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Xbox Music is pretty terrible on Windows Phone 8.1, but an update is near

Despite the fact Windows Phone 8.1 has been garnering some fantastic reviews from both tech pundits and the masses, it’s not all roses and ponies. I was reminded of this last night when playing with the Xbox Music app that comes with 8.1.

On the surface, the app looks decent. It’s a continuation of the new app structure started late last year by Microsoft, which replaces the ‘built in’ Music + Video hubs of the past. Microsoft is changing the architecture so that the Windows Phone Team can quickly add new features and fix bugs, all without an OS update.

But let’s not mince words: the music experience on Windows Phone 8.1 is subpar, and it has become worse since 8.0.  In fact, it sits with a pathetic 2.5 stars (out of 5) on the Store, which is awful for a Microsoft app.

Here are a few complaints of the 'new' Xbox Music app, many of which are extensively documented in our help forums:

  • Slow loading, sometimes glitchy, bad scrolling
  • No recent music
  • Can’t swipe between tracks
  • No look ahead for forthcoming tracks in now playing (used to be dimmed)
  • No album title data when playing
  • Favorite/heart icon is gone
  • Confusing playlist support, with doubling of lists, no way to delete
  • The now playing drop down screen (when tapping the volume controls) is a shortcut to a blank, black screen instead of the Now Playing section in the app
  • The Tile is no longer live (on the Hub version, it showed the currently playing artist on the Tile)

We’re sure there are more bugs that you have experienced, some of which you can share with us below in comments. The point is, it’s a terrible experience, and it’s leaving a lot of users not particularly pleased.

New 8.1 app inbound

Now for the caveats. The app we now have in the 8.1 Preview for Developers is, in fact, basically the old beta version released late last year. It has not been optimized for 8.1, and it obviously needs some polish. That’s good news in the sense that Microsoft is not ‘shipping’ this as the final product.

Last night, Microsoft head Joe Belfiore even tweeted that a new Xbox Music app was on the way:

“Lots of questions about apps…Many 8.1 updates coming (eg Facebook, Skype, Twitter).  I don't know dates, sorry.  Also, Music app too.”

Actually, the bigger news is perhaps that 8.1 optimized apps for Facebook, Skype and Twitter are also forthcoming.

The question is, how much of an improvement will the new Xbox Music app be over this current buggy beta build? That remains to be seen, though considering how good the OS for 8.1 is, we at least have some faith that the refreshed Music app will also be much better.

Let’s hope so, because the Music experience has been steadily declining since the good old Zune days, and Windows Phone 8.1 certainly deserves – and needs- better in 2014.

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Comments

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tbonenga says:

It's awful on my note 3 too

Aashish13 says:

It would be awful as u own a droid device

kenzibit says:

Please what of the Xbox game hub? Any news on it? Soo terrible with no notifications, no settings, a lot of features gone. Any good news for us gamers?

Ben Willson says:

Aye i strongly dislike the new "games".  Why must it reload the flipping list every time it opens, even when its restored.  why can i no longer rate and uninstall right there.  My 5 year old is very upset as well.  He doesn't like having the list empty. He gave me what in the world look every time.

Mike Hillyer says:

Why isn't your 5yo in the Kid's corner?

Hiswona says:

Lol. My 2 year old can get out of kids corner.
Doesn't really help if they can get out by pressing power button

NIST says:

And why are there " try now" games mixed in with the games I've downloaded???

Lumiatic guy says:

The try now option will be removed if u install lots of games

kingjah says:

Agreed, that is another thing they messed up.

Robborboy says:

It is called a dev preview for a reason.

knwldg says:

It still doesn't sync with Xbox one game achievements or Profile pics.

jayrod213 says:

Just open the Smartglass for Xbox One. Your Gamerscore, friends, game clips, and a bunch of other things are there to view whether you're home or not.

knwldg says:

True, but you would expect the game hub to be updated with information already. Maybe it will be fully updated in the official release.

tbonenga says:

Go to WMPoweruser. They have a link to update the games hub. I couldn't find it searching in the store.

It has updated today automatically to version 2.0.1404.11000
It looks a bit weird, icon is orange and screenshot is green with orange corner.
Here is the link to store: http://www.windowsphone.com/s?appid=50a6aef0-4f35-434b-9308-cb3251303ae4

stui83 says:

Nah the music apps on droid are as good as it gets. I hardly listen to music on my phone, but if phone music was my thing then id be droiding it up for sure.

DennisvdG says:

Lol this is worse then spotify, and that's saying something...

TechFreak1 says:

I dislike how they took away the toggle switch to sync. Always had it off as it was speedier to load the games hub that way. Now its a pain everytime I load it - always has to update and throws a error if there is no data connection. Compared to 8.0 this is a pretty sub par. Also the xbox sync for videos, music and games was battery hog on 8.0. Without being able to turn off the sync, there is no way of knowing if that is still the case.

vkelkar says:

Is what's app even there??... Do they know that there is WP 8.1 available.. And they haven't release an update from ages

hwangeruk says:

Facebook purchased WhatsApp. All the devs are at your local Porsche dealer picking out their new cars. No time for coding now I'm afraid. I hear Viber is good.

MobileVortex says:

Good post, pointing out flaws but not bashing while doing so. 

 

Thanks for the complete list, hopefully this will slow down that fourm so people can talk about more constructive things.   People who download a PREVIEW need to understand what a preview is.

Articles on WPCentral have insisted that the Dev Preview is near enough the same as the final public release, so you can't blame them.

Jas00555 says:

What does a music app separate from the OS have to do with a preview of the OS? Those are built by two different teams, so they can't really be held accountable for the same thing.

rodneyej says:

because it replaced a OS level app that was already not very good, and is even worse... Makes me wish I never complained about XBM in WP8.1... Lol

DesaiDeas says:

Because it wouldn't fly if it were Steve Jobs ok'ing the release.  Microsoft is worthy of such focus on user experience. 

What does iOS maps have to do with iOS? When it was released with iOS, people complained!

Judge_Daniel says:

But the preview is the final release of the OS. It isn't a beta.

My biggest beef with the music player is that when I go to skip a track on the drop-down menu, it takes it longer to process the "next" than it takes for the drop-down menu to recede. Ridiculous.

MadSci2 says:

Its always a Beta until its Officially sent to youth phone by the Carriers. Maybe its not supposed to me that way, but this is Microsoft and that's the way it is.

Benjisbrk says:

Sure, but lots of functionnalities rely on updatable apps. Xbox Music is one of them and when comes the final release, the updated xbox music app will be there.

Yep finally, I've been waiting for WPC to bring this up. There was outcry when Zune was ditched and replaced with this when WP8 was released and this topic always garners the same response. The situation should be a whole lot better by now. MS have not just dropped the ball here, they've dropped it down a rabbit hole it seems.

penetronn says:

It's just awful. Microsoft, it's been 18 months now still no cloud locker or metadata editing features. This is basic stuff that top tier competition has had for years.

nizzon says:

Obviously the only thing they really give a fuck about when it comes to music is that it is available to buy from their store. I hate this so much, how hard can it be really.

tribexx says:

I don't think it is the complete list. I can't find (or easily find) the setting to only play local and not cloud music.

FM radio has disappeared in 8.1

Rem97 says:

It's a separate app now, it should be listed in your apps list.

NIST says:

Why is there no play button, but only shuffle and search? What the duck is that about. You touch the shuffle icon and your collection starts to play. Weird.

wpn00b says:

LOL. You clearly haven't read the article about swearing In 8.1!

apocacrux says:

The play has been replaced by the shuffle button. It works the exact same way. Maybe people didn't understand that the play button shuffled their music.

Sicarius123 says:

When you are browsing music it gives you the option to look at All Music, On The Phone, and Streaming. Little green link at the top you can click.

kingkoopa09 says:

hit the setting button and tell and turn it off (stream cloud collection)

dalydose says:

A PREVIEW should also be a mechanism to make sure they don't ship a messed up product.

milkybuet says:

The preview is in fact an OS that has been RTMed. So yes, people are right to complain. I m not complaining about stuff that will be in an OEM firmware.

+ lots. Fed up of the whining.

Mike Dimmick says:

Well. The OS code is final, at least in its feature set. There will be bug fixes developed as OEMs and carriers do their testing of their configurations of each device, both brand-new devices like the Lumia 630, 635 and 930, and for upgrades to WP8 devices. I hope that those bug fixes will actually be released as cumulative updates similar to the Windows 8 General Availability Update Rollups, and occur more frequently than we saw with Windows Phone 8. (Assuming that WP8 wasn't silently installing such updates already!)

 

Because Microsoft know that the general public aren't actually going to get the new OS until at least May, they have a little more time to complete apps that can be updated through the Store, even if they do ship within the initial OS image. With Windows 8, we also saw the 'in box' apps being updated significantly from when the core OS was finalized (1 August 2012) to the actual General Availability date of the OS (26 October 2012). For example, Mail/Calendar/People/Messaging was changed on 9 October: http://winsupersite.com/article/windows8/windows-8-app-update-mail-calendar-people-messaging-144471. Given that apps are automatically downloaded in the background, the first buyers of new phones may not even notice the poor behaviour of the current version.

 

But you're right: people who have opted into a Preview for Developers programme shouldn't really be complaining when 'system' apps aren't feature-complete, before the official release date of the software. What should matter for developers is that the APIs they're writing code for are feature-complete and reasonably bug-free.

Andrea988 says:

I disagree. Whether they have labeled it as a preview release or not, the fact is that people really have a right to expect something as basic as a fully functioning music player as a working app on a top end smartphone such as the Lumia 930. If it's the final release then it should work properly, period.

Broomcorn says:

I don't understand how it consistently gets worse! I'm not sure what to expect from the update TBH...

Ive never actually been pleased with any music programs MS has ever developed. I think they need to review there position and future planning and start from the ground up. They could do better.

el-ojo says:

That was the whole Point of XBOX MUSIC, but all the ZUNERS keep bashing it.

TroyRiggins says:

Because it sucks. They eliminated the excellent Zune software and replaced it with the crappy, useless Xbox music software that even still isn't ready. They essentially forced a major downgrade on very happy customers. Stupid move.

el-ojo says:

"They eliminated the excellent Zune Software"..umm really? it still works for me. The only difference is they didn't add WP8 support. And unless you're an XBOX MUSIC PASS Subscriber from the Zune days, I really see no reason for the Bitching. Just use the WP App for desktop to sync your music and use iTunes, WMP, or Zune to manage it.

ThePKReddy says:

Because, the app on the phone sucks as well. Not just the desktop one.

gar216 says:

Yea really, why doesn't this guy just use 3-4 programs to get the same functionality that he used to get by only using Zune. Makes perfect sense.

el-ojo says:

They're only using that to "Sync" their music. That's the only purpose of that App. If you want to continue to use Zune to Manage your Music on WP8, it's the only way to do it.

When you connected your WP7, Zune would open. Now, WP App for Desktop opens when you do this. And they both serve the Same exact purpose. To Sync Music from "Zune" or in this case you can even sync it from your iTunes library if you so choose. So, you're getting syncing capabilities with an added feature of syncing from another program that is not Zune. Again, if you're not a Subscriber, don't see you're issue really. It's not Rocket Science. 

gar216 says:

When I first left Blackberry a few years back, the Zune media management was what brought me to WP. I wanted an all encompassing media solution which had me thinking Apple, but historically I have not been a fan of them. Zune is why I chose WP over Android. I could easily sync all of my music, videos, and podcasts. With WP8 I lost podcast sync support which was a huge killer for me and it required me to use a stand alone podcast service that frankly wasn't as good as Zune. Xbox Music is much more subscription focused, which I'm also not interested in.

wtrmlnjuc says:

Zune is not just a syncing platform. It is a media purchasing and media playing platform as well as a subscription service which outmatches any current service that MS offers today, save for the period-norm DRM. You never really used Zune did you?

el-ojo says:

And what was its original use for? Their Zune line, which died in 2009...5 years ago...

No, I've never used ZUNE. I don't have a ZUNE HD that I sync to it on a weekly basis, don't use it to download my 10 songs credits either. And whenever I want to download a new song, I don't download them thru Zune...I have no idea what I'm talking about /s

Dalek Sec says:

I have always been a big windows phone advocate. The simplicity, the excelent hardware and the fact that my mom can use all the features WITHOUT CALLING ME. Still the reason I even got my good ol samsung focus and titan was because of zune pass. I had a zune 80, 120(my dad still uses and loves it) and an HD. The desktop software was the best combined with zune pass. Easy management and syncing. I still havent figured out how to manage my library in xboxmusic. Its an atrocious mess now. Plus music playback is nowhere near where it was with the HD. No gapless playback on my phone....

 

Come on microsoft just make the xbox music app for phone and desktop very zuneish. You can keep the new look but I want the simplicity and fuctunality back. This has been a sore point for me for almost four years now.....

gar216 says:

I absolutely used Zune (no Zune pass) every day. You may have just read my post wrong.

wpn00b says:

I AM a Pass subscriber from the Zune days...!

TroyRiggins says:

I am also an Xbox music pass subscriber from the Zune days. So there's my bitching credentials.

RHoudek says:

Me too, I don't think El-Ojo realizes that we are complaining about more than just syncing. The whole damn system is far more limited than it used to be.

There was a time when i used to spend all kinds of time curating my music collection and album art, then when i started using Zune i began to see less and less of a point in going through all those hoops just to play my music. Microsoft and Zune were doing a decent job and at $15/mo. and with 10 credits it made financial sense since the value of a CD (which i bought often back then) was dropping.

Zune was far from a failure. Zune was the inspiration for WP and further Windows 8. Since then, they have made the device experience more limited and sluggish, taken away the ability to find new music easily by genre in the software, crippled the live tile, removed major navigation methods, and made it more difficult to mangage music on the device through a PC connection.

This is hardly just a syncing issue.

We hate these changes so much partly because they weren't needed. But mainly, at least imo, because it feels like they have taken us loyal Zune users, who were instrumental in building off of Zune to get to WP7/8 and Win8, and tossed us aside.

Where is the love for a loyal Zune fan?

wetworker says:

Yep Xbox Music app sucks big time. The zune desktop client is still one of the best Media app out there and I still use it to playback and organize my content. Most of the current music apps from Beats, Spotify are all borrowing ideas from that old 2008 zune desktop client.

The media player that was on WP7 was just a updated zune app that actually worked pretty well.

We had wifi sync plus file transfer to other zune device way b4 apple. All those features should have made it to WP7 and improved on in 8.0. 2014 it's like they are going back in time.

You shoud read these comments on this link below. Most of these people are coming to WP for the first time or coming from WP7. They plug in their phone and it dosen't work out the box, or they download the Xbox Music app and it distroys their collection by addind duplicate files, missng album art and a slew of other crap.

MS drop the ball plane and simple. 

http://windowsphone.uservoice.com/forums/101801-feature-suggestions/sugg...

kingkoopa09 says:

my most missed features were the ability to unsync songs automatically if they had a dislike and u could get update playlist when u woke up thanks to its ability to download artists playlist as songs arrived. oh yea all that was done while u were charging wirelessly long before anybody thought of that idea

apocacrux says:

This! It is the reason I bring my Zune with me instead of just listening to music on my phone, so I can clean up my music collection by disliking songs after downloading discographies of bands. They should have never removed that functionality.

Sicarius123 says:

The Xbox Music app is just the glitchy, slow loading, no live tile Xbox Music Beta app that was worse than the standard Music & Video's hub, except now it's the default program and we have no other option.

In fact it's glitchier and crappier now that it doesn't say Beta!

NIST says:

I'm generally pretty happy with Microsoft apps but this is pretty bad. I'm still pissed at the removal of podcasts. Now I have to go into a whole other app...that crashes! Just get it together guys. An artist screensaver would be be very nice. Is it really too much to ask? Duck!

Cz R says:

Yeah, I really don't see why they had to remove the podcast and make it another app, it should all just be in one place. 

wetworker says:

Yep. All media should be in one hub. 

stui83 says:

Touché ksmith

I love WP8.1. They've done nothing but improve and hopefully Music will be priority this round. I enjoy Pandora at least :)

byobg says:

They HAVE started from the ground up.  Several times now, in fact.  That's kind of the problem.  That's why the general software model for an "upgrade" is "fix your bugs and add new features," not "throw it away and start over again."

(Ask Netscape how good an idea it is to rewrite things from scratch.)

bjax says:

Yeah, I wish I had a chance to experience Zune based on how positively people speak of it. I've considered getting Nokia Music, but with the acquisition, u don't know what would happen to the service or the music I would get.

zune was amazing, both the device and the software, it was the very beginning of microsofts current ui language.. was also very well thought out.. functional prettier... and imho.. the name was way more apealing than "xbox music"

RHoudek says:

It was very nice. I personally hope they can bring back the old Zune experience but add in the ability to edit playlists (the one new feature of xbox music that was added instead of taken away) and bring in the Nokia Music feature where it lets you know if an artist you like is playing nearby.

RockmanNeo says:

Just bring back Zune!

Imagine WP music app is the whole Zune experience. One can only imagine.

Andrea988 says:

Ditto. Surely the developers can see what we can see?

Sockymon says:

Was slow and glitchy at first. Just freezes now. However, pleased to hear confirmation that an update is on its way.

CalumSK says:

This is great news, I resorted to my old iPod because of how slow the app got at finding my music

Facebook/Skype/Twitter updates are always great to hear too :D

 

kingkoopa09 says:

i find it faster to just use cortana she does really well with music

marratj says:

^ THIS!

Works so good, especially when connected to my car BT. I just say, "play Judas Priest" and within seconds it starts playing. It's absolutely great.

punkJD says:

That is really great, it works very well. Even if you say a song's name incomplete it will play the music.

Tiemen_S says:

Also, the shuffle all button (or any playlist generated by selecting a song in the all songs list) creates a playlist of only 100 songs. So if I would want to shuffle-repeat-all, I would have to manually add all of my 1000 songs to a playlist by tapping on them...

And the messaging hub is being stripped too! It's only SMS from now on, so instead of the old Windows Phone 'Hubs' mindset, we are migrating to a 'launcher' mindset with some deeplinking functionality (contant binding) instead of conglomerated content. Of course FB messenger support was lacking in the WP8.0 hub, but the hub should have been improved with a better (open?) API instead of this in my opinion.

Tip: Also, I was afraid I lost my comma key on the keyboard, but it was just automatically switched off and can be turned on with a special setting in the Settings > keyboard > advanced section

MethodGT says:

Thanks for the tip on getting the comma back!

I can understand that some people want it back, but I am so relieved it's gone. I was always hitting it instead of the spacebar!

Nakazul says:

Yeah, FB app takes waaaaay to long to load.

kingkoopa09 says:

thats fb problem they made all os have seperate messaging apps

Adhesive Ray says:

If you don't want to hear my longwinded How'd We Go From Zune Desktop To This?! speech, I suggest you remove the article stat!!

meathead88 says:

The 'skip forward' and 'skip back' on my jaybird blubudxs don't work anymore :(

Nimdock says:

I hope it is soon.

 

With every update they have managed to make it worse. I just don't get it.

Bacchus1976 says:

The French are developing it, IIRC. I guess working 25 hour weeks with 2 months of vacation can impact productivity. 

rockstarzzz says:

Why should we be expecting new apps anyway? We are developers right? We should be making our own apps ;)

John20212 says:

Key apps need to be from MS; no 3rd party apps can replace them no matter how good they are.

 

FFugue says:

Actually the music app could come from someone else. Microsoft has given access to Xbox Music for developers so anyone can create an app that works with your music collection.

kingkoopa09 says:

Exactly right been working on an app using both mixradio and xbox music now that its apis are open hoepfully i can use all three last.fm, mixradio and xbox restfuls to create a unique experience

FFugue says:

That would be awesome!!! Right now I hate how the only way to scrobble to last.fm is to download every song before playing it and then scrobble manually with an extra app. I can't wait for an app to scrobble automatically even when a song is streamed.

That's not the right attitude for Microsoft to have, and is most likely the attitude that's crippling the growth of the Windows 8 ecosystem. If the OS's own company can't be bothered making quality apps for the platform, why should we?

In fairness though, it's more of a problem on Windows 8. On Windows Phone 8 this is the only MS app thats really disappointing. By contrast, their Podcast app is pretty much flawless.

The Monarch says:

I agree it sucks, worse than the beta app I was using on 8.0. Kinda pissed that I ponied up the dough for a yearly subscription and it's nearly unusable on my phone. Fix it, MS!!!!!

I'm pretty stoked to see what Twitter will be bringing to the table

deecoop0351 says:

Hopes it comes out real soon I need my music. I guess we can't complain too much this is a developer preview

eddieDOTexe says:

Its not too bad once it gets all your music indexed, but it does need some work. Good to see the patch coming out soon

FFugue says:

If your music collection isn't too big it isn't so bad, but when you have close to a thousand albums it's almost unusable...

eddieDOTexe says:

I have 737 albums and its not as bad as people make it out to be.

And thats that I'm on a Lumia 521.

R0bR says:

I started using the Xbox Music app after it was released last year because unlike the built in Xbox Music player adding music to my phone through the new player actually adds it to my library on other devices. I've been a Zune/Xbox music subscriber for a number of years and all I have is cloud music and works well enough. Obviously look forward to updates but agree it's not that bad.

Mark Richey says:

What do you mean once it gets your music indexed? Mine feels it has to grab everything every start. Can't access anything until it does so. I have a small amount of music on the device only for when I am offline. Otherwise the ,cloud can't do its thing.

eddieDOTexe says:

Weird. Try reinstalling. Mine just indexed once and doesnt do it again unless I add more music via PC or some other device.

Asrialys says:

Is music + videos gone? Because if Xbox Music is the only option and still requires a pass, I may have issues...

spinzeroWL says:

Just use Nokia MixRadio...it does a pretty good job of playing local files - and is obviously v.good at creating entire music mixes

Dont need a xbox music pass anymore.

Ticomfreak says:

The hub is gone, but the app does not require a subscription on 8.1

FFugue says:

Like Ticomfreak said, no need for a subscription anymore. From what I heard you can even stream music for free without needing a subscription (I haven't tested it since I have a subscription).

spinzeroWL says:

Any idea when Spotify is going to get an update? Or Ebay for that matter?

Shimoner01 says:

Heard Spotify is coming very soon, and eBay was supposed to be 'this spring'.

Good news. I am waiting for Spotify update as well...

Horrible experience. And its getting worse and worse...

el-ojo says:

It's a good thing you have a NOKIA. I'm sure it's a WONDERFUL experience in NOKIA MIX

Nokia MixRadio can't be installed in Chile. I desperately need a new music app, or I'll have to rely on last chance, emergency audio file players like Moli.

mmm MPATool not work in this u.u i'll miss the background images

navidee says:

I'm sure in due time he will release a new version. At least I hope so....

Dammit, they should bring Zune HD player controls and graphics to the Music Player. Still to this day is the best music player out there.

nizzon says:

Its kind of funny that they kind of killed the product and software that was the inspiration for Modern UI, and can't create anything as good.

ade333 says:

Exactly. Why is it so hard? Why does it keep getting worse? It's bullshit that I am paying for this garbage.

RockmanNeo says:

+ZuneHD. Man wish this was true.

kingkoopa09 says:

ill be happy with Audiosurf Tilt greatest game ever created, what ever happened to the simple porting of zune apps to windows phone they teased us about every six months or so

kaynachtsman says:

The New games hub sucks too

Yeah both have to reload all items every time you open it.  I love 8.1, but if we could get old Music hub, old Games hub, and the option to only show Games in the hub, 8.1 would be perfect IMO.  I never had a Zune, so the 8.0 Music experience was fine for me.

saket87 says:

Zune player software as well as hardware was top notch. Even WP 7 had better music experience than 8.1

wtrmlnjuc says:

WP7 had a great music experience, and is the second thing that drew me in after design. Shame to see it get progressively worse year by year.

RaRa85 says:

I think people took this PREVIEW thing over the top. It's a preview and dare I speculate not the final version to be released 'in the coming months.'

But the stock WP8 app is poor too, this is supposed to make it better - it doesn't!

RaRa85 says:

Oh Simon, Simon....it will get better. That's all I got.lol But seriously I don't believe Microsoft really plans to leave the music experience this way and not improve it. At least my optimism would lead me to believe that they can't be that dumb.

Haha, I hope you are right, but the evidence for the last 2-3 years says otherwise :(.

geoken says:

And I think people don't understand what the PREVIEW in DEV PREVIEW is supposed to mean.

It doesn't mean you're running a beta or preview version of the software. It means you are getting to preview the full RTM version of the software without having to wait for your OEM then carrier to push it to you. 

RaRa85 says:

Good point too.

Robholden says:

you may say that, but it is only partially true... while the OS may be a preview of the final code for developer purpose, the apps are actually a differnet situation, since almost all apps are now broken out form the OS itself and can be updated independently... meaning that development on some of those will be ongoing until the first phone running 8.1 is sold....

loofmodnar says:

It might be RTM but it's not final. The previous GDR3 preview had an updated after it was released. I forget whether it was updated via the carrier & firmware release or slightly before.  

It's annoying when I want to pin a list of songs to my Start screen, and it just begins to play the album without any list view at all. I'm going to wait for Spotify Free and just use that. Spotify is cheaper anyways, with a better library.

lifeasyoshi says:

Rudy tweeted that he is working on one as well, I wonder if he's working with the Microsoft team like he did with the lock screen app?

tribexx says:

I would certainly love a 6box Music app!!!

 

What's his twitter account?

ade333 says:

I'd pay $50 for a good music app at this point

I stick to Spotify and Nokia mix radio......

sketchy9 says:

Seriously what is wrong with Microsoft? They destroyed a perfectly good player with the transition to WP8, and now the music player is regressing. Seriously, it's not that hard. It almost seems like they are intentionally trying to sabotage themselves.

m231 says:

I use Nokia MixRadio ;)

It really is pretty bad, glad to know we'll get an update soon. At least I'm happy that after 1 year I'm finally able to get my playlists synced to my phone through the WP metro app on Win8.1. That's something! Baby steps :)

John20212 says:

You should add, to the list of complaints that the album and artist art does not always show up. The app is poor at detecting metadata of mp3 files; I have everything taged with MP3tag and all metadata 100% correct yet Xbox music often fails at showing it right.

Windows 8.1 fails at this completely as well. The only MS app that detects all of my metadata 100% correct is WMP in Windows 7.

 

+925
I don't understand why this is not working...

elsana says:

Game hub in 8.1 is worst than befoure

dsba says:

Lost my Radio too! How do you listen to Radio?

CJ Thunder says:

It is a seperate app called radio. Do you not have that? What region are you? Langague?

dsba says:

Now I found it, it's called FM radio... Thanks!

Stadifer says:

I am surprised how bad the Xbox Music app is in it's current state. Granted, in my opinion, the Music + Video app before it was barely passable as it was (when considering the stock Android and iOS apps). I like XBOX Music and pay for the monthly service. I'd love to not be punished for using a Microsoft service and get a quality music app!

So far, in my experience, it seems the Music, Video, and Podcast apps are the low points of the WP 8.1 update. The vast majority of everything else has been rather good.

spinzeroWL says:

I've never had a podcast app before...so no frame of reference. But, the music podcasts I've downloaded thus far have played flawlessly..
I just want the new lock screen thing so I can scroll through the podcast from the lock screen. Joe Belfiore tweeted that the custom lock screen would be coming - but presumably wasn't ready for initial release

neoxphuse says:

At least they are away of it.

IE11 also need a update, destop version of some site doesnt work (Facebook, WPcentral).

kingjah says:

Some pages on mlb.com render terrible.

antmortmitch says:

Its funny because me and my brother was just speaking a out how much Xbox music app sucks on WP.. I just really need one thing.. And that is the ability to send the music I am playing on my phone to my Xbox one...

kingkoopa09 says:

you cant use smart glass and search within app while ur music plays or us nokia playto and u can play all local files that way

dnmartin98 says:

I hope it comes quickly. I have 28k songs in the cloud, it only indexed half of them, drained the battery like a thirsty hooker while doing it (even though it was plugged in), heated the phone up to boiling, and now just displays a black screen on Artists. The application is total pants.

spinzeroWL says:

What exactly is the deal with Xbox Music. Does it match your existing offline music collection...and then create a cloud version? How many songs does it allow us to store (Google Music saves 20,000 personal songs if memory serves...?)

el-ojo says:

"Does it match your existing offline music collection...and then create a cloud version?"

Yes, but only if they have the music available in the store. So, if your music is not available in the store, it won't be in the cloud.

"Google Music saves 20,000 personal songs if memory serves...?"

This is the only thing they have that I'm jealous off. We Really Really Need a locker for Music Not matched, but to also be integrated with our cloud collection.

spinzeroWL says:

Thanks for the reply...that explained it nicely! Having used Google Music, I can't say I'm envious of that service. It was always buggy and sloooow (on an Xperia Arc S, and also to a certain extent on my Note 2 - my last Android device).
I can't remember the last time I delved into my personal music collection - there's about 50GB in there...but I prefer music discovery these days (then saving those discovered songs either in Spotify Free, or caching the music for offline playback in Metrotube).
Hopefully MS will pull their finger out and give us a proper cloud service for our music so I can *forget* about my hard drive copies.

About time!

And a Twitter app update? FINALLY!

Not forgetting that: 1) the sync experience is woeful too. If you have lots of music that you already own, this post Zune music experience treats you as a second class citizen. 2) Streaming is not a suitable solution for everybody, and the music matching with the cloud also isn't fit for purpose. 3) why after all this time are there still problems with duplicates and 'unable to play' DRM issues. It's promised to get better with every upcoming release, but these are all sadly just baby steps (especially compared with Zune). It's just such a shame.

CJ Thunder says:

And if you delete a song that happens to have a duplicate it delets it from your cloud too.

Nailed it, thank you!

Oh and also, if you download a track to the phone, it still sometimes tries to stream it, what's that all about!? Most other apps give you the choice or at least warn if you're about to use premium data. Not this app, instead it just chews through your data plan, even if the file is available locally. Crazy!

kingkoopa09 says:

i think thats an error when i would use the beta app to download songs it would show as streaming in the original xbox music hub but when i switched back it would show as local 

scottygb2k says:

Isn't the Facebook app already updated for 8.1? The official app seems to have jumped ahead of beta app. I currently have version 8.1.4.4 installed.

borasar says:

I don't think i'll be updating to WP8.1 until the update to the music app comes. It's probably the app I use the most

btbam91 says:

Really hope the Skype update means it can be integrated into the messaging hub! PLEASE!!!

LTTG says:

I really don't know why they ditched Zune!! It was awesome!

rubenbest says:

I dont understand why they had the change the app from zune like they coulda just changed the name and not changed everything

MikeSo says:

Alright! Good to see. I will hold out hope that the FB and Music app make my Lumia 521 more pleasant to use again. I love all the other updates, but these two apps really bring down the whole experience, at least on my phone. In addition to the issues mentioned in the article (especially the lack of history is galling), what used to feel like a snappy phone now feels severely underpowered when running those two apps especially. Can't wait for this update.

aeschylus says:

I agree with this post 1000%!

deathdemon89 says:

+925 we really really need a decent FB app

Really hope they fix the game hub too

John20212 says:

The good thing about Xbox Music sucking so much is that I finally gave Nokia MixRadio a chance, and MS will really have to work hard to get me back to Xbox Music now.

 

davoben says:

Yeah, it's enough for me to consider dropping my monthly Xbox Music Pass and paying for the premium Nokia Mix Radio, which I turn to more often now.

Revi Bennett says:

Is miix radio coming as apart of the deal? Innoscene question.

Posted via the WPC App for Android!

Ouzzi says:

Okay, I don't care much about playlists or all the other missing stuff from the previous XBOX Music app (although I don't see a reason why they aren't available now) but I have this major annoying issue:

When I play my songs on shuffle, assuming I start with a song that starts with an "A" all the tracks coming are going to start with either an "A" or a "B" that's it. It won't shuffle my entire library.

I am guessing this is because I have my music stored on my memory card? But I've had the same music on my memory card with WP8.0 so I don't know what's wrong.

kingkoopa09 says:

she tell cortana play all, and shuffle it

Selfie13 says:

Awful is an understatement, and it baffles me that they have had so much time to improve the music experience and yet they taketh away. And a huge disappointment for me in this update overall, is the HUBS of People, Photo, Messaging, Music, and Games, Why! I can't upload a picture from my photos to OneDrive anymore, have to open OneDrive to import, I dont get it Microsoft, what was beneficial in doing this, maybe for some people, but definitely not me!

I have no problem with it on 8.0, works great even on my low end 521.

Corvodin says:

And it drains the battery on my 920 like a bastard.

Ronnet says:

Really strange. They had a rather good music player which was a relic from the Zune days. Why not learn from your own experience? I dont get why the Music app has to be this terrible. They know what needs to be done and how to do it. It's a good thing we also have Nokia's music player...

Jas00555 says:

Why is the heart icon a big deal? Didn't you run a story about how it has no purpose anymore?

astroXP says:

Touché. Since 8.0 doesn't work with Zune, the heart button doesn't serves a purpose. BUT if there were to create a new music app (not that ducking* Xbox Music) like Zune then it would be a whole different story.

Man, can't they just bring back Zune, create a Windows Store app out of it and then just rename it as Xbox Music whatever. COME ON!!!

kingkoopa09 says:

well originally it influenced songs that were played and you could auto sync your library by discarding songs with broken hearts kinda like many radio apps do now. With that and wireless syncing i had a new refreshing list of songs as well as on deman if i needed. THink more mixradio and xbox music as one app = zune 

Devmer11 says:

Looking forward to the optimized Facebook and Twitter I knew it was a preview and I expected some drawbacks but oh well that's the early adopter price :D either way I love the update

locokip says:

Thanks the Zune gods. I thought I was the only one having issues with the Music App. I thought it may have been because I still have the grandfathered "10 credits" account and this was their way of getting me to switch off. Can't wait for the update. Though telling Cortana "Play Passenger" is really cool!

TiLoBrown says:

Any word on a podcast update?

willboyce says:

I had it on trial. But prefer deezer.

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