There have long been rumors that Microsoft (News - Alert) wanted to get into the streaming music market and they wanted to do it using their Xbox 360 gaming console. It appears that those rumors have just been true, with the announcement that they will be launching Xbox Music which will be available to be streamed over the Xbox console as well as computers running Windows 8 and Windows 8 mobile tablets and phones. The service looks to be a direct competitor to streaming music services like Pandora and Spotify (News - Alert).
Microsoft looks to be trying to combine the best of both free and paid streaming music with two different approaches. The huge music library will allow people to both stream music and will be able to download music to their devices depending on the type of plan you come up with.
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Microsoft is certainly not going into this particular endeavor unprepared. The company has signed deals with all the major music labels and quite a few independent musicians so that music fans can get a huge selection that is rumored to be around 30 million songs.
The service will have features like being able to search for an artist or song and stream it free. Users will also be able to have features like those of Pandora (News - Alert) where they can identify their favorite artist or song and listen to music that is comparable to find new music they like.
The free version of Xbox Music will have ads interjected into the service the same way that Pandora has it, but there will also be an ad-free version of the service which users can subscribe to for a monthly fee.
The Xbox console will get the music service first, as it is expected to be included in the Xbox Live update on October 16th. On October 26th, the service is expected to be rolled out Windows 8 PCs and tablets. Microsoft says it also plans to offer applications for the iOS and Android (News - Alert) platforms but those apps won’t be available until later in the year.
Edited by Brooke Neuman