Xbox Music – A promise broken too many times

November 24, 2014


“One can talk good and shower down roses, but it’s the receiver that has to walk through the thorns, and all its false expectations.” Anthony Liccione xbox-music

We return to the topic of Xbox Music. As the designated Xbox Music hater on staff, It has come to my attention that the Xbox Music app has been left un-updated since October. Novembers is coming to an end. Why is this important? Simple. When Windows Phone 8.1 initially launched, the reaction to the Xbox Music app was instantaneous, visceral and laced with profanity. The team reached out and promised that the app would be updated every two weeks for an indefinite time. They did not say the app would be updated. They said it would be updated “biweekly”. Windows Phone users did not hold a gun to their heads and force them to make a promise. They gave the time line themselves. So then, it was irritating when they first slipped on the schedule. The team made a post and apologized for missing the schedule and promised it would be there the next week. The updates began to come semi regularly and it was almost guaranteed that by Friday night, Xbox Music would have an update. Unfortunately, they started to slip again. Most embarrassing was when Windows Phone 8.1 Update was announced. Xbox Music enhancements were one of the announced features, and the updated app was nowhere to be found upon updating to GDR1 (incidentally, this seems to be repeating itself with Denim and Lumia Camera). To bring this all into perspective, here is the result of the updates to Xbox Music after a year.

Firstly, they’ve fudged up the system so that MPATool doesn’t work anymore. You can’t change artist and album pics anymore, nor can you add missing art. Actually, that’s not quite right. You can change artist pictures but the music app will choose to ignore it. Even if the live tile is enabled , if the Xbox Music service does not have an artist picture for a certain artist and you do XBM will still ignore it and show an irritating gray tile.

Album art is still a lottery, Either it shows up or it doesn’t. If it shows up, it could still vanish when you change the song, or while you’re staring at the screen.

The music lockscreen is virtually gone.

How about using Smart DJ to create autoplaylists for local music? Gone.

Viewing newly added music? Gone.


Gapless playback – never there.

Most played music? (A feature which my Nokia C3 had when I was in secondary school years ago) Nope.

Xbox Music believes I've only played three albums recently

Recent music? Replaced by that idiotic recent plays that is as reliable as a condom full of holes.

What have we gained? We’ve gained the ability to create playlists and scrub through music manually.

Isn‘t that just fantastic?

The music app as it stands now is blight on the Windows Phone experience. By promising to fix it and then failing while seemingly devoting attention to other platforms Microsoft is rubbing chili into the eyes of Windows Phone users and damaging their own reputation. Joe Belfiore himself could comment on this piece and promise that Windows 10 will fix everything, but promises from Microsoft about Windows Phone constantly fail to bear fruit.

All that aside, don’t worry readers. Xbox Music will get better soon and will definitely be fixed … in the coming months.

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