Microsoft Previews Music and Video Apps for Windows 10, Drops Xbox Branding
Microsoft, after releasing its Project Spartan browser as a part of the latest Windows 10 Technical Preview build, has now previewed new versions of its Xbox Music and Xbox Video apps for Windows 10 – called Music and Video.
The new Music and Video preview apps are available to download from the Windows Store Beta for Windows Insiders running the latest build of the Windows 10 Technical Preview, Microsoft’s blog post explains. Apart from being Universal apps, the main highlight of the new apps is the removal of the ‘Xbox’ branding that was seen in previous versions of the app for Windows 10. This should prove to be a positive step as it previously confused users who thought the Xbox Music and Xbox Videos apps were only available for the Microsoft gaming console, Xbox One. The preview apps are said to be similar to the Windows 8.1 Music and Video app offerings, but with slightly tweaked UIs.
With the Windows 10 Music Preview app, users can stream music, play local songs, and make playlists. Music added on Xbox Music Pass can also be played via the app. Easier access to settings and accounts options are also included in the new Music app.
Microsoft adds features like compact mode, dark theme, better back button navigation, right-click context menus, and buying music from Windows Store will also be coming soon for the app. It also has mentioned certain drawbacks Windows Insiders might face in the preview app. Heavy usage of the app might result in disappearing of galleries and showing of blank white page instead. Playback of Music Pass content might also show an error sometimes. No playback controls on hover when the app appears in the taskbar is another issue, which might soon be resolved.
As for the Windows 10 Video Preview app, it lets users browse and play videos including mkv files. It also plays content purchased from any Xbox Video device. Some of the upcoming features for the app are downloading of content for offline playback, improved searched results, improved settings, new device management, and more.
Microsoft says that testers of the Video Preview app will not be able to play content downloaded in other versions of the app, and can only stream them. It may also take several seconds to playback a purchased content. Adding and removing of libraries might also result in the hanging of the app.
While there are several features set to arrive for the new Music and Video apps, it is good to see how Microsoft is moving towards a more simplified naming scheme and apps with new UI and features.