On Wednesday, Microsoft released Xbox Music for Android and iOS, a streaming service that will try to compete with Spotify, Rdio and Google Music.
Before I continue, it’s worth mentioning that this app requires an Xbox Music Pass subscription worth $9.99 a month. You can try the service for free for 30 days but you’ll still need to provide your credit card or PayPal details (don’t worry though, you can cancel immediately after starting your trial).
Xbox Music is available for iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad – the app isn’t fully enhanced for Apple’s tablet – and Android. It’s exactly the same on both platforms and won’t cost you a dime to download.
It has a pretty basic UI: on the upper right corner a Search bar and on the upper left corner a panel with three options – Playlists, Collection and Settings. Playlists enables you to see all the music playlists you’ve created and synchronize new lists with your Xbox; Collection enables you to create personal collections and listen to them on all your devices; and Settings lets you choose whether you want to stream content using a mobile network or a Wi-Fi connection only, in case you want to restrict your MB consumption while on the go.
You can also add songs to the queue, read your favourite artist’s biography and create radio stations based on the songs you like.
As a fan of music, I think Xbox Music has many flaws: it doesn’t support Offline mode; it lacks a basic set of discovery tools (compared to Spotify’s great “Discover” tab); you can’t upload your music library to the cloud (in comparison to Google Play Music’s ability to store thousands of owned tracks); and it doesn’t sport an elegant interface (compared to Rdio’s flat design). If that wasn’t enough, Xbox Music’s catalogue is quite limited and tracks take ages to stream.
Still, Xbox Music for Android and iOS may be a good option for people who already have an Xbox Music Pass on their gaming console. For the rest of us, it may be a good idea to stick to our computers – Microsoft now offers a free-for-all Xbox Music desktop version.
Have you tried Xbox Music on your Android or iOS device? Do you like it? Let us know in the comment section below.
Download Xbox Music for iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch [iTunes Link]
Download Xbox Music for Android [Google Play Link]