Microsoft has revealed some additional details about its Windows Phone Mango Music and Video hub improvements.
The software giant revealed the details in a blog post on Friday. Microsoft detailed its Smart DJ additions and new on-device podcast support, if you’re interested in seeing how Smart DJ works – check out the video below. The company also detailed a number of smaller changes:
- More discoverable playback options: Shuffle all music, rate, shuffle and repeat playback options have been moved to front and center rather than hidden behind album art.
- Improved History and New: These areas are designed to make it easier to find and play content. But usability studies taught Microsoft that the horizontal layout and 8-item limit slowed people down. So in Mango, Microsoft has gone vertical— and added room for 25 items.
- Better mini-playback control: Microsoft noticed people were having trouble tapping the small buttons of their mini-playback controls. Now when you tap the volume button on your phone you’ll see bigger, easier-to-tap music controls as well as the artist name and what’s playing. Tap on that info to launch the full music player and turn on options like shuffle or repeat.
- New lock-screen options: Playback controls are now available on the lock-screen.
- New artist wallpapers: Album art can now show on the lock screen in Mango. There’s a setting option to turn it on. (It’s off by default as it does have a small impact on your battery life).
Microsoft has also made a number of tweaks to the music player itself:
- Better playback controls: The playback controls are bigger and are now aligned with the mini-playback control—so your thumbs always know where to go.
- Better artist images: Microsoft found that the background artist images were sometimes too bright, which made some controls hard to see. Microsoft’s design team worked hard to find the right opacity for the images. The end result you’ll see in Mango has a great layered look and never interferes with the controls.
- More playback info: Microsoft has added the artist name to the music player queue so that when you’re jamming to your new Smart DJ mix, you know exactly what’s up next.
- More playback options: Tap the Repeat button a couple of times and you’ll see the addition of a Repeat Once mode for those songs you just can’t get enough of.
- New playlist option: You can finally create playlists on your device. Add a mix of whatever you want to your queue or start a Smart DJ mix and save it as a playlist.
- Better data management: In Mango, Zune Pass subscribers now see an icon on the phone when they’re listening to streamed music—so you always know when you’re consuming data.
- More video options: Last but not least, for videos, Microsoft added a full-screen toggle and video scrubbing (where supported) so you have quick access to the parts of your videos you love most