New Xbox Music

Earlier today at Build 2013 we briefly saw the new Windows app for Xbox Music. Now over on the official Xbox blog, Xbox Wire, we get slightly more info on the upcoming update to the Zune’s spiritual successor. Does it close the feature gap between Zune and Xbox Music? Let’s find out.

 At first glance the new Xbox Music app looks better. A little cleaner with denser information. You’ll notice a navigation column to the left of the app. Here are some other features to look forward to with the new Xbox Music app for Windows 8.

  • Built-in search
  • Improved collection management
  • Streaming radio stations
  • Exploring the Music Store
  • Lists of Playlists

 New Xbox Music screenshot

The ability to search and find your music quickly is front and center. The new app will feature an in-app search bar for you. I’m not entirely sure how I feel about this approach versus more education on how to use the Search charm, but it’s hard to argue the importance of a dedicated search cue for the less tech inclined users.

Collection management has been improved. While nothing substation has been gleamed from the post and from Microsoft today, it’s not hard to imagine them making usability a little more powerful for you folks.

Smart DJ has evolved into the ability to create streaming radio stations. It looks and sounds like it’s just the next step of Smart DJ.

The Xbox Music Store has moved to the “explore” section on the left hand navigation column. This is where you’ll head to get the latest tunes from Daft Punk and Massive Attack.

Playlists you create will be available to all your devices with Xbox Music. One cool feature we saw today during the keynote was the ability to “share” a webpage with the Xbox Music app and the app will automatically pull the metadata from that webpage to create a playlist.

New Xbox Music Playlist

Most of the stuff shown off today on the Xbox Wire is only about 50% of the new features that the team is adding to Xbox Music. They’re sharing more in the coming weeks and we’ll be sure to bring it to you. Hopefully we learn about some of these changes and whether or not it impacts the experience on Windows Phone.

Want to try out the new Xbox Music app? Make sure you go download the Windows 8.1 beta to get access to the app. Otherwise wait for it to hit later this year.

Source: Xbox Wire