Xbox Music To Challenge iTunes

Microsoft has launched a new streaming service like Spotify to make up for its failed Zune player some years back. Will it succeed?

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Microsoft will challenge iTunes and Spotify with a brand new music service called Xbox Music which launched yesterday, according to Rolling Stone.

Users will be able to stream from a catalog of 30 million songs through their Xbox, or PCs and tablets when Windows 8 launches on October 26.

Xbox Music will be ad-supported, but as with Spotify and similar streaming services, customers can pay $10 per month to remove ads.

Previous attempts by Microsoft to compete with Apple in the music space failed with its Zune music player. Now it seems that Microsoft has the eco-system in place to hook itself into the market with better device compatibility.

The success of the new music platform may depend on whether its forthcoming range of Windows 8 devices are a hit - but if you already own an iOS or Android device, you could still access Xbox Music when it launches on those platforms next year.

Many UG readers still prefer buying CDs, but streaming options continues to grow and the increase in competition could encourage better features at lower prices. What would it take to convince you to leap to streaming technology? Let us know in the comments.

17 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Zune failed? News to me - I'm still paying 8 a month for unlimited downloads...
    My friend has a Zune and she likes it a lot more then anything Apple did.
    Still have my Zune HD, still love it. The sound is really clear, paired with decent quality earbuds and you can really appreciate the sound quality it puts out. The only drawbacks are the lack of apps & 3rd party accessories. If the Zune HD had all the apps, accessories, connectivity that Ipod has, it would be selling strong. I say shame on Microsoft for the criminal lack of development (in the way of 2nd generation and beyond) and marketing.
    I loved my Zune. My only issue with it was the lack of apps in the store. There wasn't much that the Zune could do outside of music. But it didn't fail.
    Still have my Zune HD and loving it too. Love the clarity in the audio . Yeah it doesn't have many apps but I only used my iPod for music, nothing's changed here so I can live.
    I wouldn't say Zune failed, I know quite a few people that still own one and love them to death. Yeah they don't make Zunes anymore but most of the reason for that is because it wasn't launched alongside the iPod. By the time the Zune came out most people that wanted an MP3 player were already diehard Apple fans, I bet if the Zune had a simultaneous launch with the first generation of iPods they'd be a lot more popular.
    Likewise. The Zune was fantastic, but it did fail in the long run. It came out back in 2006, with the original 30 gb sized one, which is when I think that mp3 players started to really take off significantly. The marketing behind it wasn't anything special and the iPod was just ridiculously hard to compete with. I still love my HD to death. It's nice that its compatible with my 360 as well.
    My zune no longer works, and the issue it has apparently can't be fixed. Microsoft no longer supports Zune, so I'm sol. I miss my zune
    I love zune! but i've had three fail on me. which sucked and made me give up on them. now my ipod hasn't broke yet but zunes are way better, and the software is about 1000 times better!
    I hope they do a fix to let us stream music to our Zunes!! I've owned three Zunes. Lost one, one got stolen from my car, and I got a new one to replace the stolen one. I will never give in to iPods. The Zune interface is so much better.
    There's already on xbox, and unless Xbox Music lets you listen while you're playing a game (something doesn't offer) then I don't care.
    I love Spotify, so I'd love to see what Microsoft can do to make their Xbox Music service independent from Spotify, iTunes, and others. But I won't be spending any money on it 'til I can decipher whether it'll outdo Spotify or not.
    I'm not sure Zune was a failure, per se... I just think Apple got into everyone's heads so well that even if someone had a Zune it would be their 'iPod'. My parents, who are very un-technological and zone out with all this tech advertising, call their mp3 players iPods when they're not. The Zune is a good player, it was just always fighting a losing battle with the incredible marketing of Apple.
    Kind of the way every toaster pastry is a Pop-Tart, or every adhesive bandage it a Band-Aid. Ipod has basically become the brand name and the generic term for the type of thing. But I'm stubborn, I call my Zune a Zune, or I call it The Precious, LOTR style, because I found it on my birthday (true story).
    As a kid who grew up with an Atari 2600 console, I had to buy cassette tapes and record music from the radio. I couldn't make copies of cassettes that I borrowed from my friends until I could afford a dual cassette deck. I will never cease to be amazed by news like this.
    I was one of the Zune folks when it came out. I was more affordable than the Ipod at the time. Overall, I like it and I still use it. I think Zune failed in marketing, because it was not done well. I would even call "my ipod" when talking to others, because it's so engrained in our heads. I've since gotten an iphone and use that for music most of the time. However, I will use the Zune in the car or at the gym and it is holding up fine.