Steam Music Beta Coming Soon

Steam Music Beta Coming Soon

Steam Music screen

Steam Music, a new addition to the platform that will allow users to listen to their music while they play games, will soon enter closed beta.

The concept of Steam Music sounds pretty simple. Point Steam at your local music library, let it scan your collection and then play whatever music you want whenever you want, even if you're playing games, via the Steam overlay. The details are a bit thin but the system will soon enter closed beta for SteamOS and Big Picture mode, with a beta for the standard desktop mode to follow at some point in the future.

"With this beta, we're getting started with what we believe to be the most fundamental set of features to offer a great music listening experience within Steam," Valve's Christen Coomer wrote in the announcement. "As always, our next steps for the feature will be influenced by your beta feedback, so please share your feature requests, thoughts, and experiences in the music discussions."

Restricting the initial beta period to SteamOS and Big Picture users makes sense because, unless I'm missing some aspect of it, the system would appear to be aimed primarily at them; conventional desktop users have the option of firing up their music player of choice, launching their game and then alt-tabbing back and forth as necessary - perhaps not as elegant a solution, but eminently practical.

There's no date on the Steam Music beta as of yet, but if you want to get in on the action you'll need to join the group and then wait for your number to be called. Beta participants will be selected at random, so you may need to exercise some patience. Maybe listen to some music while you wait?

Source: Steam Music

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I think I once downloaded an add-on for World of Warcraft that did this exact thing. Not sure how this is going to be anything special

I put 5 bucks on it being a laggy unusuable piece of shit like the in game browser.

It could be useful if it wasn't much of a resource hog or with unstable games but apart from SteamOS and and Big Picture I don't see much use for it.

I use the alt-tab deal occasionally(like when playing the DOS version of original Tomb Raider) I just turn down the music and adjust that SFX/voices to fit the volume of my media player. I got a keyboard with media controls, so I don't have to switch windows unless I want to change playlists. This just makes it more convenient and might stop crashing with temperamental full screen games. If they can implement it so the in-game music in every game with a music volume slider is muted when you play a your own soundtracks, that would be great.

Is this really a necessary thing? Steam runs on PCs, they have media players on them already. Even then, I've very rarely wanted to listen to my own music when playing a game because I'll want to listen to the game whilst I'm playing it.

It's not just me that thinks Valve are being really stupid recently, is it?

Sounds pretty useless for PCs but for SteamOS/Steamboxes/BigPicture it'll probably just be basic functionality. So they are not really making this for Windows PCs.
On PCs for some games it feels anyways like tabbing out to control my music player is quicker than opening the sluggish overlay (that crashes some games like Banner Saga).

Assume you're sitting on your couch with a controller in hand. You'll probably not want to grab your wireless mouse+keyboard, tab out, fiddle around with that (from 3 m away) tiny mouse cursor etc. when you can control it via overlay/BigPicture.

Yeah it's not like i just have zune desktop running in the background playing my musics.

*Not a shameless plug for zune desktop, it's just epic so deal with it..... i swear no plug, it's just nobody ever believes me when i say zune desktop is good O.O

And pretty sure if steamOS is linux based you could just download one of the great linux music players like Banshee or Rythmbox to play music instead of this #yesiuselinux2

I can foresee endless selections of sub-par dubstep and cake remixes.

Pandora by the GGG (great Glorous GabeN)?

Color me interested.

SmashLovesTitanQuest:
I put 5 bucks on it being a laggy unusuable piece of shit like the in game browser.

Always worked fine for me when I used it.

rofltehcat:
Sounds pretty useless for PCs but for SteamOS/Steamboxes/BigPicture it'll probably just be basic functionality. So they are not really making this for Windows PCs.

I think so too. If you are at a keyboard you can just use global hotkeys / media hotkeys for music control, or if you want to change your music quickly alt-tab out. When playing with the Steam Controller on a couch it can make sense though. I personally wouldn't mind if they extend this with some freemium music service like Spotify later on.

works for me, although i mostly will play music off Youtube from the steam browser

Megacherv:
Is this really a necessary thing? Steam runs on PCs, they have media players on them already. Even then, I've very rarely wanted to listen to my own music when playing a game because I'll want to listen to the game whilst I'm playing it.

It's not just me that thinks Valve are being really stupid recently, is it?

I'm trying to think of how this could be useful. I mean, it'd be cool if it offered an in-game soundtrack option, but games can already do that. If the devs want. Which they've shied away from.

What I'm taking away is that this is somehow good for SteamOS. Why? Can it not multitask? Will it have no media player access?

rofltehcat:
Sounds pretty useless for PCs but for SteamOS/Steamboxes/BigPicture it'll probably just be basic functionality. So they are not really making this for Windows PCs.
On PCs for some games it feels anyways like tabbing out to control my music player is quicker than opening the sluggish overlay (that crashes some games like Banner Saga).

Assume you're sitting on your couch with a controller in hand. You'll probably not want to grab your wireless mouse+keyboard, tab out, fiddle around with that (from 3 m away) tiny mouse cursor etc. when you can control it via overlay/BigPicture.

You'd think, but I'd use it if they included easy to use shortcuts to do all the functions of a regular media player. Being able to pause and resume, adjust volume and skip forward and back without having to alt-tab out of my games would be great.

It's hard to see this making a significant impact unless they can add some game- and Steam-specific features to make it seem like a better offering than any other music player.

I can think of a couple of features off of the top of my head that would help in that regard, though- automatic dampening of in-game music (but not speech and sound effects), and fan-designed mixes to go with particular games.

Aww. I read the thread title and I thought it was going to be a game or music creator, a la Wii Music.

Think I'll drown my disappointment in vocaloid songs for a while.

vrbtny:
Yeah it's not like i just have zune desktop running in the background playing my musics.

*Not a shameless plug for zune desktop, it's just epic so deal with it..... i swear no plug, it's just nobody ever believes me when i say zune desktop is good O.O

And pretty sure if steamOS is linux based you could just download one of the great linux music players like Banshee or Rythmbox to play music instead of this #yesiuselinux2

I think the problem is that most media players aren't compatible with controllers which makes it a bit of a hassle if you have it connected to your TV and you're playing while lounging on your couch and don't have a keyboard ti supplement your controller.

Megacherv:
Is this really a necessary thing? Steam runs on PCs, they have media players on them already. Even then, I've very rarely wanted to listen to my own music when playing a game because I'll want to listen to the game whilst I'm playing it.

It's not just me that thinks Valve are being really stupid recently, is it?

Zachary Amaranth:
What I'm taking away is that this is somehow good for SteamOS. Why? Can it not multitask? Will it have no media player access?

That's pretty much it. The way SteamOS works in Big Picture Mode (it's default setting) is that it can't multitask. You can set up a third party media player to run in BPM on SteamOS but it won't run in the background. Built in Steam media player in the overlay makes a lot of sense.

Not so much if you run SteamOS in desktop mode.

I don't like alt-tabbing when listening to my podcast, so this is great for me. Not sure what the fuse is about, don't like it, don't use it. I'd love if they could add a netflix/hulu option for when I game on my couch.

i already have a music player. Its called Foobar. it can play anything i want at any volume i want in any game i want. there are many like it, but i like the interface of Foobar better. what exactly does this bring to the table?

grimallq:

That's pretty much it. The way SteamOS works in Big Picture Mode (it's default setting) is that it can't multitask. You can set up a third party media player to run in BPM on SteamOS but it won't run in the background. Built in Steam media player in the overlay makes a lot of sense.

Not so much if you run SteamOS in desktop mode.

what makes more sense is making BPM able to multitask?

Like others have said, why would I want this? I can see that free to play games might have them, since most of them are quite repetitive at times, but I usually never used substitute music unless I knew I would be grinding a lot.

Strazdas:
what makes more sense is making BPM able to multitask?

I don't see the point. The BPM is SteamOS's "console mode". It's supposed to be optimized for gaming and gaming alone. It has to run one program, a game, and run it well (something which it can't really do yet in all cases, it's a beta), with maybe some extra bits in the overlay. All controlled with a gamepad. Maybe Valve will release an API for people to make overlay plugins. And of course there will be first party apps.

For everything else there's a normal linux desktop environment. Here people can launch games from the regular Steam client and run whatever they want in the background.

grimallq:

Strazdas:
what makes more sense is making BPM able to multitask?

I don't see the point. The BPM is SteamOS's "console mode". It's supposed to be optimized for gaming and gaming alone. It has to run one program, a game, and run it well (something which it can't really do yet in all cases, it's a beta), with maybe some extra bits in the overlay. All controlled with a gamepad. Maybe Valve will release an API for people to make overlay plugins. And of course there will be first party apps.

For everything else there's a normal linux desktop environment. Here people can launch games from the regular Steam client and run whatever they want in the background.

so whats stopping you from launching the media player of choice, then entering big picture mode and listening to music this way, now?

It seems that Valve are looking to make Steam that all-in-one piece of software. With games, as well as game development tools being sold on the marketplace, and now music entering that fold, I wouldn't be surprised if Steam started selling films and TV shows soon.

Strazdas:
so whats stopping you from launching the media player of choice, then entering big picture mode and listening to music this way, now?

Ups, looks like I've sown a bit of confusion. There are two slightly different kinds of BPM. One where the client runs in BPM and one where the whole OS runs in BPM.

By default SteamOS launches in Big Picture Mode as it's own custom linux session. there's no real special name for this yet, SteamOS tester usually call it just BPM. That is it's "console mode". In here you only have access to games and specific Steam apps. That's what I meant by no multitasking in BPM mode. This new Steam Music app is aimed primarily at this mode.

It's possible to switch SteamOS to a GNOME desktop environment with a regular Steam client. And yes, just like in Windows and Mac, here you can switch the Steam client to BPM, with a media player of your choice running in the background. Or you can use Steam Music if you don't want to Alt+Tab.

grimallq:

Strazdas:
so whats stopping you from launching the media player of choice, then entering big picture mode and listening to music this way, now?

Ups, looks like I've sown a bit of confusion. There are two slightly different kinds of BPM. One where the client runs in BPM and one where the whole OS runs in BPM.

By default SteamOS launches in Big Picture Mode as it's own custom linux session. there's no real special name for this yet, SteamOS tester usually call it just BPM. That is it's "console mode". In here you only have access to games and specific Steam apps. That's what I meant by no multitasking in BPM mode. This new Steam Music app is aimed primarily at this mode.

It's possible to switch SteamOS to a GNOME desktop environment with a regular Steam client. And yes, just like in Windows and Mac, here you can switch the Steam client to BPM, with a media player of your choice running in the background. Or you can use Steam Music if you don't want to Alt+Tab.

So then essnetialy the defautl steamOS "BPM" is basicalyl that archaic problematic system console users had to deal with for ages? why would anyone want to do that, especially in this age when computer power is so far above times when you would need to dedicate maximum power for single application that runnig a compact (read: not what consoels run now) OS like, i dont know, LINUX, would take so little effort that it would not slow down your gaming at all.
i see this as a MASSIVE flaw in SteamOS and they should have known better.

Strazdas:
So then essnetialy the defautl steamOS "BPM" is basicalyl that archaic problematic system console users had to deal with for ages? why would anyone want to do that, especially in this age when computer power is so far above times when you would need to dedicate maximum power for single application that runnig a compact (read: not what consoels run now) OS like, i dont know, LINUX, would take so little effort that it would not slow down your gaming at all.
i see this as a MASSIVE flaw in SteamOS and they should have known better.

Note: SteamOS is Linux, a customized Debian Wheezy distro. The default BPM session is just a simplified, custom GUI. It's identical to normal Big Picture Mode, with the exception that nothing else is running in the background. Because of that you normally have access only to stuff available from Steam/Valve. It's also very easy to switch to a separate GNOME desktop session running in parallel. Or just set it up to run Steam in Big Picture on top of a GNOME desktop.

Also note that this BPM session is meant for Steam Machines, where the default (and usually only) input device is a gamepad. A lot of this stuff can change, it's still beta.

Might be good for the SteamBox (or whatever it's called now).
Useless for me; I already run VLC player in the background with some underlay controls.

grimallq:

Strazdas:
so whats stopping you from launching the media player of choice, then entering big picture mode and listening to music this way, now?

Ups, looks like I've sown a bit of confusion. There are two slightly different kinds of BPM. One where the client runs in BPM and one where the whole OS runs in BPM.

By default SteamOS launches in Big Picture Mode as it's own custom linux session. there's no real special name for this yet, SteamOS tester usually call it just BPM. That is it's "console mode". In here you only have access to games and specific Steam apps. That's what I meant by no multitasking in BPM mode. This new Steam Music app is aimed primarily at this mode.

It's possible to switch SteamOS to a GNOME desktop environment with a regular Steam client. And yes, just like in Windows and Mac, here you can switch the Steam client to BPM, with a media player of your choice running in the background. Or you can use Steam Music if you don't want to Alt+Tab.

Cool. Well, it's not like more options is a bad thing, so I don't get why people are complaining about it being unnecessary. Are VLC and WinAmp unnecessary because Windows Media Player exists? Hell no, you're free to use the media player of your choice and now you have another one. And this one will work in SteamOS's console mode.

is SteamOS available yet, in beta form? I'd love to try it out.

Techno Squidgy:
is SteamOS available yet, in beta form? I'd love to try it out.

http://steamcommunity.com/groups/steamuniverse/discussions/1/648817378243644036/

You'll have to trawl the forums and FAQs for detailed instructions and guides. It's easy to mess up your hard drive if you're not paying attention.

grimallq:

Techno Squidgy:
is SteamOS available yet, in beta form? I'd love to try it out.

http://steamcommunity.com/groups/steamuniverse/discussions/1/648817378243644036/

You'll have to trawl the forums and FAQs for detailed instructions and guides. It's easy to mess up your hard drive if you're not paying attention.

Cheers :)
Good thing I have an empty HDD I was saving for this occasion!

If it's "something extra" that you can have sure, since nowadays I'm mostly into "just gameplay" kind of games and they usually lack any important dialigue I just put on music to play along, and since I'm forced to alt+tab this might come in handy. But if it's forced and takes more resources than the game cuz it's poorly implemented... fuck it.

vrbtny:
Yeah it's not like i just have zune desktop running in the background playing my musics.
*Not a shameless plug for zune desktop, it's just epic so deal with it..... i swear no plug, it's just nobody ever believes me when i say zune desktop is good O.O

What's "Zune"??

 

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