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Microsoft updates Xbox Music for Windows 8, adds new search icon and more

Xbox Music

Microsoft has pushed out an update for its Xbox Music client on Windows 8. The app enables consumers to tune into their favourite genres with collections and more that's store in the cloud and available on multiple hardware with a respective client. This latest release introduces a few minor improvements.

According to the official change log, the following is what's new in 1.4.18:

  • Give free listening a try without having to sign-in
  • Access search from within the app
  • Bug fixes and other UI enhancements

We've also been informed that Redmond has added a new setting in the preferences menu, which enables users to select whether or not added / purchased music on other hardware from the Xbox Music service is automatically downloaded to this device. Be sure to watch out for any update notifications on your Windows 8 device for Xbox Music.

Update: Turns out only the change logis actually new. Thanks, folks!

Thanks, Travis, for the tip!

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Reader comments

Microsoft updates Xbox Music for Windows 8, adds new search icon and more

91 Comments

I thought it always had wireless sync? I have an Xbox Music Pass and my music library on my laptop goes to the cloud and it appears on my Lumia 920.

What you are describing is your music being accessible from the cloud. The wireless sync that was present in WP7 allowed Zune to sync your music wirelessly to your phone. This music was actually downloaded to your phone and not uploaded to the cloud.

Its pointless if in the transfer to the cloud, it only "finds" 60% of your music, and 50% of that is complete inaccurate and incomplete.

Yeah, that's what updates do. You might as well have said,  "Any wheel is round at this point."

LOL. People are actually giving that guy money. What a racket. I gotta get in on that Kickstarter thing...

The menu setting to enable/disable automatic downloads has always been there. I use that feature extensively, and it's off by default.

It has been there, but there is a new toggle there (seems to be similar to the second toggle under "Downloads"). I don't know about everyone else but it has been kind of flaky so far. Sometimes songs I download on my Windows Phone would take days to show up on my Surface Pro, and vice versa (I'd they showed up at all). Hopefully they changed some stuff on the back end to make it more reliable.

None of the songs I've downloaded to my phone show up in my Surface RT or my W8 laptop. Also, on my RT and W8 I want the songs to show up but to stream not download, why is that option not available especially since they seem to push streaming over download.

the main problem with the wp app is that it does not really play into the "my music" feature or playlists. the playlists with 1000 songs are crap as well 

Tks - thought it was me going mad. I have the same problem - and songs downloaded to my WP8 dont appear on my Surface or Win8 PC, but does work other way round.

That option is there. Add music on this device but don't download. Read through the setting a bit.

I just did a before/after screenshot of the update, and there are no new toggles.  A few updates ago, they added the "Automatiicaly Add Matched Songs" toggle, but that's the only thing I can think of.  Sometimes, if songs don't show up for me automatically, I turn both Downloads toggles off and on and it seems to resolve it (using a Lumia 920 as my other device).

Does anybody else have the option enabled to add music from other devices and find it doesn't work with Windows Phone?

^ This.  The whole application is just a pile of crap really.  Few things work the way they are supposed to and I hate it.  Everytime I use it I become Mr Grumpy Pants.  Like now. But there seems to be few alternative for large collections really especially with all the sync problems, playlist, DRM issues. 

This is why I still use Zune.  On my RT, I just manually drag and drop mp3s over and use Groove (although I rarely use my RT for music).  On my WP8, I have a playlist that it syncs with.  I use Zune to update that playlist but use the WP8 App to sync it.

It's very annoying because I'll use Bing music to identify a song, download it on my phone and then never remember to do it later on my PC so it's actually on my "cloud collection".

I think Window users are lucky that MS supports its older platforms as long as they do. They could do like some other company and only show support for their most recent products.

A new setting in the preferences menu, which enables users to select whether or not added / purchased music on other hardware from the Xbox Music service is automatically downloaded to this device.

This option has been there for quite some time, AFAIK.

If Xbox Music for W8 can get updated 3 times since launched then why can't XBM for WP8 Get even 1 update?

Are you serious? Where have you been?.. Maybe for you its fine, but there have been numerous complaints about bugs, lack of features, and synergy. I'll see if I can find you some discussions. Oh, and I agree about XBM for W8.. It does suck equally..

XBM for WP8 is infinitely better than XBM for W8....

Let me tell you my use case. I buy every song and every song I have ever purchased was from Zune/XBM. I have had absolutely no issues with XBM for WP8. It's better than Zune was for me, except wireless syncing. XBM for W8 has crashed multiple times on me, slow, and I can't redownload my music (unlike on WP8) even syncing doesn't work. I can't listen to my music offline on W8. I actually hated Zune for Windows too. It was slow, even on my Surface Pro.

I'm not comparing the two.. Get off that! Trust me, I hate XBMW8 to.. Half of the time I can't get it to start playing.. Lol!.. I'm just saying that a lot of us have our complaints about XBMFWP8 as well. Don't make me make a list fool!!! Lol.. Anyways, my point was that WP needs updates more regularly, like how W8 receives them. Maybe that's not entirely possible, but MS really needs to try harder to fill some of these potholes,, faster.. Ya feeel me??

Ticomfreak: Wrong! Xbox music for WP8 is so screwed up compared to when it synced with The Great and Wonderful Zune PC software. Please don't say crazy things like that. It makes some people take it as truth. Spend some time researching all the problems. They are many.

You need to a Xbox Music Pass to sync your matched cloud collection to WP8. Only purchased songs will stream w/o the monthly subscription.

I really think this service (not streaming other songs) but your music should be free for all w8 to windows phone 8 users, because the music experience sucks, and it sucks even more to having to pay for an option that was free before (wireless syncing). :/

Yea, but the issue is that if I add music to my RT device it shows up on the phone, add it to the phone and it shows up nowhere. They keep pushing this 3 screen advantages but the experience is inconsistent and frustrating.

Yeah, I am hoping they fix it on the big update soon that when you download on your WP it shows up on your W8 devices.

It seems that the XBM service is designed to sync from the top down(PC->tablet->phone) but not from bottom up(phone->tablet->PC) ...thats the main gripe with everyone. There's no 2 way syncing just a one way street from PC and down. I hope they address this soon. Because I personally love the XBM service so I just deal with it but I can be frustrating.

You think they actually designed this app? Surely it's obvious this has come about as the result of millions of monkeys randomly typing away at keyboards....

Does anybody else have playback issues when playing a song such as skipping, freezing and not even playing the song

You have to manage the quality, if its high it might be prone to skip due to signal fidelity or compression...I think =[

Wait...isnt there some "sweeping" update with major interface changes and improvements coming in the coming days? If so, why even bother todays minor update?

Right? It's redundant, but it may be some people could find it lol? But, even the W8 dictionary.com app had to update it with a in-app search icon because people rated it low on not being able to search lolol.

If you read reviews to some apps (i.e. WeatherPro) most people need a separate button as they don't know how to search otherwise.

Zune was doing so well and seemed easier to deal with for some reason, it just needed to beef up its library and fix some small issues. XBOX music seems like an attempt to recreate the wheel just cause. I hope the Zune team wasn't hired by Apple or Google, otherwise MS is- how do you say it? "fucked" pardon my french. Just hate seeing corporations fixing what's not broken. BTW, this thing with X1 reverting away from what was shown earlier cause folks were complaining, I'm not buying it. Something else is up. Since when does MS care so much about feedback to change the future by doing a 180 so quick? I'm almost certain that one of the variables not discussed was that you'd probably need @ least 50/50 int speeds which most users don't need, and more importantly, don't care to pay for monthly. If they cared so much about feedback, then where is Zune. Granted, there aren't millions of Zune pass users (or maybe there are), but regardless, it was better than Xbox music.

I think as far as the one, they are playing it safe. You have to admit, Sony effed them on the whole used game and DRM stuff. They knew good and well they would lose this generation if they stuck with it... But Zune, yes, I completely agree!

That's not what all preorders said about where this was going as they were doing well. Something else is up. We just don't know what it is yet. Could it be that MS is not in agreement with the NSA about all that other crap or unable to stop the NSA from tapping on the Kinects once the X1 goes live. Maybe going back was a way a way of MS telling the Gov to go f themselves and to build their own consoles with cameras if they want to spy on their citizens?

Well,waiting for it does seem like ages. Try & wait for something which is not under your control & see how it feels! :)

I thought I knew everything about Windows 8 but using a mouse on my laptop the other day caused me to discover that songs in the dialogue box like the picture above can be individually selected for deletion or other things. With the mouse it's right click but with touch you just pull the song title left or right and it selects it with a checkmark. I can't believe this was there the whole time. I would go to the desktop just to delete music.

I mean, the music experience in WP8 is a very poor state of affairs. It's buggy and just doesn't do the job it should. So many people have problems and are complaining, but there's still absolutely no sign of any improvements on the way.

You mean with Gold right? Maybe they should just have a platinum account..? Anyone else remember they had an account card?! =P

Agree - and they need to make the Music Pass a family share feature, like XBox Gold will be when XBox One ships.
..

Really? I don't think it is in comparsion to any other service. Where can you download unlimited music and watch music videos on your XBOX for a buck a year?? No service that I'm aware off. I think it offers the most and costs the least, the only difference being that it's only on MS Products.

I'm sure you're talking about the Software, but if you have a windows phone which you probably do as you're on this site, then you can subscribe through your phone.

Holy WookieBalls! Seems like live search has also been enabled as well. Try typing directly from the application screen and the search charm opens straight up and you are searching. Isn't this one of the new features of 8.1?

Im over this app version. Give us the 8.1 version already. I wonder how the new XBM app for WP will look like?

I had such high hopes for XBM last fall. But first impressions matter, and XBM was such a confusing mess from the beginning. It will take a great deal more than minor updates to get me to care about XBM again.

At least it finally downloads "most" of the album art for songs I downloaded from XBox Music. Previously the art would all be blank....