We've got a number of tools in our armoury [Not weapons? Ed.] - Hazel Lewis - UK government minister
JAPANESE ENTERTAINMENT FIRM Sony has revealed that rival console maker Microsoft is using its Gracenote gear to improve the performance of its music services, including Xbox Music.
Gracenote, a wholly owned independent subsidiary of Sony, will open a world of music recommendations and listening to users of a range of Microsoft hardware including PCs, tablets, smartphones and the Xbox 360 and Xbox One.
"A big frustration for music fans is having to completely rebuild their collections when switching between streaming or download services," said Gracenote president Stephen White.
"Gracenote music recognition and data will make it easy for Xbox Music users to migrate their collections to the cloud without searching, repurchasing or even uploading."
Gracenote scans a user's machine for music, collates it and opens it in the cloud. Sony claims that any music found and owned by the user will be there, and that it can be streamed on iOS and Android, and now also on Windows 8, Windows RT, Windows phones and the Xbox games consoles.
Sony says that Gracenote looks for "audio fingerprints" in music and compares them to its database. Scanning a music collection pulls music together and bundles it with things like cover art. Other Gracenote features recommend new artists and users can carry out standard music player functions like creating playlists.
There are two versions of the Music app for Microsoft machines. One is free and lets users stream. The other is a paid service with more features and no advertising. µ
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