Music+ is a free music streaming and caching service which lets you listen to songs from SoundCloud online and offline.
Free music at your fingertips
Music+ works in much the same way as the native Xbox Music app, only its catalog of music is taken from SoundCloud. You can search for artists, tracks, groups and playlists. Alternatively, you can browse through the 'featured' section to find recommended songs or select a genre to listen to. Within a genre you can rank the results by the tracks which are most popular.
You can stream music from SoundCloud using Music+ or 'cache' it, which will allow you to listen to it offline. This is great for saving data costs, and it's something you have to pay for with Xbox Music or Spotify.
Other features of Music+ include the ability to create playlists, view recently-played tracks, and access your SoundCloud account to get access to your dashboard, tracks, favorites, playlists, friends, etc. In lieu of an official SoundCloud app for Windows Phone, Music+ makes for a relatively simple and hassle-free way to access the music hub.
Although Music+ has some useful features, it's not quite got the functionality of a premium service like Nokia Music, Xbox Music or Spotify. For example, there aren't really any music discovery options, there's no support for sharing playlists, and no extra information like artist biographies or tour dates.
Wired for sound
The look and feel of Music+ is well integrated into the Windows Phone experience, and its design is similar to that of the Xbox Music app, making it condusive to browsing music very simply.
The catalog of music within Music+ isn't quite as clean and well kept as premium music apps. Track naming conventions are non-standardized and artist/album artwork is often missing. It might look messy but it's still quite easy to find songs, whether you're browsing the app or directly searching.
Disappointingly Music+ offers nothing in the way of Live Tile support. It would be nice if it integrated a 'now playing' badge into its tile icon, or if you were able to pin artists or playlists to the start screen.
Music+ proves to be a neat funnel for accessing the wealth of free music on SoundCloud from your Windows Phone device. It's caching feature is particularly useful for those with a limited mobile data plan.