Xbox Music to offer free-to-user streaming, locker service and more?

Microsoft announced the Xbox Music service way back in the Spring but details have been quite light on the service. While we do not have any more official information at this point, a post over on NeoGaf claims to have some more information on what it might include.

According to the user, who claims they got the information from a distributor, the service will offer a free streaming tier, a subscription service, scan and match locker service, and ALC downloads. The post is as follows below:

The time has come... Microsoft is winding down its Zune brand and turning a new leaf as Xbox Music. This global relaunch represents Microsoft's move to make the games console the entertainment hub of the home, similar to what Sony Playstation did with their Music Unlimited service. The revamped service will offer free-to-user advertising-funded streaming, a single tier dual subscription streaming service, a scan-and-match locker service and ALC downloads.

While we cannot independently confirm this information, it all aligns to previous rumors that Microsoft would offer a similar service to that of Spotify. If true, the above information aligns to the Spotify competition but also takes Apple's iTunes Match service, head on. 

We expect that Microsoft will announce an update to the Xbox Music service here in the near future. Seeing as it has been quiet about the platform since it was announced in the Spring, we are due for some news anytime now. 

Source: NeoGaf

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I was happy they finally allowed it to have Xbox Live Family members be able to get an Xbox Music Pass. This never used to work -- with the latest update I was finally able to get my wife one, too!

Edited by scumdogmillionaire, Sep 18 2012, 10:02pm :

This explains the utter blandness of the current music app in Win8 RTM. I'm sure there'll be a sizeable update to it once the new service is rolled out. That's another reason I like the model of Win8. If an app needs updating I just click/tap a couple of times and it's done. No more download, install "ARE YOU SURE?" yes, yes, next, do NOT install toolbar and DONE. Win8 makes that process so much smoother.

These are great features.

I really, really hope they make some major improvements to Xbox Video compared to Zune. I'd like everything offered on my Xbox to also work on my computer (some Zune videos will only work on your 360 if that's where you purchase them).

Kai Røen said,
Wouldn't it be cool if Microsoft bought Spotify?

It would be like them buying Skype. They'd be buying technology and a service that they already offer (for the most part) just to get subscribers and publicity

gohatters said,
"Scans your mp3s"? How would this work if you're not EXACTLY sure of the provenance of some of your music files

It uses a special technic like Shazam or Bing's listen, so it only needs a very small part of it to recognize the song and properly label it (including album art that you may not have either)

vhaakmat said,

It uses a special technic like Shazam or Bing's listen, so it only needs a very small part of it to recognize the song and properly label it (including album art that you may not have either)

Thanks, I'm not worried abuot it decting the correct song. Will it check to see where the files came from? I.e. iTunes, Amazon Music, OTHER

CAP-Team said,
I'd like to know if MS is planning to release this service just to the US or any country with XBOX live?

The post says "worldwide" so you may be in luck. I can't imagine that they'd make that mistake again but ya never know.

Anyone mind telling me what a "locker" service and a "single tier dual subscription" service are? How does that differ from what I have now with my zune pass?

shamburg said,
Anyone mind telling me what a "locker" service and a "single tier dual subscription" service are? How does that differ from what I have now with my zune pass?

locker service scans your mp3s and offers a streaming version to your other devices

shamburg said,
Anyone mind telling me what a "locker" service and a "single tier dual subscription" service are? How does that differ from what I have now with my zune pass?

all your local music, scanned and matched to the store version just like iTune music match. Meaning all your local music (think ripped from cd etc) will be available to all your devices from the cloud. Its like you bought it all from Xbox music, but didn't.

duddit2 said,

all your local music, scanned and matched to the store version just like iTune music match. Meaning all your local music (think ripped from cd etc) will be available to all your devices from the cloud. Its like you bought it all from Xbox music, but didn't.

Yeah, I'll definitely make use of that. I like it...

duddit2 said,

all your local music, scanned and matched to the store version just like iTune music match. Meaning all your local music (think ripped from cd etc) will be available to all your devices from the cloud. Its like you bought it all from Xbox music, but didn't.

Isn't streaming low quality compared to what we have stored locally or am I wrong about that?

NPGMBR said,

Isn't streaming low quality compared to what we have stored locally or am I wrong about that?

Obviously you never used Zune. We are not in 2001 anymore, streaming good quality content is common now

PmRd said,

locker service scans your mp3s and offers a streaming version to your other devices

Also MS is no longer supporting the Zune brand and the Zune pass is no longer available for new subscribers so they need to step in with something that fills that void but have to up the stakes because everyone else is.

PmRd said,

Obviously you never used Zune. We are not in 2001 anymore, streaming good quality content is common now

Actually I've subscribed to Zune Pass since the second generation Zune was launch. Now, would you kindly mind answer the question instead of attacking me like some kind of rabid dog. I have an 8k song collection and I hold onto my Zune80 because my Dell Venue Pro obviously does not have the capacity to hold all my music. In addition, streaming to my phone is a no-go because I work in a part of the building that cuts off cell reception. So streaming would not work for me.

n_K said,
'requires gold' != 'free'

If gold members get the service with no extra cost, compared to having to pay for say, netflix + gold to use it on the 360 then it is a better deal in the end.

I can't wait to try this service! I just hope it has deep social network integration (Facebook, Last.FM, et al)!!!

astroXP said,
I can't wait to try this service! I just hope it has deep social network integration (Facebook, Last.FM, et al)!!!

I can't wait to try this service, I just hope it has shallow social network integration, unlike Spotify that sold its soul to Facebook.

funkydude said,

I can't wait to try this service, I just hope it has shallow social network integration, unlike Spotify that sold its soul to Facebook.


But you don't have to use the social networking integration in Spotify. So why do you wish a product to be terrible for us, when you won't have to use or care about the social networking integration we desire (even if an Open Graph app doesn't allow you to opt out of the sharing, you can set the visibility of those stories to be 'Only me', meaning your friends and followers will never see them)?

Calum said,

But you don't have to use the social networking integration in Spotify. So why do you wish a product to be terrible for us, when you won't have to use or care about the social networking integration we desire (even if an Open Graph app doesn't allow you to opt out of the sharing, you can set the visibility of those stories to be 'Only me', meaning your friends and followers will never see them)?

Set the visibility to only me? Why would I hook my music app to Facebook at all. Seems completely pointless to have those two connected in any fashion.

If they require me to do that in any manner I'm cancelling my Zune Pass and moving on.

LogicalApex said,

Set the visibility to only me? Why would I hook my music app to Facebook at all. Seems completely pointless to have those two connected in any fashion.

If they require me to do that in any manner I'm cancelling my Zune Pass and moving on.


For many of us, such a feature is very useful. Facebook is all about sharing what we're interested in and what we like. Such frictionless sharing means we don't have to waste time pasting links to songs we like; we just go about our daily lives, and a great picture of our interests gets built up over time on our Timeline. Many of us seem to love this idea. One reason I enjoy sharing what I'm listening to, reading etc. is for people to know whether I have anything in common with them; that way, a nice girl might feel more confident to ask me out. Another reason I enjoy the sharing of music listens is because I've discovered some great new music that way that I otherwise probably wouldn't have heard of. Those are just two reasons.

I understand why some people don't like the frictionless sharing, though, which is why I think it's great Facebook allow users to set the stories to 'Only me', in case an app doesn't provide the option to switch it off; however, I believe all apps should provide the option to switch it off, for those who find no use in it.

Calum said,

For many of us, such a feature is very useful. Facebook is all about sharing what we're interested in and what we like. Such frictionless sharing means we don't have to waste time pasting links to songs we like; we just go about our daily lives, and a great picture of our interests gets built up over time on our Timeline. Many of us seem to love this idea. One reason I enjoy sharing what I'm listening to, reading etc. is for people to know whether I have anything in common with them; that way, a nice girl might feel more confident to ask me out. Another reason I enjoy the sharing of music listens is because I've discovered some great new music that way that I otherwise probably wouldn't have heard of. Those are just two reasons.

I understand why some people don't like the frictionless sharing, though, which is why I think it's great Facebook allow users to set the stories to 'Only me', in case an app doesn't provide the option to switch it off; however, I believe all apps should provide the option to switch it off, for those who find no use in it.

I understand there are benefits to some users, maybe even the majority, and I'm not advocating they don't add these features for those users. I'm just strongly against any of this being any less than optional. And by optional I mean I don't want to connect my music library to Facebook in any way, shape, form, or fashion.

I'm against it enough that if they are connected in any remote way I'll cancel and move on.

I don't like "frictionless" sharing as I value my privacy a lot and controlling what I share and when.