After revealing their Music+ subscription as an exclusive app on Nokia Lumia Windows Phone handsets earlier this year Nokia has now ported over that service in the form of a Windows Store application for Windows 8.
The Nokia Music Windows 8 App not only offers a rival music subscription and purchase service to go up against the built in Xbox Music Service on Windows 8 but it is also a local music player. It easily accesses any music libraries you have on your system whether they are located on the local hard drive or on a shared resource like Windows Home Server 2011. If it has been added to the Music Library then it will show up in the app.
Unfortunately, it has some limitations when it interacts with your local music libraries. There is no playlist support for your music library although you can queue up multiple tracks and albums for playback and the Search Charm only searches within the music services offerings not your local library. The interface is full of links to what Nokia calls mixes which are created in the music service to bring you a streaming collection of your favorite tunes based on the artists you selected for that mix. There is also a synched lyrics option that displays the lyrics as you listen to the song. Other areas in the Now Playing screen link to the Music+ service as opposed to your local music library so you do have to be aware of where you are at to prevent any confusion.
The app does have a unique feature in that it serves up a toast notification when a new song begins to play so even if you have the app in the background you will be able to see what the new song is. If you subscribe to the Nokia+ Music service, which at $4 per month is less than half the cost of an Xbox Music subscription, you get unlimited downloads, unlimited skips, easy access to the songs lyrics and pre-made playlists based on different music genres.
Here some screenshots of the app:
Hardcore music fans who like to edit the meta data related to their personal collection will be disappointed to some level because that is not possible with this app.
However, with this Nokia Music offering now available on both the Windows Phone and Windows 8 platforms just like the Xbox Music Service and at a monthly subscription cost of $4 compared to $10 it may very well become a preferred alternate to Microsoft’s service.
What do you think? Do you have a preference for either service?