Microsoft unveiled Xbox Music today - their music-streaming Spotify competitor - that will be rolling out across all MS devices from Windows 8 PCs to Windows RT tablets, smartphones, and, of course, Xbox 360 consoles.
Much like Spotify, Xbox Music will offer an ad-supported free service alongside an ad-free premium service that require a $9.99/£8.99 per month subscription. Although the free version will be supported across PCs, tablets, and smartphones, you'll have to pay the subscription fee for the Xbox Music Pass if you want to stream from your console. Moreover, the hours available to free users will be limited after a six month period.
Microsoft are reporting more than 30 million songs in their global catalogue, but it should be noted that the numbers and catalogue entries for individual countries will vary.
“The launch of Xbox Music is a milestone in simplifying digital music on every type of device and on a global scale,” said Don Mattrick, president of the Interactive Entertainment Business at Microsoft. “We’re breaking down the walls that fracture your music experiences today to ensure that music is better and integrated across the screens that you care about most — your tablet, PC, phone and TV.”
Xbox Music will provide Smart DJ features for Genius-esque playlist creation, it'll allow you to sync playlists across the cloud, and update playlists with locally hosted tracks. However, there's no word on offline playlists...and frankly, with 3G coverage being as rubbish (and expensive) as it is, that could prove to be a dealbreaker.