Simple Background Music Player App for the Xbox One

Well a company called TroubleAcres has an app that can play music off a USB stick on your XBOX one. It is free and it works, but it is very simple. It only plays MP3, WMA and FLAC files on a FAT32 or NTFS USb drive within a folder called "Xbox Music Library" and it has a limitation of only 200 files and plays them in alphabetical order. It does read files in folders, but only to add to the alphabetical list.

It works and I can finally play my own music. Just have to keep it to 200, and put music on I want at the time.

I am on a Mac and use ALAC files, which are not supported, but luckily the $5 M3Unify app from the awesome Doug's Scripts will convert to MP3 and put files in folders by artist and album. Of course for now those folders are useless, but hopefully it will work at some point. And ALAC support would be great too, since the One does support AAC in it's Media Player app (which also supports a DLNA, and folders, but for some inexplicable reason doesn't support Background Music making it next to useless).

Xbox One Background Music still can't play your own music, WTF!

This is my second post on this subject, but I just can't believe that Microsoft has released background music and not updated Media Player to work with it, so you basically can't play your own music on the XBOX ONE. This was a release feature on the Xbox 360, WTF Microsoft!

The first app was a damn Podcast app! What is that? And now I guess that Groove Music, Microsoft's paid music service will work in the background. And supposedly it will play music you have copied to your OneDrive, if you have enough space, but you seem to have to have a paid account for that to work (though I could be wrong on that). The thing is that the 360 worked off a DLNA server from your computer, so with the help of an app, I could stream all my music from my Mac to my XBOX and pick tracks and play them. I want to play my own music, not paid music, and not even Pandora (which is supposed to work soon). I want my own music!

And honestly the fact that Microsoft's paid music service GROOVE will work soon makes me very wary! WTF! Let me play my own music! Hell if I have to I will rip CD's to my One as I could with my 360! It is better than just streaming or paid music! Hell even if I have to put them on a USB stick and do it that way, it is at least my music, but again that would require Microsoft to update their Media Player app!

Xbox One Background Music released with only one app, and it isn't Media Player

Microsoft released it's summer 2016 update, and finally after 2 years they have released Background Music, which was released late on the original Xbox and a release feature on the Xbox 360. The problem is, they didn't update their own apps! Seriously the only app that supports it is CAST, an app to listen to Podcasts! WTF!

Now they have announced support for the crappy Microsoft Groove, it's paid app, and Pandora, but no word on Media Player and that is the rub! On the Xbox 360 you could stream music from a dlna server on your computer, and control it via the app or via a quick pop up. The Media plays music from DLNA servers or USB, though you can't rip music to the hard drive like you could on the 360, but no the app does not support Background Music, and there is no world when it will.

Should the XBOX ONE be called the XBOX ZERO?

I have been a gamer since I was a kid, and have had a lot of game systems through the years, but as of the Original XBOX I have really been a Microsoft Gamer. Sure I had a Sony Playstation 3, but I had only 3 games for it, and really only used it as a blu-ray player.

I went from the Original XBOX to the XBOX 360, and had 6 Red Ring of Death failures on it, before it finally went out of warranty and died and I moved to a slimline XBOX 360 finally with HDMI out. I loved the system and it's online capabilities or I would have given up with all of it's failures.

And I was so excited for the XBOX ONE, and even luckier that my mom ordered me one for my birthday (getting it on release day). It sounded like a great idea, a center for your media in your living room. You can even play television through it, and it would really be the main thing you need, but just hasn't quite worked out that way, even if it is a good game system.

First off the ONE has been $499 VS $399 for the PS4. And the excuse was that it was because of the Kinect it came with, which was integrated into the system for motion and voice control. The problem is that there was no killer Kinect game that showed the need for it. It should have come with Kinect Sports Rivals at least, but even that is only a decent game (not better than the previous XBOX 360 Kinect Sports Games). And the system control with the Kinect is not even that good. You have to repeat yourself, and the movement controls are awkward at best.

Sure the ONE is a very good gaming system, but the fact that Microsoft went for a cheap video card, means it is much less powerful than the Sony Playstation 4, and really isn't capable of doing 1080P output. More like 720p. And that is really unacceptable in this day where basically everyone has a 1080 HDTV. Really it should have been able to do Rock Solid 1080P 3D out of the box.

And the ONE has huge overhead, running literally 3 OS's at once. For the system there is the Gaming Layer, the system layer, and the TV layer (which is not a DVR, but will just let watch TV and control it somewhat with a new guide and vocal commands, but they don't work very well). So you are running 3 OS's at once, and having to run the Kinect as well, further eating performance. Sure it is really cool to be able to instantly jump out of what you are doing and into the main menu and then jump back, but it does eat system power, which would be fine with more power, but since for raw power the system is already behind it's cheaper rival the PS4 (I know not anymore), you are eating more performance. And the ability to snap other apps on the screen is interesting, but is not really something you want to do while gaming, since it shrinks your screen and resolution further.

And to add insult to injury Microsoft has announced that they are releasing a $399 system with no Kinect. So it seems the integral system component is not so integral. Maybe this will mean that in the future developers can have the power back from the system that the Kinect functionality was using within games, but with cross platform games it seems unlikely except for exclusive titles. And it means less Kinect games will be developed, and makes it seem less important. Microsoft should really have eaten the price of the Kinect, and made the system $399 at launch with the Kinect. Now the Kinect has been moved to the sidelines, and can never be a guaranteed part of games or the system, so it will likely not get the attention it deserves.

And for me I haven't yet gotten to the worst of what is missing from the ONE. This system which is supposed to be the "ONE" system that you need has so much less functionality than it's predecessor the XBOX 360. In fact even less than the 360 had at launch since it added many more features along it's life span! Xplore Gaming has a great article on this.

For me the biggest and worst thing, is a feature that was added late in the life cycle of the original XBOX. That is the ability to play your own music during games. In fact with the 360 you could plug in your iPod and play music right away, since you needed something to serve a music from Mac (though you could do it from Windows right away) and control the music from your XBOX controller by just hitting pause. Sure some games you listen to the music when playing, as some games have great music, but most of the time you eventually get sick of it. Especially with racing games or online multiplayer games. I mean who hasn't wanted to blast some heavy rock or electronica during a multi-player online match to get pumped up!

With the XBOX One, it is possible to get music to play from your Windows computer t the XBOX ONE, but only with the XBOX MUSIC app being open! And you can't control it from your XBOX ONE, you have to control it from the computer. Some people have managed this with a music server n their computer and using an app on a smartphone to control the music, but I haven't gotten it to work on my setup. And even with this you can't play the music in the game only in the app, unless you want to snap the App onto the screen, taking up a good portion of the side of your screen and shrinking and lowering the resolution of your game, which is totally unacceptable. Plus the game would still be playing it's own music and sound as well.

And even the paid XBOX Music App can't do it. It has the same restrictions and can only play from the app be it full screen or snapped.

Why can't these apps play in the background and through existing games as you have been able to on XBOX games for years?

And the second biggest feature, which may be bigger for many if you really want this to be the center of your media functionality is the ability to act as a head for Windows Media Center! This would allow your music and shows to play through your ONE and be able to control them, just like you have been able to with the XBOX 360 for years. Not having this functionality basically makes the name ONE not work at all.

The Third would be the XBOX 360's power management features. The ONE has an instant on setting that allows you to turn it on with the Kinect, but this literally eats power, and even it's power saving settings still drain a lot of power. I have had to add a switch that lets me kill the power completely to save power. The 360 on the other hand had settings to allow it to fully power down, and you could even let it do it after it finished downloading files it was downloading.

And Fourth is really the lack of Apps! The 360 has a ton of apps, and it has been out a long time, but the One as the center of your media needs to have more apps. Especially with reports that it takes less than a day to port a windows 8 app to the XBOX ONE. If that is the case, we need a ton of more apps and choices, and we need them now!

And honestly backward compatibility with 360 games would have been amazing, because it really can't be the one system if you need to keep your 360 to play your old games.

And finally the ONE just doesn't have many games and they seem to be coming out very slowly. At least Microsoft is finally moving it's free GAMES WITH GOLD where they release 2 free older games for free every month to the ONE next month, though unfortunately they are changing it a bit. On the 360 version the games are yours free and clear forever if you download them in the 2 week period where they are available. With the ONE they are by subscription, so they are only yours as long as you are a gold subscriber. And I do get that, but it still means more restrictions on a system that already has enough issues.

Yes the XBOX ONE has some great games, and the games look great. I have greatly enjoyed Assassin's Creed 4 and Titanfall (though it's lack of a single player game is a huge problem for me), and they do look great. I just think that if Microsoft wanted to expand their focus from games to being the center of your media center, they need to not cut features, and instead include everything that the 360 could do with the new features like TV control and Blu-Ray. And if they are planning to add these features back, they need to talk about it and give a timeline, because right now the XBOX ONE seems misnamed. It is not the ONE system you need and it really does lack focus as to exactly what it is.


XBOX One Blu-Ray player is inferior to PS3

I moved from the PS3 to the XBOX One and gave my PS3 to my sister in law, and have to say the XBOX One Blu-Ray player is far inferior so far. On many discs it is slow and seems to get stuck after playing trailers and leave me on a black screen. I then have to stop it playing amd start again and watch more trailers to get it to work. Sometimes you can skip the trailers the second time, but not always. And this often happens. They need to fix this!

Also the kinect controls are only mediocre, so I use my awesome Harmony one universal remote to comtrol my system, and it is annoying to have the on screen controls come up every time they do! And they take a while to go away. It is plain annoying. It should respond differently from a remote control and not bring up on screen controls!

It is just plain slow and not responsive, and they need to fix it. And on screen controls need to only show up when controlling with audio controls, not with a remote or xbox controller!
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