One of the best features of the Xbox 360 is the ability to play your favorite MP3s while in your game. The custom soundtrack feature worked great if developers implemented it, minimizing the in-game music in favor of your superior music tracks. Unfortunately, the feature didn't move to this new generation of consoles, as the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 only allow music streaming from proprietary services Xbox Music and Sony Music Unlimited.
Since Valve is doing its best to replace Sony and Microsoft's offerings in your living room, offering features they've left behind is probably a good start. Today, the company announced Steam Music, a new option for Steam Big Picture and SteamOS.
"With Steam Music, you can now listen to your music collection while playing games. Once you've pointed Steam to your local music directory, your Steam Library will include Album and Artist views of your collection," wrote Valve user experience designer Christen Coomer in the announcement post.
"From there you can view and play albums and tracks, manage your queue, and access the Steam Music player by pressing the Guide button on your controller. (No controller? Keyboard and mouse users can access the active player from Big Picture's main menu.) Once in-game, the music player follows you via the Steam overlay, where you can manage your current playlist, browse your collection and listen to whatever suits your mood. "
The service is a great addition to Steam and is very important to some users who like having all-in-one media boxes sitting under their TVs. There's no word on if Steam Music will go that extra mile and mute the in-game music, but I'd expect Valve will get around to adding that feature in the future. Interested Steam users can join the Steam Music community group for a chance to enter the beta, which is coming soon. Since the service isn't even in beta, there's currently no details on which formats or outside services Steam Music supports.