Microsoft’s new Xbox Music service is going to include some of the best features from both Spotify and iTunes, according to a new report by Bloomberg.
Most notably, Xbox Music will offer both purchasable music downloads ala iTunes and monthly or annual subscription-based streaming like Spotify. Also, the report claims that Xbox Music will let you create a digital locker in which to store all your music and access it from many different devices whenever and wherever you want — including music purchased through other services. That’s the same sort of service that Apple proudly announced as part of iCloud in Steve Jobs’ final public product unveiling.
The service was initially codenamed Woodstock, then Xbox Music was officially announced at E3, a major video game industry conference that takes place in in Los Angeles each year. It’s not just tied to the Xbox 360, though; it will be the music service used by Windows Phone 8 smartphones and Windows 8 PCs and tablets.
In the earliest rumors, there were suggestions that Microsoft would also offer Xbox Music apps for other platforms like iOS and Android.
Microsoft is reportedly in talks with record labels to secure the rights to all the artists it wants to put in Xbox Music’s library. Labels being courted include EMI, Sony, Warner, and UMG. Since Xbox Music will completely replace the old Zune service, Microsoft will want to secure all of the labels in order to make sure that Xbox Music will have a library on par with Zune’s.
The original rumblings placed the launch date for the new service at sometime this fall, around the time that Windows Phone 8 and Windows 8 will be released, but that may change.