Image via Microsoft

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Relativity_17 said,
They're more focused on selling you stuff and collecting ad revenue than making decent, functional apps.

That's pretty much the whole purpose of windows 8 with its embedded app store, and why they've done everything possible to make using windows as before as difficult as possible.

Relativity_17 said,
They're more focused on selling you stuff and collecting ad revenue than making decent, functional apps.

Exactly, at least with regards to the Music App. Not so much the Video App, it just doesn't do well with the Modern UI IMO.

Anything could do well with a Modern UI.... it's just this app was not designed as nicely as it should be. They really need to redesign it to look like the old Zune software (since that was already in Modern UI) and just change it with the Xbox branding.

Still massively broken though. Constant random 0cx....... errors. Seriously considering cancelling my music pass and switching to another service, looks like rdio has a wp8 client.
Xbox music pass is a waste of money right now. Shame, it used to be awesome in the zune days.

dopydope said,
Still massively broken though. Constant random 0cx....... errors. Seriously considering cancelling my music pass and switching to another service, looks like rdio has a wp8 client.
Xbox music pass is a waste of money right now. Shame, it used to be awesome in the zune days.

Just install the Zune desktop software until they get a better team on these Apps. WP7 users are forced to still use Zune, and at first people thought they were being left behind, when many still prefer the Zune software to the mismatch of Apps and WP8 App.

I really like it after I got into it further. Pretty awesome that it synced my library and made those songs I own available via the cloud anywhere I am logged in.

My biggest complaint is that there is no volume control built into it. I cant use it at work as I have to keep certain programs loud and music, etc quite soft. Since it just uses the main system audio volume it's way too loud to use.

I love Zune and think the Xbox music app is no where close but the last update made it faster. I put up a thread at wpcentral.com on ways to make it better.
I'm hopeful they can make it better, MS I mean.

I don't have the problems many seem to in WP8 but a match should be taken to the RT version nothing about it works well.

It would be better to post your feedback using the official Feedback option in the app itself rather than on WPCentral where they won't see it.

tylerwoodward said,
I still want a way to add music from my NAS... I see this is still not possible. You have to search for it each time manually.

Just add the location/network URL to your Music Library. It is just that simple.

"They have commented that Xbox Music does not have the same amount of functionality that Microsoft's Zune player once had."

Understatement of the year. It's not even ****ing close.

It seems absurd, but almost every app out there seems to indicate that MS decided that the app environment MUST be full of half-assed, feature-stripped versions of desktop programs. Apart from the Metro Office apps and simple things like CodeWriter (Notepad) and maybe calculator apps, I haven't seen anything that offers feature-parity with its desktop environment counterparts.

Relativity_17 said,
It seems absurd, but almost every app out there seems to indicate that MS decided that the app environment MUST be full of half-assed, feature-stripped versions of desktop programs. Apart from the Metro Office apps and simple things like CodeWriter (Notepad) and maybe calculator apps, I haven't seen anything that offers feature-parity with its desktop environment counterparts.

Xbox 360 App mentality is the problem, especially with Music/Video on Windows 8. They gave these Apps to that team instead of the WMP or Zune people that realize the needs of PC users.

I'm only upset because I want to like it. In fact, I think the Zune software is bloated, but I still prefer it (even though I'm still hoping that Winamp will do another rewrite, or at least rewrite the media library and make a new skin that doesn't look like it was designed to be popular in 2005 or earlier) because it is responsive, the UI gives the illusion that it is not bloated because it is simple and elegant, it displays my library in a way I can easily find what I'm looking for most of the time, with about any possible choice of how to sort and display it, and it actually works. The new music app should be superior. It is stripped of all but the essentials and has a similar UI design. The problem is that there is all that 360 crap thrown in. The default view gives me all sort of options right there that do not have anything to do with my music collection. I have to actually scroll to the left to get to my music collection, because that option isn't displayed prominently in the center of the screen, and then when I try to open it up there is not a single track from my entire library listed in there; in fact, it insists that I have no music. This is not a problem with my library or my music; it used to work until they updated the app to be even crappier than before, where it didn't find all of my music and took hours to index my collection as opposed to 10 minutes, tops, on desktop programs like Zune, Winamp or iTunes. The last time the app was working properly I noticed that they took the very appealing tiled cover art view and changed it to a detail-type list instead (with no obvious option to change it back to the old display type, so I'm assuming it was removed completely); it would take forever to scroll through my entire library and make it very difficult to find anything I'm looking for quickly using just the mouse (or a finger, if I had a touchscreen). Overall, while I actually like much about the new Windows 8 apps, the music app in particular is a steaming pile of **** and needs to be completely scrapped and rewritten from scratch. Again.

So the update doesn't really fix any of the issues some consumers complained about and only made it easier for Microsoft to profit. Nothing wrong with making a profit, but if it's achieved without regard to your target audience then it's nothing but greed - imo.

Actually they did issue consumers issues regarding "streaming music for free". People outside of the US were experiencing a "Have you been travelling" error message when trying to stream music. I contacted their customer support and they said they've received similar complaints and are working on an update which will be available in the following week. The next time I logged in, it was working flawless. I gotta say I'm impressed.

I noticed that, too. The speed has dramatically changed as well. Apologies. Let's hope more updates come down the pipe to address other concerns.

One of the key features of WP7/7.5 was the total Zune package... then they bastardized it in windows 8 (zune music pass content incompatible), stripped down music player, WP8 and RT incompatibility. Holding on to Zune on my Win8 notebook and WP7.5/7.8 phones. Vivotab RT unable to access my mp3 collection on the NAS... guess should be grateful MS permitted use of microSD in their RT tablet spec.

Cheers

Honestly some of you are waiting or hoping for a bigger v2.0 update which this isn't. A minor update will bring minor changes. I bet we won't see a v2.0 of the music and video apps till later in the year when the windows blue update comes.

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