Xbox Music coming to web

Xbox Music coming to the web next week, but is it enough?

According to Tom Warren of The Verge, Microsoft’s Xbox Music streaming service will see a web-based interface launching next week. This would provide a substantial boost for the service as it is currently only available on Microsoft based platforms. Bringing Xbox Music to the web would allow access for Linux and Mac OS X users.

The Verge announced that unspecified sources had revealed the plans, and that Xbox Music will be accessible next week at allowing users to stream content in addition to managing their playlists. We expect to see a preview of the web interface this week at BUILD 2013, before it launches.

Microsoft’s music service has been struggling to catch up with more popular services such as Spotify, Rdio, and MOG; in part, this may be due to the poorly designed interface Xbox Music has had on Windows 8. The current interface is bearable on touch screen PCs, but cumbersome to use with a keyboard and mouse.

Xbox Music’s backend has also not been as tight – users have constantly reported trouble syncing playlists and content between devices using the Xbox cloud. Hopefully as Microsoft redesigns the front ends of the experience and adds new ways to access their content – they will also put more focus on the backend.

Xbox Music on Windows 8.1

We have already learned that Windows 8.1 will feature a newly designed Xbox Music UI that makes navigation and music discovering easier, but with Spotify being the “Facebook of music services” – is it enough? Microsoft might have to pull a few marketing miracles to make users notice their entrance into the music marketplace. Many Windows 8 users still don’t know that the service offers ad-supported free streaming in over fifteen counties with no restrictions for the first six months.

Do you currently use Xbox Music – are you having better luck than we did or are you still using a different service?

Source: The Verge


Reader comments

Xbox Music coming to the web next week, but is it enough?



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As far as Xbox Music goes I'm up for any changes, especially to the backend regarding sync problems etc, but as long as this doesn't make them lazier in updating the existing apps. Updates are slow enough already.

It's good enough. I'm happy now. But does this mean the Mac Connector can work with Xbox music also, or does it need to be a dedicated app for it to work?

Given that it will only live in the browser and not download the data I fear that you will still have to download the music on the phone directly and won't be able to use the Connector until Microsoft builds a dedicated App.

So is this the answer for us stuck on Windows 7 at work??? I would really love to kiss Zune Player goodbye... Mostly...

I've been weening myself off the Zune player even though it was really well designed. Shame it never gained the needed traction.

Yes Zune was years ahead of iPod and Xbox music I still use Zune as my primary player just don't download via Zune because Xbox doesn't get along well with their songs at all

or vice versa, apparently they have different DRMs. So, if it's not on the Cloud you can't play it on XBOX Music. I just realized that. I've been downloading all my songs via Zune thinking XBOX Music would play them. But it's alright though. As long I can transfer them to My Zune HD I'm ok with it I guess. MSFT definitely doesn't want you using Zune that's fo'sure.

DRM aside, Zune was much easier to use to add music with. WP8 really does not need a desktop solution for backup. Everything is stored in the cloud. Music can be added on the fly or just use the Windows file structure. Copy/paste.

Actually you can play any of your music downloaded with Zune onto Xbox Music, but there is a "catch", so to say that allows this, and truthfully I just recently heard about this, it came from Joe Belfoire. I still use Zune, I have the Zune/Xbox pass with 10 credits that I refuse to let go of, for a good reason but my main one is I HATE Xbox music, I hate using it, I'm tired of trying to fix my metadata twice a week, and the lack of keeping my phone and my Win 8 Laptop music collection in sync like Zune did with WP7 is just mind blowing as to why that was not brought over to Xbox music. Ok, I'm done bitchin, just took a xanax, kinda funny that Xbox music actually makes me take these, at least my Doctor told me me to take as needed when working or playing with Xbox music :-) In all seriousness though, the way to make sure any of your music that you have downloaded from Zune to play nice, on say your Phone, the way you go about it is to always make sure when you sync music to your WP8, always use 1 of the 3 clients for WP8. Either the Metro App, or the Win 7 Desktop Client, or the Win 8 Desktop client, as long as you sync any music from Zune through these clients you will not run into the DRM issues, now, trying to sync your music with these clients is a whole other story. Another strange deal I figured out with my 10 monthly song credits is they can actually be used with Xbox Music. I accidently bought a song on my 920 a month ago on Xbox Music, I get my 10 song credits on the 25th of every month, that day was 25th of May. Well, by surprise it actually gave me the choice to use my song credits to purchase, I instinctively just hit the "yes use my song credit" button and what do you know, it sure as hell worked, although it downloaded a non DRM .WMA File, no .mp3.

That's good to know about the 10 songs which I still have as well. I'm gonna try it next month on my Win8 PC, see what happens.
As for your metadata, just turn the option off. Under XBOX MUSIC APP, Go to Settings>Preferences>Media Info and slide that to off and Voila...that should hopefully relieve your weekly headaches.

I want them to expand to more markets already! I still can't get the service in my country.

It doesn't only mean that it's reachable from Linux and OS X but by the whole Windows installed Base on XP, Vista and 7. That could be quite a push. Although it would be better if they offered it as a Desktop experience as well. Zune only works for this in countries that had Zune Music Pass before there was XBox Music. In Austria for example we only have the Apps on Win8 and WP8.

Hopefully this catches on and provides a huge brand awareness. Windows Phone will succeed and every OEM who took a pass will be begging to be part of this movement.

First off, there must be a million different ways to get music. There is no shortage of free music apps. Secondly, I've used Xbox music as well as my kids on their Win8 laptops and we've had no issues finding music or using the service. And lastly, thank you for the web service as I presumably can use it now on an XP or Win7 PC. However how is this different than just logging in and streaming from my Zune account? Which I also have pinned to my desktop.

Xbox music plays nice if ur starting from scratch but most of us come from wp7 and Zune which causes hell on our libraries using Xbox music still haven't got all the issues sorted out on my surface or win8 comp and I'm day 1 everything eff Xbox music till they get half of what Zune brought....(wireless syncing every night while wirelessly charging) sadly just a dream

I've attempted to use Xbox Music twice, and have broken down in tears each time (not really), but that is how frustratingly bad the interface is on windows 8. In fact, I still have Zune installed on my desktop (I still get 10 free credits) and prefer to listen to music with it, as the interface actually makes sense.
Not to mention the fact that Xbox Music, on all 3 platforms (Xbox, WP, PC) are all drastically different and don't seem to like to communicate. Hell, I've got tons of music I can't even listen to on my phone because it is convinced it is already in my collection, and ergo won't download. And if I drag and drop it tells me it can't verify the license. Top notch Microsoft, you took something that worked (Zune) and turned it into a flashy pile of shit (Xbox Music).

Files downloaded using the Zune Client use a different DRM system than ones downloaded through XBox Music. Given that the WP8 devices only support XBox Music Zune Files don't work. Still I envy you for being able to use Zune. Countries that did not have Zune but got XBox Music can't use the Zune Desktop software for Streaming/Downloading at all.

PS: Situation with the Win8 has improved with recent updates. I'm looking Forward to the new Win8.1 Version of it.

My issue is more with the fact that if I had previously downloaded music with Zune, when I go to download it on my phone, directly from Xbox Music I can't. Instead I need to play the song, and download it from within the song controls. I can't just click "Download Album" as it says it's "In Collection". ::grumble::
I hope it fixes everything. the interface isn't terrible, it's already up for me.

You are very lucky then. Myself and several others have had the issue of trying to download music on our phones (which were previously downloaded via Zune) and gotten the "In Collection" tag showing up where "Download" should be. The only reason I found out I could play the song and then download it while streaming was because of the forums here.

The key word there is "BUY". You get an MP3 that can be played on any device because there is no DRM.
If you use your zune pass, WP8 chokes and can't play it. It's a rather obvious use case scenario that Microsoft didn't care about.
"People have giving us money for Zune Pass since 1999. What if these loyal customers decide to get our latest, greatest device?"
Maybe that test is still on the back log.

I have a one year subscription that I only use on my Lumia 920, but I use it a lot. Haven't used it much on other platforms but if there was an easy way to make and edit playlists I would like it a lot more!

Ability to manage my playlists is my #1 pet peeve with the service...really hope we see a reasonable way to do this. I've got a few larger playlists and I suspect i've got a lot of duplicate entries, but no real way to manage that or sorting the list to see what I've got in it to see if i want to add/remove stuff from the list. 

Xbox music is the crappiest music app ever. You can't add a song to an existing playlist, no social playlists or any other activity and no fast forward. Despite its endless bugs and zero windows phone commitment Spotify still remains my choice for music for the time being. Xbox music at this point is absolutely unusable and a huge disappointment. It's amazing how slowly Microsoft operates. No update in 8 months. That's even worse than Spotify. They seem to be willing to support it almost as good as Skype, which in the end means it'll be a great app on any other platform but windows phone.

Unfortunately I must agree. It seems MS isn't working at all at anything. There is so many feedback, but nothing is changing. I hope they aren't acting right now, because they are waiting to make it one big thing. Or something like that haha.

That's not true, I just added four new songs to an existing playlist just this morning. Just click the plus button and select which playlist you want to add it to.

I just hope an update will come out enabling us to reorder the now playing list.

This is how I have to make a playlist from my phone:
1) Find an artist with an album with just one song in it.
2) Start playing that one song.
3) Hit ... and Save as Playlist
4) Call this playlist something simple like "1"
5) While playlist "1" is playing go find another song you want to add
6) Hold that song down and add to current playlist
7) Repeat step 6 for all songs you want. Make sure you don't start playing the song or you will have to start over!
8) Navigate yourself to the currently playing playlist. Save playlist again as "1" or whatever to save over your playlist.
9) If you want to add songs, start playing this playlist and do as step 6 says.

Good luck trying to delete songs or reordering your songs.

All I want from XBox Music is cloud streaming all music, and not just what I've already purchased from the Marketplace. I want to be able to store my music in the cloud, and be able to play it back on my L920 and save the storage space.

That's matching, right? I would love that. I digitized my CD collection a long time ago and would love to have all that available to stream from the cloud without going thru and re-downloading them all. Of course, I only have Zune and not windows 8 so maybe this capability is there and I just don't have access to it?

Yes, but only if it's available in the cloud, otherwise you won't have it in your cloud collection. And as far I know this only works on XBOX Music.

No u pay $25 for matching u pay $100 to download and stream any song old or new the legit way not steal loads of music then match with iTunes u still must purchase or steal new music to add that to ur collection

I actually enjoy using xbox music on my phone. Its better than Spotify or Deezer. If we could just add songs to playlists!

On Win8 (even on the Surface) its a bit rubbish. The service is good, but the ui is all over the place.

Metadata hasn't seen the massive update it desperately needs since Zune launched, so my hopes aren't very high. Apparently Xbox Music meta data is getting updated along side GDR2, but we'll see if it makes a difference.

XBox Music needs a tremendous amount of work to make it usable. The syncing issues are especially horrendous for people with existing music collections (bought elsewhere, through Zune or ripped from CD). From what I can tell people with these issues have either gone elsewhere, or are exasperated at the lack of improvement in this predicament. Zune was a masterpiece of coding compared to this, what an awful and inexcusable backward step they have taken with XBM. There are many who see this latest update as the last chance, but I fear it will be mostly UI changes and little substance, but I would LOVE to be corrected!

For all the complaining I must say once again that I have not had any issues with Xbox Music (I have had a music pass since the Zune days).

I love it as well, unfortunately, I use Spotify. The quality is better (320kbps, you can really hear difference in volume) and the problem with not syncing playlists is a real problem. I really want to use Xbox Music, but the quality at Spotify can not be ignored. But the Spotify app on WP8 seems to be eating my battery more then XM, so maybe I should just dump Spotify then haha!

I'm glad they're finally (re)doing this. Having access to, what was then, Zune on the web at from any PC was great.

I tried a trial of Spotify premium forgot to cancel it and have been using it to listen to music at work. Is Xbox music better or is any other service better?

I think it is, but only because you can download all you can eat on any of your MS Products. You could also do streaming, which as far as I know is all Spotify allows you to do.

THIS. That would be absolutely brilliant of Microsoft to allow.
Xbox Music integration in apps and even entirely third party music apps... With the amazing third party products available from the WP devs for Twitter and Instagram etc. I'm sure we'd have a better app than the official one within three months!

"XBox Music's backend has not been as tight ..." hmmmm yeah ... I think I'm starting to notice a trend here...

XBM crashes a lot on my PC and also messes up my metadata so I use Slacker. On the phone I only listen to my own tracks with all the cloud options turned off and stream from Last FM or Slacker.

If you know how to navigate and use your pass on all devices, this service is great! I download tons of music,for offline listening on my WP. I love to use smartglass to listen to any music from my Xbox. I just hook up the Xbox to the stereo and play any music from anywhere in the house. From time to time, I use the windows 8 app on my surface to discover new stuff or if I'm working on something at the same time. Well worth the 10$/month and I think if people on ios knew about it they'd actually save enough money rather than pay 10$/album on iTunes to switch to Microsoft ecosystem.

If I download a song directly on my phone, how do I get it to show up in my collection on my PC (and now in the webapp version). Most of my music discovery is via my phone and bing, I hate having to manually go through and redownload everything on my computer just so that I can listen to the new stuff I've discovered on the go. Additionally I don't use the cloud services to stream on my phone, I just download them to the device, not sure if that is causing any of the strife between devices.

Yep i have the same problem, but works the other way, i.e. If i download to PC/Surface it appears on phone via cloud, but not if downloaded on phone first.

Silly question but I'm tempted to switch fae iTunes to Xbox music, but can i transfer what i have paid for over? I think i know the answer..... But thanks for any clarification

DRM free music can be listened through Xbox Music with no problems.
If your music has DRM you may need to keep using iTunes for those songs.

If your music is in .m4a format, then nothing but apple products will be able to read it. iTunes can save ripped music to mp3 but you have to choose it (its not the default).

There's a great tool called DBPoweramp that I used years ago to convert WMAs and M4As to MP3s. Might be worth investigating.

If they can make my Xbox created playlist sync on my Windows Phone that would be great as that's really my only major problem with it

Yes, this. I wanted to listen to the music on my phone on my Xbox, played around with playlists until I finally gave up. Was slightly annoyed I couldn't just plug my phone into my Xbox and play it through the system player. Oh well.

I really hope Xbox Music 2.0 lives up to the hype from when they announced it last year...
Zune was actually really great, it had a great (if flawed) desktop app, it synced across devices without a hitch (wired, not cloud-based) and also had a web player (never really advertised).
It was all a pretty compelling package that Microsoft didn't seem to know what to do with.
Xbox Music seemed like a rushed reaction to Steve Ballmer suddenly finding out about the service and telling someone to re-launch it in time for Windows 8 release day. The promise was there for the execution was dismal and Microsoft clearly knew it as they barely mentioned the service since.
Hopefully over the next month or two we'll get the service we were promised a year ago complete with usable native apps (also on iOS and Android, and heck BB10 too why not?!) and the ability to manage the cloud collection properly (and for it to use SkyDrive to upload the files that aren't matched).
I'd assume decent Windows Phone 8 syncing probably won't happen till WP8.1 which is a huge shame but I already repurposed my old Omnia 7 as a glorified Zune player so I can wait.

At least I'm not the only one that remembers there was already a web interface. Hopefully the "Share" feature in Marketplace on my WP will become useful again. Ever since they took away the web player, the "Share" button became useless -- unless the person you were sharing with had xbox music.

What they need to do is make XBOX Music part to the XBOX Live Gold package to get more people using it.  I think people have a problem paying for what they feel like should be a bundled service. Then you would have more people using it and talking about it, then non XBOX Live users would start buying the stand alone service.

I use this service exclusively for my music needs. My only complaint is the four device limit. I have double that many WP8/Win 8 devices.

I've never subscribed to Zune or Xbox Music. I buy most of my music from When I stream I just use free services like Slacker,, or Pandora.

Zune was awesome but the lack of sync support in Windows 8 means that I have to use Media Player to sync music and playlists. I understand the technical reasons for the behavior change, but they did write the OS hehe. The XBOX Music W8 app is slow and a poor replacement for Zune, though again, I understand that its an app and therefore constrained to API/OS restrictions that might make it more useful to interact with devices or burning CDs (for those that still do). Still, all of this hullabaloo is precisely opposite the experience they were intended to deliver. I believe they should address base concerns for Windows and Windows Phone users before porting anything to competing platforms.

I search my music (by song/artist/album), I find my music, then I play it (stream, download, or buy).  Boom!  I'm a happy camper :)
Perhaps I'm using it differently than others, but for my purposes, it's close to perfect.  My only wish is for them to significantly expand their collection, that's all..

If I can't like songs and create playlists a lot easier (like I could with Zune then it will probably suck...

Just to add my 2p worth, Joe Belfiore has informed Twitter followers that the Xbox Music app was a rewrite that treats the phone as an MTP device hence no more Zune style syncing (but also why we can drag and drop music/photos straight into the relevant folders via Windows Explorer)

I would love if the Windows Phone 8 app or Xbox Music removed the songs tagged with a dislike (much like Zune used to remove them when synching).

For what Xbox music offers, I love it regardless of some of the nitpicky issues. Love Bing integration on my WP, smartglass playing music off Xbox through cloud is easy, and my grandfathered 10 songs to keep a month is the clincher! I'm patient, once its ironed out, it will be the best again, like zune

I am happy with my Xbox Music pass, the web protal would be the icing on the cake.... and the ability to edit playlists on the WP8 Xbox Music app... That is probably the biggest negative for me right now.
I have never had any of these syncing issues people speak of though.

About time they brought it back! I used to use my Zune Music Pass on the web quite often. Then they shut off the web portion, then they came out with Xbox Music with the massively inferior software... now they're bringing back the web aspect. Good. I hope now they bring back more superior software and merge Xbox Music with Zune somehow.
My money is on iPhone getting an amazing Xbox Music app first, personally (one that doesn't ever have issues with playing locally download music pass files), and then they'll tweak it and update WP.

At this point, I completely agree. MS will likely go all out on a very good iOS version of Xbox music and commentators and WPCentral will be angry at people for pointing this out.

They'll probably even offer some cool skype integration and exclusive Xbox games to subscribers, available exclusively on iOS devices.

Xbox music is complete garbage, the weakest link in windows 8 (on WP8 skype is a close call), it ran ads over music I owned, a rushed mess that ruined the metadata of 1/2 my music colleciton and could never work properly with any of my music files on my surface or WP8 device.  I wish it was sentient so I could murder it. 
It has been so bad, I'm not sure anything could get me to try it again.  I'm just using spotify at this point on my WP8 device and a combination of mediamonkey, spotify and XBMC on my W8 devices. 

Xbox music has better features on phone and pc than the ACTUAL xbox. I don't have a pass, but my cd collection is available via cloud, but not on the 360. Is that how it is right now?

Yup, that's how it works. The only thing that you will see on your XBOX would be Playlists made on your PC. Interesting point. The one thing the XBOX has going for it that no other XM device has is the ability to play Music Videos on the app itself, albeit a little limited.

I like Xbox music for the radio. For the sake of music streaming, it is great. But is terrible for actually managing an existing music collection. I still use Zune on Win8 to edit and organize the tunes I own. My biggest problem with Xbox music is the inability to sort and play my music by genre. I don't listen by album or artist. Guess I will have to make playlists for each genre... What a pain! My second biggest complaint with Xbox music (or Zune from that matter) is to have an integrated sync feature to WP8. As we all know, the dedicated app on Win8 to sync to WP8 is atrocious, especially when it syncs duplicate files!

I don't use it at all anymore. Gave up a long time ago. Going to wait until there so called fix comes out and see what happens. This fix will be the make or break for me, so I hope its good as I love my ativ s.

Xbox Music is the best music platform on the internet. It has streaming/playlists/channels like that of Pandora, it has a music catalog that rivals that of iTunes, you can stream your music or download, and it has interfaces on Windows 8, Windows Phone, Xbox and eventually the web. It's relatively cheap as well and integrates well on Windows Phone. Why waste time on platforms like Spotify that only does a portion of the above? Same for Pandora, etc.

I've used Xbox Music (prev. zune) for 3 years nearly. Xbox music is so frustrating in that cloud sync to my phone is buggy as hell. Downloading music on my phone does not then sync to win 8 pc. Plus a few other niggles about album art and tracks missing....Still the concept of DLing as much as you like for 8 £ a month is good.

Xbox music completely screwed up the metadata for about half of my music collection when I first used it. I immediately turned off any connection on my phone and haven't used the Windows 8 app since. Afraid to go back

Just turn off the Metadata on your XM App. Problem solved. For me this is the only one that I have on, I have turned off my Zune and WMP one. I figure since this is the newest interface they should have better data on my music. I swear, with this last update, they fixed most of metadata, but I can't be certain.

Awesome.  Xbox music is far from flawless but I love having it for my phone.  A web interface would be welcomed.  Hope they can clean up some of the syncing issues though.

Why is Microsoft always ( too) late?
The restructuring we could read about lately seems to be more than necessary. Is MS really that bureaucratic monster with no creativity left?

I can't stand how Xbox Music still tries to match my explicit music to edited versions. Can't they figure out the metadata in the song? Provide an option to match explicit to explicit or explicit to edited. This is dumb.

Zune is starting to really show its age (album art and syncing issues abound!) so it's good to know that when I finally do get a w8 PC the Xbox music situation may no longer suck.

I don't get Xbox Music how do they expect to compet with Spotify when it only work on Xbox, Windows Phone and in the Modern UI.
Why no Windows Desktop applikation? i don't want to open the webbrowser if a want to listen to music

I'm very happy with Xbox Music...It works great for streaming music and I love downloading albums and listening to them anywhere I'm at without WiFi ...I do think the Windows 8 interface needs some work though.

Milions of people in Poland want to purchase Music Pass, but Microsoft refuses to sell. Balmer should be replaced by someone who knows, that World is more than just US. Or maybe better Microsoft persuade US Goverment to conquer Poland and give us all citizenship then Microfoft wil have milions of new clients in enlarged US. I think there is more countries like Poland where Windows Phone outsels iPhone and only Galaxy is more popular brand than Lumia.

I subscribe to XBox Music and I love the service for music on the phone.  The Windows 8 client is one of the worst peices of software that I have ever used though.
I do have a major issue with XBox Music though.  The service is incredibly slow to make podcasts available after they are posted.  This is not a phone issue, it is an XBox Music issue.  Due to this I am using my Galaxy S3 instead of my Lumia 920 because I got tired of waiting hours for podcasts that are live to be available for me to play on my phone (yes, I tried to manually sync, but XBox Music is late compared to everyone else for some reason).
On my GS 3 I am trying the new Play streaming service.  Their phone client is not as good as the XBox Music client on my phone, but the Play store's web interface blows away the native Windows 8 desktop client for XBox Music.
I think that both clients are better than Spotify.  I detest that Spotify offers no easy way to sort all of the playlists, and I detest their playlist driven interface to begin with.  Let me sort by Artist>Album without the supid playlists.

Yes I am.  Without Podcast support I would not have bought the phone.  It is a great device, but Podcasts are my primary form of entertainment.

I do love Xbox music for its catalog and its nice for a single device it gets extremely ugly when u add in ur home computer, tablet, zunehd, and other products using it because they don't get along but as far as a music player its the best

Finally! I've had a few discussions with friends who were thinking of cancelling their Xbox music pass because of the abysmal support Microsoft have given Windows 7 users for this and Windows Phone 8. Zune was cancelled far too long ago, and nothing has been available to replace it, just a crappy sync app that connects to bloody iTunes, and no way of playing your pass music from your computer.

Its impossible to use it on windows phone 8 so i will never use it. Spotify on wp8 is horrible as well but at least i can make and manage playlists.

I've been lucky with the fact that Xbox Music has been working like it's supposed to. The one feature I did miss was that when Xbox Music took over Zune, the only website was gone also. Also, the new Xbox Music app for Windows 8.1 looks SO MUCH BETTER. It really is just bearable with a keyboard and mouse.

The reality is that if you're a new XBOX Music Subscriber it should be smooth sailing. But for those of us that come from the ZUNE days, it's a DRM nightmare.
I really like the service, I think it's second to none. But I feel as if MS should've done a better job of easing their current subscribers into XBOX MUSIC.

I love my Xbox music on my Lumia 920 WP8 and XBOX360.$12 a month Canadian and I download anything, anytime. I have no complaints.

With everyone hating on Zune I see why they changed it to Xbox Music. Zune was great in my opinion. I miss the Zune PC software and sync :( On WP7 I could stay synced with Zune, now Syncing is a mess. I mostly only care about sync for music. The auto download option on the Xbox Music app on Windows 8 doesn't work. It's a mess now. At least it's still better than iTunes.

iTunes sucks ass, but XBox Music still sucks worse.  That Windows 8 client is the poorest designed and performing software that I have ever used on any platform.  Using it feels like using a junior college class programming project poorly executed.

I mean come on dude, the POS not only is hard to use, it also makes you scroll past ads. I paid for Windows, I should not have to scroll by ads while selecting my music.

Using xbox music to play all my music. It's only problem is not matching music to singles but you need an whole album to sync on. A nice future service would be to play music videos as well (if you got them at least)

I still own a dedicated music player (Zune 60GB) so I still need Zune software.
I've never had a need for any subscription services.
Since I don't have unlmited data on my phone, I only use streaming music services when I can find a wi-fi spot.  So paying for a music sub is pointless.
Even if my Zune died... $10 a month = $120 a year for sub... or I can drop $120 for another music player to replace the Zune, and I can carry 100% of my music collection wherever I go (currently around 55GB, so that also explains why I don't transfer the files to my phone either).
I have purchased MP3s via Zune... and I do find it pretty cool that those purchases are available for streaming on my WP8 device via the music hub.  But again, due to my data plan, the only times I've ever used that feature is when I'm on wi-fi.
I get why some people may need or like subscription services more, and if the conditions were right for me, I would use it too.  But I can't forsee those conditions happening anytime soon.