5 ways Microsoft can make Xbox Music even better
Make me king of Xbox Music and here's what I'd do
Hold the pitchforks, I'm not talking about the Xbox Music app on Windows Phone. The headline above is about how to make the Xbox Music service better. I don't think I'm too naïve, but Microsoft will eventually make the Windows Phone 8.1 Music app exactly how you want. If there's a feature or two missing you can look to third-party devs to fill that gap with the Xbox Music APIs. Instead let's look at the core service itself and what Microsoft should do to make it compete with the Spotifys and Beats Music of the music streaming world.
1. Make it social
Xbox Music should be connected to your Xbox profile. Or a profile in general. I should be able to see when Daniel makes a new playlist for the gym that he's set as public. And if I want, follow/subscribe to that playlist. But don't stop just at friends. Let me see cool playlists from celebrities and musicians. This is a feature you'll find in streaming services like Beats Music and Spotify.
2. Curated playlists from music experts
Songza is a favorite around the Windows Phone Central crew. While you can select an artist on Xbox Music and start a radio station built around them, it's not the same as the curated playlists you'll find with Songza (and Beats Music). It's hard to explain, but you do notice a difference between the music selection in the curated playlists from experts on Songza vs. those generated by a music algorithm on Xbox Music or Pandora. MixRadio has curated playlists and I'd love to see that team of music experts help Xbox Music out.
3. MY music in the cloud
Google Play Music has a killer feature a lot of you would love on Xbox Music. While Xbox Music does a good job of syncing your playlists in the cloud, it only works when music you're syncing can be matched within the Xbox Music Catalog. Which isn't great when you want to sync some sets you've legally downloaded from something like SoundCloud. I want to sync all my music across all my devices, whether or not it's available in the Xbox Music Catalog. Thankfully an Xbox Music locker service is allegedly on the roadmap. Still, I wanted it yesterday.
4. Better availability around the globe
Right now Xbox Music is available in Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom and the United States. Know what's missing? India, Russia and other countries with a high number of Windows Phone users.
We reached out to Alan Mendelevich (@ailon) of AdDuplex and he helped get some quick country stats to give us a rough estimate of how Windows Phone is doing around the globe. Quick disclaimer: Hero apps can affect a country's stats, this dataset was based on 11 global apps and games that served AdDuplex ads yesterday. Around 200,000 users saw them that day. This isn't 110 percent accurate, but a rough estimate of the popularity of Windows Phone around the world. As you can see, we'd love to see countries like India, Russia Thailand and others
5. User uploaded music
SoundCloud is a really great online audio distribution platform. It allows users to upload, record, promote and share any of their originally-created sounds. This is different from a music locker service. You don't upload the new Deadmau5 album to SoundCloud, instead upload your own unique remix of a song from that album. Google has been rumored to buy SoundCloud lately, so it would be killer if Xbox Music had a similar feature.
The ability to upload original music and sounds would play into the improved social aspects of Xbox Music. It would be great to follow an artist like Deadmau5 on Xbox Music and get notified when official album or songs are released through his label. It would be doubly awesome to be able to see mixes he puts up available as well.
Those are just some of my ideas on how Xbox Music could be made a whole lot better. Of course those are my ideas and my music priorities are probably a little different from yours. So now I'm curious as to what you'd like to see improved or added feature wise to the core of Xbox Music. Again, not the app, but the Xbox Music service as whole.
Sound off with your suggestions! But don't forget to check out the Xbox Music UserVoice page to 'officially' voice your feedback with Microsoft.
- Xbox Music UserVoice
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By Jez Corden
they just write comments
and by the way the app is working just fine on my 3 devices
Rooting through several sets of nested folders containing mp3's and wma's of varying filename conventions isn't a syncing solution. Media apps work with metadata and so provides a level of abstraction more suited to managing music that windows explorer cant really match. Especially for the masses who don't care about file systems and just want to listen to their music on the device of their choice.
Spotify, deezer, xbox music .. Be very interested to know what everyone thinks. I'm in uk so no beats music option here. Id say 1. Spotify
3. Xbox music If Spotify had a decent windows 8 metro app id switch in a heart beat
2. Make shuffle work. With 1,000 songs in a playlist it's still really likes to play the same album over and over not the other 990 songs. 3. Refine radio feature. I swear it used to actually work pretty well. Don't need human DJs just need it to have an ounce of common sense. Seems to just play top 40 no matter who you seed it with. I like top 40 but I don't always want top 40. 4. Genre Browsing on the desktop and improved search. I can type in an exact name and it'll often miss it because there is like the word "The" to start with. Or there is a bunch of terrible music nobody has ever heard of that comes up before the "famous" band. 5. Cloud play library (mentioned)
3). "This is why Microsoft will fail" mode.
This was promised in the day one and they completely forgot about that. Hey Microsoft, I'm very good in remember promises!!!!!
Good points Sam. I don't think many people would care for the social part...but I think it could go either way.
It would be nice if they used an alternative database of music though. It could solve some issues with that some of us are having with artist metadata matching...etc. -or maybe have a collaborative database with another service (mixradio)?
New album notifications - i.e. You 'like' or subscribe to a particular artist and then receive notifications when a new album is released. Preferably an email.
Catalogue parity with Spotify - I've been forced to subscribe to Spotify also, purely because of numerous missing albums and little annoyances with many that are available but only for out right purchase or for 30 sec previews.
- stream my mp3 collection from OneDrive. Rumoured to be coming so just make it happen.
That's why its slow!
2 lyric support
3 bigger UI and bigger texts
4 list what was newly added and what was recently played
5 multi speed playback, for my audio books
6 tie into music and audio related apps (hub style)
Why why why?
What was wrong with the old player?
Why did Microsoft destroyed a great app ?
1. the ability to create a playlist with more than 1,000 songs.
2. A daily update on what changes have occurred to the XBox Music Pass library. Particularly what songs have been removed from it by the publisher and will no longer play
3. An option to scrub those songs Tha will no longer play from the playlist and perhaps hold them in a special section so that if they are re-instated into the service by the publisher, they can be re-inserted into the playlist.
4. Better and more aggressive searching within the catalogue for an alternative source of a song when the one you are using is taken away from the XBMP service.
5. An option to allow a customer to completely block all karaoke versions of a song from their search results
6. Microsoft offer exceptional incentives to independent labels and indie artists to host their content on the catalogue
7. Better world music catalogues, so customers can see what is hot in Europe, or the USA or India etc
8. More statistical information on what I have been listening to this past year, month, week
9. Better and wider genre options. Deeper sub categories etc
10. Much more information relating to the DRM rights for a particular song or artist. For example in Australia I can download Tears For Fears to my Windows 8 computer for offline playback, but the DRM will only allow me to stream the same songs on my Windows Phone 8.1. No mention of this restriction is made in the properties section of the downloaded songs, and it should be.
Thank you! Those are great ideas for features/functionality.
Uploaded own music like on google music
Upload original content like on soundcloud
Mix and match like on songza and mixradio
Make channels and be a YouTube for music/voice
Record and upload like on soundcloud
Editing capabilities when uploading recorded sounds
Make it cheap.
I just feel sorry for the two developers they must have working on it. They've obviously inherited a monster and have been told to fix it. But it may be that it's just too big a mess for them to sort out and restore what for every other player in this industry are basic features.
can I say more?
I also want to see a top 100 weekly in different countries, how am I suppose to find new music?
I need the ability to share my subscription with my wife so that we can both listen music at the same time.
Add song or albums or artists etc search by typing the alphabets or that respective name...
Also a fan of your building on the social ideas mentioned in the article. I know there are a few comments that make the claim of it being a useless feature that their taste in music is not a product of the people around them. Personally I couldn't tell you the number of times I've been at a party, in a friends car, or even just been told to have a listen to this riff and thought I have to cue up this band when I get home.i would say my taste in music is far more effected by my social circle than that of top forties radio. However, if sharing is not your style then like all features of any service you are able to make the decision not to make use of such a feature.