If you are using Windows 8.X, or Windows RT then you can jump right in and start using Xbox Music today. In Windows 8.X and Windows RT there is a Metro app that allows you access. And it is great, but what if you are using Windows 7, Windows Vista, Windows XP, or want to use Xbox Music from the desktop in Windows 8.X?
Xbox Music replaces the short-lived Zune Music Pass and unfortunately it does not offer everything Zune did. For Instance the Zune Pass let you download ten songs a month that were yours for life. Those who still have the Zune Pass can still do this now but the new Xbox Music Pass does not have this feature. To get the ten free songs if you still have the Zune Pass you have to use the Zune desktop software. The Xbox Music Pass can be bought in both a 12 month subscription and a three-month subscription although it is not needed to stream music from a Windows computer but there will be ads every once in a while.
Users have two choices to use Xbox Music in Windows 7, Windows Vista, Windows XP, or the desktop in Windows 8, you can use the website which has all the features, like streaming, or use the Zune PC software which only allows you to download the songs (it may let you stream as well if you are subscribed to Xbox Music, I have not tested this)
To use Xbox Music via an internet browser in earlier versions of Windows simply visit the Xbox Music website and log in with your Microsoft Account (Outlook, Hotmail, Xbox Live ect.) The website will ask you to agree to the Xbox Music terms of service. Below is a screen shot of me playing my favorite new album in Xbox Music in Windows 7 using Internet Explorer.
The other option is to use the old Zune PC software. It still works with Xbox Music and you can install it in Windows XP and later. The Zune PC software does not allow you to stream music from Xbox Music for free and I am not sure if it will if you have an Xbox Music Pass I may have to test this later. Below you can see me playing the samples of the same album on the Zune PC software in Windows 7.
So there you go two different ways to use Xbox Music in Windows 7, Windows Vista, Windows XP, or the desktop in Windows 8. It is nice to see Microsoft expanding support for Xbox Music. There are even iOS, Android, and Windows Phone apps out as well.