MusikPlayer is a simple and minimalist Xbox Music alternative for Windows Phone 8.1

With the Windows Phone 8.1 update, Microsoft decoupled the music player experience from the operating system to allow frequent updates. While the Xbox Music app is not quite there yet, some independent apps like MusikPlayer have been able to fill the gap and offer a nice alternative to Windows Phone users.

Developed by independent developer from India, Shoban Kumar, MusikPlayer is a pretty good app to enjoy your music collection. The app cannot play the DRM'd Xbox Music Pass files, but works pretty well for your owned music or the ones downloaded from MixRadio.

In functionality, MusikPlayer is a pretty straightforward app. The music player is minimalistic, with the set of controls neatly lining at the bottom of a disc which displays the Album Art of the album playing. You can tap the Album Art to view your music collection categorized as albums, artists, and songs.

A quick search button at the top brings up a search bar where you can type a particular song you want to listen to, and look it up in your collection. One, it's a pretty handy feature when you quickly want to check out a certain song. Second, the search bar auto-completes as you type picking up songs from your collection.

After a recent update, the app now offers a transparent tile for your Start screen, which only has a faint logo of the app, and can be used at the spot where you'd want a nice peek of the background image. According to the app description on the Windows Phone Store, the developer is working to bring support for gestures and more features.

Download MusikPlayer for Windows Phone 8 devices from the Windows Phone Store. MusikPlayer costs $1.49, but that's only if you want to support the developer (which you should definitely consider if you like the app). The trial version is fully-functional, with no ads. If you like a no-frills music experience, try MusikPlayer and let us know how you like.

UPDATE: As we've gathered from the comments, the app actually does play Xbox Music Pass music. That's pretty good of the app, although a bad miss from me.

  • From the app description:
    Also you can read it in the last paragraph. In this cases if the app likes me I pay for it.
  • OMG it doesn't act like you're trying to play every $%^#ing song in your list when you open it! Amazing!! You have to very special to create the xbox music app. Now I can unpin this POS from my home screen thank you good sir!
  • Music and stuff
  • Its UI looks great, will try it even tho Xbox is working just fine
  • You are lucky then. Wait until you have a decent sized cloud collection. Then tell me it's fine. :p
  • Exactly why I use a SD card. Posted via Windows Phone Central App
  • Even with locally stored music reading the id3 tags and album art is basically non existent on xbm
  • On the contrary; it reads and reads and reads, before it gets around to listing the music. It's gotten a lot better after the last update, but still not smooth with a large collection...
  • On the contrary; it reads and reads and reads, before it gets around to listing the music. It's gotten a lot better after the last update, but still not smooth with a large collection...
  • On the contrary; it reads and reads and reads, before it gets around to listing the music. It's gotten a lot better after the last update, but still not smooth with a large collection...
  • On the contrary; it reads and reads and reads, before it gets around to listing the music. It's gotten a lot better after the last update, but still not smooth with a large collection...
  • Man, you broke the email system !  i get notified every 10 minutes about the same comment 
  • Yeah, whatever.  My SD card may only have 30 gigs of music on it, but Xbox Music reads my tags just fine, and it reads the entire collection so fast it's almost instant.
  • Installed It, And It Does Seems Faster. UI Looks Great and Beautiful. Thanks Dev.
  • Dev here... Thank you :)
  • Is this the day that I've been waiting for :)
  • Make it for Windows 8.1/RT too as a universal app?
  • it can play xbox music content, what the hell are you talking about?
  • Are you sure?
  • I just tested, it does play DRM music.
  • I can't wait for these alternatives to Xbox Music to support Xbox Music Pass...
  • Oh, actually it does support Xbox Music, but only for songs already downloaded, you can't search for new music or stream from this app. I just tried it but uninstalled after five minutes. It's as slow as the official Xbox Music app and you can't click on an artist and view the list of albums, which is essential in a music app. If you click on an artist it automatically play every song from that artist. The new Xbox Music app isn't that good right now but it's still the best music app currently available so I'll keep using it.
  • Thank you for the feedback. I did not get a chance to test with Xbox Music. I will try to create an account and reproduce the issue.  I will be releasing the next version soon and it will include the feature you want. Clicking albums will list songs.  I have frequent discussion in Reddit and you can read about some upcoming features here :)
  • Is there not a folder to musik player in that VLC/Winamp style? So tired of screwd mp3 taggings. Bought a track from a site a couple of days ago and even the file was horrible done.
  • Folder play by the guys behind pocket file manner
  • It'd be better if we could change the background image. Love the simplicity though.
  • Dev here. Thank you and interesting feature request. I am adding features based on the popularity of the request. I will add this to my list.
  • This one too:  
  • Thank you it's sooo awesome!
  • i know. it's my default music player.  at first i wasn't even going to install it. i thought it was in chinese it's even better if you have lyrics for the songs :))  
  • Does this one work with Xbox Music Pass?
  • Yes
  • That app is awesome
  • dev here. Thank you :)
  • Hmm I can only view sings in alphabetical order, not by artist, album or playlist. Am I missing something here?
  • dev here.  Can you explain more about the issue? You should be able to see list of song, artists etc in a new screen. Tap the small circle (Album art) and you wil see a new screen. I know this is little confusing for users and planning to change it in the new version. 
  • Thanks!
  • Looks a bit like a iOS 7 app
  • Dunno. Try everything but always return to the native one.
  • Same here. I don't see nothing better than the Xbox music.
  • The app is realy nice but i dont quiet like the tile... Its a bit too minimalistic...
  • Finally a music app that has a stop button! downloaded!
  • dev here... I have a list of user feature requests and "Remove the stop button" tops the list :) but I am still trying to keep it. 
  • Listen is much better
  • The Xbox Music API is public now, how come developers aren't using it? I'd gladly pay for an alternative, but none of the goods ones* support the API!!! (I know several apps that /can/play DRM music, and while they're great apps, they just don't personally suite me... :( )
  • Everyone is saying that the article is wrong, and this app is playing their XBM files❕❕❕❕❕❕❕❗❗❗❗❗❗❗❗❗❗❗❗❗❗❗❗❗❗
  • It is weird but I can play the XM songs in my phone (downloaded and streaming).
  • Why none of 3rd party music player has a slider for fast forwarding? Is it a WP restriction....
  • There are some music player apps with slider.
  • Can you name any?
  • Plz name it dude
  • One Music
  • Dev here.. Yes in this case its API Restricted. There are two ways for developers to play music in their App and both have disadvatages and advantages. I am using the one which has this as the advantage. OneMusic uses the alternative method.
  • Anyway your app seems good...hope you will be adding a slider in the 8.1version..
  • OMG , finally a decent , very good looking , music app ! ; LOVE it ! ( this should be a hidden gem imo )
  • dev here .. Thank you :)
  • Hmm... This is just one of the apps I've been trying to list in "App Social" for weeks. Wonder if it works now?
  • Plays my Xbox Music just fine.
  • Is it even worth "upgrading" to 8.1 before they fix all the things they broke? I have no interest in notification center and prob will find Cortana to be gimmicky like Siri is.
  • Everything is so much slower on my 928...
  • no, just you
  • On the contrary, I was amazed on how fast this app was on my 928. May be something to do with your collection size? Its working great for my collecition of ~600 songs.
  • When an app can play and manage my cloud collection, talk to me.
  • I can't believe the way people AGONIZE over their music players on here. I just use Nokia does just what I need it to do...
    Play, pause, forward, rewind and show album art.... Ok what the f*** else do you f***in need it to do???'s a music player...not a potential frikkin cancer cure!!!! Unless of course u gotta put those Kanye offline mixes together. You guys got plates in your heads or what?
  • When other platforms have features that have been standard in a built in music player for years, I don't think its too much to expect others to do so
  • Are you an idiot? Because you sound like one.
  • When there are so many people who are agaonized with the music app then may be its just you who is yet be agonized... :P 
    As far as music Nokia music goes, i feel its very sluggish... Even while loading locally store music, it just take its own time....
  • mad late..this app been offense
  • Why does fast forward and rewind not work?? I hate that!
  • Dev here. Sorry this is a API limitation. 
  • From a user's point of view I did get confused where do I find the songs list after a few minutes of struggle I figured out you had to tap the song icon. Also when you pause the song there is this weird animation going on the album art icon. Firstly I thought it was a bug. Shuffle button is crashing the app. Anyone had this issue of next or previous button not responding?
  • Hi Dev here. I know it's very confusing to open Albums, Songs etc. I will make it little bit easier for users to open Albums. I am also making the Pause animation smooth. There is a delay while pressing some of the buttons but its not consistent in my phones and I am working on it.  Next/Button depents on the queue. This will be same ass pressing the next button in the Media Bar which slides down from top.
  • I like it so far. Lots of dupes on my track lists though.
  • Hi Dev here. I am changing the way how tracks are cached in the next version which will hoepfully increase the spped and solve your issue too.   
  • Thanks!
  • It doesn't show my music.. Anyone knows why? I'm using a Lumia 920
  • Dev here. ummm. this is a unknown issue. can you drop me an email id mentioned in the App? I will try to solve it. 
  • Take my money.  Well done sir.
  • Thank you :)
  • Why do we never see any thing about music+ app? It's the best app by far I've seen for music. Also wpodder app for podcast. I've tried about every podcast app. Every one has problems. Actually so does wpodder. It has difficulty finding podcasts through search. But the only one that has worked and made sense for me. The stock one sucks. Not sure why that is. Had same problem when I had iPhone. Their factory podcast app was horrible. How is it factory apps dont work?
  • One more crap music player.. I think it's because of the OS no one is able to come up with flawless music player.. Microsoft should do something about it..
  • What kind of store is it when I type exactly "MusikPlayer" and it shows all kinds of other apps, and not the one that's named that?? Happened to me for other apps too. Seems like the store gives more value to popular apps than exact search term.
  • This happens since they "fixed" the search to find the offical apps rather than clones. Since I can't even find my own app if I search for it by using the name or the tags I have defined on the store page...
  • Dev here. Yeah I am fed up with their search too. I am planning to change the App name soon.
  • Why don't you guys review for 'Listen' ...its among the best music players out there with lyrics sync n dt too works offline.
  • i cant skip to the next song :(
  • Hi Dev here. How did you open the song?
  • Nice layout, but... No album list under Artist and no fast forward/reverse renders it pretty useless for now. Also slow response when pressing buttons...
  • Also no playlist option. The app needs some work.
  • Hi Dev here. Yes I am trying to add more features soon. Fast forward and Revind is not available because of API limitation. 
  • please fix to display tag and not (or have an option to switch), compilations generally have Various Artists in tag  and actual artist in tag
  • Hi Dev here. Let me check the issue.   
  • Very slow. Not usable.
  • Not a good LOOKING app... Gesture would be a nice touch in future update. Liked that circle thing on screen. And style of showing album art
  • This app doesn't even scroll between album and artist view correctly. It's even worse than the others I've tried. MS really did go from best (Zune) to worst at media apps. Did their old engineers hit the lotto or something?
  • Meh.
  • Waste of time! Not even able to fast forward or rewind uninstalled it.
    There must be something structural in the WP coding that doesn't lend itself to making decent music players. At this point I would settle for a half decent music player
  • The UI is very slow at first, I believe it was loading all albums but there was no progress or status indicator. But after a minue or so it worked fine. Can't search for album or artists it seems, only songs? Can't scrub through a song. Good start, needs work.
  • Hi  Dev here. Thanks for the feedback. Scrub is not available because of API limitation. I will be adding more features soon. I have frequent disucssions in Reddit and try to get feedback there. 
  • I don't like xbox music since 8.1 PFD, and i use mix radio as main music player. And this MusikPlayer is worth to try...
  • Can't find this app in Lumia 520 India store. Running preview for devs
  • Is the album art really blurred?
  • Okay, I've tried this app.  It's not quite suitable for me and here's why. Firstly let me just say I couldn't find it on my phone's store (I live in the UK).  To download it, I had to visit the store page on my PC and purchase it there. Okay, the app itself: 1. Searching for music using the search (magnifying glass) icon:  Not great.   Only lets me search specific tracks.  Say I type 'nightwish'.  It doesn't bring up a list of nightwish albums or tracks.  I have to type in the names of specific tracks.  Note that searching for a track only plays that single track; it doesn't load up both the track you searched for, and the album the track is from. 2. The interface is really presentable and I like the disc icon in the centre with the rotation around the outside to show how far in the track has played. 3. THIS IS A REALLY BIG PROBLEM.  The app doesn't cache my music collection.  I've got 30 gigs of music in mp3 format stored on a high-speed (class UHS-I, class 10) SD card.  Xbox Music has no problem with this SD card.  However MusikPlayer has a big problem:  every time I load the song lists it has to re-index my entire collection which takes 15-20 seconds.  I don't even have to close the app, it just has to re-index every-single-time I try to access my collection.  Real waste of time.  However I will say the app itself loads snappily, about half a second faster than Xbox Music loads up. 4. No seek controls.  Seriously?  I know you're going for the minimalist theme with this app, but the only way I can seek a track is using the pull-down volume bar.  The app track buttons itself cannot be used to seek. 5. Still a few bugs.  Coming to the end of a playlist can result in the app constantly trying to repeatedly refresh the track but failing to do so, and I would assume this will rape the battery if left unchecked in your pocket. 6. If I browse my collection by 'albums' and select an album, it doesn't bring up a track list.  It launches straight into the first song of the album.  Likewise if I browse by 'artists' and tap an artist's name, it doesn't bring up a list of albums by that artist.  Let's say I tap on Nightwish, whom I have 6+ albums from.  It goes straight into the first album alphabetically, so if I want to play the album called 'Imaginaerum' I have to tap through all my tracks until I get there.  Using search isn't a workaround either, as search will only allow me to select and queue up a single track to play. 7. No swipe to change track.  Should be pretty standard by now.  It's so useful when you're on the move.   8. No settings menu.  Tapping the dots only shows 'about'.  Whilst I like apps giving people the option to choose a transparent tile, this app does the opposite; it gives you a transparent tile but no option to use an opaque tile if you so desire.  In many ways this is just as limiting as not giving them a transparent one.
  • Thank you for this awesome app, the xbox music pllayer sucked bad.