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Xbox Music to offer on-demand music free on tablet

LAST UPDATED: 04:41 a.m. HST, Oct 15, 2012

LOS ANGELES » Buyers of tablets that run Microsoft's newest operating system, Windows 8, are in for a pleasant musical surprise: they'll be able to handpick from a selection of millions of songs and stream them for free as long as they put up with an audio ad every 15 minutes.

The new feature, called Xbox Music, is not on offer anywhere else at the moment.

Sweden's Spotify, for instance, allows track selection and playback on personal computers for free — with the occasional audio ad — but doesn't allow you to pick exactly the song you want on tablets unless you pay $10 a month for its premium subscription.

Although this is a step forward for the music industry, its appeal is limited by the expense of most mobile data plans. Most cost more the more data you use, which can make streaming music on cellular networks fairly expensive.

The free version of Xbox Music won't let you download songs and save them for offline playback. That will require paying $10 a month.

The paid subscription is also required if you want to use Xbox Music on the Xbox 360 game console or on smartphones that use Windows Phone. On the game console, an Xbox Live Gold membership, which costs $60 a year, is also required.

On PCs running Windows 8, Xbox Music will basically match Spotify's offer of free track selection and playback.

In a demonstration on Friday, Xbox Music General Manager Jerry Johnson showed how one's playlists are saved online and can be accessed when switching between the service on the Xbox 360 game console, a Windows Phone and a Windows 8 tablet.

Each iteration looked similar and had a clean interface with sharply detailed cover art. Xbox Music will be the default music player on all new Windows 8 devices, which will be available upon the launch of the new operating system on Oct. 26.

Current users of the Xbox — about 66 million worldwide — will gradually be introduced to the service with a 30-day free trial starting Tuesday.

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adri1456 wrote:
But the good news is that Zune will still be available to us on Windows 7 (and Windows Phone 7).
on October 15,2012 | 05:53AM
nodaddynotthebelt wrote:
Whereas you have to pay for the Xbox Live Gold for $60 a year, you can stream music without paying a $60 a year toll just to stream on Sony's Playstation Network. You just pay for the music service.of $10 a month. The music service is called Qriocity and allows you to select the albums and tracks to play. And there are no ads when using this service. So this service by Microsoft is actually not a new thing. Qriocity has been around for about two years. That is another thing about Sony's Playstation Network. You can play games online without paying a yearly toll like on Xbox Live. So if you are buying video games, you are better off buying them for the Sony Playstation because you don't have to pay to play online. If you are a parent, like myself, the cost of the yearly toll adds up. If you pay $60 a year for Xbox Live Gold then you can end up paying $480 by the time your kid reaches 18 years old. And that's just the toll. That does not include the cost of downloadable items.
on October 15,2012 | 09:26AM
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