How to Play Music on Xbox One

Find the best background music player to use while gaming

A boy wearing headphones playing a console game on a TV

Carol Yepes/Getty Images

Many games have great soundtracks to accompany the action, but sometimes you want to listen to your own music in the background while you play. Fortunately, the Xbox One has multiple different ways of allowing you to play music in the background while you continue to do other things on the console.

Here's how to set up a background music player on Xbox One, and a look at what apps support the service.

Which Apps and Services Are Compatible?

Rather than having a dedicated Xbox One Media Player, the Xbox One has a store that provides plenty of apps and services for you to download to suit your taste. 

You can download apps such as Groove Music, Pandora, Spotify, VLC, as well as Casts for your podcast listening needs. 

Which app you want to use mostly depends on what you use elsewhere, and what you're looking to do. 

Here's a look at some of the simplest ways to play music through your Xbox One, and how to download the relevant apps to your console.

How to Download Apps to the Xbox One

In all cases, you need to download an app before you can use it. Here's how to do it.

  1. Tap the glowing middle button of your Xbox One controller.

  2. Highlight the App Store and press A to open it.

    The Xbox One dashboard displaying the Store icon
  3. Select the Search bar and type in the name of the app using the onscreen keyboard. 

    The Xbox One store search bar

    It should show up after typing a few keys in.

  4. Scroll up to the app icon and press A.

    Xbox One store front with the 'get' button highlighted for purchases
  5. Select the appropriate app icon, then select Get to download and install the app. 

How to Find the Apps Once Installed

  1. Tap the glowing middle button of your Xbox One controller.

  2. Scroll down and select My Games & Apps.

    Xbox One dashboard with My Games & Apps highlighted
  3. Select See All.

    The Xbox One dashboard with My Games & Apps highlighted
  4. Scroll down to Apps, and select the app to open it.

    Xbox One My Games & Apps Apps section

How to Play an Audio CD While Playing a Game Using Groove Music

Previously a music streaming service, much of Groove Music's features have been discontinued. However, it's still a great and easy way of playing audio CDs in the background. Here's how to do it. 

For obvious reasons, you need to be playing a digital download game rather than a game that requires you to have the game disc in the Xbox One disc drive.

  1. Install Groove Music from the Microsoft Store.

  2. Put the audio CD into your Xbox One disc drive.

  3. The audio CD should play automatically.

    The Xbox One's Groove Music app automatically playing an audio CD

    If it doesn't automatically play, open the Groove Music app and select Audio CD.

  4. Tap the glowing middle button of your Xbox One controller.

  5. Scroll down and select My Games & Apps. 

    Xbox One Dashboard highlighting My Games & Apps
  6. Select the game you want to play. After a brief pause, the game should load and the music should continue to play.

    Xbox One My Games & Apps with a game (Crackdown 3) highlighted
  7. Well done! You can now play an audio CD while playing a game at the same time.

How to Play Music on Xbox One While Playing a Game Using Spotify

Spotify is one of the biggest music streaming services out there, so you'll be pleased to know you can use it while also playing a game on your Xbox One.

  1. Install the Spotify app.

    Xbox One My Games & Apps with Spotify app highlighted
  2. Login to the service with your usual account details. 

    If you're near your computer that's already logged in, you can use a PIN to skip ahead and login without having to enter all your account details.

  3. Choose a playlist you want to listen to.

    Xbox One's Spotify app with playlists highlighted
  4. Select Play to play it. 

    Xbox One Spotify app with a playlist highlighted
  5. Tap the glowing middle button of your Xbox One controller.

  6. Scroll down and select My Games & Apps

    Xbox One dashboard with My Games & Apps highlighted
  7. Find the game you want to play and press A to open it.

  8. After a brief pause, the music should continue to play while your game is loading.

How to Play a Podcast While Playing a Game Using Casts

Sometimes, you might prefer to have a podcast playing in the background rather than music. Here's how to do so via the Casts app.

  1. Install the Casts app from the Microsoft Store.

  2. Open the app.

    Xbox One My Games & Apps with Casts app highlighted
  3. Select Browse in the catalog.

    Xbox One Casts podcast app main screen
  4. Search for a podcast that interests you.

    The Top Feeds section is a great starting place.

  5. Select the thumbnail of the podcast.

    Xbox One Casts app with top feeds podcast apps listed as thumbnails
  6. Scroll down the list of podcast episodes and select the one you want to listen to.

    Xbox One's Casts podcast app with specific podcasts highlighted
  7. Tap the glowing middle button of your Xbox One controller.

  8. Scroll down and select My Games & Apps.

    Xbox One dashboard with My Games & Apps highlighted
  9. Find the game you want to play and press A to open it.

  10. After a brief pause, the podcast should continue to play while your game loads.