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Xbox Music marks Microsoft’s second go at online music business, this time with an All-In-One service

October 16, 2012 by Peter Kreed · Leave a Comment 

Xbox Music on Windows 8 tablet

Microsoft is continuing its strong assault on multiple markets, with Xbox Music being the latest ace up its sleeve. While Windows Surface phone marks the companies efforts in the smartphone industry, Windows Phone 8 operating system will serve as a big refresh over the redesigned Windows Phone 7. The desktop version of the OS – Windows 8 is scheduled for release later this month, being undoubtedly the company’s biggest product with the largest audience. A number of updated software titles including Office 2012, Office 365, etc will accompany Windows in a complete product line refresh.
Microsoft’s success largely depends on Windows 8 adoption, but other product releases should not be taken lightly, especially considering the effort put behind each of these products.

Microsoft had the chance to test itself at online music business in the past, with Zune Music making an unimpressive debut and soon fading into obscurity. Based on the details from the early announcements, the tech giant certainly learned from its mistakes as Xbox Music promises to be not only a substantial improvement over Zune Music, but an immediate contender for top online music service, among the strong competitors like iTunes, Amazon, Pandora, Spotify, etc.

So what’s new? Xbox Music will sport an impressive library of 30 million titles, with ability to purchase high quality files. The service also comes with the ability to stream music without limits, with additional benefits for subscribers of Xbox Music Pass. Should you purchase a monthly subscription, you will enjoy the service without advertisements, you will be able to skip tracks without limits, create playlists, enjoy one of 70 000 music videos and even make songs available for offline listening. Xbox Music will also include music discovery, smart DJ function, and radio.

We are yet to hear the detail’s on which formats / DRM the store is going to use. Despite the huge advances in technology, each vendor is still trying to push for their own proprietary format and file protection mechanism. With the multitude of online music stores and services available, it may actually be harder than ever to keep your music library organized and compatible across multiple devices.
Up until now, software solutions like SoundTaxi that worked great for converting mp4 to mp3 files from iTunes store. You might want to keep a copy of this software on your PC until Xbox Music makes final release, to make sure the music you are shelling out money for can be used without issues on your PC and portable devices.

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