Xbox One background music playback is still a long way off, according to division head Phil Spencer.

An inquiring fan asked for an update on the long-awaited feature, requested by over 20,000 people on the Xbox One UserVoice feedback site. Phil Spencer's reply will dash hopes of getting the feature before the summer.

Phil Spencer tweeted the following response:

..."Won't be before summer sorry to say."...

At present, music apps like Groove Music can only deliver audio if they're snapped, taking up a large portion of screen real estate in the process. The ability to listen to background music has been promised for some time, as noted by platform head Mike Ybarra in our interview with him back in November:

..."[Background music] is on the backlog and Phil reminds me almost every day about it (laughing). The great thing about Windows 10 on Xbox One is that it really allows us to increase the efficiency of the system, other tasks that take resources to run become easier for us to implement. Background music is something we know our fans want, it's on our list, and we're definitely looking at it."...

The fact that we're still waiting for background music is hopefully a matter of priorities. Mike Ybarra previously noted that the studio is working on two or three backwards compatibility-tier features in terms of complexity. With that in mind, the reason background music could be taking so long is because the team is working on something even more grand. Although that could also be a case of wishful thinking.

Mike Ybarra tweeted to say that we'll hear something about February's Xbox One update "soon", and we know that it'll at least include the ability to view a party's participants without joining.

How important is background music to you? Let us know in the comments, or drop a vote on the Xbox One UserVoice page.