It was back in early December when we learned that the Xbox Music team was working on a Windows 10 app with all-new features, and now that we’ve seen a glimpse of what the new app from the recent Windows 10 event, it seems that Xbox Music is finally becoming a serious contender to be people’s primary music player.
During the Windows 10 event, Microsoft’s Joe Belfiore took to the stage to announce that the new Xbox Music app – now drenched in an all-white theme – will support music streaming from OneDrive. While we knew this was coming, what we didn’t have confirmation on is that OneDrive will also facilitate an automatic sync feature, so when changes are made to the collection on one device, it would reflect on other devices too and on the cloud. Apple has a similar feature called iTunes Music Match, which includes cloud storage and other features, the main difference though is that Apple charges $25 a year for the service. We still don’t know if Microsoft will also charge for music streaming, but current indications point to a free service.
While Microsoft didn’t go into much depth when discussing the Xbox Music apps, they did show us what the new apps look like on Windows 10 for PC and phones. The desktop version still has a sidebar on the left, but it now has quick access to albums, artists, songs, and now playing, followed by user-created playlists and access to the online music store. The now playing bar at the bottom remains unchanged other than the use of new icons. On Windows 10 for phones, the Xbox Music app looks familiar from the single shot Microsoft showed, but it now has a now playing bar at the bottom too.
While it hasn’t been confirmed, it may be safe to assume that it will have Cortana integration too so that users can access and control music via the digital personal assistant. While we get the January Technical Preview installed, we’ll update this post with more information on Xbox Music should it be included.