1. bguy_1986's Avatar
    Just going to copy this from the Microsoft Community Forum. Doesn't sound like things are a lot better. I have it on a VM so I can't test it all that well.

    XBox Music - Windows 8.1 Preview

    Since yesterday I have been fiddling with the new version of XBox Music released with Windows 8.1 Preview. Once again I had high hopes for this update, only to be let down. Despite a (somewhat) improved visual interface, the main issues with the app remain unchanged. Paul Thurrott wrote a fairly critical post (which I happen to agree with), wherein he describes the update as "lipstick on a pig": http://winsupersite.com/windows-8/ha...xbox-music-app

    Here is my reaction to the new XBox Music:


    Interface
    - A big improvement, though still not great.
    - Strange that Playlists are always displayed, even when you are not in "Collection". Takes up unnecessary screen real estate that could be better used, for instance...
    - I think a vertically scrolling Artist menu, akin to the ones toward the left side of the interface in Zune or iTunes is sorely needed (not to be confused with the "Artist" view in Collection). Currently jumping around your collection is still cumbersome using the alphabetical bookmarks.
    - Interface displays all artists whose name starts with "The" in the following format: "Police The". Very odd. Surely the sorting can properly display this as "The Police" and still have it show up under "P"?
    - So are we just totally done with song ratings at this point? A lot of users would REALLY like the ability to rate songs...personally I am in favor of a 5-star system, but at this point I would take what I can get.


    Playlist Management
    - A decrease in usability, at least as far as my experience:
    - We REALLY need the ability to manually import individual playlists and/or manually choose the directory where playlists should be imported from.
    - I have playlists created in iTunes, as well as older playlists created in Zune. With the previous version of XBM it would import all playlists from either source, and I could at least then delete the ones I didn't want to appear any longer. Now it has stopped importing my iTunes playlists completely, and only shows the ones from Zune.
    - For some odd reason the list displays my playlists completely out of order (not alphabetically). There is no option to sort these.


    Music Matching / Cloud Features
    - Here's the big one. Again just based on my experience this is even worse than before:
    - Several hundred songs have once again been added to my collection, even though I have "Music In The Cloud" disabled (and have had it disabled since the install). I would love to just delete these songs easily from my collection (again) but this is simply not possible - clicking the "In the Cloud" view option still shows mostly LOCAL files on my computer. I will need to manually select and delete only the songs marked with the radio symbol from the thousands of other songs on my local drive.
    - Hoping that there might be some improvement from the last version, I held my breath and enabled "Media Info". Once again my collection has been destroyed and overwritten with erroneous metadata, re-titling albums, incorporating the wrong artists, renaming songs, splitting albums etc. In many cases it changed even more things than in the previous release. PLEASE incorporate the option to "Only update missing metadata" that Zune had. PLEASE allow us to clear metadata that is incorrect, and manually enter the correct data. The "Match Album Info" option simply does not work well enough. Even turning off Media Info, uninstalling, and reinstalling XBM does not wipe the erroneous metadata - I am now seemingly stuck with it.


    Sync Capabilities
    - Not that anyone promised it, but I still find it frustrating to have to use a completely separate app (or multiple separate apps) to get music onto your device. Why use multiple separate sync tools when programs like iTunes and Zune allow you to sync directly from the music program you do everything else in?


    I've read that this update represents only "50%" of the new XBM experience - I really hope the other 50% makes greater improvements than this. Has anyone else found anything they like/dislike about the new version? I would be interested to hear people's opinions.
    Kevin Rush, dgr_874 and Neibl like this.
    07-03-2013 06:16 AM
  2. gsquared's Avatar
    Thanks. I'll have to see for myself when the NON-BETA version is released.
    berty6294 likes this.
    07-03-2013 09:03 AM
  3. _Emi_'s Avatar
    "Just lipstick on a pig!"? really? Im sorry but what you are using its in PREVIEW for a reason...
    When the App and OS you are using, isnt in PREVIEW, and its released for everyone, then you can come and complain all you want. before that sounds just a bit silly, because you DONT even know how final version will look like. yeah you pointed out about what Microsoft said about it only being 50% of final xbox music.

    stop treating preview/beta versions like if they were RTM. its obvious its a work in progress, if you cant stand it... well you can always go back to 8.0 and wait until RTM hits.
    because nothing is going to change you are using a non-finished product. if i wanted to, of course i can complain about win8.1 preview bugs and stuff not working properly, or about IE11 and how some sites dont work, and how I have to close it from Task manager too many times during the day, how some links cant be downloaded and if you retry/resume and then you can to cancel it it will hang there, also how new unified search is not fast enough, and isnt finding the same that i used to find in old 8.0, or how some apps didnt update, until I uninstall and reinstalled them and other things that dont work properly. but like I said its a PREVIEW, so its silly to complain when none put a gun on your head to upgrade, since you did it at full knowledge it would be a PREVIEW and that means not complete in some features and with bugs.

    again, you even mention how Microsoft said it was only 50% of whats coming... so why don't you just wait until you see the remaining 50% of Xbox music? and don't start making threads about how its just a lipstick on a pig. because you really don't know what's coming and you are still using a preview version that is supposed not to be complete, if not it wouldn't be a preview.
    AiR DEGETA likes this.
    07-03-2013 02:51 PM
  4. bguy_1986's Avatar
    None of this is set in stone... but I think there is a difference between beta and Preview..

    Could I have a link to the article that said it was only 50% of the final xbox music? I have not seen that anywhere. Some of it may get fixed, like playlist and the sorting music but I find it hard to believe that they are going to add things like rating and sync before they release the full version. Most of the other issues are issues that should have been a priority and fixed immediately like music duplication. They are pushing out the same POS that they had, it just looks nicer now and you can finally search.

    Beta vs. Consumer Preview


    A beta is the stage of software development process when a product and its features are complete, but there is a need to test it in real situations and remove all bugs. The beta testing is restricted to a select group of technicians who test it and root out all the bugs. A small group of customers and technical developers continue to try the product free of charge. A consumer technology preview is a testing with public access. The preview is released to the public with feedback and support mechanism.

    Difference between Windows 8 Beta and Windows 8 Consumer Preview


    Kevin Rush likes this.
    07-03-2013 03:53 PM
  5. prettyconfusd's Avatar
    There's plenty of articles (Win Super Site, The Verge, even one of the official blogs mention it in a post) saying that it's maybe 50% done and the final version won't be launching till 8.1 RTM gets released and that should come with a complete re-fresh of the entire Xbox media service (Paul Thurrott's has mentioned this many times).

    As for the definition of 'beta'. That's very old school thinking and absolutely not how things have been working at Microsoft with Windows 8. Even the Developer beta was publicly available!

    We live in a modern world where anyone can be a developer and Microsoft have moved with the times to provide their betas to everyone who wants it. This could be for developers who want to build new apps, or enthusiasts that want to use the latest technology before it gets released. These releases still come with the disclaimer that they're not final versions and therefore may include bugs, missing features, and other quirks.

    I'll admit I was pretty shocked at how unstable the preview was when I first installed it (though that could also have been down to it being an Atom device and mine's pretty much the only model supported at first) compared to all three Windows 8 previews which were pretty solid. It's gotten better with the updates.

    I took one look at the Xbox Music app, realised that while it has a much better interface and is much faster, it's clearly nowhere near final and promptly went back to Zune desktop, lol! There's no point causing my music collection any more problems than they received when I tried to use the original app back in October!

    Looking at the features that still perhaps aren't working and the features that aren't even there and providing constructive feedback regarding your experience using the app both here on the forum and to Microsoft is a great thing and should be encouraged, just don't focus them as complaints.

    But really, I wouldn't judge anything in this release as being anything like the final (we already saw at //Build/ that Microsoft are using versions of 8.1 much further along that what they released, just look at the mail app!) especially the consumer features when this is mainly targeted for developers and enthusiasts, who shouldn't mind (and be prepared for) if there are bugs and missing features etc. That you installed it in a VM says you understood that part at least.

    I think Microsoft will get Xbox Music right with their next major release, they dropped the ball big time last year (I read an article that they'd had the service build out of a very young software house in France) but they apparently they're learned and have a pretty large team working on it now so by September we should get a decent service at least on par with Zune again. With both Google and Apple entering the space in the past few months I'm sure a massive spotlight has been shone on the Music team to make sure they can match their new competitors pretty quickly. I think the web streaming was probably released a little earlier than planned to try and get some positive buzz on their offering and otherwise would have come out with the re-launch.

    They at least have a better interface than before which is big improvement in usability. Fingers crossed they continue working on everything else.

    There's already a great feature in the web player that allows you to delete albums from your collection, I'd hope (and expect) we'll continue to see more music management features appear over time. If Outlook.com and SkyDrive are any indication, anyway.

    Still, I'm not gonna move back to the app on my main machine until I see lots of success stories online later in the year!
    07-06-2013 10:34 AM
  6. Piratelooksat40's Avatar
    I am amazed that people on this site are defending Microsoft and this product at this time. I can't believe anyone would say, wait until the final product. You absolutely have to let Microsoft know you are unhappy or they will think things are fine. Just think about what happened with Xbox One. I can assure you that they think that the music on 8.1 is a great improvement. It is completely obvious that they have built Xbox music for one scenario, for people that are going to use their service exclusively, and they are going to have all the music in the cloud. This would have been a great strategy had it been done 10 years ago, and if everyone had unlimited bandwidth, but that is not the case.

    You need to remember, all Microsoft employee's have company cell plans the include unlimited data, so when they are building products they don't ever think about anyone else that has to stream data to their phone. They think everyone has unlimited data and are always connected. The Xbox Music team needs to think about a scenario where people already have lots of music, where they are not connected to the internet, where they have already invested time and money in another service like iTunes or Zune and focus on them. They will not do any of this without people calling them on the carpet.

    Quit frankly, I am really surprised that someone has not come up with a better Windows 8 app and Windows 8 phone app to manage and play music on a windows phone. If I could find an app right now that I could Manage and play MP3's on my computer and my phone I would jump on it immediately and never look back.
    07-06-2013 11:35 AM
  7. Musicman247's Avatar
    Pointing out flaws is absolutely essential to something getting better. Pointing them out here, however, does nothing. If you are having issues you should go to the official MS forums and let them know.
    07-06-2013 11:56 AM
  8. biboyflip's Avatar
    I thought "lipstick on a pig" is reserved for ios7..
    07-06-2013 12:16 PM
  9. Simon Gregory's Avatar
    MS haven't been listening to these problems since day 1. They are in complete denial. The only thing they flinched at was the master list of issues, which they have now shut down. The only way we can make our voices known is through a single concerted effort which will get noticed. The user voice page should be this medium, but they seem to completely ignore this too.

    I have an idea, which I will try to get round to doing in the next few days but we will need to work together to get as many aggrieved people to post in the same place. Maybe then places like WPC will pick it up too. It's the only way we'll get a response to this issue.

    In the mean time, post ur suggestions as to things we can try....
    Kevin Rush and dgr_874 like this.
    07-08-2013 07:09 AM
  10. Ridemyscooter86's Avatar
    Or just use spotify, itunes, pandora, iheartradio, slacker, the list goes on and on.....

    I never used xbox music because I've never thought it was very good either, or at least not compared to zune. I use spotify now and it syncs between all of my devices very well, and is generally coded pretty well too...
    07-08-2013 09:06 AM
  11. Kevin Rush's Avatar
    I agree with Simon. We need a single place to post the issues and find some way to get MS to pay attention. I don't think we need to start over listing issues though. There are so many lists of the issues scattered in so many places. Could we aggregate the best posts?

    Maybe we should encourage a campaign of email and posting where we all use the same catch phrase such as "Iff Zune ... XBox Music" and then list the link to the aggregated postings.

    The phrase could be a rally point. (FYI, Iff is math shorthand for "if and only if"). Or simply "Zune player > XBox Music".

    Just my thoughts.
    07-08-2013 10:06 AM
  12. bguy_1986's Avatar
    I'd be game for that, but maybe we should wait until the final release? If what prettyconfused said is right, it sounds like a lot more improvements are coming. I haven't found or looked for an article so I'll go by what prettyconfused said. Would be nice if wpcentral would put an article up! :)
    07-09-2013 08:50 AM
  13. iradeut's Avatar
    In the interest of providing Microsoft with some feedback that might get us a usable product, I want to point out two annoyances that could be easily fixed...

    1. In the search box, offer the choice of search only files "on this PC" BEFORE hitting the search button. Even better, offer this as a default.

    2. The search should be capable of calling up info from any metadata field. I was looking for a particular song by a particular artist, and couldn't find it because it was on a compilation. Right now search only finds Album Artist and NOT Contributing Artist.
    07-09-2013 10:26 AM

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