Steam Music, Valve's latest addition to the ever-growing suite of tools in the big grey window, will be entering beta soon. Premièring on SteamOS and Big Picture, and then dragging its heels to the desktop version soon after, the idea is to let you listen to music as you play.
"With Steam Music, you can now listen to your music collection while playing games."
I already listen to music as I play games.
"Once you’ve pointed Steam to your local music directory, your Steam Library will include Album and Artist views of your collection."
I listen to Spotify as I play games. I don't think I can point Steam at that.
Clearly this isn't primarily intended for multi-tasking desktops, but for those using Steam as a console. And in that regard, it makes more sense. Once it's running, you'll be able to hit the "guide" button on your controller, bringing up the music player menu. Or click your way to it via the Big Picture options. It is, in effect, mimicking what the consoles already do.
Still though, there's an ever-increasing number of people who don't listen to locally stored music collections, but rather via Spotify or one of its rivals. It seems almost a little prosaic to create a system that requires locally stored mp3s. Either teaming up with Spotify, Google Play Music, Rdio, Last.fm, Pandora, Grooveshark, Deezer, etc, or even launching one of their own, would seem to be a far more innovative option. Or just buying one of them with their infinity money and specialising it for their needs. Why am I the one thinking of these things? Someone give me a massive cheque.
Steam go on to say,
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. 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. Happy listening!
To be in with a chance of getting in on the first few waves of the beta, you need to join the SteamMu Community Group, which you can do here.