Starting Next Year, Microsoft Will Try To Compete With iTunes On iOS With Xbox Music App



It often seems that many of Apple’s competitors decide to launch products based upon what Cupertino is rumored to do, hoping to get a head start on Apple. It’s funny how often this fails. Remember when all of Apple’s competitors announced their own “slates” ahead of the 2010 debut of the original iPad? Or how Amazon launched a crappy cloud locker service for MP3s ahead of iTunes Match?

With rumors swirling that Apple is planning on launching its own streaming music service, it seems curious that Microsoft is now choosing to relaunch their own answer to iTunes, the Zune Music Store, under the Xbox brand, while simultaneously introducing their own… wait for it… streaming music service. And it’s coming to iOS.

Xbox Music will now replace Microsoft’s Zune brand, which Microsoft launched several years back in a failed attempt to compete with iTunes. Starting tomorrow, Xbox 360 consoles will have access to the service; it will also ships on Windows computers and tablets once Microsoft launches Windows 8 on October 26.

In addition, there’s the stream music service:

Microsoft will offer a free ad-supported music streaming service, and a premium $9.99 subscription service for unlimited, ad-free streaming.

The service includes a download-to-own music store with over 30 million songs in its global catalog, more than iTunes’ library of over 26 million songs. It also carries over 70,000 music videos, available only on the Xbox console.

It has cloud-storage features similar to iTunes and Amazon Cloud Player and an artist-based radio function like music streaming services Pandora and Spotify.

Microsoft apparently intends on bringing the service to iOS and Android starting next year.

Skepticism aside, I have to say, this looks like a pretty good offering if you are heavily immersed in Microsoft’s operating systems and platforms. It looks like iTunes + Spotify, which is pretty much my dream version of Apple’s eventual streaming music offerings. But without a killer phone or tablet on the market, it seems unlikely to me that Xbox Music will make much of a dent.

Source: GigaOm

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  • manolis

    If anyone from Microsoft hearing, give us ALSO the choice to buy lossless albums 24-bit or even better, at a prenium price. Make a catalog bigger than iTunes. Combine the stores of Europe (It’s kinda messy in iTunes right now). Make a hardware capable to produce really good sound. I’d pay 1000$ day one.

    P.S. Additional, give the songs extremely correct tagging(composers, names, lyrics etc.)

    Am I dreaming?

  • extra_medium

    ITunes + spotify is exactly what zune is now. I pay $14 a month and download as much as I want. I’ll take that “failure to compete” over .99 per track without thinking twice. The sad thing is you sound like you would too, if it only came with an apple logo on it instead of Microsoft.

    Through a bit of creativity I even use it on my Mac, and put the songs on my iPod.

    These articles are written as if you’re an apple employee. If the service is better, the service is better. There’s no need to dismiss alternatives as useless because they are not as popular commercially as itunes. Unless you just get some kind of thrill out of giving as much of your money to apple as possible while hoping they make itunes more like the product you’re making fun of, use the one that makes the most sense.

  • iSteve

    Please MS dont pull out another piece of shit coz the world is already full of your shit and Apple is clearing the mess to make it a better world to live. So please release in 1000 years. Please

  • mrchrisrobinson

    in fairness to Microsoft, talking as a recent Apple convert (yay!) – Zune Pass acted as an ad-free streaming service anyway, to Zune software, Windows Phones and the Xbox 360. Downloading the music was never COMPLETELY essentials, as the smart dj function would create a playlist based on a song in your library, much like Genius, and any music it found which wasn’t already in your library would be automatically streamed to your device.

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