When the Xbox One first debuted back in 2013, Microsoft drove home its focus as an "all-in-one" hub for home entertainment. While over time the console's focus has shifted back to its gaming roots, the breadth of the platform is still evident to this day.
Some major changes have been made to the Xbox One since launch – one of those being the unification of the Xbox Store with its Windows counterpart. A compelling range of music apps has debuted on the console, offering their services as a backdrop to your gaming experience. We've rounded up the best music apps available on Xbox One today, all which take advantage of background audio playback.
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One of the world's leading music streaming services is finally available on Xbox One! Similar in nature to its PlayStation 4 counterpart, the Spotify app provides full access to its extensive music catalog, while also tapping into the defining features of the service.
Spotify for Xbox can be used by both free users and those subscribed to the Premium service. Throughout the Xbox app, Premium users are treated to the same benefits expected from other platforms, including full playback control, no advertisements, and support for the Spotify Connect technology. Best of all, Spotify also takes advantage of the Xbox One's background music playback to complement your gaming experiences. As one of the most popular services on the market today, the Spotify is a great way to instantly bring your existing collection into the living room.
Soundcloud is a community-driven music platform, designed to accommodate both established and upcoming musicians. Blending together traits of both a streaming service and social network, the service allows creators to easily upload their own tracks and share them across the globe. Also providing tools to discover and interact with artists on a more personal level, Soundcloud brings together a community quite unlike any other service.
With official Xbox One and Windows 10 apps recently added to the lineup, both platforms now have direct access to Soundcloud's network of creators and the music on offer. With options to filter through your "Stream," search for specific artists or find new music entirely, the Xbox One application now encapsulates the core offerings of the Soundcloud experience.
By signing into your account, your music can also be taken on the go, with content automatically syncing between your devices. Best of all, the application also supports background music for Xbox One, providing the ability to listen to your library alongside the latest game releases.
If you're looking for a music application built from the ground up with Xbox One in mind, it's hard to beat Groove Music. Microsoft's own in-house music streaming platform has established itself across the company's ecosystem in recent years and become tightly integrated into its devices. Having fully adopted the Universal Windows Platform, you'll be getting a premium Groove Music experience that essentially matches its Windows 10 counterpart.
While its actual music offerings can sometimes be limited in comparison to other major services, Groove still offers millions of the latest hits and classics. Furthermore, if a track you're looking for isn't available via Groove Music, any MP3 version can be uploaded to your OneDrive cloud storage and streamed over the internet. Groove Music also provides support for background audio on Xbox One.
"MyTube!" is an app that perfectly showcases the power of universal Windows apps, embracing some of the best traits of the platform. While YouTube has seemingly abandoned its Xbox One efforts, MyTube! is a streamlined third-party solution that surpasses the official application in almost every way. After a $0.99 purchase, MyTube provides access to the core video playback and community features of YouTube, through a simple interface designed with Xbox One in mind.
But why are we including this in a music app round up? MyTube also takes advantage of background audio functionality, allowing audio to continue playing after exiting the app. While the official YouTube apps prevent this outside of a YouTube Red subscription, Xbox One users can leverage this feature for free. Simply queue up a playlist of videos, boot up a game and work your way through your favorite tunes.
Pandora has managed to lose traction as a competitive music streaming service in recent years. However, it still offers a wide range of music for its listeners. With basic music streaming and an advanced set of recommendation features, the service distances itself from competitors with some small, yet unique traits. While services like Apple Music and Spotify are generally regarded as the market leaders, Pandora is one of the few services with a purpose-built universal app for Xbox One.
Despite Pandora only offering its services in the United States, Australia, and New Zealand, the Xbox One app is a great way to continue your experience while gaming. Other services can undeniably provide a larger offering of tracks, but the app should still be welcome with existing subscriptions. The app also supports Xbox One background audio, to continue your tracks in-game.
Moodflow isn't your traditional music application but stands out with a unique idea at its heart. As the name suggests, Moodflow curates playlists of mixed genres, based on your chosen mood. Utilizing Soundcloud to serve up its tracks, the app is a great way to discover new songs and artists in a rather unconventional way. Although you'll have to pay $1.99 to unlock unlimited skips per day, its concept alone may be enticing to avid music fans.
Updated August 16, 2017: Added the latest arrival to the Xbox One music scene, Spotify.
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