updated 01:29 pm EST, Wed December 18, 2013
Microsoft brings Xbox media apps to Windows Phone
Microsoft has rolled out a pair of Windows Phone 8 users the ability to access its Xbox Music and Xbox Video services. The two new standalone apps will sync playlists between a user's Windows Phone device and any other computers running the Xbox Music or Video app, with playlists and other content persistent between them. The apps have rolled out ahead of the expected release of Microsoft's next major Windows Phone update, Windows Phone 8.1.
The Xbox Music app is currently listed as a preview, with the complete version likely to debut in Windows Phone 8.1. The Xbox Music service allows users to share their collection across multiple devices, and the new app allows for downloading songs for offline playback.
The app does, though, require an Xbox Music Pass in order to function. Those passes are available at music.xbox.com, with a 30-day trial offered for free. Thereafter, the service costs $10 per month, though users can also buy a year of access for $100. The subscription cost, in addition to unlocking the Windows Phone 8 app, extends unlimited listening to a user's phone and living room devices. Upon subscribing, users get ad-free streaming on a PC, Windows Phone 8 device, and on Xbox consoles.
The Xbox Video app grants access to a range of new blockbuster films, older movies, and a wide range of television shows. Purchasing content on one device makes it available across a user's phone, PC, tablet, Xbox One, or Xbox 360.
Both the Xbox Video and Xbox Music apps are available as free downloads in the Windows Phone Store.