Xbox Music for iPhone review: Strong performer, but lacking in features

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3

CNET Editors' Rating

3.5 stars Very good
  • Overall: 7.9
  • Installation and Setup: 7.0
  • Features and Support: 7.0
  • Interface: 8.0
  • Performance: 9.0
Review Date:
Updated on:

The Good Xbox Music has a clean and simple interface that's very responsive while you search for and listen to music.

The Bad There are no music discovery features. There is no way to browse genres.

The Bottom Line Xbox Music feels more like a first foray into music streaming rather than a finished product; it's functional, but it needs more features to compare with established apps like Spotify.

Don't Miss

Xbox Music for iPhone is Microsoft's streaming-music service that's taking aim at services like Spotify and Slacker Radio, but isn't quite up to speed just yet. The interface is mostly intuitive and the app is smooth and responsive, but it lacks features found in other services, making it hard to recommend to those who don't own an Xbox. With that said, if you do have an Xbox at home (preferably one that's hooked up to your whole entertainment system), it's definitely worth a look.

Getting started
To get started, you'll need an Xbox account along with an Xbox Music Pass. There is a 30-day free trial you can sign up for at Xbox.com under the music tab, but it requires a credit card. From there, you'll have 30 days to decide whether you want to keep the service, but it will cost you $9.99 per month after your 30-day trial (or you can get a 12-month pass for $99.90). Once you have the Music Pass, you can listen to music on your desktop through a Web browser or on your iPhone. Xbox music is not optimized for iPad at launch, but you can use pixel-doubling from the iPhone app.

Finding and playing music
In keeping with the design aesthetic of the Windows 8 and Windows Phone interface, Xbox Music keeps the look simple -- unfortunately, compared with other services, the features are pretty simple as well. To find music, you can use a search field to look for specific artists and songs, but there is no way to browse through musical genres. There is also no music discovery tools like featured artists, popular music, or any Microsoft curated content. With this app, you simply search for a song or artist you already know to make playlists or start listening right away.

Don't Miss

 

Join the discussion

Conversation powered by Livefyre

Where to Buy

Xbox Music (iOS)

Part Number: id669515221
Pricing is currently unavailable.

Quick Specifications See All

  • Regional specs shown for US. UK specs are unavailable.

  • Category Music and audio
    Entertainment
  • Compatibility iOS