Xbox Music Tile
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Xbox Music for Windows Phone 8.1 updated to change tracks by swiping album art

We’ve heard a lot of complaints from the community about the Xbox Music app since its release. And the lot of you have become even more vocal since upgrading to Windows Phone 8.1. In Windows Phone 8.1, the Music hub we’ve had since Windows Phone 7 has been dropped. You can still get it with a few tricks, but it’s really dead for all intents and purposes. Microsoft is pinning the future of audio entertainment with the Xbox Music app – now just called Music in the Windows Phone Store.

Today we’re getting our third update to Xbox Music for Windows Phone since the release of Windows Phone 8.1. Let’s jump in and find out what Microsoft fixed and added with this update.

First up, let’s go over what’s been happening with Xbox Music the past month.

When Windows Phone 8.1 came out, the Music hub was hidden and Xbox Music was made your music player. You can use apps like Music Hub tile to jump into the old music player, but it’s really time to move on. Hopefully Microsoft can update Xbox Music to live up to the expectations of the community.

The first update to Xbox Music, version 2.5.2842.0, came on Friday the 25th of April. That update finished off some Cortana integration with playlists, stability fixes and more. The second update, version 2.5.3884.0, came on May 9. This update introduced audio scrubbing, UI fixes, a background initial sync of local and clout content, and more.

Today we’re looking at version 2.5.3929.0 in the Windows Phone Store. Here’s what we get today:

  • Swipe the album art on the Now Playing screen to change tracks.
  • UI layout changes to make more room for content.
  • Minor bug fixes.

Xbox Music Update

Not a bad update! Swipe the album art either up or down to go to the next or previous track. Works well and you get sort of see it in action with the screenshots above.

According to Microsoft here’s what else we have to look forward in the future:

  • Continued focus on stability and performance improvements.
  • Initial sync of local and cloud content happens in the background.
  • Support for greater than 100 songs in Now Playing queue.
  • Faster loading of long lists.
  • Transparent Tile support.
  • Live Tile support.
  • Kid’s Corner support.
  • General UX improvements.

Grab the new Xbox Music for Windows Phone update and let us know what you think!

Bonus: Xbox Video also has an update. It's now at version 2.5.3929.0, thought Microsoft didn't include a changelog beyond 'minor fixes and improvements'. That means we'll need your help seeing what's new. Sound off in the comments if you notice anything new with Xbox Video. 

Via: Xbox Music UserVoice

Thanks for the tip Robin!

QR: Xbox Music

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Reader comments

Xbox Music for Windows Phone 8.1 updated to change tracks by swiping album art

432 Comments

Definitely looking forward to the next update regarding loading long lists faster....the fluidity of this app with especially long playlists is terrible.

Think about this: If they would released this version of music player in the wp8.1 update it would have now at least 4 stars, but imo its greater to go up to 5/5 with each update starting from the bottom

From just messing with it for a few minutes I have noticed this app has gotten a lot better...the tweaking of the ui is much approved. If they had released this app like the way it is in the beginning it would fetch between 3-4 stars...it still missing features like the live tile and transparent background capability.

Well WP 8.1 is not officially released yet. So it's still possible to release this app with all its features when the OS is officially released.

I'm still bugged by the Store section of the app. It still doesn't show "New Releases", which seems like a big oversight for if they want to keep selling subscriptions and even a'la carte song/album sales.

I miss this too. Sorting by genre then going to new releases, that was great. My workaround is to use the album releases app and what I've done is downloaded one song of all my favorite artists so I have them all populated in tue collection list. This is really the only way that album releases works too because it only checks new releases based on your local collection of artists/music. I miss the year next to the albums as well.

Completely agree with the last two comments. Next update bring new releases back please! Also needed back is recently added and recently played sections in collection. Those were really helpful, imo. Everyone should remember to keep hitting up the Xbox Music suggestion site and reapply their points now that they're checking off all these boxes!

And it looks like they have some issues with some new albumbs, just tried to download Black Keys new album True Blue. There is no download option, only pay option. Turns out it's not available to xbox music subscribers....

That's not an issue some songs aren't licensed to be download like Metallica led zeppelin just a great majority I believe 28mil+

Its from the publisher.  I had a conversation about Coldplay's Ghost Story on twitter with xbox support.  All of their other albums are available but not the new one.  This blows my mind that they can't at least get some kind of agreement like a waiting period.  I was told its up to the publisher when it'll be available so I had to go on amazon and download it.  Whats the point in paying $10 a month and still having to go to amazon and pay $10 for an additional album..

 

Broken Bells is still the same way I believe. 

Exactly my point, it's not just the app, it's the service that's broken. What's the point of paying the subscription if the new stuff won't be availble with no ETA

That's not Xbox fault that's an issue with the artist some are delayed you don't get every song available Xbox does do a great job of having the largest library of 28+mil that continues to grow

Definitely faster, although I still see the word "loading" when scrolling through lists quickly. Never had an issue with loading in the native music app.

 

First load still gave me a black screen, had to back out and reload.

I have 5000+ songs on my phone. I definitely need lists to load faster. I download all of them on Wi-Fi. I hate cloud music because I have terrible data connection here. I noticed that when a song is deleted on my phone the cloud version stays. I need an option to delete cloud items from my collection from my phone. I miss Zune from Windows Phone 7. When Xbox Music replaced it I looked stupid for recommending WP to my fellow music lovers. The original Xbox Music was bad but not as bad as this.
I need:
Scrolling long song titles
Ability to delete cloud content
Fast loading of long lists
Background synching
History of recently played music

Once I have all of that my rating will go to 5 stars. On this update I did change it to 2 from 1.

Microsoft seems to be willing to do expecting changes in a way that almost anyone thought, that's very nice... I love that the Music tittle isn't HUGE anymore, there's more space to swipe :)

Yes! Love that change, one of the things that was really annoying. Also, they made the playback control buttons bigger! This is a very good update on the UI side.

That whole list needs to be added next time... At this rate it would take months to get all those features... Seriously!!!❕❕❕❕❕❕❕
..............
We need the New, and Recent panes back...

Actually I'd have liked "swipe up/down" anywhere to change tracks. How was that hard to implement ? There's no other thing you'd do wish swipe up/down in the music, so they could've easily let us swipe up and down anywhere on the now playing pane.
And yes, new, recent and the epic live tile, we want them back !

Lol!!.. They couldn't do that.. Think about what you're staying.. In the last XBM now playing was its own page... Now, if you swipe right then you will end up in another pane... And, I like the new way.. Just one page is a lot less confusing for the average user... What I hate is how choppy, and Androidish, the refinement is... But, in a way its better than it used to be because she you swipe it now goes strait to the song instead of how it used to freeze halfway, then finally update.... This app has more potential than the last.. It just needs ultra refinement...
................
It kinda makes you wonder how Rudy can make a app so fast and so very refined out the gate... The resolution on XBM8.1 is still not optimized for 1080p screens.. But that's not priority.... Seriously, MS should just give Rudy a few hundred grand and let him do the app... And, I'm serious!

Yeah really !! Rudy all the way !
And same applies to the Facebook app by Microsoft, and the official twitter app ! I was scared of recommending windows phone to a friend because I'm scared she'll get mad at me if she doesn't like the Facebook, twitter and instagram apps ! :-P (she can use 6tag, but it doesn't yet have dm, no live notifications, and video upload is not free). Yet, i have recommended it, lets see whether I'm successful or not :-P
Anyway, Xbox music now seems useable, so this issue is solved to sone extent. Now if only 930 would land in India soon ! (or she'd pick an android :-P)

6tag has instagram direct. Upper right corner has the inbox icon and sending a message is a swipe to the pivot in capture.

Good old MS.. They didn't let us down!
................
I guess we can expect an update every other Friday.... Nice, very nice..
.......

I don't have ANY dots behind Friday.. I have 4 in front of it. Lol.. Is that what you mean?... And, if so,, what does that mean?... I'm confused..

I see this: Friday.... Nice. And he has Friday... So one dot more. What it means is. The more dots behind a word. The more special it becomes. :P just kidding. It means nothing. I said that " u have one dot more behind Friday" cause u said "What am I missing?"

Now if only we got WhatsApp back this Friday, which we didn't.. I have my independence day (from studies) tomorrow, and i wont even have WhatsApp for a while.. :(

Well, hopefully it will also have a live tile like before. I haven't updated yet so I don't know if this version has live tile or not.

You can use transparency tiles app, its got xbox music support to get it to be transparent tile, won't make it live tile like before thou.

"Support for greater than 100 songs in now playing queue"

HALLELUJAH!!!!!!!!! This was the single must annoying thing about Xbox music in my experience.

"According to Microsoft here’s what else we have to look forward in the future:"

 

Just in case you thought that was in this update... =)

When they finally enable this I am going to create a playlist with 101 versions of the song Hallelujah in it. There must be at least that many in the store.

You could have already have made playlists with more than 100 songs...for instance I have had a playlist with over 120 songs for quite sometime. People were just annoyed that in the now playing queue it only showed 100 songs.

My biggest complaint with this app is about the Store section. I can't easily find new releases!! This is annoying! I miss the Music Store section inside the Store app.

I don't think being unable to find new releases easily isn't such a bad thing. Music nowadays just isn't as good as it was from the late '70s to 2009.

You got that right buddy! They don't make music like they used to.. in fact, I always say they ran out of music in the 80's.. everything nowadays is just some regurgitated conglomeration of chords and sounds.. if not, a remix of an old hit, with rap lyrics added to it...

I guess you haven't listened to the music past the 80's if you say that. Every decade has it's good and its bad, same goes for what's happening now.

There's some exceptions.. yes. But being a musician myself, I really hardly listen to anything or anyone anymore... it's a curse I have personally.

There are a lot of "exceptions". Being a musician has nothing to do with it, you either haven't been able to discover the good new stuff or it's just not to your taste, that doesn't make it any worse however. 

Oh, Being a musician has everything to do with it. When I'm writing or composing a piece, there's never enough hours in a day to pollute my mind with other artist's work. When I ride in the car for example, I ride in silence (its just me!) and only like to hear the sound of my car's engine... and being around so many people everyday at work, I take refuge in the quiet times I do get... definitely don't have time (or the mind capacity) for today's pop music.

Once again you don't listen to music, considering you've just summed everything up as pop pretty much shows that you haven't come accross the good stuff that is out these days, that doesn't mean it's not out there.

I wonder about this also. I thought I was just getting old, but then find out most young rock fans are still listening to AC/DC and Metallica. I don't think they'd do that if there were young bands rocking as hard as that. When I hear pop at a store or whatever the words are imbecilic and the music unbelievably simplistic and totally devoid of creativity. I have come to the sad conclusion that American music, like the American intellect, is on the decline. We as a people are getting dumber and it is reflected in our art.

Agreed... and hopefully they're listening to the "old AC/DC" and the "old Metallica" because the "new" stuff from these two bands in particular is just as bad as the rest of the modern bands' noise.

You come of as a very negative person that likes to paint everything with the same brush. Good day to you sir, sad that's it's quiet and without discovery of new music

I listen to Zeppelin, Queen, the Stones, The Who, Cream, ACDC and plenty of other bands to this day, that doesn' mean Black Keys, Raconteurs, Foo Fighters and many others don't rock hard.

I'm starting to get excited about WP8.1! Music is something I use my phone for daily so will wait before upgrading.

Yeah, it's starting to come along. I usually am not a fan of beta-grade software. I like to wait until it doesn't suck and I can count on it.

Because the playlist only supports 100 songs at the moment, they are changing this, these are bi-weekly updates and remember 8.1 is still in beta so its expected not everything is there. My understanding is the original team that did the WP8 Music and Video was built into the OS so pulling it out wasn't so simple to make an exact copy.

Either way go to uservoice and report your concerns, they are listening now. Should have been listening sooner but at least they are trying

I know right, I'm surprised not many people have said anything abouth this. I'm also surprised that no one has said anything about "add to now playing", it adds the song to the bottom of the list instead of making it the next song.

That's one of the reasons, why I still use the old player (via Music Hub Tile), the other thing was the 'swipe to change track' that is now fixed. So now we have to wait till they fix the shuffle (that Now Playing Queue limit)

Still not a fan of the Now Playing screen. It is so awkward to have the content so far to the left, and small, leaving so much space just to hint that you can swipe to see the menu of artists, songs, albums, etc. to the right. There must be a better way to display the Now Playing screen.

But I am very pleased with the frequent updates. 

You can say "leaving so much space just to hint that you can swipe" about every panorama app -- that's the UI. Don't complain about it, embrace it as one of the things that we love about Windows Phone. ;)

I agree that the page seems crowded. On my 1520, there's a lot of room at the bottom. My guess is that right now, in its pre-release-ish state, they haven't optimized for both 15:9 and 16:9 aspect ratios. Taking advantage of the extra height in 16:9 will help in the crowded area. For the 15:9 phones, slightly smaller album art would help the crowded feeling, but will make even more of a gap on the right.

I don't think that every app needs to be a panorama app, nor do panorama apps need so much space, or any. Microsoft has shown that their initial design language with WP7 didn't have to stay the same forever, and it has evolved over time. And not all apps call for that kind of design language. More apps are transitioning away from it. 

It's inefficient with how it uses space as well. There are plenty of ways to maintain the metro design language without pushing all content on screen to the left and leaving the next slide so exposed just to peek at what is to the right of it.

I think the novelty of it was cool for a year or so, but devs see it is really a pain and prefer being able to use the full screen for their apps instead of just a portion of it, while leaving room for the next slide exposed. It also is less attractive to those who are used to other operating systems, going from a full screen of real estate, to just the left side. Devs have to reorganize their UI and items on screen to an inefficient and unintutive layout to allow for the panoramic view. The sacrifice creates a lose/lose situation for all of us. I don't think it's worth looking "cool" for a bit.

But that's just my take on it, of course. I'm sure there are plenty of people who still like the panoramic layout.

Microsoft does not care about gapless. It's a shame, because I can't take my WP seriously as a media device until they do. And I had been fully intending to migrate from iTunes to Xbox Music with my song library and do everything on a 128GB SD.

Instead, I had to buy another iPod Classic because it's my only option as a WP user with a large music library.

I'd use it a hell of a lot more as a quick access version of my start screen if they didn't require a damn password. Guh, that was supposed to be fixed in 8.1 and it completely takes away the point of just handing your kid your phone when you're busy.

Actually now its fixed....try it for yourself....edit:yeah now its asking for a password but before hard reset it wasn't...before it didn't have personalise tile also ehh buggy

Kids Corner is Definitely worthy if they remove damn password ,is it buggy in wp8.1 for mine or 8.1 didnt change that ?

I use it tons, but it would be a question of pinning specific child safe music. I don't want the app it open there as there is a lot of content not suitable. So I am yet to see how they would do this without opening up the possibility of playing a tune I find questionable. As for the kids corner, I have tons of games installed, but none I actually play. My kids fight over who gets to use my Dell Venue vs. the Surface vs. my phone!

Is the "Up next" line new this release? I might just be noticing it for the first time.

My biggest peeve is it not persisting the Now Playing list on phone restart.

Mine just opened to the Now Playing. Even made sure the app was very much closed. It is likely that if I were to play content other than Music that that list would be cleared and the not show up. That I haven't tested. And that is something I missed bout the integrated music and video hub. It showed me ALL recent media played: YouTube, Podcasts from 3rd party apps, EVERYTHING. Not sure why that can't still be applied to a stand alone app.

yep its new! I gotta say, I'm loving what xbox music is turning into, i also like that they removed xbox from its title, I'd really love it if theyd remove the "xbox" from the actual ui too!

Was getting a little concerned, but had been checking my updates since Thursday (in Tokyo, so the 10th for me!). While discovering the swipe was great, and these are "features" what is more important are fixes. On speaker the scrub bar still pops annoyingly and having to "load" my collection each start is more than annoying, it greatly hampers my use of the app. How about this....give me a "sync" collection option in settings. I do love that soon after I add something on one device it eventually shows in the other, so periodic updates are nice, but why should the software have to search each time I wish to play music? But count me as a happy camper getting updates often. I am an Xbox Music subscriber, so it is important I am seeing support.

The music player is one of the most important features on a phone for me. They have completely ruined it, big time. After this update, I simply cannot use my phone as a music player cause it sucks.

The most recent view is coming back. A lot of functionality we had is coming back but slowly, and we will have even more functionality thereafter. I think Microsoft is just tinkering on the performance and reliability of this app because as limited as it is now, it acts really slow and sporadic. Adding more features will only cause more chaos. As the app performs better, features will be carefully ported as to not break the stability they are trying to achieve.

Do you have it enabled under lockscreen? Its working fine for me, it doesnt work with all artists though, it only works if the artist has uploaded images or their label

Can someone please tell these tech gurus that the most annoying thing that needs immediate attention is opening up the app to a black screen and the words loading music.... I'm Just about ready to drop my subscription I've been loyal since the first Zune Brown Brick!!!

It doesn't happen to everyone so its possible there is something unique on yours that causes it (special characters in song or artist titles, titles too long, bad metadata etcetc) Use the Feedback app that was supplied with the WP 8.1 update and send screenshots of the issue.

It's better, but it just overall feels second rate. The design isn't as nice, the animations are pretty basic, it just feels way worse than the Xbox Music on Windows Phone 8 and Zune on WP7.

give it time! remember, this app stopped develompment after the preview was released for 8.0, and then development continued right after 8.1 dev previews release, so its still a pretty young app, animations and design will improve with time, its obvious they are listening to what the users want this time around, that while makes the app a bad app in this moment, it will become a much better app in the future, hell, in my honest opinion the now playing screen is officially better than the original! so thats one section down, next in UI updates I'd love to see the music list take on a bit more of an zune HD look (in artist view, show the artists and small picture's of all their albums underneath

heres a picture for those whove never seen it: https://qhkloq.dm2301.livefilestore.com/y2pnHtDmBrns1aqPvUxnlC93qpNl2WdC...

 

Can someone help me? My xbox music doesn't load the artist image. I mean, the background image. What should i do?

The only feature I care about WP 8.1 Xbox Music is the proper album art deployment. I use MPATool in WP8 on putting album art. But now, it is terrible.

The best part is that the app is responsive enough that you can skip songs in the volume drop down menu and see the next song before it slides back up.

God. They should really erase and clear the reviews once its officially done its rounds of fixes and changes. So many one star reviews that probably will stick around pre updates lol.

While this is nice these are features we already had(save for a few 8.1 specific ones) and is the equivalent of a new model car getting the rear parking aid and alloy rims that last year's model came with. Just saying.

Dude, what the hell, where are my freaking album arts? And this layout is ugly as f*ck. There are just letters everywhere, it's such a mess when you compare to the previous music players.

Lol wut no? Compare it to the previous music player. The previous one was such a beautiful app for you to look at. Now ir simply sucks

It should be faster like the songs should be not have to load, xbox needs to stop deleting álbum art i literally used 10 music Apps and all has the correct álbum art and we should also be able to choose a background image

HALF LIFE THREEEE!!! ZOMG. ...... Oh damn, excuse me. I'm having this cough all day now. HALF LIFE THREEEE!!!!... See. Excuse me again. Btw good update. Hopefully the over 100+ songs now playing will be in the next one.

Can't wait to check it out I like that they are making an effort I usually just bare with all the issues Xbox music has without complaining

I find very hard to believe that Microsoft took 2 weeks to include just a swipe and make the now playing screen look uglier...
It really is sad, because I was excited about, but after 3 updates and almost none improvements I hope nothing. The same thing happens with Windows 8 app: Almost none features in months. I think in change services.

Actually the Windows 8 app is getting closer to its Zune counterpart. You can even import Zune playslists to it, don't know if you were able to do this before. I know the new thing is being able to tell whether you have MP3 vs WMA music. Though it is not as efficient in doing so as the Zune app.

Hey!!! Is there an album art in the background??? Does Xbox music don't support album art as background for songs downloaded from Nokia mix radio?

the way i see it, we're just beta testers for those highly paid Software Engineers (or Engineer tests) at Microsoft. They took what was working and completely botched it like it's some kind of experiment project. One of my pet peeves is having to reboot the phone cuz it seems as though the app is doing some kind of drm check on my personal music collection and it decides i dont have legal permission to play them. It's freaking lame Microsoft.

Although this is great, I'll stick to MixRadio until now playing lists are extended past 100 songs. It gets annoying pressing shuffle on a song starting with a and having only a & b songs playing, if I want to shuffle, I want to shuffle all songs

Is the issue where it messes with your meta data still there cuz until that's fixed xbox music just hurts my soul

It is getting better. The metadata is still crappy and the load times are a little too long for my liking. I still won't update my 8X until they at least bring back the live tile support with metadata improved.

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