Steam Music Beta begins; get your groove on while you game
Looking to broaden Steam into an "entertainment platform," Valve has launched Steam Music Beta, a new feature that allows you to listen to your own collection of music while playing games without having to rely on other desktop apps.
"Task-switching between resource-intensive 3D games and other desktop apps has never been a graceful experience for gamers, so an in-game player can help by eliminating that pain point," Valve explains.
"Beyond addressing this context-switching hurdle, we see an opportunity to broaden Steam as an entertainment platform which includes music alongside games and other forms of media. With our ongoing efforts to make Steam accessible in the living room with SteamOS and Steam Machines, the timing feels right for us to make an investment in this broader picture."
Once pointed to your local music directory, your Steam Library will offer Album and Artist views of your collection. From there you can view and play albums and tracks, manage your queue, and acess the Steam Music player. Because it's still in Beta, some music features you are used may not yet be implemented. Hey, that's why it's a beta! But don't worry, these features will come. As of right now, Steam supports MP3s, but there are plans to support more file types in the future.
Finally, I can shake my rump to the Thong Song while crushing in Team Fortress 2.
So how do you get into the Steam Music Beta?
According to Valve, anyone that's currently running SteamOS will have automatic access to the feature once they opt to participate in the Steam Client Beta. Others interested in trying it out can join the Steam Music group and wait for an email invite. The first wave of invites were sent yesterday, but Valve will continue to send invites until the new feature is released to everyone.