Microsoft has introduced Xbox Music, the first complete music service which the software maker believes is a milestone in simplifying digital music.
Branded as the "ultimate all-in-one music service", Xbox Music offers a 30 million global song catalog for users, putting it on par with Apple's iTunes service.
Through the power of the cloud, Microsoft says the service integrates the music experience across your tablet, PC, phone and TV.
“The launch of Xbox Music is a milestone in simplifying digital music on every type of device and on a global scale,” says Don Mattrick, president of the Interactive Entertainment Business at Microsoft.
“We’re breaking down the walls that fracture your music experiences today to ensure that music is better and integrated across the screens that you care about most — your tablet, PC, phone and TV.”
The all-in-one Xbox Music service includes the following according to Microsoft:
• Free streaming1 music on Windows 8 and Windows RT. Enjoy on-demand access to tens of millions of songs for free on all Windows 8 and Windows RT tablets and PCs. Discovering and enjoying free music on Windows 8 and Windows RT is as easy as typing an artist or song name and hitting “play” — songs are instantly available to stream and for you to create an unlimited amount of playlists.
• Xbox Music Pass. Want unlimited access to the songs and artists you care about, including offline access? Get an Xbox Music Pass for ad-free, unlimited playback of any track in our subscription catalog across your tablet, PC, phone and Xbox 3601 for US$9.99 per month.2 Xbox Music Pass also unlocks unlimited access to tens of thousands of music videos on your Xbox 360.
• Xbox Music Store. Want to own the music you love? The Xbox Music Store is a comprehensive MP3 marketplace giving you the opportunity to purchase a single track or entire album on your Windows 8 or Windows RT tablet or PC and Windows Phone 8.
• Smart DJ. Creating a new form of artist-based radio, the Smart DJ feature is a quick and dynamic way to personalise your collection, discover new favorites and create ultimate playlists by launching instant mixes based on your favorite artists. With unlimited skips and a view of the full recommended music stream, Smart DJ puts you in control of your Internet radio experience.
• Cloud Storage. Available in the coming year, a scan-and-match feature will take you beyond the 30 million tracks globally offered through Xbox Music. It will add all the music you own to your Xbox Music cloud catalog, including music acquired through other services. This means you can add almost any content you have to your personal Xbox Music collection, even if it’s not available in the Xbox Music catalog.
• Social Music. Xbox Music will add unique social features in the coming year that let you share your music experiences with friends and family.
• Platform Expansion. Xbox Music will become available on other platforms in the coming year.
The roll out around the world begins today on Xbox 360 and later this month on Windows 8 and Windows RT PCs, tablets and mobile phones with October 26 believed to be the likely date.
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