Xbox Video
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Microsoft delivers a massive and gorgeous update to Xbox Video for Windows 8.1

Xbox Video on Windows 8.1 is receiving a major update today, and it is worth looking at in detail. Version 2.6.158 is now live in the Windows Store and with it comes an entirely new UI that is much improved from the prior barren version.

Let us peek at a few screenshots.

Xbox Video 2.6.158 for Windows 8.1

  • This update includes a redesign of the entire app, making it easier to find and play the content you want
  • All of your owned content and personal videos are still available in your Collection
  • Minor fixes and improvements

If the new redesign for Xbox Video looks oddly familiar, that is because it borrows the same layout as Xbox Music for Windows 8.1 from back in August 2013. Design parity looks to be finally on the table for the Xbox Video and Music teams, which is long overdue.

The UI puts the user's collection, video store, and TV store all to the left hand side with a convenient search bar. To the right is the main viewing area for each of those sections, which drill down further for more details on the film, video, or TV show, including pricing, HD / SD options, and casting. Tapping the hamburger button on the left hand side shrinks down the menu system to give a larger full-screen experience, ideal for touch devices.

Overall, the new Xbox Video layout brings familiarity and a much richer, cleaner design that is easier to use. Head to the Store or grab our link below to see for yourself. Let us know in comments what you think of the new design!

Thanks, Benjamin C., for the tip!

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Reader comments

Microsoft delivers a massive and gorgeous update to Xbox Video for Windows 8.1

99 Comments

Universal app != exact same code for WP and Windows.  It is like iPhone and iPad.  They can share code easily, but you still want to design the user interface for the device.  You don't want an interface designed with 8+ inch screens on devices that go down to 3.8 inches. 

Correction: Xbox Video is a Unified app (that's what the icon in the store means). Universal apps truly do share most of their code, but all Unified means is that one or more apps share the same identity and purchase in the Store.

I'd rather have the update for my pc/surface. I hardly ever use my phone to watch videos. In the last 4 years, i've watched maybe 2 hours of netflix on my phone.

This doesn't really put an end to that, imo. Long term outlook for it as a service still remains in question. This update had been in the work for months prior to the recent changes ;)

Xbox Music and Video as apps are not dying nor are there any plans too (accordign to Joe's tweet).  It was the service (where you can buy music/video) that was in question.

Oh. That makes sense. Having read Joe's tweet, I just assumed the rumors were fake. Didn't really look into it. I'd go with Beats Music if only it came outside the US. ;)

He used the word "streamline" and everybody panicked.  Can't blame us b/c "streamline" has long been corporate speak for "You're all fired!"

But this is the crazy thing. Who's going to buy DRM protected music and videos from a service that they *may* close. They need to stamp these rumours out hard if not true, otherwise it'll be a self fulfilling prophecy!

Just a guess what might happen.  If MS closes up shop with their own video service, I would expect them to partner up with Amazon and/or UVVU.  whatever you own on Xbox video would work with those services.  MS would pay one big fee, and be done with it all.

On the music side, hasn't Xbox music been entirely DRM-free mp3s for purchase and DRMed subscription for a long time now? Even if the music service closed tomorrow, all your purchases would still work, you'd just miss out on the all you can eat subscription.

I would argue that the Xbox Music Ap is pretty much dead. Song advancement has been broken since Surface RT release. It's unusable.

I would still never buy any media from Microsoft that has DRM in it. I just don't trust them. Too notorious for abandoning DRM platforms.

The collection management looks great! Just need to see them update the web version with the same management.

Also, I couldn't download Video on my work PC for the longest time. It would just fail to download and install every time I tried. Now, it downloaded and I have my video app back!

There's another issue that's been frustrating me. When a movie downloads for offiline viewing, it apparently caches it somewhere on the main hard disk of the PC/Tablet/etc before placing it in it's final location. I have a large SD card on my lumia 2520(for media) but only 7 GB free on the main C: drive. That means I can't download big movies at all, even thought the SD card has plenty of space.

What  I  know is that the xbox music and video apps have hard coded the locations to libaries such as  music and videos . You can go under properties and change the location of the  library to an SD Card. That is what i typically do if i want to download a movie on my Surface RT. I still today do not have problems with the file location transfer.

While it is downloading the movie file, a folder called "Downloading" will be created and shows the files that are currently being download with a different file format.

The library for music and videos in registry editor shows c:/users/yourusername/music and same goes for c:/users/yourusername/video for videos.

If you change the location of those two folders to an external drive, the location is effectively changed in the  registry editor.

let me know if this is still an issue. If you can show your screenshots..

 

 

I've changed the default save locations for the Music and Video libraries to my SD card already. The app still complains about low disk space and I'm not sure why.

Ok , I am assuming that your hard drive is running low in space , but not the sd card.

Did you try using disk cleanup to see if it makes any difference?

Worst case scenario , you can always reset your device and before starting up your apps, make sure you set the locations and see what happens..

 

Maybe this weeks Xbox Music and Video updates for wp8.1 will also finally do something.
"General performance fixes" mean nothing, and I feel as if the last three updates to Xbox Music for wp8.1 have dont nothing but waste my time.

 

General Performance fixes mean speed. Speed is something that Xbox music app grievously needs. Just because you don't understand what something means doesn't mean it means nothing.

And still no support for the REAL feature: Advanced file types.

I'm sick and tired of hoping that VLC's team of assholes doesn't fuck up their WinRT app. Just look at their fucking attitude.

Nothing good will come out of that.

I want to be able to read subtitles from SRT files... I don't understand why they never added that in any version of Windows Media Player and now in Xbox Video.

They use the same basic design, but if you look at them side by side there's differences in the UI. Come on, Microsoft, you already had code/proportions/spacing laid out on Xbox music, why the hell didn't you copy it in Xbox video?

Someone from Microsoft said a week ago that there was a huge update coming for Xbox Music in the coming weeks. Maybe they changed something to the dimensions that will be visible in the new music app also when it's available.

I'm always deleting the same movie from collection (in Windows Phone app and Xbox) but ALWAYS is there (and I haven't option to delete in the Windows 8.1 app) :(

Now, why don't release a big update for Xbox Game app? C'mon Microsoft!

Nope...still can't properly handle my own personal library. Movies and TV shows can't be tagged properly or use proper movie posters or DVD covers.

 

A third party app called Pandora Video Box has almost the exac same layoit, and does all the mentioned above with your movie collection. The dev also says suppt for your TV shows are coming. How can a guy in his garage do this in no time and three years later Microsoft still can't get their heads out of their asses? Completely ridiculous.

A dev in a garage doesn't have to worry about dealing with content creators/providers.  Microsoft pisses some off, those apps disappear for good on Xbox, PC, etc.

Yawn, when it supports MKV or at least Bitstreaming 7.1 (i.e. TrueHD, DTSHD) audio, wake me up.

 

Until then, putting lipstick on a pig isn't helping.

Sincere question, I don't really use this app, and I'm not big into buying digital only copies of movies or shows, but what are the options with this service? Is there any free content to watch or is it all paid? I also do have a substantial library of movies I've amassed by being a netflix subsriber and ripping the DVD's, does this do a good job of organizing and accessing those files? Just looking for some insight from people who use it a lot.

I haven't used it yet but I bought plex to use for my collection. I have heard very good things about it, just have to set up my server at home for it.

I don't do the digital only stuff either.

I had started to set up Plex a while back but was never able to finish the setup. Then I believe WPcentral ran an article about Media Browser which is another fairly highly rated service and I was going to give that a shot, mostly because (I think) it said it could stream live TV. And since I have a network tuner with a cablecard, that would be awesome. But again, haven't been able to spend any time setting it up yet.

Wait, is Xbox music app for Windows bad as it is for Windows Phone? I'm still on Windows 7 so I don't know :)

It started out pretty bad but it is actually pretty good right now after rather frequent updates for a year or so. Hopefully the Xbox Music app on WP follows the same pattern.

Has it been pulled out of the store? It doesn't even show up when you look for all apps by Microsoft Corporation.

Is anyone else seeing that it doesn't sort your personal videos correctly (A-Z)? Seems to complete ignore the file names.

What collection?  Is anyone actually buying movies via this?  I buy Bluray disks straight up and then register them with Ultraviolet in case I ever want to stream them on a device.  For everything else I use Hulu Plus or Netflix.  What is the value/benefit of Microsoft's Video?

Does this means that subscription is coming soon? That would be great. And they should then add non-English subtitles.

I love this version of the app, but we lost the ability to delete files from the app from our personal collection. Where did that go?

Ok, so here's a question:

Prior to the update, if I swiped out of Xbox Vid app and went to, say, Chrome and came back after a few mins, the video I was watching would be minimised with a thumbnail in the bottom left. I'd click on that and hey presto, back to what i was watching. Now, if I swipe out and then back in, the video is gone and I can't see, to get back to it. Is there something I'm missing?

 

Same here. No way to resume when returning to the app. They actually managed to make the app worse.. :/