The Twitterverse got all a-flutter today with a tweet from Xbox Director of Product Planning Albert Penello, who said ad-supported music would be available to all Xbox One owners who happen to be Xbox Live Gold subscribers. Current Xbox 360 owners can access millions of streaming songs on Xbox Music only if they have a $9.99 monthly Xbox Music pass on top of their paid Xbox Live account, hence the excitement. It turns out Penello goofed.
In a follow-up tweet this afternoon, Penello admitted his mistake, saying that Xbox One owners will be able to get free Xbox Music tracks if they’re Xbox Live Gold subscribers. However, that offer of free Xbox Music tracks will only be good for 15 songs, at which point Xbox One owners will also need to pay for an Xbox Music Pass.
I was wrong about Music on XboxOne: You get 15 free song plays then need Music Pass for ad-free streaming. No ad-supported streaming. Sorry!
— Albert Penello (@albertpenello) November 6, 2013
Currently, the only way to get free Xbox Music tracks — ad-supported, of course — is to listen on a Windows 8 device or at the Xbox Music website. Both of those outlets offer ad-supported streaming for 10 hours over a six-month period. There’s also a 30-day trial of the Music Pass service, if you’re interested in listening to songs offline using several different devices.
Remember, Sony’s PS4 and Microsoft’s Xbox One are far more than gaming devices; they also play movies, manage TV, stream video and bake bread. Music, too, is key. In Sony’s case, the company has announced a $10 monthly streaming service through Music Unlimited, although the PS4 won’t play audio CDs, MP3s or media streamed from a PC via DLNA. Those options would, however, be up for “future consideration” via system updates.
Naturally, then, the opportunity to listen to free Xbox Music tracks seemed too good to be true. The Xbox One will support music from audio CDs, MP3s and DLNA, but free ad-supported streaming would be a huge musical win. But, it turns out that the concept really was too good to be true, because it isn’t. At least not once you hit track 16.