Microsoft has tried its hand at music multiple times, from an Xbox DJ and music app that debuted years ago with J Allard mixing the tunes at E3 to the failed Zune hardware that eventually evolved into the Zune software that manages tunes and your Windows Phone updates. It’s funny how everything comes full circle, though, as Microsoft seems to have found a home with Xbox Music.
A Web version of Xbox Music is slated to hit the Internet next week, a Microsoft rep has told Engadget, with sources telling The Verge that Xbox Music will actually function similarly to the web version of Spotify. That functionality is said to include streaming music and playlist management directly through a web browser. And no, it won’t be tied just to Internet Explorer.
Xbox Music has heretofore been available only to people using a Microsoft device running a Microsoft operating system. For instance, Xbox 360 owners have grown accustomed to using Xbox Music, which shouldn’t be surprising considering the Xbox 360 has become more popular for streaming movies and multimedia than for actually playing games. The music service has also been available for Windows 8, Windows RT (hello, tablet) and Windows Phone 8.
The web version of Xbox Music will obviously open Microsoft’s music service to owners of any device and users of any operating system, including Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android. The only caveat will be that the device has web-browsing functionality through Safari, Firefox or Chrome, for instance. The Xbox Music website will be music.xbox.com, and according to Engadget, the interface will look “significantly different” from what users are currently used to seeing.
It remains unclear whether the Xbox Music service on Xbox 360 will get a visual update as well, and of course it’s still uncertain how Xbox Music on Xbox One will look and feel. However, considering Microsoft’s laser-like focus on entertainment functions when they revealed the Xbox One, Xbox Music is likely to be a key player in the Xbox One interface — insofar as a service can actually play a role in a user interface. After all, it’s not a real-life DJ.