Microsoft just updated the Xbox Music and Xbox Video apps for Windows Phone 8.1, which shouldn't come as much surprise since both have been updated repeatedly since the OS RTM'd back in April. These latest updates pretty much fall into the "bug fixes and improvements" category, but Microsoft has also provided a more detailed peek at what's new.
Xbox Music (now at version 18.104.22.168) and Xbox Video (22.214.171.124) were both updated on Friday, and the new History feature in Windows Phone Store makes it easy to keep track of that kind of thing. But what's not formally available is any kind of detailed changelog. If you look up Xbox Music in the Store, for example, it notes only that the latest version include "bug fixes and general performance improvements."
Fortunately, however, both have their own UserVoice web sites, where Microsoft is gathering feedback from users and writing about the improvements its making. And the do provide information there about any updates. This is what we've found out.
The new version of Xbox Music includes the following improvements:
It’s faster to load your collection, particularly the collection lists and artist details
Smoother scrolling. Scrolling in your collection album and artist lists is smoother
Better cloud collection syncing. While your phone is charging, the app will opportunistically sync with your cloud collection
Better messaging as your collection builds and syncs with the cloud
Bug fixes. Microsoft fixed a number of bugs including album art not appearing (or incorrectly using the Xbox Music catalog version) when present in local MP3s, jerky playlist scrolling, too few songs available when using shuffle, and 'new music' items showing either twice or not at all.
More coming. As always, Microsoft dangles the carrot of coming improvements, such as Recent Plays in the hub, Live Tile support, Kid's Corner support, general user experience improvements, and ongoing performance improvements (which are certainly necessary).
The new version of Xbox Video includes the following improvements:
Quicker loading for personal video, movie and TV show collections
Expired rental downloads are now automatically cleaned up to free up disk space
Additional bug fixes