Microsoft announced Xbox Music back in June. Since then, nothing much has been said about the new music subscription service. Xbox Music is meant to replace Zune, it’s a subscription service that includes saving playlists to the Xbox Cloud, and it will run across both Windows PC and Windows phone. Microsoft didn’t release any pricing details when originally announcing Xbox Music, but this information has since leaked.
Xbox Music Pricing Details
A few curious Xbox users have discovered pricing information is listed on the Xbox Music beta screen. Seemingly, these rates are the same rates that will apply to the music service when Xbox Music officially debuts. At present, those rates look a lot like the Zune subscription rates: $9.99 per month and $99 per year. It’s safe to assume that the new Xbox Music service will include all the same music access as Zune currently does as well. The main difference here being that the service can be access through the Xbox.
Xbox Live Radio
In addition to the Xbox Music streaming service, Microsoft has told press that a subscription-based continuous radio service will be available to Xbox Live subscribers. This radio service will be ad-free, will be based on a monthly fee, and should include some decent radio selections. It’s hard not to notice the parallel between Microsoft’s new music service and other streaming services that are already available. How will Microsoft’s offering stack up? It’s hard to say at the time being. But, it has been noted that many eager Xbox users are waiting for Microsoft’s big music announcement.
Some Noted Flaws
Even though Xbox Music has not officially been released, some reviewers have noted some flaws with the music service already. One of those flaws has to do with a lack of background access. For example, if a user were to listen to an Xbox Music playlist, that playlist would play flawlessly until the Xbox Music interface is closed. Once the Xbox Music system has been closed, the music would stop playing. This can be particularly frustrating if you want to allow music to play, but you don’t want to keep your Xbox Music interface open.
Microsoft has plenty of time to fix this flaw, however. Since Xbox Music has not been released yet, fine-tuning might still occur. As far as that actual release date goes, Xbox Music will be launching with Windows 8 sometime late this fall. It seems likely that Microsoft will be announcing a number of devices and services this coming fall. Some of those things being Windows 8, Windows 8 tablets, Xbox Music, and the Xbox Live streaming radio subscription service. Now that the buzz surrounding Apple’s huge announcement has died down, there’s plenty of silence and space for a company like Microsoft to make a huge consumer impact. Stay tuned to this tech blog for Microsoft announcement details and additional information as it arises. The end of October is sure to be one of the biggest moments for Microsoft in years.