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Microsoft presses play on Xbox Music for iOS, Android apps

The subscription music-streaming service expands to rival mobile platforms and a free, ad-supported Web player.

Steven Musil Night Editor / News
Steven Musil is the night news editor at CNET News. He's been hooked on tech since learning BASIC in the late '70s. When not cleaning up after his daughter and son, Steven can be found pedaling around the San Francisco Bay Area. Before joining CNET in 2000, Steven spent 10 years at various Bay Area newspapers.
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Xbox Music on iOS (left) and Android. Microsoft

Microsoft is expanding the reach of its Xbox Music streaming service with the launch of apps for the iOS and Android mobile platforms and free streaming on the Web.

Previously available only to users of Windows-powered devices, the service now allows users of Android and iOS devices to subscribe to receive unlimited access to their preferred music via the Xbox Music Pass, which costs $9.99 per month or $99.99 per year. The Web player is available on an ad-supported basis or ad-free with a subscription.

The tech titan said users of the free Web service will have on-demand access to 30 million songs.

"Xbox Music now, more than ever, powers music experiences between Windows 8, Xbox, Windows Phone, and now iOS, Android and the Web," Xbox General Manager Jerry Johnson said in a statement.

The expansion comes less than a year after the company revamped its Zune Music service to better compete against Apple's iTunes, Pandora, and Spotify. Like rival Sony, Microsoft has been trying to turn its game console into the entertainment hub of the home.

Originally announced last year at the E3 gaming expo, the offering was baked into the Xbox 360 and Windows 8. While Microsoft promised a year ago it would make Xbox Music available on iOS and Android, this appears to be the first time the company has made one of its entertainment services available on the rival platforms.