July 3rd 2013 9:02 am PT

Updates to Xbox Entertainment Apps in Windows 8.1

Last week, Microsoft launched the Windows 8.1 Release Preview, including some new updates for the Xbox entertainment apps on Windows. Here’s a quick look at some of the changes in the Xbox Entertainment apps in the preview:

Xbox Games

  • Improvements to Search: Search from directly within the Xbox Games app using the new Search bar, access game extras in search results and view your achievements by date.

  • User Interface Updates: Browse your friends list or receive content notifications in easy-to-view tiles, and use Snap to access other apps while gaming.

Xbox Video

  • Streamlined Search: Through new and improved Windows search, access everything from your local drive to the web with the power of Bing, and easily find content from within the Xbox Video app.

  • Continuous Engagement: Continue to download your video, while you use other apps on your Windows 8 device. Or seamlessly snap other apps onto your screen while you watch, including in portrait mode.

  • More Content: Save your movies and TV shows to an SD memory card and use Play To for streaming user-generated content

Xbox Music

We shared last week that the new Xbox Music experience on Windows 8.1 is entirely redesigned from the ground up while still offering free streaming music.

Updates available now through the Windows 8.1 Release Preview include:

  • Faster, Easier Search: Access your favorite songs, artists and albums faster with an in-app Search bar, also made easier through Windows search powered by Bing.

  • Improved Collection Management: Simple access to your music starts in the “Collection,” where the music you’ve saved in the Xbox Music cloud and your local music will be at the forefront of the app.

  • Streaming Radio Stations: Radio offers seamless creation of new streaming Internet-radio stations based on artists you like and will give you faster access to your favorite Radio stations that you’ve already created.

Download the Windows 8.1 Release Preview and experience the Xbox entertainment apps for yourself today.

Later this year, be sure to check out the full launch of Windows 8.1 that will offer even more updates for Xbox Music and Xbox Video. With the launch of Xbox One, we’ll also be introducing an updated version of Xbox SmartGlass, making games and TV more interactive and immersive with new companion experiences on your smartphone, tablet and PC.

I also cross posted this on Xbox Wire


Xbox 360, Xbox Live By Larry Hryb, Xbox LIVE's Major Nelson

  • Haymo

    The Xbox Music app has improved in a way that makes it finally worth using. The Design is beautiful!

  • https://live.xbox.com/MyXbox/Profile?gamertag=DarkGin87 Lee Rayson (DarkGin87)

    Will have to wait for the full version to hit Surface RT

  • hypernovae

    Windows 8.1 preview on Surface RT makes it feel like a new device. These app updates, better performance and the extra row of icons make a world of difference

    • https://live.xbox.com/MyXbox/Profile?gamertag=DarkGin87 Lee Rayson (DarkGin87)

      wait you got it on the RT how ?

    • Dylan

      Edit: Double post

    • Dylan

      Off topic, I was wondering when you were coming back.

      I’m going to take this opportunity to say, “I told you so!”. Kind of an troll-ish move for me to do this but…
      I’d like to hear your opinion now that Sony didn’t do it, and Microsoft did a 180.

      Honestly, not trying to troll, just want to hear your opinion now after what has happened.

      “I think you’re over estimating your confidence in yourself. It’s almost certain the PS4 will have the exact same DRM requirements, they will just face the wrath the day they announce it. MS may have had a slight twist of brilliance getting this out before E3 so they can focus on games, while Sony will have their chance at the wrath all in one announcement. Please note, I hope i’m wrong, but I doubt Sony is going to go DRM free or else piracy will eat them alive.”


      • Nick Peck

        Check out sonys drm on the 4k box device they are coming out with for $700 soon :p Kinda funny lol.

        “And one other extremely intrusive proposal from Sony is the requirement that the player must be connected to the internet in order to play back the video. It must connect to the Sony authentication site, be approved, and then it can start playing the movie. If your internet connection happens to be down at that time, it is simply too bad, because your shiny new tv and player will not work.”

        • Dylan

          A dumb thing that I hope no one buys.

          But not really relevant to my post.

  • http://www.youtube.com/user/ZephyrnixLive Zephyrnix

    Yes. Smart Move Microsoft. Now just make Xbox Live FREE and …well…. BOO-YAH!….. No seriously, I know servers need money to keep ‘em going and stuff. But are you telling me that you don’t make enough money through advertisements to keep ‘em going even with every game having dedicated servers for the X1

  • Bobacreek

    Guys…..I think I have to change my shorts

    • https://live.xbox.com/MyXbox/Profile?gamertag=DarkGin87 Lee Rayson (DarkGin87)

      While your at it maybe put your grown up pants on to, that sort of comment is old and childish

      • Bobacreek

        Want to help?

  • x2i

    If I could get Windows 8.1 in the UK… this would be great -_-
    I hate it when things are region specific – is it really necessary for this?

    • Emily the Strange

      why waste time translating an English version for a PREVIEW? you still have to reinstall practically everything once RTM hits, why not just download US version and be happy about it? if not… well just wait for RTM.
      because in my opinion its silly to waste time translating too many languages for previews, specially when there is already an English version you could use (well if you are in x86-64 and you can get the ISO, if not.. oh well :P)

      • x2i

        Well, they wouldn’t really have to translate it because we also speak English here in the UK… i can deal with the fact that the word colour for example is missing a U in it because it’s spelt differently across the pond.

        I have tried the US version but because my native PC language is UK English, it doesn’t let you do the update. Re-installing everything is also not a problem or else I wouldn’t have attempted this.

        And finally, it’s a preview… meaning they’ve released it to the public for testing. It’s essentially a beta version and the feedback from us helps them make it better once it’s finally released – by limiting the amount of people who can access the preview, they have effectively lowered the amount of potential testers – therefore bugs might not get spotted quickly enough.

        • Emily the Strange

          well they obviously its not translating but they surely have to change “color” to “colour” and the same with other words.
          if they changed all that stuff for an English version, they could have also offered other languages but they didnt because they can wait.

          and you could install update from ISO… why didn’t you do it then? that way it wont care care about your language. the store problem is another problem because of conflicting with us and gb English stuff. but ISO was available 1 day after preview release, so you could have installed 8.1 that way.

          BUT From the store apparently you might be able to do it now, you might try to install the msu again, and see if it allows you.
          But sometimes store wont even find the update even though you have the update installed, so good luck with that, and good luck testing 8.1 because there are always troubles when you upgrade over a windows version. well… its obvious people get less features when you do a clean install. (that’s why I used the ISO, faster and easier and it avoids upgrading issues)

          also there was always a workaround before, to install the update as non-US English windows. didn’t you try it either? (If you cant still doesn’t work through store you can try it)
          1. Place and rename the MSU file in an easily accessible place, e.g. C:8previewpreview.msu
          2. open command prompt in administrator mode.
          3. Type: Expand –F:* c:8previewpreview.msu C:8preview
          4. Type: DISM.exe /Online /Add-Package /PackagePath:c:8previewWindows8-RT-KB2849636-x64.cab
          and well… only because some users from UK and Australia cant access the preview (or couldn’t before) it doesn’t mean there is already too many people testing the preview. and Store was just a test because that will be the new way of upgrading windows to new versions. you cant expect it to be perfect. again that’s why they were testing it for RTM. still there were too many reasons you could have ran it, even from store and using a non US English version. you just didn’t look too well.
          but its your choice if you want to try this buggy and not perfect windows version.

          • x2i

            I followed that guide and I got the preview to show in the store, but trying to download it gave me an error message so I just gave up… it was late at night and I just really haven’t had to spark to go and try it yet.

            My gripe is not really to do with this specific incident – it’s more region specific things in general. A lot of the time we get left out of a lot of stuff and I don’t think it’s fair just because we live somewhere else.

            But on the flip side, I guess little old me moaning about it ain’t going to change jack so I might as well just plod along eh? :)

          • Emily the Strange

            well like I said, there are reports now about Microsoft allows you to install on non US English versions, they apparently fixed the issue. have you tried updating to 8.1 today again?

            and well again, if you want to try it so bad, you can get the iso. but you know… it contains bugs and issues, that I wouldn’t rush to get this preview. if it requires you to do a lot of stuff.

            I only installed 8.1 in this computer because I don’t care about it, because I need to fix my main computer. but other computers would have 8.1 until it GA because its too much work to reinstall everything and while 8.1 is awesome, it can wait.
            or well you could always install VMware or Hyper v, get ISO install there and test it there in a place where you can see it and see whats new. that would be a safe and good place to test it.

          • x2i

            Could always install it on VMWare or something I guess – get the best of both worlds then :)

  • Alex

    Give us Xbox Music on IOS, Android, Desktop Apps Mac and PC and include the subscription w/ Xbox LIVE. BOOM

    • Avatar Roku

      Makes more sense to get Xbox Live for free with an Xbox Music annual subscription. $99 a year for both XBL and Music would be a great deal. Also a free ad-supported streaming service on would be nice.

  • Blank3k

    I tried Xbox Music when it was new on Windows 8 and it was junk, I’d be interested in trying it again as they have surely improved it but as there’s no free option (as I tried it before) I refuse to hand over £8.99 to try it out again.

    Especially when Grooveshark is completely free on PC, and can get it on mobile etc for £5/month and its by far & far a superior service to Xbox Music with a bigger catalogue & less frustration.

    But, Like I said I’d be willing to try it again for free but I’m not paying that kind of money when to my knowledge there’s a free & superior alternative service.

  • Avatar Roku

    Why doesn’t the Games app aggregate all of the games you’ve downloaded like the Windows Phone app does? I appreciate the option to pin your games to the start screen, but the games should also be launched from the Games app.

  • https://twitter.com/Ganon255 Ganon255

    Loving the Windows 8.1 preview, but it’s still a bit wonky, wait for the full release or install it on a spare PC

  • http://www.twitter.com/wixostrix WixosTrix

    I’m enjoying the new Xbox Music and Video apps very much. Love being able to play music direct from the search sidebar. You know what would be nice though? If games I have installed on my device are collected in the Games app.

  • GMUPatriots

    I really hope developers take more advantage of SmartGlass on XBox One than they have on the 360. I especially hope Madden 25 finally realizes the potential of the demonstration that EA showed off a year or so ago. I’d have more of a reason to invest in a tablet if a bunch of my games used SmartGlass in ways that helped me in game.

    • https://live.xbox.com/MyXbox/Profile?gamertag=DarkGin87 Lee Rayson (DarkGin87)

      On the 360 forza uses smartglass it and it not that bad saves me going into a menu to make a waypoint, but there meant to be slot more games having such features I hope Ryse has some smartglass feature

  • Daniel Lawson

    preview wont install on my system I get the 0x20017 error :-(

    • mcmax3000

      Same. I tried installing it today, and kept getting that error.

      • John T Greene

        run the kb file first

        • Daniel Lawson

          that just updates the store… I’ve done both that and through the ISO

  • x2i

    Cheers i’ll check it out :)

  • http://twitter.com/xbudz Xbudz

    Windows 8.1 is a big improvement over Windows 8, but there are still many, many improvements that need to be made.

    One thing that bugs me? You guys moved the Libraries location, I have to scroll down every-time to access them now. Grrr.

  • James Jiao

    Is the start button in Win8.1 the developers’ way of saying ‘f-you’?

  • Sledg

    Anyone else having problems loading xbox based apps in Windows 8.1? I get an open error and re-downloading it from the store does not fix it.

  • boe2

    You bought a mac, then proclaim you now use google chrome exclusively because “IE9 and 10 don’t work well”.

    Cool story.

    • Not_A_PC_Gamer

      Yes I bought a MAC but I still use the POS Windows 7 PC for a few work related things and YES I use Chrome exclusively on it. On the Mac.. that’s Safari buddy! :)

      • Alex_Atkin_UK

        How did you expect to like Windows 8 if you already hate Windows 7? No wonder you only gave it 3 days, you already made up your mind before you started.

        Personally I am primarily a Linux user but I use Windows 7 for gaming and Windows 8 for my convertible laptop. I have no problem with 7 at all, 8 yes it was a pain but fixable. Definitely not worthy of wasting the extra cash on a Mac.

        Perhaps the costs are different where you are, or you had a particularly pricey PC, but over here in the UK every time I look at a comparable Mac to a PC it IS priced double, or very close.

        • Not_A_PC_Gamer

          I didn’t hate windows 7, but I do windows 8.. it’s like learning how to ride a bike all over again and made everything 3 times more confusing for me.

          Yeah, I feel ya on the prices in the UK, my buddy is actually from Newcastle and is always telling me, “compared to you americans we usually end up paying more for the same things. Of course I’m only going off what he told me what you just said kind of confirms it.

          I am happy with my Mac thus far but there are still things to learn. Overall though, at least as far as how most things are handled, it’s very easy to use.

          Anyhow Alex, you can count your blessings.. at least you do live in Austrailia. Thanks for the comment!

  • Alex_Atkin_UK

    Wow, you gave it THREE DAYS then gave up? I mean sure I agree some things about Windows 8 ARE cumbersome after being used to Windows XP/7, but they are all fixable and cost nothing to do so.

    So you felt it was better to pay what is likely twice as much for a Mac, rather than fix the problem yourself for free? If you weren’t bothered about Windows then you could even have gone to Linux.

    From this I can only assume you are trolling, because the alternative is that you spent twice as much money because you couldn’t be bothered to do a few simple tweaks.

    • Not_A_PC_Gamer

      Yes 3 days and I gave up.. I’m a busy man and simply don’t have the time to learn something that is completely backwards and completely rethinks programs in general.
      Pay twice as much for a MAC? I think you are missinformed there buddy. It’s about 300 more for the model I’ve been eyeballing.
      A few simple tweaks? Are you kidding me? It’s not worth the time and effort… Period.
      Trolling? That’s such a Mellenium baby word.. but whatever floats your boat. It’s a shame someone can’t express their thoughts without being called such a 21st century digital boy term such as a troll

      • Alex_Atkin_UK

        Ah but an opinion after only 3 days of use is not an informed opinion.

        My knee jerk reaction to Windows 8 was also “it sucks” but I gave it a few months, as its the logical thing to do as you will notice the flaws first and the improvement over time. I discovered that all the issues I had with it were fixable and it generally runs smoother than Windows 7.

        • Not_A_PC_Gamer

          I agree it may not be the most informed opinion but 3 whole days was enough time for me. It was on a friday when I got it so I had about 3 days.. nearly 5 to 7 hours a day to mess around with it.

          What I thought was confusing as hell were the tabs.. There were tabs on the bottom and top, not to mention the options on the right. I also thought the whole Xbox intergration was confusing as well.

          What’s MS’s next option going to be for windows 9? I’d think pretty much everything after 8 is going to build on it and I really don’t like that idea much to be honest with you.

  • Paul Guenette

    I’m going to wait for the full version to be released, but can someone tell me if the “Push to Xbox” has been improved?

    Currently if I load too many videos into the queue of a format that the Xbox can’t normally handle on it’s own, it tends to get choppy or lockout.
    If I play one at a time, it’s smooth as glass with no lockout…most of the time.

  • John T Greene

    i love the upgrade form 8 still a bit buggy in some areas but asome work windows team

  • Blank3k

    Tried playing with it yesterday but didn’t get very far… fiddling today & I’m able to play Music it was asking me to pay for yesterday.

    Maybe there was a regional difference.

    Shall give it a proper try – I’d be willing to pay the “extra” £3 (over Grooveshark’s £5) if I can play it on Xbox One while gaming, though it would be nice if it was discounted for Gold members – as Gold members don’t seem to be getting much “in there hands” for the price right now

    • Daniel Lawson

      I have the older Zune Pass where I get 10 free songs a month… effectively making the monthly fee only 5 USD

  • Nick Peck

    Then why are you here? So paying double for a mac that has 3 year old hardware in it, money well spent lol. Have fun with that.

    • Not_A_PC_Gamer

      3 year old hardware in it? You make about as much sense as Obama care..

      • Daniel Lawson

        yes because the small and more nimble Windows 8 with everything in the side bar confused you… enjoy your limit hardware upgradability selection and future games that will be build for AMD hardware first and Intel second

        • Not_A_PC_Gamer

          Too bad not a single word you just said made absolutely no sense to me.. Sorry pal but I don’t follow tech, and I sure as hell don’t do PC gaming…

          You want to try explaining to me how getting a MAC laptop was a bad choice for me? It will be a cold day in hell before you can do that! :)

  • http://ordinarygamer.co.uk/ Dan Etheridge

    It didn’t get deleted. You just posted a link and that means Larry would have to approve the comment.

    • James Jiao

      yep. I figured this out later.

  • James Jiao

    Wait until you install SQL server mate. Yes. There is no folder structure on that Modern UI, so it gets littered with icons. A few more programs and you will have to use the search feature EVERY TIME you want to launch something. Good luck remembering the names of all the programs. Yes, that’s a prerequisite too. Unless I am mistaken and they’ve somehow changed that?

  • Not_A_PC_Gamer


  • Daniel Lawson

    rumors of a Platnum service have been bouncing around for a while