Groove Music gets 'Neon' backgrounds

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We've been hearing mentions of 'Project Neon' for a while, a Microsoft 'cosmetics' overhaul that should arrive for Redstone 3 before Christmas. No doubt 'Fast' ring Insiders will get to play with the whole OS in this guise soon enough, but in the meantime Groove Music has been updated with some clues as to how Neon might look. If it all seems a bit half-baked at the moment then that's because it is. But hey, it's the Fast ring, and it'll be a month or two before this application gets finalised and pushed to production users.

Given, the subject matter, here's a 'before'/'after' spread:

Screenshot, GrooveScreenshot, Groove

The core idea is that a heavily blurred and zoomed version of the music's album art is used as a background for the UI while something is playing - and I like it. Though it's clearly unfinished, with the album art itself not shown large enough (in my opinion) and with no shortcut (or even swipe in gesture) for the hamburger navigation menu. So you have to go 'back' (which in this case means swiping back the virtual controls) first, etc.

In addition, Microsoft has done away with (either permanently or temporarily) the 'Artist art' option - this has traditionally hung off the '...' menu but it's missing in this latest update. Here's hoping that it returns, since many of the tracks in my own music collection don't HAVE album art, so the generic 'artist art' was a real boon.

In addition to the cosmetics, this new Groove Music version has an official changelog:

  • Music Videos – Watch music videos for songs that have them
  • More like this – Instantly add 10 more songs to any playlist
  • Follow Playlists – Hear the latest tracks as they're added to featured playlists

Some of which needs a Microsoft 'Music Pass' - which I don't have, but comments welcome if you try any of this out.

You can grab this update yourself in the Store if you're in the Insiders Fast ring.