Microsoft tunes up Windows 8 Xbox Music app

The Windows 8 and RT Music app now offers an option to sync your music in the cloud.

Screenshot by Lance Whitney/CNET

Microsoft has tweaked its Xbox Music app with a few audible enhancements.

The app now lets you add and sync your songs from your local library to the cloud so they're available on your other Windows 8 or RT devices. You can also automatically add any matched songs from your library to the cloud.

You have more options when listening to an album. You can tell the app to repeat as well as shuffle songs. You can turn on a Smart DJ feature that tries to create a playlist based on songs you may like. Finally, Xbox Music offers its own dedicated volume button through the appbar. So you no longer need to navigate all the way to the Windows 8 Settings panel to adjust the volume.

Like certain other Windows 8 apps, Xbox Music continues to feel rough around the edges. Microsoft has tried to create one app that ties together your local music, music in the cloud, and a store in which to buy music. That's hardly unique. Most music players and apps are set up that way.

But navigating around Xbox Music is still clumsy, even when compared with iTunes, Amazon Music Player, and other music apps. The update smoothed some of the app's rough spots, so I hope Microsoft keeps playing with it to fine-tune it even further.

Windows 8 and RT users should receive a notice inviting them to download the update the next time they open Xbox Music. They can also launch the Windows store and download the update from there.

 

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