It looks like there will soon be a new entrant into the streaming music arena, as Microsoft has officially taken the wraps off of its new Xbox Music service. Touted as an "all-in-one music service," Xbox Music will offer a catalog of 30 million tracks and will allow users to listen to music for free (with ads) on Windows 8 products, and there will also be a paid tier that will allow for playback on the Xbox 360 and Windows Phone 8 devices for $9.99 per month. Along with streaming music, Xbox Music users will be able to create playlists or Pandora-like artist stations and purchase tracks that they'd like to keep. A cloud locker storage feature is also planned.
Microsoft has said that Xbox Music will launch on the Xbox 360 on October 16, and it'll continue its rollout with the debut of Windows 8 on October 26. Microsoft is planning to release Xbox Music apps for Android and iOS "eventually."
With a large catalog and the option to do things like actually purchase tracks, it sounds like Microsoft has mashed up the features of several other music services to form Xbox Music. Many folks in the U.S. likely think of Pandora or Spotify when they think of streaming music services, so Microsoft will have to work to make consumers aware of Xbox Music and convince users of other services to try it. Preloading Xbox Music as the default player with Windows 8 ought to help that cause, as it's wise for Microsoft to be planning Android and iOS apps as well. How many of you currently use a streaming music service? Does Xbox Music sound like something you'd be willing to try?