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From the beginning, the chief design principle for the Music+Videos Hub in Windows Phone was simple: make it easy to discover and consume the content you love.
In Mango, it only gets better.
The next release of Windows Phone introduces on-phone podcasts, new features like Smart DJ (my personal favorite), and loads of refinements and tweaks that make it easier to find and enjoy great music and video. As one of the program managers that helped conceive and design many of these new features (yes, I do get paid to listen to music all day), I thought it’d be fun to tell you not only what changes we’re making in Mango but also to give you a little insight into why we’ve made them.
Podcasts now included
You can already listen to podcasts on your Windows Phone. The catch is you need your computer and the Zune software to actually browse and download them. In Mango, you can now do all this right on your phone (U.S. customers only). [See the comments section for explanation of this from Josh. –ed.]
In the Marketplace hub, you’ll see a new menu option: Podcasts. Tap it to see featured, top, or new podcasts and to browse by genre. Under genres, we’ve also added audio and video pivots, so you can find exactly the type of podcasts you’re interested in. You can also search for specific titles.
Once you’ve found a podcast that interests you, there are plenty of ways to enjoy it. I like Discovery Channel video podcasts but they tend to be quite large. No problem. In Mango, I can stream podcasts directly from Marketplace. Every once in a while, I want the latest episode of The Onion for a laugh but don’t need them all. That’s OK, I can download individual episodes.
I do, however, always want the latest DJ Tiesto podcast when I leave the house every Monday morning. Easy enough: I can subscribe to the series right on the phone and it will automatically download new episodes while charging overnight. Windows Phone will be the only phone to do this without a PC or third-party app!
When you subscribe to a podcast series, you control how many episodes you want to keep and what order the episodes play back. To save your battery life, new podcasts are downloaded only if your phone is connected to a power supply. To save your monthly phone bill, podcasts download over Wi-Fi by default (unlimited data plan customers, don’t worry: there’s a setting to change this).
If you’re already a hard-core podcast listener (like I’ve become since working on this feature), have no fear. Your existing subscriptions won’t be affected when you update to Mango. But you’ll now have the option of managing those subscriptions on your phone instead of your computer. (To make things as simple as possible, we don’t allow both the computer and phone to manage subscriptions.)
A DJ in your pocket
We all have those moments when we want to listen to some music. But not just anything. We want tunes that fit the mood. A new feature coming in Mango called Smart DJ is designed to provide just the right mix.
Smart DJ takes “seeds”—an artist, album, or song— and creates a music mix that’s similar using whatever songs it finds on your phone. If you have a monthly Zune Pass music subscription, Smart DJ selects from the millions of tracks available in the Zune catalog.
We’ve sprinkled the Smart DJ feature all over the Music + Videos Hub: It’s available from artist cards, the music player, and every artist, album, and song in your collection via the tap-and-hold menu. Since we have a hunch that you’re really going to like Smart DJ mixes, we’ve add them to the History pivot and made them pinable to the Start screen, so you can quickly find favorite mixes again.
Find stuff in Marketplace easier
We listen closely to customer feedback, and one of the things we heard loud and clear was that searching the Marketplace is sometimes painful due to the lack of auto suggestions and jumbled results. We’ve fixed both in Mango.
Now when you start typing in the Marketplace search box, you’ll see search terms appear. Search results are also now organized by content type (apps or games, music, or podcasts). We make it even simpler to find what you want by indicating exactly what each search result is—artist, album, song, or playlist, for example. Marketplace search is also context sensitive. Start a search from the podcast Marketplace and you’ll land right into the podcast results pivot. Same goes for music.
If you’re like me, you probably also love to discover new music. We’d made that possible in Marketplace now, too. In artist results, we followed in the Zune HD’s footsteps and added a Related pivot that lists similar artists.
Changes to the Music + Videos Hub
In addition to new features like podcasts and Smart DJ, we also made a ton of smaller but noticeable tweaks to the Music + Videos Hub, much based on customer research or feedback from you. Here’s a rundown of some of the more notable ones:
We also made a bunch of tweaks to the music player itself. These include:
We appreciate all the feedback you gave us on the Music + Videos Hub over the past several months—and we want to hear more for Mango! Conceiving, designing and building these features has been a blast—but it’s even better when we get to watch our customers use and love them.
Josh Phillips, program manager, Windows Phone Engineering
please can you explain why the pocaste feature will only work for US customers does this mean the features for zune on the PC will still not work thanks Dan
All sounds awesome ... but why podcast to phone support only in the US ? I think we Europeans are bigger WP7 buyers atm..
I love posts like these. It's great to see a behind the scenes look at the design process that gets us these great changes!
Only one comment, please make artist images and on-device podcast support available internationally!
This platform already has too many features that don't work here in Canada (artist images, Bing Maps, Zune Pass, Zune Music...)
I just want to get video playback from skydrive to a Windows Phone. I have to read if that is to be included in Mango or not. If i record a video on my Trophy and then push it up to my skydrive, my friends and family cannot play the video on a Windows Phone. When friends or family select my pfofile from thier Windows Phone, and see that i posted a new video on skydrive they recieve a ' Device cannot playback video' on thier phone. WHY IS THIS SO?????? The video can be viewed on a computer browser but not a Windows Phone????
Guys--Lots of great questions in here. I posted this on Josh's behalf today since he's actually out of the office. When he gets back, I'll have him dive in here himself and tackle as many as he's able. Keep em coming!
Overall I like where this is going, just a few comments:
Smart DJ is something that should have been in the phone at launch. You had already incorperated it into the Zune device, I don't know how it got missed on the phone.
Something I'd like to see though is a limit on Smart DJ data consumption. If I'm in a wifi environment I'd like it to suck music off the store. If not, maybe I just want it to choose from things on my device (at least to have that choice). If I am in a wifi environment you should grab everything you can for that playlist. This is a problem a my zune has, I hit "Smart DJ" do my exercise warmups in my house then go for my jog and it craps out because I'm not on wifi anymore. (Sometimes mid song Oops!) With the phone it will obviously be able to jump 3G, but it'd be nice if I didn't have to. (I use a smartphone, but I'd like to keep my bill down.)
On Podcasts. I'm torn about pushing users either to the PC or to the phone to manage podcasts. Since I have a zuneHD I'll probably stay with the PC, but here's my questions:
1) Will I have to chose that for all my podcasts or can I managed Podcast A on the phone and Podcast B on my PC.
2) If I manage podcasts on my PC, will the phone still suck down new episodes when they become available? Even if I stick with PC managment, for times when I may be away from home, it'd be nice if it at least sucked down the latest episodes so I can listen to new stuff on my plane ride home.
Hi! I just love my WIndows Phone and with Mango i will love it even more :)
I have a suggestion for Music + Videos HUB, what about time controls to when i want to quickly go to minute 3 of a music or video? Will this be included in Mango finally?
Thanks and keep up the good work!
For the podcasts, will you be able to set up a "queue" to listen to? This is very helpful in the car, where you don't want to be fiddling with which podcast to listen to next.
1st thing .. desperately need a seek bar...especially for Videos ..
2nd thing - A2DP protocol drops when playing a Video
One reason why Wp7 will fail probably, is the focus on the US. Lot of functions are mostly only working in the US, like Zune Pass, Local Scout, Traffic, etc., and now the Podcast editing. IOS is able to do podcast updates worldwide. So Microsoft, why this 1. Class (US) and 3. Class (Rest of the world) user experience? Nokia hardware will not change that.
Will Smart DJ still be US only? It's about time Canada got a little love too!
Love the new features. One small request:
I listen to a lot of bollywood music, where artists are not as important as album names. I would love to see the album art of the last listened album to show up on the live tile. Currently, it only shows if the song had an artist.
As far as podcast go, if i understand correct you can stream anytime anywhere but to download it has to be plugged in and on wi-fi (if u dont have an unlimited data plan)? Seems fair enough though having to have it plugged in to download is a bit of a hassle. As a zune hd owner, i was suprised to see smart dj and a related artist tab/link missing from my focus when i got it. Good to see those are being added as well. Will there also be a bio section for artist with Deep links to other artist and music as in the zune hd? hope so. Great post guys
would like to see a similar idea to the zunes social ad hoc like sharing feature come to windows phone since it seems like an idea that could work better now. the 3ds's Street Pass is a great example of a concept like this working
Again U.S. only :( Is there no podcasts in Europe????
How about "custom" podcasts? That was manualy added to Zune
Sorry, but I hate the new player controls position. The Now Playing screen looks ugly with them there. Here are my requests/questions:
* VIDEO A2DP!!! This is ridiculous that you don't have it.
* Port the cute screensaver on the Zune HD
* Marketplace Picks
* I also don't like the "Shuffle All Music" position change. That was Zune's signature thing, man!
* Can you create auto-playlists on the phone? That would be so cool. Even cooler if we could get songs from Marketplace as well.
* Five-star ratings. If Marketplace apps have them, so should music.
* Video Marketplace on the phone
* Zune Video Pass
* Zune Pass Lite for a lower price point (no 10 free downloads included)
* Why wasn't this announced in a special VIP event like the one 2 weeks ago? Why isn't Zune that important to Microsoft? PLEASE DON'T KILL THE ZUNE BRAND!
Why cant I use the slider to quickly jump to a section,,,, why ´:(
Ii cant help but sigh. Here you have something that has so much potential but you hold it back so much it should be a crime. If Usain Bolt could win gold in a race, would you tie chains to his feet at the starting blocks?
1. Exclusion of flagship features due to region. An iphone is an iphone regardless of what part of the world you are.
2. Very little variation in handset choice. You just sit there and allow HTC and co play lip service whilst giving you their castoffs, meanwhile their android staple are cutting edge hardware designs. You cant sit around waiting for Nokia in 2012. Push for volume from your existing OEMs...PUSH AS THE BEHEMOTH THAT IS MICROSOFT. DEMAND RESPECT.
3. Too long a wait to your next update Mango. You competitors will not and are not resting on their laurels. IOS5 and Android Ice Cream Sandwich including the dual and quad core architectures will be something to reckon with.
4. Everything else mentioned in the comments.
You are doing everything to kill your momentum, its suicide in this highly competitive sector.
Dont screw over your international audience or you will be punished severely.
thanks for the posting. Mango looks better all the time. One of the selling points of this phone is that is the "Xbox phone" and that is VERY cool. What's not cool is that I pay for Xbox gold and I don't get Zune Pass with that. That's an extra charge. I get last.fm on Kinect, but it's not nearlyas cool as Smart DJ and Zune. This is what needs to happen:
1. Buy Netflix
2. Integrate Netflix content and Zune content into the Xbox Diamond subscription.
That would be HUGE!
U.S cusomers only??? Seriously, WTF!!!
This is ridiculous.... there are parts in Europe where even maps navigation is disabled by default.... we have to change to a different country to get it!
I tell you why this is so crazy stupid: if a person buys a branded WP7 - the phone is preset to its region... if you are in a country with no bing maps navigation support people think WP7 does not provide navigation - NORMAL PEOPLE DO NOT SEARCH THE WEB TO SOLVE PROBLEMS
THEY DO NOT CHANGE SETTINGS UNITL THEY GET THEM! They tell their friends that crappy WP7 does not have maps navi....
Seriously - if you want to have global success you have to provide global access!
With Mango nothing seems to happen! I tested the Mango emulator in the new SDK and even Bing images are not available in certain countries!
SERIOUSLY - whats the problem with global image support and all the other unsupported features??? I don't get it!!!!
Why, why, why would you not allow the download of podcasts outside the US? That just seems so ridiculous, I cannot believe it is not a mistake.
Also, please add support for other video formats, and the viewing of flash video from websites other than just youtube.
I love my Windows phone and I signed up just to say this:
Why is the podcast stuff US only? Why? Why? Why? Why?
It really doesn't make sense to me. :(
<duplicate of post in WPRadio EP30 blog post>
Hey Josh, Brian and Michael,
I did have a Zune Pass in 2010 for music - it was amazing I agree, but with WP7 I needed an AUS based Windows Live ID and had to drop the US Live ID. Now I miss that service heaps! Is there ANY chance that MS could put up "Where's my Zune Pass" page....with a market by market summary. Status could be for each WP7 market;
1 No current plans
2 Intending to release - but no current status
3 In negotiation
4 Release TBC
It's hard for those like me in an overseas market - we try and dampen our hopes so that we don't get disappointed - then we hit a new MS press release, blog post or podcast where the Zune Pass is spruiked for the US market and your "Crushed Excitement" Rollercoaster ride starts up again :(
At least if the status was 1, I can give up hoping. If 2 - I stop thinking about it if somewhere b/w 3-5 I stay patient and hope!
What do you say ?
Love the changes and additions.
However for international users who don't have access to all the richness of the music play back hub, Can you please give us the ability to add a background graphic so that we don't have that black and boring background.
A lot of people call android segmented because there are a couple of different os's with clearly defined features in each.... atm Microsoft has a lot of phones (focus and omnia) on different versions of their os and each phone depending on where it was activated has different features available lol. That needs to be cut out right now, at the end of the day if you want to be a global player you need to stop thinking that the US gets special treatment, it just annoys people.
I would love to see the ability to rent/purchase movies and tv shows directly from the phone.
One of the reasons that I bought a WP7 was so I could forget about using the iPod touch I have however this still hasn't happened and unfortunately it looks like Mango isn't going to change that. I listen to a lot of podcasts and to be able to do this I listen to them on double speed. This shouldn't really be a difficult feature to implement however still no sign of it. Secondly no audiobook support, and this for me is positively embarrassing that there's still no support for this, ans since there's no audio scrubbing support it really is impossible to listen to audiobooks unless you have 14 hours to listen to the thing all the way through
Yes, new Zune features... oh wait, not for the majority of WP7 users. How about you get your act together and make sure your users can access your full suite of features.
1. Moving the "Play/Shuffle All" to where you did makes NO sense. It's no more discoverable: it only confuses what will actually happen when I hit the button. Currently, I know it plays music from my phone. In mango, what does it mean at the bottom? It plays videos and radio? It plays songs from the marketplace? As a matter of fact it's still just a triangle so how do more people suddenly know it means Shuffle All? BAD change.
2. Why is "apps or games" still one content type? SEPARATE APPS FROM GAMES PLEASE. Games keep dominating the top apps list, when they have their own marketplace category. It's not fair to apps, and damages discoverability.
3. So scrubbing in video, but still not in audio? Weird.
4. We want the ZuneHD and Zune Desktop style screensaver with bio info, etc overlaid on top of the semi-opaque artist photos. I'll take the battery hit, or do it while charging
Josh, Zune Pass Music and WP in Australia – or “I want my Zune Pass too” | Sheeds' Blog http://bit.ly/ivmrWG :)
Guys this is a US only blog,all what is announced is good only for US WP users,we who are not in the US this blog is not for us.
@Michael Stroh,please can tell the guys in your team to develope a WP blog for the rest of the world?where the publications there will be regarding things that will be useful for us WP users out of the US/UK please.
This is an excellent post! Mango sounds like a dream come true. I was mostly excited about IM options under the messaging hub but these improvements to the music hub has me equally as excited. I have to say I'm very disappointed that most of the comments to this awesome post are of people complaining. Cant satisfy everyone I guess
I fully appreciate the argument and logic in moving the shuffle play button. But personally I like the present location a lot better from a "delightful" and design perspective. The "old" layout gives the Zune player a distinctive and iconic look. With Mango the layout looks so.... ordinary? And the "shuffle all" play button looks so lonely at the bottom, and I wonder what the users expect to happen, when it's located on it's own, with no references as to what is going to happen. Play music? Play podcasts? Play video?
Seriously, this is beyond my comprehension.
Why does Microsoft insist on constantly rolling out USA only features and then promoting them at media events?
More than 70% of Microsoft's revenue comes from OUTSIDE of the USA, I can spell that a little slower if you like O U T S I D E of the U S A!!!!!!
Does iPhone and Android constantly roll out USA only OS features? NO, of course they don't because the whole concept and reasoning is absolutely absurd.
Until Microsoft gets a grip of this fairly basic reality, it will fail.
The whole mobile market in the USA is 2-3 years BEHIND the rest of the world in terms of 3G/4G+ capabilities and technology adoption and yet Microsoft constantly demonstrates this behaviour.
I am truly stumped.......
I want to add my voice to the chorus of people complaining about US features. Iam incredulous as to why you would handicap the phone like this.
Is it for legal reasons? If so, tell us the details - we're adults (mostly), we can handle it.
Whether it is true or not the overriding feeling from many MANY areas that you compete in is that Google and Apple make products for the whole world - Microsoft do not. Let's see how many regions Apple roll out iCloud for next week - I'm betting its not "US only".
1. Like so many why US only for podcast
2. When will UK zune subscribers get the 10 downloads a month?
3. I was a Spotify subscriber and the best thing was the caching, does Zune do this on the phone?
@Kenny Rawlins. This is not true. This blog is global, and communicates information on features & updates to users worldwide. Microsoft is fully aware of the controversy/critisism, that some features are US-only, and has in a recent post promised to clearify whenever a blogpost contains information about US-only features.
This post is a fine example as it is clearly stated.
You can argue, that core features in the OS that are only available to US-customers is a major mistake - and I tend to agree in a lot of cases, but I am sure that most US-only features will be developed to be fully functional outside US in time, or perhaps by using apps that provide same functionality on local markets.
The US focus is going to be the downfall of WP7 (if you can even speak of a downfall since it probably will never get high enough for it to go down)
I'll just continue to use Google for my maps needs and my Ipod to listen to music and podcasts.
Unfortunately I can only agree with many on this blog, that different features for different countries is very very disappointing. I live in Germany and while we do have the marketplace, many times the zune player doesn't find the proper image for my backgrounds and now the thing with US only podcasts is an additional annoyance. Especially since every other smartphone maker (Google, Apple, etc.) have no such restrictions.
While I applaud the history features and the smart DJ (I am very much looking forward to that one!), I find the UI change regarding the shuffle all button bad. It makes no sense (what does it do? Play the current song, intermix everything from music to podcasts?) and takes away much of the distinctive look.
I really hope MS changes its policy with regards to the international community, but I'm not holding my breath.
It makes me sad to see such an amazing platform being crippled internationally simply because of what seems to be neglect or laziness (everyone else can do it, why not the biggest software company in the world?).
I have to say I couldn't find the "shuffle" button up until now :-) so thanks for the tip..
Wow! These are all great features and will bring the phone music experience closer to the Zune HD level (which, by the way, remains the best musical experience available).
But, WHY LIMITING THE AUDIENCE TO US ONLY AGAIN?
Many of us have been supporting the Zune platform for long enough but are still limited (Canada). I want to spend my money with Zune BUT YOU ARE PREVENTING ME TO DO SO.
Microsoft must learn to deploy globally.
Repeat once, yes! Thank you.
Now, how about a scrub handle for audio please?
Not to defend MS to much, but I'm sure at least a small part of the problem developing globally is the liscensure issues. For podcasts I never understood that, but for music certainly. Look at another digital company like Netflix, who had trouble expanding to Canada. The labels need to think globally for digital subscription services as well.
from what i have seen of the artist imagery on the lock screen it is using just stock artist photos without any color splash over them (like on xbox and Dorado/Zune PC)... i know it could interfere with information being displayed but maybe some type of metro font sliding around per the Xbox and Dorado/Zune PC as well
i just love that style and hope y'all can figure out how to incorporate it into the final build of mango
I felt the need to register at this blog so that I could record a comment.
I was an early adopter (Oct 2010) and have sort of gotten used to the incredibly slow (that is to say almost nonexistent) update cycle. For example, when I hear about phone-based podcast subscription, I think "guess I'll have to wait until a full year has passed before getting this but at least it's coming". Then I read on .....
Only in US ?!? Are you guys serious?!? I'm angry enough about all the geographic inequities but there can be no possible reason, legal or otherwise, for making podcasts only available in the US. It shows utter contempt for international users and I have to say this one announcement is the very last straw for me. I'll be playing close attention to the iPhone announcement tomorrow as at least I can be sure that Appple's services are geographically consistent.
I cannot describe how angry this ridiculous "US only" situation with WP7 makes me. Total fail Microsoft and I've absolutely had enough.
I am reaching my limit with Microsoft and Windows Phone 7. You are so close to having a great and compelling ecosystem, but you go and make absolute bone-headed decisions that lock out the entire world except the USA. I am sick and tired of the USA-centric nature of your ecosystem. No Bing local in Australia, no Zune music in Australia, no Amazon app in Australia despite the fact that Amazon ships a healthy proportion of their catalogue to Australian customers. Now no international podcast utility coming in Mango. Frankly you guys are idiots to annoy your best customers this way. Remember the bulk of WP7 handsets are being sold outside of the USA. God knows why considering the way you treat us.
When I bought my WP in November 2010, I was fully aware of the fact, that some features were not available in Denmark. It's sad to hear, that some buyers were not aware of this fact. But another truth is, some of the missing features were NOT exclusive to US by launch dates and stil is NOT exclusive to US:
Zune Pass/Music Marketplace is NOW available in: France, Italy, Spain, UK, and US. Germany don't have Zune Pass but do have Music Marketplace.
App Marketplace is NOW available in: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Ireland, Italy, Mexico, NewZealand, Singapore, Spain, Switzerland, United Kingdom, United States
By the time Mango update is released, the following countries will gain access to the App Marketplace (announced on May 24th): Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Czech Republicm, Denmark, Finland, Greece, Hungary , India , Japan, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Russia, South Africa , South Korea, Sweden, Taiwan.
It's still uncertain when/if Zune Music/Zune Pass service will be launched into more local markets as this is dependant on license agreements, just as the US Podcast section. I know these facts might not be fully satisfactory - not even to me - but it clearly shows, that Windows Phone/Microsoft does not ONLY care about US-buyers. The truth is much more balanced.
hejselbaek, you mention services, and I agree these things take time to implement, but Microsoft has had a lot of time, dating right back to the advent of the Zune hardware. I can understand why Zune Pass is difficult to get organised, it is such a unique service, but there is no excuse why there cannot be a standard regular music store.
Also you make no mention of the missing features in the OS itself. There will be no Local Scout outside of the UK and the USA, there is currently no voice commands, no Bing local search, and now no podcast support. Again I can understand the difficulties with getting voice commands right to cater for local dialects and pronunciations etc, but what is the excuse re Bing? Bing has been around for quite a few years now. And how can there be a justification for blocking out Podcasts to the rest of the world outside the USA?
MS - I hope by now that you''re getting the message about the US-centric nature of your development of WP7. Can I suggest that someone answers these comments please? There really isn't much point in posting this stuff up and then just ignoring what people are saying in response - not very professional.
I have followed the development of WP7 but I really have to say - if you do not address how you are going to roll out the supporting features to international markets I absolutely will not get one, no matter how snazzy the OS is. I understand that there are legal issues with music rights etc, but how can Apple manage it? I don't really care just how hard it is really - Apple/iPhone are your competitors - if they can do it and you can't, people will not buy WP7.
I really, really hope that we're going to get a response to all of these comments...
I agree the situation is far from ideal for international users regarding some of the upcoming core features. But a lot of commentators are quite aggressively saying, that Microsoft is only caring for US owners. That is definately not the case if you care to look into it.
I honestly feel confident that more services will be rolled out globally in time. And hopefully new and free apps will be developed locally to compensate for at least some of the missing features. These apps might even be able to work with Bing, Music, etc. In Denmark we already have some very nice (and free) apps that can do almost the same as Local Scout - I do mean almost, but they could easily be developed further if there is a customer base for it.
The Windows Phone OS is such an amazing OS in my opinion, that I am definately willing to overlook some of it's faults regarding regional issues. And I would never think of iPhone or Android as an alternative.
I'm extremely excited about the Podcasts features. Very nice!
Would also like to see the following for Podcasts:
- Tweet title/link for podcast episode
- 5 Star ratings of podcasts and episodes
One more thing. I have a friend whose only reason for not switching from the iPhone is that there isn't 5 Star ratings for music. He likes to be able to create a playlist based on how high he rated music as one of his criteria.
Can't wait for Mango!
Everything looks very nice and I am super excited about Mango...
But I have a few suggestions:
1.) In place of artist pictures can we have the option to use album art?
2.) I would LOVE to be able to jump to anyplace on the progress bar in a video by tapping on it.
3.) Can we have an option to toggle between "Classic" and "Mango" views?
4.) Can we play media from our SkyDrive? Android can do it via Google Music and Amazon's Cloud, Apple will be doing it via iCloud... I don't think you guys want to be playing catchup forever.
I agree with everything Bernard Angustia stated. I live here in the US, but Microsoft needs to get their act together to get content outside of the US. There should be NO reason why the new Podcast features are a US-only feature.
I too wondered why Smart DJ was not at launch. You stated that the Music+Videos hub is the Zune device on the phone, yet didn't have Smart DJ nor saving as a Playlist. Granted, on the Zune you couldn't edit a Playlist, so I'm happy that feature is finally coming to Windows Phone atleast.
You have revamped the UI. Great. Now, what about Codec support? The Zune software on Windows Phone needs to match the Zune hardware with the same features, or go above and beyond. Give us AVI, H.264 4.0 Main and High (with b-frame support), heck even add OGG or FLAC. Also, add support for 720p resolutions, or 16x9 aspect ratios. If I have an MP4 video that contains 1280x720 video, the Zune client re-encodes it to a smaller resolution. The Qualcomm chip can support decoding 720p video. Why can't the Zune player do as well?
Aw comeon guys.. why do you always make some of the features US only.. What about the rest of the world :(
To sum up some of the disadvantages international users
(e.g. Austria, Switzerland, Belgium, Mexico, Singagore, Hong Kong, Ireland and many many others...)
are unable to access:
- NO zune pass
- NO zune Music Marketplace
- NO Zune Podcast Marketplace
- NO Zune TV Marketplace
- NO Zune Movie Marketplace Purchases
Other missing features (in my country) - at least SOME OF THEM:
- NO navigation in Bing maps application
- NO Bing image search in Mango
- NO support for embedded youtube videos in IE
- NO local scout in Mango - NO "expore..." feature
- NO or total crappy "nearby" advices most of the time (Bing is pretty bad - BETA for years now)
- NO local podcasting support in Mango
- NO add support for devs
- bing music service support in Mango (like shazam)??? probably NOT
So this is pretty sad.... changing the location to USA is no solution!!!
Microsoft, will you ever support countries outside the US?
Mango would have been a big chance.... :(( YOU MISSED IT AGAIN!
THIS IS A FRAGMENTED MESS AND A DEALBREAKER!
Guys, I dont know why podcasts are US only but with regards to Zune Pass, they have to have agreements in place with the regions record company's first, this can take alot of time.
From the article:
"I do, however, always want the latest DJ Tiesto podcast when I leave the house every Monday morning. Easy enough: I can subscribe to the series right on the phone and it will automatically download new episodes while charging overnight. Windows Phone will be the only phone to do this without a PC or third-party app!"
Yeah, too bad Tiesto's Club Life doesn't actually play on the phone. Every time I try to play it on my Samsung Focus, I get a nondescript Playback Error.
Wow Microsoft, you're really getting crucified in the comments by international users who are livid that OTA podcast support won't be in Mango, I hope you're listening. Here's just a recap of the biggest/most popular complaints/requests on the Mango Music+Video features you announced:
* No OTA podcast support outside the US
* Nobody likes the new placement of the "Shuffle All" button, nor do we understand why it makes it easier for them to discover it
* Video A2DP
* Now Playing screensaver from Dorado/Zune HD
Why oh why will Microsoft not capitulate and offer 5-star ratings for music?! The like/don't like rating system offers little value. Any music lover with a collection over a few thousand tracks really HAS to have a 5-star rating system to be able to find tracks they don't listen to regularly.
LOL....on the other hand, I actually LOVE the new control placement. I pretty much like all the changes coming to the hub in Mango. Just goes to show you preferences are different with different people. However, I'll add my voice to those who are concerned that the audio portion of video only plays through the speaker. The LazyTube video plays through other means, so it seems that it should be able to happen with other video. Also, will anyone be able to create an audio media player with an EQ in it? I rarely like the flat EQ. It would be nice if either Zune had an EQ or the APIs are there so third party developers could create a player with EQ built in. I'll happily sacrifice integration if I can get EQ.
The one new feature that would enable me to jump from iOS to Windows Phone is double speed playback of podcasts and audiobooks. If that's in Mango, I'll buy the HD7S next week and wait for the update.
61 comments, most of them crying out for answers from MSFT, and not a single response from the company. What's the point of having a blog if you don't engage with your customers? Your platform is losing ground. Your market share is going backward, and WE are the ones keeping it afloat. And most of us are based outside the US.
Yet we don't get a single answer from you guys. Your company is too big, too unwieldy, and you're too slow to adapt.
One day, just one day, you guys will remember there are markets outside the US... markets (like Australia) with a robust economy, where we are (compared to the rest of the developed world) quite well off because our economy never tanked in the GFC. We have money to spend, yet you don't show us any love.
Way to go MSFT.
"Windows Phone will be the only phone to do this without a PC or third-party app!"
Yeah IF you live in the US that is. Stop making these stupid claims especially when you are talking about a feature that is 3-4 months away from being in the hands of your customers and that will be limited to a single country.
This statement will look even more pathetic once Apple announce next week that this feature will be available GLOBALLY in iOS5 which, unlike Windows Phone updates, will likely be announced and immediately available to EVERYONE the same day (not drip fed over a period of months and only then after carriers have signed off on it).
Sorry but as much as I love my Windows Phone you guys are never going to grab chunks of market share away from Android and iOS until you speed up the delivery of updates and stop this US only nonsense.
@AussieAdam well said.
Clearly Microsoft does not see the majority of international markets as viable investments so instead they release a product with basic functionality.
The fact that Apple can create a universal platform with iOS highlights that it can be achieved. So why are the majority of WP7's features fragmented.
If Microsoft wanted markets like Australia to have access to Zune Pass, Podcasts etc then it would have happen. Clearly their focus lies soley on the US, and the US alone.
If they dont start adopting a universal approach to their platform, than perhaps its time to move onto Andriod or iOS.
For once I would like a real answer to why they have not released Zune Music in the majority of International Markets, and at what stage they are at in achieving the release rather than a generic response.
"Hi Matthew, Over time we’ll extend the Zune service to more screens & countries. That’s our goal but we have no further details to share at this point"
Disapointing that they seem to create a seperate class for the 'US' to which we are all less.
I'll add my comment here too, just to increase the total amount of comments about your lack of international support (especially for podcasts which are FREE).
I've got simply two words for you Microsoft (here's a reference for all the Aussies out here, think of a red headed women when reading this :P).
Microsoft: Please stop making things US only. You have customers elsewhere in the world. Recognize that. I can understand licensing hindering the music Marketplace, but something like the Podcast directory shouldn't be US ONly! And local scout, local search and things like that? C'mon!
It really is astounding that Microsoft continues to repeat these localisation mistakes. I suppose on the one hand you have to give them credit for launching Windows Phone globally, but on the other hand, the follow-up has just been completely suboptimal. Early adopters are only too willing to cut Microsoft some slack, but there becomes a moment where their patience wears too thin. We are now approaching that point - the matrix of features drawn up by Andrew Tech Support is embarrassing - most non-US residents do not have access to most of the major selling points of WP7 like Zune and Bing.
There's a reason why we're complaining - Microsoft is a $200 billion company, the largest software vendor in the world. You have the power and the fist-fulls of cash to get the necessary localisation in place. Yet, all we get is silence. No-one wants to talk about these problems. Microsoft continuously post these cheerful posts about new features without a single care in the world about international customers, when more than two-thirds of your revenue is derived overseas.
Get it together guys. I'm sick of being negative. I want to be positive. I want to give you my money. But you sure have a way of ensuring that as many barriers as possible are put up to stop me from positively transacting with your company.
Zune in Canada is broken... And most podcasts have to be added manually or through the publishers website. Not to mention the lack of music... I hate having to support your competitor... PLEASE FIX THIS!
the 'shuffle all music'-button was so much better in the old place.
the playback controls were so much better in the old place. on a 4" screen the upper quarter of the screen is really hard to reach...
On the one hand, thank you for at least being clear about about US specific features on this international blog...
On the other hand, non-US customers being given 2nd (and 3rd) class service and features still in Mango....REALLY?
(I feel a WP7 YouTube video re-mix is in order if anyone wants to take up the challenge?! - http://youtu.be/7Z3KbFBf89Y)
All - you guys need to learn to read..."Guys--Lots of great questions in here. I posted this on Josh's behalf today since he's actually out of the office...When he gets back, I'll have him dive in here himself and tackle as many as he's able. Keep em coming!"
I'm guessing he won't be back until Monday, if he wasn't in on Friday. Yes, I know people will hate this and complain and think MS shouldn't sleep or be with their families just so they can get your questions answered except that isn't how people work.
Sigh... none of this matters to me if Canadians are still gonna get the shaft. I'm getting tired of waiting for Microsoft to get their crap together and make the full Zune marketplace work here. How come Apple can get iTunes working just about anywhere in it's entirety, and Microsoft can't? Argh!
All is great. I just dont like the 'U.S only ' part. now that WP will be extended to newer markets with Mango, you should not have US only" podcats etc. also. why could you add audio/video scrubbing using the seek bar directly.
I am very disappointed that podcast downloads straight from the phone is restricted to US customers only. What about other parts of the world???
You guys need to rethink your strategy here, or else you will lose in a big way.
Once again so many users not able to take advantage of features because of localisation issues, why should we use workarounds to get partial features, just in Bing search, let alone anything Else. You are letting down a lot of users outside of the US, who have taken on the Platform wholeheartedly from the outset. Overlooking the lack of features that most smartphone users take for granted. Suffering through your beta test of an update process, to arrive in a place where Mango is dangled before our noses, as bringing 500 new features. Depending on where you live that number could be a whole lot less. I can understand some features not being available everywhere, but the list is getting enormous. Seriously if Microsoft wants to treat the world as US and everyone else, why don't they just come out and state that from the outset.
To present a feature set that will not be available to all users on what is basically the same OS is ridiculous, and another marketing disaster. everyone harps on the fragmentation of Android, and now Windows Phone is going the same way. I implore you Microsoft, you should have the infrastructure and resources to support Windows Phone better than that, throw some money at it, and spare no expense to take what is the best mobile OS to that next level for all users.
All your complaint about access to features are valid, but have you looked into why? From what I can tell, it's the crazy laws most of you folks live under outside of the U.S. There are so many anti-piracy, digital rights and other various & sundry laws that make it difficult at best to implement a solution. Perhaps you should not limit your attacks to Microsoft, but go after your own governments to make your laws more like the U.S. I'm just sayin'.....
@ScubaDog2011 - The USA has the DMCA, that's a pretty awful law and Microsoft worked around that, they can work around most laws.
I certainly wouldn’t say that getting the 'ecosystem' rolled-out internationally would ever be easy. But given that MSFT is now marketing WP7 to countries where competitors have already managed to get this sorted, promises of 'jam tomorrow' will not cut much ice when customers can pick up an iPhone (for example) and get the same level of service across the world. MSFT absolutely MUST crack this issue if it's to get a foot in the door. Later today Apple will announce the iCloud service which will (probably) include a cloud-based streaming subscription service, and much more. This service will be available in considerably more locations than the US - by design - because Apple knows the importance of internationalisation, and has put the time, effort and money into getting the relevant agreements.
MSFT hardly lacks deep pockets or smart lawyers, and should they really, really want to, they can also crack it. If they don’t, then WP7 will just not look like a credible competitor to many potential customers around the world, period.
Not sure why they done this but moving the playback controls from the bottom of the screen to the top of the media player is a bad mistake.
My point is that given that there are things that are going to be different and unique about each of your local markets in terms of what's available to be included in Marketplace and the laws governing acquisition, use & accountability, I'm not surprised there's not uniform deployment. And so say that "others" have already surmounted these concerns, doesn't mean that they did so very quickly. It's my opinion that in Europe particularly there is clearly an entrenched disslike of Microsoft by the governments. I think this translates to a lot more roadblocks and hurdles than we see in the U.S. So, again, I'm saying there might be some value in complaining to and about your governments' approaches to handling Microsoft. I'm not saying this is the only issue or the "silver bullet". Just suggesting that it's one of the pieces of the puzzle.
As an avid podcast listener please put in bookmark\resume functionality that persists if you restart your phone. It's difficult to stop in the middle of a podcast one day and then have to search for the correct position the next day.
Also, make the volume up/down keys change tracks of you hold them.
@hejselbae,i didn't see in the title of this post US only and secondly i love the idea of how windows phone does its things,but if i have to download third party apps to do every basic functionality then i'll end having an iphonelike windows phone,were everything needs to be done with a third party app and i personally don't like that approach of having thousands of apps installed on my phone.
I don't want to be harsh but honestly, the current Music + Hub sucks and it's one of my reason I put my Samsung Focus into the drawer and brought an Android Samsung Galaxy SII. And it's sad there is no 3rd party music/video player for WP7 as a workaround.
1. A2DP over video is not working since day one and it's still not being fix in the recent update.
2. No seek bar in video/music is wrong.
3. Where is the landscape support???
4. It loads the wrong album art sometime.
5. There is no play all/repeat all option for Video. And I have to click every single one to play the short music video?
6. Video playback from the last position. Give me an option to turn it OFF!
7. It maybe solved by new addition playlist feature: How come there is only play all by song title? Why I can't play all by Album/Artist/Genre ...etc?
The last two personal / strange things that I missed for Coreplayer in WM but I don't found any software to do it on WP7/Android because I have many music as video format. Video playback in background, and video + music in a single playlist.
i just seen the video for iOS 5 and i must say they have taken alot of the best features from other platforms(Including WP7) and have added their own iCrappy imprints on them.
I think thats maybe why all the 500 feature changes/additions in Mango haven't been released yet, they just might end up in iOS 5 or 5.1 ....smh
"There are so many anti-piracy, digital rights and other various & sundry laws that make it difficult at best to implement a solution"
Can you give SPECIFIC examples of these laws? What makes them different to yours? What makes them "crazy"?
Apple have an iPhone that is global. There is regional variation sure, but the same product is everywhere.
MSFT are only SLIGHTLY smaller than Apple these days. They can do the same.
@scubadog2011.what do you mean by crazy laws?? And state some examples. Because I don't think there's any country with as many antipiracy and fraud laws as the USA,especially when it comes to the entertainment industry: Music, Videos , Movies etc.
And secondly I can understand the licensing issues regarding the Zune content but so the licensing issue also affects the bing features I guess??
One of the great things about WP is the hub approach and the integration of most functionalities into the OS without having to rely on third party apps for basic features and that is why I even like the most about WP. If only because I am not in the USA that I'll have to install a whole bunch of third party apps on my phone to do most common tasks,then I'll end up with an iphonelike phone,were all is done by third party apps and that sucks.
Like many others, I really don't like the new location of the "shuffle all" button. It seems much less intuitive. When it was next to the Music heading, you knew it would shuffle through your music, whereas now it's just a play button sitting at the bottom.
Instead of moving it, why don't you put text that says "Suffle All Music" under the button that goes away once you use it? First time users will realise it's there, and it'll be out of your way after that.
Also, like everyone else, I'm appalled by Microsoft's consistent lack of support in international markets.
My HTC Surround is the first smartphone i've owned. I looked at the others (BB, iPhone etc) and settled on a WP7 device. I live in Canada, so a lot of features are not available. That's not necessarily Microsoft's fault. International licensing agreements tend to take forever to iron out when it comes to music and video.
I look forward to the Microsoft's updates (however slow they may be). If I owned an iPhone and wanted updated features and performance, I'd have to buy a new phone. Let's cut MS some slack folks. The WP7 platform's performance blows the others out of the water.
Great stuff guys, although some of the changes made for convenience just ruins it a little because of a few stupid people who didn't explore the service more to be "delightfully" surprised like me! =P
In other items, commenters should remember that respective governments are to blame for region specific regulations as to who gets what and when from Microsoft, the first and only one to suffer sanctions from the gov't firsthand and not by some other company... Think about that when you whine about what you don't have. =/
I'm so happy for the small market of your users that reside in the US. Whereas the majority of your users get limited or no new features.
Well done Microsoft. Truly a global company.
If I have an artist whose songs only appear on compilation albums (albums by "Various"), that artist doesn't appear when I select "Artists" from my phone. This seems like a bug to me, since, if I have an artist that has both albums and songs on compilation albums, the artist appears (and when I select him, under "Albums", it shows his albums and the compilations). Will the new Music & Video Hub fix this?
As a long-time Zune HD owner, I'm looking forward to this and all other Mango features. Bring it on. :)
Wow! Thanks all for the kudos and feedback – my apologies for the delayed response! I see lots of questions and I’ll get to a few of the smaller ones later but I want to first address the podcast concerns that take up the lion’s share of the comments.
I should have been a little bit clearer on how podcasts work in both 7 and Mango. Today, you can use the Zune PC software to subscribe to any podcast series, anywhere in the world that has Windows Phone in market, and consume them on your phone. That option will not change with Mango but it will improve. Once you have synced a series subscription from your PC to your phone (using the Zune software), you can have the phone manage the subscription by tapping the “subscribe” button on the series details screen – at which point, whenever new episodes are available they will automatically be directly to your phone - without a PC! Again, this is for any podcast series, anywhere in the world with Windows Phone. Additionally, in Mango and starting in the U.S., there will be a full-fledged podcast marketplace that you can browse right on the phone. You will also be able to download or stream individual episodes and subscribe to a series without ever having to connect to a PC. We are working to bring this feature to other markets but the U.S. is the only market for which we can confirm support at this time. There are lots of nuanced and unique regulations in each region and we have to make sure that we’ve dotted all our i’s and crossed all our t’s before we can bring an on-phone podcast marketplace to additional locales.
To summarize, you’ll still be able to enjoy podcasts all over the world with Mango but, once you’ve gotten the series from your PC to device, you won’t need a PC to get new episodes (yay!). Additionally, if you’re in a region that has a supported marketplace, you’ll never need to use a PC at all as you can browse and subscribe to series right on the phone. Stay tuned as we continue to invest in bringing new features and services to new markets. In the meantime, keep up the great feedback! Thanks!
While your response isn't exactly the one I was looking for (i.e. more locales supported in Mango!) thanks for getting back to us.
It's good to know someone is reading these comments and what we're saying and asking for is at least being acknowledged.
@Josh Phillips WOW thanks a lot for clarification... this is indeed better than (I think most of us here) expected... sorry for being kinda "rude"... :)
Thanks for the calification! I've got one question remaining: Will people with no podcast marketplace access be able to subscribe to podcasts on their phone, if they have the rss-feed?
Hi Josh can i just check does this mean the will be a podcaste market place in none US version of the zune software or will we still have to find the podcaste's using other means EG itunes and import them manually as now? thanks Dan
What about the Zune Collection storage in the cloud -- when?
I really hope that the DJ smartmix will play marketplace content on the phone, instead of just content in my collection.
I'm also really hoping for channels.
A needed Zune update (and Wp7 Zune app update) is that autoplaylists should have the option to include marketplace content and stream and other feature similar to Smart Mix, like song count limit (and "all" option for relevant filters, like all music by a particular artist shouldn't have an artificial limit of song/minute count, but rules like 1970-1980 rock would need to have the limit), auto-refresh, etc.
Josh, what you neglect to mention is that in markets that don't have the Zune Music Marketplace, the only way to subscribe to podcasts is to manually enter the subscription link into Zune. Nothing is automated or easy to use because access to the podcast directory is linked to access to the Music Marketplace.
So, please, don't window dress a clearly inadequate situation.
@rcan he answered your question - if you have it setup through Zune where windows phone is supported you'll be able to subscribe to the podcasts you already have and downloaded to the phone no pc required. Now, if you live in an area where music is supported You can search and subscribe to podcasts. They are aware not everyone has it and as stated they are working on it but nothing more to report now.