How many of you remember Zune, Microsoft's last attempt at taking on Apple when it comes to music business? That venture obviously did not succeed. But the Redmond company feels that the time is ripe for another crack. They have just unveiled Xbox Music, which is a digital music service, that is going live for the Xbox 360 today. After the launch of Windows 8, the service will be expanded over to smartphones, tablets, notebooks and PCs.
Xbox Music will be going head to head with competitors such as Apple's iTunes Store, Amazon's Cloud player, Google Play and even Spotify. Much like the last name mentioned, the service will offer a free, ad-supported version and a paid, ad-free version which users can subscribe to. Like iTunes Match, there is also going to be a Smart DJ feature which will recommend tracks and tunes based on past history. Content will be available in WMA format and encoded at 192Kbps for streaming and downloading while purchased files will be DRM-free and streamed at 256Kpbs.
Android and iOS devices will also be getting access to the service. However amazingly, Windows Phone 7 users will not be able to avail the benefits of Xbox Music. In addition, Xbox 360 users will only be able to stream content and will not have access downloading tracks onto their console.