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Here's When Xbox One Background Music Is Coming at the Earliest

The feature won't be delivered until summer at the earliest, Phil Spencer says.


Xbox boss Phil Spencer has provided a status update on the development of the Xbox One's long-awaited background music feature, but unfortunately, he says it's not coming anytime soon.

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Asked by a fan on Twitter if there was any news to share regarding background music, Spencer said, "Won't be before summer sorry to say."

Xbox One owners can currently use the Xbox Music app (now called Groove) to listen to music while playing a game, but only with Snap. This takes up a portion of the screen, making it a less-than-ideal solution. Sony's PlayStation 4 offers background music support through the very popular PlayStation Music app.

There is clearly demand for a better alternative. On the Xbox Feedback site, more than 22,000 people have voted for "Play Music From Apps Without Snap (Background Music)."

This is not the first time Microsoft has commented on Xbox One background music support. Most recently, Xbox engineering lead Mike Ybarra said Microsoft is taking its time with the new feature to get it right.

In a November 2015 interview, Ybarra said Microsoft is thinking about Xbox One background music functionality in a similar way to screenshots, another much-requested feature that was eventually delivered. About screenshots, Ybarra said, "We could have released something that was medium-quality." However, the company also wanted to "surprise" users and waited until it could offer a more robust experience, complete with .PNG file support.

"As we look at background music and we figure out where where does it fit and what's the technical solution that makes sense, we want to make sure it's something that pleases everybody," Ybarra said. "And certainly it's on the list; certainly we're looking at it, and it's something we'd all like to have as well."

The next major Xbox One update is tentatively scheduled to arrive in February, though there is no word yet what features/changes/tweaks it might include.

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