Microsoft makes Xbox Video, Music apps available ahead of Windows Phone 8.1

A recent report claimed Microsoft planned on releasing an Xbox Video app and unbundling Xbox Music from the Windows Phone 8 operating system for its next major update, and now the company has done just that ahead of Windows Phone 8.1.

Microsoft is also making good on its promise of releasing Xbox Video for Windows Phone 8 by the holiday season, as the service has received its first app for Microsoft's newest smartphone operating system. The app, which is available for download via the Windows Phone Store, allows users to stream or download movies and television shows, including both rented or purchased videos. All previously purchased content will sync with the new app, meaning movies purchased on Windows 8 devices or Xbox One can also be played on Windows Phone 8 devices. As with other versions of the service, trailers can be streamed through the app.

HD content currently is unavailable for either streaming or downloading; instead, users will have to play SD versions of purchased or rented content. 

Xbox Video has been promised to Windows Phone 8 owners for several months, as the platform has lacked Microsoft's video service since the Zune Marketplace was killed off; Windows Phone 7 launched with the Zune Marketplace. Since that time, Microsoft has launched the Xbox Video website, several updates for the Windows 8 version of the app and a version of the service for Xbox One.

The Xbox Music app, which is also available for download in the Windows Phone Store, requires an Xbox Music Pass subscription to function, allowing users to play music stored locally or download music from the Xbox Music store. Xbox Music's radio feature is also available through the app, which also allows users to edit playlists.

Because the apps are not integrated, users will have to manually sign into their accounts, similar to the SkyDrive app for Windows Phone 8. The Xbox Music store found in the current version of Windows Phone 8, by comparison, is integrated in the Windows Phone Store and automatically recognizes users who are signed into their phones. That integration and the Xbox Music hub, which shows all music and video apps on a phone, could potentially be removed in Windows Phone 8.1 if Microsoft adds the ability for non-subscribers to use the app for locally stored music.

Source: Xbox Video (Windows Phone Store), Xbox Music (Windows Phone Store)

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34 Comments

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Yet again, they failed to implement the status bar properly in their own OS. This is just like the Facebook app they built. Took them months to get it right. I just don't understand why?!

Awesome. Now I can finally add my wife's phone to use my Xbox Music pass, and get rid of the pain I have in actually using my damn music!

What's the point of my phone being connected to my Microsoft Account if Microsoft apps like these still take me to a web login page to use them?

How does that explain the Skydrive app that's been out for over a year and still uses a web login form?

This isn't a "they didn't get it in time", its a "they didn't bother to do it". Its terrible user experience and I'm getting sick of it.

For those unlucky minions, who live in another planet (yes, its us, people who are NOT located in the Glorious United States of Ámérica): do we get any functionality if we install this app, or its only for the MS cloud service, and is crippled to manage the locally stored media?

Microsoft should also make the app designs consistent across platforms. I at least expect similar tiles with the same color schemes.

I really hope that they are making an app experience equal to that on Windows 8.

Robert Sundström said,
I really hope that they are making an app experience equal to that on Windows 8.

I hope not. The Windows 8 app is slow and unresponsive most of the time. I hope they make something like the Music+Videos experience on Windows Phone 7. And honestly, the only thing missing for the Windows Phone 8 Hub is the ability to add and delete songs from your Cloud Collection.

My playlist creation nightmare on the phone has finally ended, and all my playlists are in sync across my devices. I can't wait for WinPho 8.1 this can only get better.

without global support these apps are useless thank Microsoft for NOTHING /sent by one of windowsphone users without your support

BTW: Xbox Music requires the musicpass subscription service. It's not clear if a subscription is required for Xbox Video, though.

Nas said,
BTW: Xbox Music requires the musicpass subscription service. It's not clear if a subscription is required for Xbox Video, though.

I clarified that in the article a bit. And, no, a subscription isn't available for Xbox Video -- it's not a subscription service.

I hope they lift the xbox music pass requirement for wp8.1 because if xbox apps are going to replace the lackluster Music+videos (like MS seems to have been suggesting lately) then it would make no sense to try to force every consumer to sign up for xbox music if all they want is to play their own locally stored music.

But... nobody's talking about MINT.com or Amtrak or VINE.com getting released/updated for WP8. Hmph.

Hmm, I'm not seeing Xbox Video in the App Store for my iPhone Cyborg. I'll check my Galaxy Note when I get home.

Edit: Sraf beat me to it.

techbeck said,
Would rather they bundle music/video in the Smart Glass app.

Couldn't the smartglass app just control music and video through the Xbox? Why add it into the app itself when the idea behind it is to work with the Xbox itself?

Thief000 said,
WP7 please, so those users can finally drop Zune completely!

Why would you drop Zune? IMO is light years better than the sync apps we have for WP8...

I agree with this completely. Rebranding and brining back the Zune software is something they need. Currently there is no Xbox music desktop app for Windows 7 or Windows 8, 8.1. Metro app sucks at managing local music need to bring back a full desktop application.

Sorry guys but I never said to drop the Sync software, which you are talking about. I just want the Zune branding to be gone as it is dead.
I want this on WP7 too and the Zune sync software to be renamed.
MS dropped support for it way too fast and functionality in the Zune app on the phones is crap now compared to this.