Without much more than a quiet whisper, today Xbox 360 received a new music app. The Slacker music service is now available for download. The expansive music library is available for residents of the US and Canada (Sorry, rest of the world. Don’t shoot the messenger!) and will feature a special video game-themed station hosted by Destructoid’s own Editor-in-Chief Dale North. For details, here is the official press release:
“Slacker Launches the Most Complete Music Service for Xbox 360
New App Offers Millions of Songs and Hundreds of Expert-Programmed Stations for Free, Including a New Videogame Music Station, Curated by Destructoid
SAN DIEGO, CA, Feb 26, 2013 (MARKETWIRE via COMTEX) — Slacker, the world’s most complete music service, is now available on the Xbox360(R) video game and entertainment system from Microsoft, allowing Xbox LIVE subscribers* in the U.S. and Canada to listen to millions of songs and hundreds of expert-programmed stations for free, including a new videogame music station curated by popular gaming culture blog, Destructoid. The app is now available through the Xbox LIVE Marketplace.
Slacker for Xbox LIVE(R) gives users access to one of the world’s largest music libraries and hundreds of expert-programmed stations covering every mood, genre or activity right on their TV and voice-controlled using the power of Kinect for Xbox 360. The all-new Slacker music guide makes music discovery fun and easy with the latest music news, artist interviews and recommendations from Slacker’s team of music curators. Listeners can also customize the experience with news and sports from ABC and ESPN or use new fine-tuning controls to personalize Slacker’s music stations, with newer, older or more popular songs.
‘Slacker brings the world’s most complete music service to Xbox LIVE Gold subscribers in the U.S. and Canada for free*,’ said Craig Rechenmacher, Slacker’s Chief Marketing Officer. ‘Whether you’re into country, hip hop or want to listen to the soundtrack from your favorite game, Slacker’s team of music experts make it easy to find and discover the world’s best music from the comfort of your living room.’
Slacker has also launched a new station celebrating the world of videogame music, hosted and curated by Destructoid.com editor Dale North. The station features hand-picked selections from the soundtracks of epic franchises including Halo, Gears of War, and Final Fantasy.
Slacker is also available for Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8, Bing Toolbar, iOS, Android, BlackBerry and online at www.slacker.com
*Additional subscriptions/fees may be required or sold separately. For additional details and availability, see www.xbox.com/live
About Slacker: Slacker is the most complete music service on Earth. The company delivers free and subscription-based access to millions of songs and hundreds of expert-programmed stations, plus news, sports and talk, on the web, mobile devices, in-car infotainment systems and consumer electronics platforms. By blending cutting-edge analytics with a team of expert music curators and content programmers, Slacker delivers a seamless music discovery experience and uniquely personalized entertainment. Slacker was founded in 2006 and is headquartered in San Diego with offices in Palo Alto, CA and New York City. For more information about Slacker, or to listen for free, visit www.slacker.com
For regular Slacker updates, follow Slacker at www.Twitter.com/SlackerRadio, become a Fan on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/SlackerRadio, watch Slacker video content at www.YouTube.com/Slacker or visit www.Slacker.com.
Slacker and Slacker.com are registered trademarks of Slacker, Inc. All other trademarks and product names are the property of their respective companies.”
Well, there you have it. I like the idea of creating a video game station featuring decade’s worth of incredible music from some of our favorite games of all time. I do, however, have my doubts about how interested the Xbox Live community will be in using the service. I’ve already discussed my feelings about the upcoming generation’s obsession with social integration, and the idea behind turning our gaming consoles into multimedia devices certainly plays a large part in the reshaping of our gaming culture. Yet, if I’m being totally honest, I’d much rather my gaming console’s primary purpose be to, you know, provide me with extraordinary gaming experiences; not offer a large variety of music and radio stations that I can choose to stream provided I’m NOT currently playing a game. I fully expect the PS4 and Next Xbox to be capable of running multiple apps simultaneously, but since this current generation offers no such opportunity, I really don’t think I’ll be using my Xbox as my primary source of music streaming. That’s what I have a phone and tablet and a radio for. (Yes, I still own a radio. Deal with it.)
I don’t mean to imply that I’m ungrateful for the streaming services that are available, I use Netflix every day. But at the same time, if every other device, including my TV itself, are capable of running the exact same apps, what exactly is my gaming console offering me? If all of these features had gaming applications, then maybe we’d be getting somewhere. But, as it stands, including apps just for the sake of including apps that everyone else is offering just seems like a strategy in vain. Especially in the case of Xbox Live, which still requires that you pay for Xbox Live Gold in addition to any paid subscriptions for accompanying applications. I guess at the end of the day, it’s not like Destiny is receiving less funding because publishers like Activision or console makers such as Sony and Microsoft are overspending on entertainment apps and streaming services, but at a certain point it does become a question of priorities. I hope these companies realize gamers are much more interested in receiving the best gaming experience possible over the addition of one more app we can already find elsewhere.
But what the heck do I know? And so, I defer to you, the ever-knowledgeable and opinionated readers. Do you plan on downloading and using the Slacker music service? In an age of Smart TVs and internet-enabled Blu-ray players, would you rather your gaming console stop providing the exact same apps as everyone else and provide you with a more focused gaming experience? Make your voice heard by sounding off in the comments below.