Steam has been on a roll. Only recently after having announced their decision to include the VR API with their Steamworks API, Steam just announced the unveiling of their private Beta for Steam Music. Valve, as written on their announcement page, says that invites to the first wave of Beta participants have been sent. In addition, anyone using the SteamOS will automatically be eligible for Beta participation, given that they enable the Steam Client Beta opt-in from System settings. People without the OS, can express their interest by joining the Steam Music group, from which members will be chosen at random for the Beta participation, Steam Music is ready for public roll-out.
Steam Music, is Steam’s very own music player that will be integrated across SteamOS, Big Picture and Steam, helping to bring the player’s personal music collection in-game through the Steam interface. When asked why Valve decided to go with a music feature, Steam community representative Christen posted that people have been asking for such a feature for quite a long time. According to the post, task switching between intensive 3D application and desktops can be very taxing, so an in-game option was desired. In addition, as Valve has decided to push SteamOS and Steam machines as complete living room entertainment solutions, the time seemed right for them to integrate a music player into the Steam interface, thus moving towards providing a complete entertainment experience.
Once the user points Steam to the player’s music collection on the HDD, either in SteamOS or through Big Picture, Steam will make the entire music collection available to the user in either Artist or Album view to be played in the background. Since Steam will be handling the music playback, the music will follow the player even in-game, allowing the player to pause, stop, play or even choose different music without ever having to leave the game. You can even manage your own playlist and browse your collection to sculpt a playlist that suits your mood. Steam Music currently supports only MP3 with support for more music file formats coming soon. Valve also mentioned that they would like to start off with a small feature set and then move on to implementing more and more features depending on the feedback of the community. While not definitely saying it outright, but the community post did hint towards a future support for streaming music channels. Perhaps they might even include a music store, as they did mention in the same post that Steam does sell soundtracks of quite a few of the games on catalogue, so they didn’t cancel the idea of music store entirely. Steam Music also currently supports In-Home Streaming through the Steam interface, so that’s a definite bonus to players wanting to stream music to their other In-Home Streaming supported devices.
Valve has been known to value their community and as such have also made a community pages inviting feedback and suggestions for possible future features and bug reports for Steam Music. The page can be accessed here.
Source: Steam Community