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Valve Gets Into Music With Steam Music Limited Beta

On Sunday, Valve Software launched its Steam Music Beta, the next step in the company's mission to provide a complete, multimedia-rich platform in the living room. However, don't get too excited just yet; this music service plays the tunes you already own, and currently doesn't provide music to purchase.

"With Steam Music, you can now listen to your music collection while playing games. Once you've pointed Steam to your local music directory, your Steam Library will include Album and Artist views of your collection," reads Valve's introduction in the Steam Music group.

From there, users can view and play tracks, manage the queue, and access the Steam Music player by pressing the guide button on the controller. Don't have one? Access the active player from Big Picture or SteamOS for those using the classic mouse and keyboard.

When the gamer loads up a favorite title, the music player will appear in-screen on an overlay. This overlay can be accessed so that gamers can manage the current playlist, browse the music collection and listen to any track.

"With this beta, we're getting started with what we believe to be the most fundamental set of features to offer a great music listening experience within Steam," reads Valve's blog. "As always, our next steps for the feature will be influenced by your beta feedback, so please share your feature requests, thoughts, and experiences in the music discussions."

Currently, the limited beta is only planned for Big Picture and SteamOS, but a desktop version will be released soon. To get into the beta, you need to be a member of the Steam Machines group, which can be accessed right here. Beta participants will be randomly selected from members of this specific group.

Valve revealed its plans for a music service in the fall when it introduced SteamOS. "We're working with many of the media services you know and love," reads the SteamOS intro page. "Soon we will begin bringing them online, allowing you to access your favorite music and video with Steam and SteamOS."

Game streaming is another feature Valve is currently testing. Invitations went out last month to random participants who signed up for the Streaming Group. Any two computers in a home can be used to stream a gameplay session, allowing users to play games on systems that would not traditionally be able to run those games.

"For example, a Windows only game could be streamed from a Windows PC to a Steam Machine running Linux in the living room," reads the company's explanation.

  • bluekoala
    I find this very exciting. I already created a partition on my HDD for when SteamOS is ready for prime time.
    Reply
  • biohazrdfear
    This is a really neat feature if you want music integrated within your Steam in game overlay. People will say, "why not be lazy and just use media player". Well, doing is half-assed like that is always tacky.
    Reply
  • Some spotify integration at some point would be quality
    Reply
  • red77star
    And this is end of Microsoft XBOX Music :)
    Reply
  • biohazrdfear
    No, its definitely not the end for Xbox music because there are too many Windows and Xbox users out there, and more than likely isn't a music service as a whole. Example: Steam/Valve won't have a music market where you can download the newest Justin Beiber album.. This just gives Steam users like me a clean, new integration that allows us to play our music and control our music in game, rather using an alternative program like Spotify or Pandora in the background.
    Reply
  • biohazrdfear
    Now, if Valve does pull that off and feature a full blown music market, then all the more power to them. I just don't see that happening, because I can't see Valve as a music partner. If they offer a music service, they may as well throw out the cash for movie licenses and compete with Netflix, too. Not only that, lets throw in everything else that doesn't relate to games. YOU CAN GET IT ON STEAM! /sarcasm
    Reply
  • red77star
    Is Windows is going to continue be OS like Windows 8 or they finally decided to match that Metro Crap?

    Watch the language. - G
    Reply
  • biohazrdfear
    See, here's the thing. Windows 8 literally smokes Windows 7 in speed and performance. Everyone about Metro. What is so wrong with it? WHAT is SO HARD about Windows 8 to NAVIGATE through it? Does not having an out dated, stale Start menu really make everyone that ? Get over it people. If you don't like Windows 8, put a plug in your ass and wait until Windows 9.

    Watch the language. - G
    Reply
  • biohazrdfear
    I said the same crap about Windows Vista. If you weren't a broke joke and actually got a computer that was worth a damn, Vista was the best OS you could think about getting. I wasn't touching Windows XP after I had a fiddle around with Vista. Everyone said Vista was terrible. It was wonderful for me, and so is Windows 8.
    Reply
  • bloodroses75
    Definitely a neat feature to have. Sounds like the mod I used to run for World of Warcraft years ago that allowed me to play my own music in the game. As for having an actual music service, Valve/Steam would be best off using an already established music service out there than just reinventing the wheel. It could potentially be a very large opportunity for that company as Steam could very well evolve into more than just playing games.
    Reply