Microsoft is to use the Sony-owned Gracenote music database to identify and tag tracks that can then be streamed to almost any device. Xbox Music combines a Spotify-like music streaming service with the ability to play tracks from your own music collection on any device.
A new feature of Microsoft’s Xbox Music service, which costs £8.99 per month, will let you listen to the albums you’ve ripped to your PC or bought through iTunes on your Windows Phone, Windows 8 tablet or laptop or your Xbox. But you’ll also be able to use an iPhone or Android phone, making the service more flexible than Apple’s iTunes Match music-matching service.
Xbox Music can be used for free online at music.xbox.com or on a Windows computer, but Android, iPhone and iPad users will need to stump up £8.99 a month for unlimited streaming. As well as recognising songs stored on your computer or laptop and making them available for streaming, Xbox Music can stream songs that you’ve bought from the Amazon MP3 download service or iTunes.
To use Xbox Music on a phone or tablet you need to sign in to the app using a Microsoft account. This can be your Hotmail/Windows Live Mail/Outlook login, the account for your Windows 8 laptop or your Xbox console. If you haven’t bought an Xbox Music Pass, you’ll be prompted to start a 30-day trial of the service at xbox.com. After this, you’ll be able to listen to as much music as you wish, both from your own music collection and