As we approach the general availability of Windows 8.1, Microsoft has been highlighting features from the new operating system update as of late. Today, Microsoft is showcasing the Xbox Music app that comes built-into Windows 8.1, stating that the app has been "completely re-imagined and rebuilt."
"Our team has completely re-imagined and rebuilt Xbox Music for Windows 8.1. After shipping the initial version of Xbox Music for Windows 8, we collected a ton of useful feedback from our customers on what was working for them, and where we needed to do better," Microsoft stated in an official blog post.
"Our team has completely re-imagined and rebuilt Xbox Music for Windows 8.1."
With the new Xbox Music app that comes with Windows 8.1, the app has been simplified to showcase your collection, streaming radio, the store and playlists. Microsoft has also made the playback controls permanently visible on-screen. Based on feedback Microsoft gathered from consumers, this idea is "much more understandable and comfortable to use."
"While it was an option before, now customers will launch straight into their collection by default. With platform improvements of Windows 8.1, we were able to build the rich album and artist views our customers were used to. Gone are the dull grey spreadsheet views, replaced by more beautiful grid view of album and artist art. Playlists are always visible in the left hand nav bar, making it simple to craft or kick off that perfect mix of music," Microsoft explained.
The app has also been updated to work in all Snap mode sizes as well as different screen sizes and orientations. Microsoft has also added new customer-requested features such as the ability to have music on an SD card show up in your music library, as well as the ability to manage the Music Library folders from within an app. After all, this app needs to be full of features if it is going to be the new default music player in Windows 8.1.
"In particular, we worked to make sure it was easy to navigate between different areas of functionality, ensure large lists of content were intuitive to use, and complex commanding for collection management could be made simple. As a result, the new Music app has a greater information density, on-canvas commands and simplified navigation model," Microsoft added.
The updated Music app rolls out with Windows 8.1 on October 17th for Windows 8 users and October 18th for everyone else.