Users of Microsoft’s Xbox Music subscription service and music store have new cause for celebration. Curated playlists have made their return to Xbox Music — sort of.
A new playlist meant to show off tracks by exciting artists on Xbox.com marks the first time Xbox Music users have had access to any sort of curated playlists. The Choice Cuts: August 2014 playlist includes hits from Lil Wayne, Lee Brice, Pitbull and more.
Functionally curated playlists on Xbox.com look about the same as full album pages, though the album cover on the left includes the album covers of four sounds included in the playlists. That’s the same way custom-made playlists show up in the Xbox.com, Xbox Music on Windows and Xbox Music on Windows Phone.
Curated playlists sounds like something small, but they’re absolutely essential to Xbox Music being a legitimate music service. Xbox Music’s predecessor, Zune offered tons of curated playlists sorted by genre. Editorial staff for the company kept a steady stream of new curated playlists flowing into the service. Curated playlists helped the service feel alive and provided an easy way to sample some of the last tracks that taste music found interesting. For the last two year’s Microsoft has been hoping that the automated Radio would fill the void left by not having curated playlists by culture critics. That hasn’t necessarily worked out.T
oday, users can still access Zune’s playlists directly through the Zune Software, though they’re not easily portable to Xbox Music.