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Xbox Music and Video both nab small updates for Modern Windows today

It has been some time since we reported on an update to Xbox Music for Windows. While the Windows Phone version has had ten updates in the last few months, interestingly the Windows version was last updated in April. Today this changes as it, and the recently revamped Xbox Video app, picked up two small updates today.

First up, let us talk about Xbox Music, which has the most attractive of the two changelogs. Microsoft has been getting very good with these changelogs as the app even gives you a swanky toast notification when you re-launch it after the update, telling you what is new. Well done!

Xbox Music for Windows 8.1 (2.2.886.0)

  • It's now easier to tell when albums or songs in the Explore tab aren't available for streaming, or have other restrictions
  • Added a friendly confirmation message when you buy albums or songs
  • Skip unplayable tracks in the playlist quickly
  • Improved performance.
  • Reduced playback errors.
  • Minor fixes and improvements

Although nothing ground breaking is in this update, these are improvements we like to see. One review on the Store notes that the update today "broke the app" in that it crashes for them when they play a track, but we have not experienced that on our machines just yet.

Xbox Video for Windows 8.1 (2.6.314.0)

  • You can now delete videos from your local video collection
  • Minor bug fixes and improvements

The changelog may be larger as sometimes the team updates their User Voice page with more detail. We will be checking back to see if that happens and will update accordingly.

The update for Xbox Video is not nearly as impressive, but it was only last month that the app received a much-needed makeover, bringing it line with Xbox Music and Xbox Video on the Xbox One. So far, we are not having many issues with this app, and it seems to be on solid footing.

Do you want to help improve Xbox Music and Xbox Video? Don't just gripe in our comments, head to the User Voice pages, vote, and suggest ideas!

Thanks, Fahmi B., for the tip!

Daniel Rubino is the Executive Editor of Windows Central, head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been covering Microsoft here since 2007, back when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, Microsoft Surface, laptops, next-gen computing, and arguing with people on the internet.

116 Comments
  • Not for WP, I don't have pc and windows tablet. :(
  • Was it the words in our title or the photo that gave it away?
  • @Daniel, You keep confusing them.
    Maybe the title should start with "Duh" and lose every other word in the title lol. Simplify it for these guys.
  • Daniel if the Xbox can now play mkv y can't the Xbox video on windows play mkv or can it?
  • This is a good question. Might be a good sign for MKV support coming to Windows and WP? Combine that with FLAC support and I might actually use the Music/Video apps on my Surface...
     
  • Really? I did even noticed.
  • Lol
    Funny guy haha Sent from somewhere. Don't worry I ain't illegal.
  • lol i have two broken laptop, I want surface pro 3
  • Me too, can borrow some money?
  • Lol
  • I've been seeing issues with streaming videos through the Xbox Video service. Have had video streaming fail on the web, the Xbox One, and on Windows Phone. Anyone else run into this in the past week?
  • I've been streaming video through my Xbox 360 quite a bit without problem, but haven't really used it on the web or phone recently, so I can't say for those experiences.
  • I've encountered that same problem. And then it tell me that I have too many devices and I'm only running 4 devices on my account. My Xbox, Dell All In One, Surface Pro, and my windows phone. After a few attempts of retrying, then it plays.
  • Xbox music in windows is really beautiful but in windows phone is ugly.
  • The only thing i feel is missing is being able to look at new music based on genre, that allows you to keep going back in time more than just a couple weeks of releases. On zune, you could scroll backward indefinitely, which was nice.
  • +Icon
  • I would like to see arranging albums by year like we had it before. Alphabetic is boring.
  • This is my #1 issue.  They took away the year!  That totally sucks!  If you use the "related" feature you can't tell if the related artist music is current or 20 years old.  I so wish they would fix that issue and restore it like it was before they went to the app version.
  • +1520.3
  • Yeah I'm begging to hate the list view in WP UI. I think they should have it 2 in a row
  • OMG! I was just saying the same thing the other day. I hate the Los view to in windows phone.
  • I'm not updating till it worth an update :(
  • lol, that seems like a very passive and ineffective way to send a message. Why not participate in User Voice if you have not already to let them know what needs a 'fixin?
  • Since Xbox Music is not available in my region that update is pretty much useless to me. Ms should really consider to launch Xbox music in more regions. Mix radio was a great opportunity to accomplish it as its much more widely available. And for the uservoice, whatever I feel is not right I make sure post it on uservoice.
  • You can also change the region of your Xbox account though..
  • I really tire of the comments section anymore. I know its not WPC fault, per se. But really, if you dont even have XBMusic, why even comment on the fact the update is useless to you. Not everyone has every app/feature set yet, I get that. But why, for the love of all that is sacred, would you waste time posting abut an update to something you dont even have to begin with!? I have to read through fortyseven 'lol', 'i know, right', 'thats what she said', just to get to an actual comment that provides value. I guess its time to start hitting those vote buttons! There, I'm done. And yes, I feel for the editors, having to tolerate all of this. Dang, I just wasted a post, didn't I?
  • You should probably update it any ways. I get the odd stuttering at the start when playing music via Bluetooth. I'm hoping that's fixed.
  • ...why?
  • Are you on a 9.6k baud modem or something? Why wouldn't you update, even if it's only small changes, performance has been improved, some bugs fixed and small features added.
  • Still desperately need gapless playback (had that on an iPod twelve years ago) and artwork when searching in the store (like on WP 7.x and 8.0).
  • I don't understand why this is so hard to implement. Anyone?
  • Since I could hear not only a gap but also a click noise between two titles, according to following site this is simply due to a poorly written audio playback.
    http://wiki.hydrogenaud.io/index.php?title=Gapless_playback
    I guess it would need a certain effort to implement the gapless playback. This is very annoying and for me totally unacceptable.
  • But when gapless playback?
  • Still no gapless playback! I can't believe it. This is so embarrassing for Microsoft.
  • They really dont know how many features are missing. I think every new update should be ground breaking. It is still awful.
  • They can port the Xbox music which of windows to windows phone. Universal app. One windows
  • Totally agree with this statement.
  • +2280
  • I actually still think the 'much-needed makeover' was terrible for touch devices, personally.  I mean, seriously, whose bright idea was it to go back to little tiny arrow buttons in order to scroll through the main page titles?  What happened to drag scrolling on touch devices?  Here's hoping they don't similarly degrade touch experience throughout the rest of the OS when they backtrack to appease everyone.
  • It's mind boggling how much better Xbox Music for Windows 8 is than the WP version.  Granted, the WP app has come a long (long) way. 
  • Granted. But, It's even more mind boggling that the Android version is so much closer to the experience you get with desktop. The Android version was release 12 months ago.. https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.microsoft.xboxmusic  
  • Deleting local video in Xbox video is huge. On my tablet to remove a downloaded video I would have to go into the desktop, video dinner and delete the file. Was this not a huge issue for everyone? Wpc didn't even mention :/ am I missing something?
  • Because using Onedrive wasn't easier?
  • Xbox Music service is still TERRIBLE!
  • The back button bug is still present in xbox video. Sometimes, when navigating into a folder, the back button doesn't show up. I'm forced to switch to movies store or TV store and then switch back to collection to make it show up.
  • When I streaming from onedrive coming
  • Why does music on my playlists go unavailable? I have to go into the store and readd them. Miserable...fix that don't just let me skip this songs faster.
  • I'm finally happy that I can delete video clips and rented movies from out of my collection. That was driving me crazy, now they just need to add that ability to the Xbox1.
  • Is there a way to resume a video from where it left off? Or see recently viewed videos
  • And AGAIN... Is anyone listening at Microsoft? You have geared your Video app so heavy on selling us crap, that it has lost the basic organizing features of a $30 mp4 player. Let this thing organize our own privately owned movies and tv shows into separates. Movies with movies. Tv shows with tv shows. Tv shows broken up into seasons and then episodes. Use DVD covers and movie posters as the art work instead of some random frame that no one can tell what it is. Look at Movie Premier....or even scarier iTunes (yes you have wrecked the Zune base so badly that you now are looking up at the god awful iTunes). This app can't even organize my library alphabetically in the right order.
  • I use Zune in desktop mode as my music player.
  • Same here. Xbox Music is still awful to use with a large collection. Want to play a random mix of music all from one genre..? Nope, can't do that!
  • Thank you Microsoft. Updates are always welcome.
  • when it will be available in Peru to see movies? Bad
  • "You can now delete videos from your local video collection". They also need to do this in Xbox Video or Xbox One. I hate seeing some of the shows or previews I "bought" adulterating my otherwise awesome collection.
  • Xbox Music playlist bug in Windows RT seems to have gone away finally!!
  • we want the background image for x box music
  • What's the tablet in the photo? It looks pretty sweet...
  • It is very sweet ;) It would be the Lenovo ThinkPad 8.
  • I have a laptop and so.. the last time i used these two apps seem to be 4 to 5 months back just to check around. The desktop versions of players are so much flexible and superior that i didnt even bother to use these... Anyway... will check out
  • Strange, my Xbox Music says version 2.6.317.0 in the UK?
  • Mine, in Australia, has the same version. Strange.
  • I just wish they'd put in some basic features like, you know, being able to sort playlists by artist or song name. It's hard to manage large playlists when you can't easily tell if there's duplicates or what you're missing from an artist.
  • I see that since Xbox Music on WP8.1 was released they have tackled gapless playback by inserting pop/clicking sounds between the tracks. Are they likely to be bringing this feature to the desktop client?
  • Feature? O.o
  • Well, there's no silent gap between tracks now, so surely that's job done!? ;)
    Gapless playback - TICK
  • OF COURSE SIR YES SIR! ;D
  • Gapless playback is probably easier said than done. But it's what I really want :|
  • It's probably not like a simple one-line fix or anything, sure - but it's a problem that's been solved, again and again, on hundreds of hardware platform on every OS.  Google figured it out, Apple figured it out, freaking BLACKBERRY figured it out - even Microsoft knew how to do it on their old Windows Mobile phones and their first-generation Zunes.   If it were an important feature for them, it would have been implemented years ago.
  • So... I can't play any music from my collection anymore and I can only play music from the Radio feature... I already tried restarting my Surface 2 and nothing fixes it
  • Same here. Anything in my Cloud collection fails to stream. Only music already downloaded or newly found in the store/radio works.
  • Xbox music and video needs huge update on windows phone 8.1
  • What is the real use of this two? Just to buy/rent music or video? I guess as players there are better alternatives for Windows. Never used them so don't know...
  • Think of it as Microsoft's iTunes
  • Microsoft's iTunes was Zune, and it is still much better than this. It was ONE program rather than 5.  No one asked them to split this into 5 programs.  And it is still lacking features that Zune and Windows Media Player have had for years (see my chart: http://wp.me/p1fLW2-at) - viewing by genre being one of them that no version of XBV/XBM can do after two entire years of this.
  • Ok, thanks for the info, but I guess WMP was working fine, why not stick to it. I mean, I think were is no big differences between WMP and XBM/XBV. Well, more is better, I guess :D
  • WMP is about playing your media. XBM and XBV are about selling you media
  • Will it play flv files
  • When's the lumia 1030 coming?  
  • Are you sure 2.2.886.0 is the latest version for Xbox Music? I have 2.2.931.0...
  • Hummm.... XBox Music on Windows 8.1 (not phone) after today's update (in the US):  v 2.6.317.0
  • Mine still says 2.2.931.0 as well. Maybe it hasn't updated yet?? I'm using Xbox Music on Surface RT.
  • For all of you talking about missing features? UserVoice. It will make a difference if you vote for it there. And besides, only so much can be done in development mode every two weeks. It gets really annoying when me, as a fellow developer, hear constant bickering and moaning over something that has VASTLY improved over the past six months. Vote for changes, and they'll be put in.
  • I can't speak for others, but my annoyance at MS over this is threefold: -no one asked them to split Zune into 5 separate apps and start all over again.  Better to keep Zune running side-by-side, and ramp up the features of XBM/XBV while not throwing Zune users to the wind. -after two years, the apps are still not up to speed with what Zune had and Windows Media Player and iTunes have (see my chart: http://wp.me/p1fLW2-at) -the interface is just ugly.  Compare it to Zune.  Zune had beautiful backgrounds, logical organization, and felt really well thought out.  XBM/XBV - not so much.  Gray/green is just ugly.  Add the Zune backgrounds at the very least (Phyta, Zero, Diaphanous, Neuxe, etc).
  • The Music update just broke my ability to stream anything in my Cloud collection :( can happily play anything downloaded or if I search for an artist NOT in my collection then that's fine...guess I'll await the next update. Shame to see MS do an Apple though ;)
  • If you have the Xbox Music Pass, then your Cloud stuff should be playable from Music.  If not, no can do.  Maybe you need to re-enable it after the udate?  Dunno.  Otherwise your music needs to be stored on the phone for the Music app to play it. I just went through this excercise and chose not to pay for a Pass.  YMMV
  • Have pass and is registered fine. Reading other comments and forums, this is happening to other people too. Also the update (as mentioned I the article) is for the Windows 8.1 version of Music, nit Windows Phone ;)
  • After the update, I can still play music stored on the cloud on my Windows 8.1 platform and I do not have a Xbox Pass.  Reason for bringing up WP was playing from the cloud is not supported unless one has a Pass.  And yes, the article was about Windows 8.1. I should have been more clear.  I wasn't.  Sorry.
  • I cant update music app on WP.shows error.I hve Lumia cyan
  • This update is for Windows NOT Phone.  Gotta read.
  • ...says the guy who 6 minutes earlier commented on my post and referenced Phone ;)
  • This is for windows i know but I m talking about last update on WP Xbox music.i still cant update it,
  • I wonder with windows 9 if xbox music will gain a full library management and similar metro look like windows media player and it replace it all together. Xbox video should be the same
  • This update has broken the app for me... It now crashes within a minute of playing any song. Is anyone else experiencing this??
  • I'm the same - crashes soon after I open it - I'm not even playing a song
  • I just put like 10 videos on my SD card, and my Lumia 2520 only found like 6. After the update, they are all there. I don't know if that's related to the update ir it just hadn't scanned properly. Just odd it originally found a few but not all.
  • You do realize the article is about the Windows apps and NOT the Phone apps.
  • The Lumia 2520 is Windows RT... its a tablet, not a phone.
  • Woops.  Saw Lumia and immediately thought phone.  Sorry.
  • Sorry Microsoft. I've been holding out changing back to Android for some time now hoping you'd make some progress and the complete cluster that is Xbox Music has done me in. I'm trading my 928 in for a M8 next week. Tell Cortana I'll see her again in Windows 9!
  • I go back and forth between an icon and m7. I like the WP Xbox music app better than Android version. Also it pains me when I have to use android I literally count the minutes until I go back to my Windows phone.
  • What program/app do you guys suggest using when you feel that Xbox music video isn't up to par?
  • Are you ever going to be able to cloud sync playlists in Xbox Music? Don't understand how this feature is on Xbox and Phone, but not PC.
  • It's a pity these 'modern' apps don't do modern things, like edit metadata of our music!
  • One thing that drive me insane about XBM for Windows 8.1 is that you cannot reorder the playlists. This seems so basic. Please, Microsoft.
  • Update for wp too
  • Music app now crashes a couple of seconds into playing a song. At least it doesn't bend in my skinny jeans.
  • What tablet is being used in the article picture?
  • The more updates the better. This app needs some serious work. Reaching out to all you folks to add some votes to 2 features I would really like to see with Xbox music (desktop & phnoe OS). This "heart"ing of songs is absolutely useless to me. Thanks! Make It Easy/Possible to 'play all' by genre or artist http://xboxmusic.uservoice.com/forums/209733-xbox-music-suggestion-box/suggestions/5697534-make-it-easy-possible-to-play-all-by-genre-or-ar Introduce a user rating system http://xboxmusic.uservoice.com/forums/209733-xbox-music-suggestion-box/suggestions/5362019-introduce-a-user-rating-system
  • Why no background artist on lock screen now?
  • I'd recommend the XBM/XBV team do two things: -use this feature chart (http://wp.me/p1fLW2-at) to make sure their new apps have all the features of the competition and their past apps (Zune, WMP) -recombine music, podcasts, video, and synch into one app.  I 'm tired of bouncing in and out of apps for media management and synch.  It's irritating and so 1985-thinking.  It's 2014 - unify the experiences.  You did it for WMP.  You did it for Zune.  Get with the times.  You don't see Apple splitting iTunes up, do you?  No.  So stop it.
  • Playlists still dont function properly when I open the Xbox Music app. Always have to close and reopen the app in order to pick a playlist and it not scroll all the way to the bottom playlist. 
  • Daniel I am having a nagging problem for more than a week now. I can't connect to the Windows Store. All Gameloft games are unplayable. Those which are playable do not get connected to the server so games like Asphalt 8 is starting from Level 1. But games like World At Arms and MC5 have become unplayable. I have an HP Pavilion core i5 laptop. Tried getting in touch with the Gameloft Indian counterpart, but that number is unresponsive, no one picks that number. I am unable to pick updates or even new games like Asphalt Overdrive. Surprisingly though the problem is not with Windows Phone. I can play the games on my L920, both MC5 as well as Asphalt 8. How to resolve the issue. Need help....
  • Still no ability to resume videos after alt+tabbing away? I don't understand how these things disappear with little updates. Without that, Xbox video is completely unusable imo.
  • I hate Xbox music and video apps.
    Why paying Xbox live,music and buying tv shows and movies on Xbox video separately? And they are under Xbox,aren't we suppose to gain access to music,video and playing games online in Xbox Live? Spotify vs Xbox Music,on Spotify you can listening to every songs,not previews of the song. Hulu Plus and Netflix vs Xbox Video,Hulu and Netflix you can watch movies and tv show without buying them.
  • What does real mp3 player look like? Does it have m3u export/import? For MS the answer is still NO.