Details On New Improved Xbox Music App On Windows 8.1

Xbox Music Windows 8.1

Alex Garden, General manager for Xbox MVR ( MVR – Music, Video and Reading) today blogged about their experience of building the updated Music app for Windows 8.1 devices. Xbox Music app got completely re-designed from its previous version and it has got some new UX which everyone demanded. It packs Xbox Music service features like ad-supported free streaming, custom internet radio stations and the ability to take their music and playlists to different devices, ability to import from SD card, etc,.

As you can see, we have condensed what were 3 layers of the app into a simple, single page with clear callouts of our major app features – collection, streaming radio, the store and playlists. Moving between the features is as simple as clicking the title. In addition, playback controls are always visible on screen making it simple to pause the song you are listening to or skipping to the next one. We’ve tested this design with a lot of customers and out of the gate it 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.

We set out to be a Windows showcase app, which means we designed and built the Music app to look great and be usable when in 50/50 or snapped mode. The app hides columns when a customer puts it into 50/50, and collapses the left nav bar to buttons as a customer scales down the window. Our improved snapped view is clearer and easier to use when a customer scales it down to minimum size. These investments allowed us to offer an amazing experience in portrait mode, which will undoubtedly be appreciated by our customers using the new, smaller form factor Windows 8.1 tablets.

Read more from the link below.

Source: Microsoft

  • cybersaurusrex

    Looking forward to the changes. The original Xbox Music app was terrible and virtually useless. I hope they made creating and managing playlists easier.

    • wetworker

      8 months have passed. They really screwed up the music experience on WP8.1

  • wvwwwvvwvv

    XBOX music interface SUCKS big time, can not download podcast or do anything else. how they even put out such an embarrassingly bad product. why do some people just hate Microsoft ?. answer; it is because of awful product like xbox music.
    ZUNE music is a million times better. much superior interface. Microsoft should just junk xbox music and make Zune be able to work with windows phone 8

    • Pvrveyor

      Indeed, they need to fix the podcast situation for non-US WP8 users….but it doesn’t seem like this is gonna happen. WPodder app will continue to be pinned on my home screen, while Xbox music should allow me to uninstall it 😀

  • Palantas

    Good. Xbox Music had an inefficient UI.

  • TheCyberKnight

    Great but where are the automatic playlists and the song and album ratings?
    These single two features have been missing since Zune left the scene.
    How can you wish becoming a showcase app without these basic features?
    Get your act together and finish this app.

    • Guest

      Yeah, I don’t get it. This stuff was all there in the Zune s/w. Yet the Yet the XBM version that shipped with W8 was useless and this one, while improved, is still not a superset of the Zune functionality. Even the implementation of Metro in Zune is more visually appealing imo than either this XBM or even the OS itself.

  • Putrescine

    Wasn’t the original UI / UX design done by Microsoft Paris? Guess that didn’t work out, glad to see it’s been taken back “in-house” by Redmond.

  • Andy T.

    The fiasco that is music integration on Windows Phone 8 is the sole reason I left the platform. I simply couldn’t take it any more. When I can’t even sync a playlist from the desktop app to the phone without it returning zero items on the phone, you know something is badly broken. Microsoft need to address this and fast.