Skip to main content

Microsoft Launches New Music, Video Apps For Windows 10 Technical Preview

Xbox Video app (left) and the new Video Beta App (right)

In addition to launching the Windows 10 Technical Preview 10049 this week, Microsoft has also launched refreshed versions of its music and video apps. These are standalone apps that will one day replace the ones that we have been using since Windows 8. Microsoft is looking for feedback before the apps (presumably) ship with the final retail build of Windows 10.

So Long, Xbox

The first thing Technical Preview users may notice is that the Video Preview app does not have the Xbox branding. The app also doesn't flood the main window with Store merchandise such as TV shows and movies. Instead, the app points to the user's local stash of media. To get to paid content, a link to the Store Beta resides at the bottom of the navigation bar.

As for navigation, users can click anywhere in the app to minimize the bar on the left. In addition to providing a search function and links to the user's media, the navigation bar also includes the user's profile link, Settings and the previously mentioned Store Beta icon. The Settings option provides links to the user's account, info about the app, the path on the hard drive where videos are stored, and an option to restore the user's available video purchases.

Microsoft revealed in a recent blog that users can play any video that was purchased in the older Xbox Video app, including MKV files. Users can also start a video on one device and resume on another. In the future, the Video Preview app will allow users to download movies and TV shows for offline viewing and provide a better Settings toolkit and better search results. There will also be cast information, movie reviews and device management.

Xbox Music (left) and the new Music Preview app (right)

A New App For Music

Like the Video Preview app, the new Music Preview app is void of any reference to the Xbox brand. However, when initially launched for the first time, Music Preview splashes the main window with photos of popular music artists. There are also buttons for accessing the user's collection, a button for going premium, and a button for accessing OneDrive.

As for the navigation bar, it includes a search feature and buttons for Albums, Artists, Songs, Now Playing, New Playlist, Import playlists, the user's profile, and the Settings menu, which includes My Account, Preferences, About This App, and Help. The media bar is located at the bottom of the app, which controls playback. This version is blue and shorter in height than the media bar provided in the older Xbox Music app.

Microsoft's blog said that upcoming features will include a compact mode, a better Back button, right-click context menus, a darker color theme (it's currently a very light gray) and more. Customers will also be able to purchase music in the Store Beta at some point, although at press time, music can only be purchased through the original Xbox Music app and the non-beta Windows Store.

A Work In Progress

The blog admitted that Microsoft still has a lot of work to do before the Music Preview and Video Preview apps will replace the current Xbox-branded versions. Why release them now? Because Microsoft wants feedback, which isn't accomplished through the two apps, but rather in the Windows Feedback app located on the Start Menu.

Just last month, Microsoft revealed that Windows 10 will go retail this summer. Further, the new platform will be a free upgrade for consumers running Windows 7, Windows 8 and Windows 8.1. They will have exactly one year to get the upgrade before the retail pricing kicks in. Included with Windows 10 will be a new browser currently called Project Spartan, which we looked at earlier.

Follow Kevin Parrish @exfileme. Follow us @tomshardware, on Facebook and on Google+.

  • ubercake
    I think it's a good idea to get rid of Xbox branding when it comes to the video and audio apps.

    I know many a girlfriend/spouse/significant other resentful of their male counterpart's time spent with their Xbox console.

    As a result, Xbox branding takes away potential sales to a very large demographic (i.e. females).
    Reply
  • canadianvice
    As for me, I just hope they have better interop with programs like VLC - it would be nice to have a "play all" option in my music folder that wasn't entirely reliant upon WMP.
    Reply
  • RedJaron
    Bring back the Zune software, please! It was excellent. All it needs is an AAC ripping codec. I don't care if you change the name, just please bring it back.
    Reply
  • Christopher1
    As for me, I just hope they have better interop with programs like VLC - it would be nice to have a "play all" option in my music folder that wasn't entirely reliant upon WMP.
    That is not Microsoft's problem. They are not going to put support for a third-party program into their flagship Modern UI applications in the real world.
    Reply
  • uglyduckling81
    Bring back the Zune software, please! It was excellent. All it needs is an AAC ripping codec. I don't care if you change the name, just please bring it back.
    Ripping? Oh you must be talking about those weird round shiny coasters I used to see at uni students houses under all the cups about 10 years ago. I was told at the time they used to be used in computers throughout the 90's though I'm too old to remember that far back now.
    I haven't had the means to use a CD in my house since before 2008 and probably longer, I just can't remember exactly when I got rid of my last CDdrive.
    Reply
  • RedJaron
    Troll harder, surely you can be more condescending that that.
    Reply
  • canadianvice
    15594332 said:
    As for me, I just hope they have better interop with programs like VLC - it would be nice to have a "play all" option in my music folder that wasn't entirely reliant upon WMP.
    That is not Microsoft's problem. They are not going to put support for a third-party program into their flagship Modern UI applications in the real world.

    It's not their obligation, but it is their problem (a very expensive one, if I recall correctly)
    I don't want to use WMP, I want to use VLC. I want it so they open something like the "play all" button up in Windows explorer to work on the basis of your file associations, not just blindly go to WMP.
    Reply
  • marraco
    So, you no more have the chance to buy a clean OEM Windows disk to get rid of all the addware, because Microspyware is too clingy, and want to clutter your windows with third class garbage.
    Reply
  • back_by_demand
    They can bundle what they want, i'll keep using XBMC (now Kodi) for all my video and music playing.
    Reply
  • tical2399
    All i'm asking for from the music app is the ability add podcasts to it like winamp and itunes.I like to use as few third part apps to get things done as possible.
    Reply