Windows Phone 8 addresses Music Player control complaint

Music Player Controls

We know that Microsoft is listening to users, as feature after feature consumers want eventually do show up in the OS. We think we have found another one focused on the Music player controls.

The complaint: once you start playing a tune in Windows Phone, the Player controls permanently stay on the Lock screen, even if the music is not playing any more.

Yes, some of you may be thinking ‘who cares?’ but we can assure you, many people find it annoying. In fact, there are third party apps in the Windows Phone Store to address this very issue with the most prominent being ‘Stop the Music!’. And we agree, there should be something more elegant than the current method.

In a seemingly innocuous hands-on video with the Lumia 920, we see the music controls come on the Lock screen. They look exactly the same, so no news there.  But if you notice after the Lock screen is powered on, the music player controls now disappear/recede after 3 seconds instead of permanently staying visible. The magic happens at 0:55 and again at 1:06.

Sure, it’s not a ground breaking new “feature” but it’s these little, nuanced fixes and changes that will make Windows Phone 8 a much better experience for users. It also shows once again that Microsoft is listening to users, even on seemingly the “little” things that are bothering people.

Video Source: TheHelpChannel1; Thanks, Tony, for the heads up!


Reader comments

Windows Phone 8 addresses Music Player control complaint


while the music is paused, press the power button quickly a few times... You will find that the controls disappear afterwards.

I don't get it. My phone does this now already. I have a 900. In the lockscreen, if I push the volume keys, the controls show up. After a couple of seconds they go away just like in the video. Am I missing something?

I'm wondering this as well. I have a firstgen (Mozart) and what happens in the vid also just happened on my Mozart. I'm not seeing 'the magic'.

+1 same phone here. same result. The article doesnt suggest something new, certainly not the fix it is getting at!

No, in the lockscreen the controls are there already after pressing the power button to show the lockscreen. They are 'embedded' in the lockscreen and will move with the wallpaper, but they stay there permanently. You don't press the volume buttons at all.

But do we now have proper volume control?  As in a separate volume level for music, ringer, calls, and notifications?

It should be a basic feature and if i remember correctly even those old mobile phones 10 years ago head them. On the other hand, the iPhone can't do it either, so at least it seems to be common these days to omit it.

I couldn't agree more. It's especially challenging while driving because, with the current controls, you cannot do anything without taking your eyes off the road. Hopefully they'll address this in future updates..

Thank the universe for bluetooth enabled stereos as I've no worries about this in my car.  Just control the music through my stereo. 

My car doesn't let me control the music through bluetooth, just stream :(

That's a pretty big feature of mine because on my Android phone I just press the volume up/down keys to change songs. Hopefully WP8 can offer something similar..

I hope we also get separate media and ringtone volume controls. This is the one thing that really drives my crazy in WP7

Thing is, is drove me nuts having seperate ones in android as you had yo wait foe media to play before you could change it. A fine balance would be nice

yep I´ve been hoping for that as well since wp7 first launched, It´s one of those basic things I can´t understand why it was not included from the get go

This is the one thing?  No question, it is maddening, but there are so many shortcomings still in the OS find this to be relatively minor compared to so many other things that need addressing in version 8.
Don't get me wrong, though, I'd take it!

Will the music controls remain in the volume control panel though? If that's the case im fine with it. I actually liked it the way it was. It made it easy to resume a playlist even after its been paused for hours.

Yeah, I think a simpler approach is what Stop the Music does--- simply clears the Now Playing list. Just having an option for that in the music app would be great. That said, I keep a 20-hour music playlist on pause all week long, and I just reshuffle from time to time. "Best mix of any hits I want!" /radiovoice

Better than nothing, but I'm probably still going to download Stop the Music on my 920 if the controls still don't go completely away after music has stopped playing. Or, sometimes I listen to part of a podcast on my phone, then finish it at home. Unless there's an OS feature to completely kill paused music, the only way to get rid of that podcast will still be Stop the Music.

See, it's small things like this which I also hope make it into the 7.8 update.  The ability to "multi-select" photos in the picture hub thats in WP8, also needs to be in the 7.8 update. 

Same here. I actually get annoyed that they disappear from the lock screen if you don't play music for a while and the screen turns off before I get something started.
I don't understand peoples wish for completely killing music playback. I like to have a playlist ready to go & find it annoying that I have to re-choose my music after rebooting the phone.

I hate this too. When I reboot, I always hit the volume button to resume music. Then I sigh when it doesn't work.

Hopefully Microsoft include an option to toggle the music player control for it to remain at the lock screen or for it to disappear after a while.
Personally, I'm fine with the controls at the lock screen. Didn't find it bothersome at all.

So its the way it was before mango?
Where you can bring up the options with the volume keys. I personaly don;t like that, I like the current function, because i know where the buttons are at all times, not i have to use the volume rocker, wait for the controlls to come down and then change it. 

Really? People have wanted this? If anything I would prefer of the music controls were always on the lock screen. Would make stating music up again easier. Would make WP a serious music player as well as super-phone. Too bad there couldn't be a setting to adjust between never on, fade away and always on.

"Too bad there couldn't be a setting to adjust between never on, fade away and always on."
Who says there won't be? Maybe we'll get it.

I want the controls to remain, unless I want them gone. Makes it easy to manage my music in the lock screen, but would be nice to get rid if the song just in case I hit the wring key in a meeting. As it is I turn the volume all the way down - which also frustratingly turns off my ringer.

Finally it gets fixed! I use stop music. I hate how crowded the lock screen looks if I'm not using the player.

Of all the things that still need MS's attention in their mobile OS, this was of least importance.  I'm really not sure why they even went with what they did.  Why not just add a *STOP* button in the music app (like most music players have) that would cancel the music and remove the controls from the lock screen?
Personally, I wish they change the music app so that if content is playing, and you open the app, it goes to the content, instead of a "history" tab...

You do know that you can tap the song/artist name in the Music Control and it will take you to the Now Playing screen in the Music hub, right?

Thanks for this info, but it does not work from the Music Controls on the lock screen. Only from the Music Control that appears when you press the volume rocker.

For me the bigger issue is the overall single volume setting, which drives me crazy. How hard is it to provide us with separate volume settings for alarms, ringer, music and apps? I'm still hoping WP8 will feature at least a separate music volume setting :)

I'm I alone in wishing the music would never be killed, I hate when I press the volume and I can't resume anything and have to go back in zune to restart a playlist. 
I would wish they would make skip tracks by long pressing the volume botton.  I hate having to turn on the phone to just try and hit the little skip track soft key.  They should also make them square so it fits the rest of the tile theme.

You mean a long press of the next or previous button would be a 5 or 10 second skip, right?  If so, I agree.  However, I don't agree that the buttons should be square, as that would go against the button control design in Windows Phone.

Is this a Nokia thing? I've never had this issue on my Trophy.
The music controls have always slid away after a few seconds and they only show up on the lock screen if i press the volume control buttons.

Every wp7 has this "issue" after pause and after unpluging your headphones the controls are still there if you press thevolume button. It would not be an issue if it goes away in 10j20min but after a couple of hours still there when you press your volume button...

And I believe everyone that complains about this "issue" are all nuts.  I use my phone primarily for business, and I play music on it all the time.  I have NEVER found it annoying or "an issue."  I just don't get it.

Great post.  If I'm not playing music, I don't want the lock screen or the volume options popup to display music info or controls.  It's really distracting to have whatever you were last listening to jump out at you every time you're trying to do something unrelated on the phone.  Just imagine if everything you did on your phone behaved this way.  Your lock screen / volume popup would be full of crap all over the place that is not relevant to your current situation.
I used to avoid using my phone to play any music, and when I did I would power the phone off and back on afterwards to get rid of those music controls.  Then I found the "Stop the Music" app.  Whoever wrote that app is THE MAN.  That app eliminated one of my biggest annoyances about Windows Phone.  If they're correcting this in WP8, that's great.  It means someone at MS is paying attention.  Although it's concerning that it's survived this long in WP7.

As I said in a previous post, I believe everyone that complains about this "issue" are all nuts.  I use my phone primarily for business, and I play music on it all the time.  I have NEVER found it annoying or "an issue."  Yeah, I know "personal preference", but I just don't get it.

A simple stop button instead or beside the pause button would fix that issue. It would not look odd because every palyer has a stop button. Or this issue could be fixed with an narrower time stop function. My wp7 music player controls hide after a couple of hours. But this could be 15min instead of hours...

I agree. When I 1st started using WP7 I didn't understand why there wasn't a stop button. The issue never bothered me, but if ms has done something to benefit everyone, I m happy.

sounds like people who don't like the music controls staying need my HD7...
the controls on that disappear as and when they feel like it, also stopping and starting music at times of it's own choosing, with or without on screen controls there......infuriating to say the least...combined with screen turning itself on at random too
i'd like an actual lock on the thing, not just the sliding crap that stops nothing as my phone appears to be possesed

Ew, I don't like that new look. EVERY time I unlock, there's going to be some obtrusive grey bar w/ controls that's going to recede? It's so much nicer when it was just blended into the wallpaper. I swear... people bitch and moan about some of the stupidest things and this solution does not seem at all visually appealing to me.

Hmm you're right, looked at the vid just now and they might've actually made things worse. *sigh*

What I find annoying is that I have to turn my volume down from 30 every time I put in headphones. When I had my iphone, the phone understood that there is a seperate volume when headphones are in. 

I hope thats an option. I love it that I can continue listening to my music any time right from the lock screen. 

Im hoping to see the "artist flow" screen saver from the Zune HD come over. Also I hope they fix the bug where when you press the shuffle/random songs, it will no longer play the 'spoken word' or 'comedy' genre. It worked correctly with the Zune HD, but on Windows Phones, it will randomly throw it tracks from comedy records when you are trying to listen to random songs

Are you kidding? Well, its WP8, I hope it doesn't apply to 7.8. I'm getting worried that MS forgotten what made the design interface of the Zune so great. Like the above post said, I hope the "artist flow" returns.

Also, I can think of 2 things which are bigger problems than this.

Firstly, why do I have to tap the volume rocker 4 times before a volume change is heard?

Secondly, why is making a custom playlist impossible in the Zune player?

I too loved the Artist Flow feature on my Zune HD, and am sad to not see if in Windows Phone yet.  Not sure I understand what you mean with the first issue.  To create a Playlist in the Music Hub, you have to add tracks to the Now Playing list, then you have the option to save it to a Playlist.  I do hope MS has added the ability to tap-and-hold a track, albums, or artist and add to Custom Playlist.  But, I also wish they would add gapless playback.  Now THAT is annoying to hear the "pop" sound when the track is done, and the next track starts playing.

Try deleting some songs from the Now Playing list and you'll see what I mean. The only way to truly make a customised playlist is if I were to have an individual album for each song.

It also shows once again that Microsoft is listening to users, even on seemingly the “little” things that are bothering people.

People want a different music volume control....is Microsoft listening to that too? or are they bothering with useless non-issues?

Your "issue" is my "non issue" and vice versa, so that has nothing to do with anything.

As far as if MS has split the volume into two, I have no idea.

I think a bigger issue is switching between apps while the music is playing. Hitting the left arrow to go back almost never works!

A long-standing feature of WP7 is that if the lock screen is shown more than three times since the last time a media player control was used (from lock, volume, or now playing) the player controls will disappear from the lock screen. If they bug you, you can just tap the power button a few times and they go away until the next time you play audio.

This seems like a great added function because I've been perplexed by this as well. It's not a deal breaker, mind you; it's just a bit annoying at times.
Slightly off topic, however, but relevant since this post is about music, but I was wondering if there is a reason that Microsoft omitted the HD radio capabilities on the phone. It's one of the perks I enjoy with the Zune HD and would like to see it implemented in some fashion on the WP platform.
As stated in the post, it's the little nuances and fixes that will make Windows Phone 8 better for the consumer. 

I just want an equalizer software for my Lumia 900, I bought the Nokia Purity HDs and id rather go for my Vita's cuz at least a limited equalizer is better than none, right?

+10000000 need an equalizer bad. hoepfully in WP8 MS provide one or the SDK allows for apps to provide one.

A more important thing for me on the lock screen is that I want to see album artworks to show up, after I implemented them in the id3-tags. The music controls never bothered me. Actually I think it is good, that they do not disappear, because I can jump right in after I stopped listening to music for a while.

IMHO, the far more annoying issue with the playback controls is this:
Whenever I try and pause / play, or even just rewind using the playback controls on the lock screen, the screen often bounces (i.e. thinks I am trying to unlock the phone) because I've probably not struck the button just right.
It happens often enough to be an issue for me. 
2 options to fix this:
1) make the playback buttons BIGGER and therefore easier to hit, or
2) LOCK the top part of the screen so it has no effect on unlocking the phone

Not sure that behavior is new or not, but it's always been a little frustrating that there's not a built-in way to "eject" the current track.  I suppose the UX gurus think, "why would anyone want that?"  Maybe they love ever track they hear.  Normal folks may not want to be reminded of what they were just listening to...and don't want to start something else just to clear the now playing item.
I use a "stop the music" app, but it's primarily to clear the current audiobook track of the Overdrive Media Console app.  (That app does some really funky things in the background audio player.)
In my "Live Music Access" app (for listening to archive.org's etree collection, free and ad-free), I added an "eject" menu item just to be able to clear out the currently playing concert without needing a different app!  Works well for me.

OK , Dont worry, jsut simple way.

after playing a song , you can play a video,and then pause it and go back..

it will be all right


hope it will be helpfull