With the latest beta build of Steam, Valve has introduced the first version of its Steam Music desktop client. Just as it sounds, this is Valve’s take on the music player, allowing users to scan their PCs for content, and then listen to it from right inside of Steam. While the music library can’t be navigated while inside of a game via the overlay, you’re able to control playback of anything that’s already playing. In time, I’m sure this functionality will be expanded.
As the screenshot above highlights, Steam Music fits in perfectly with the rest of Steam’s aesthetic. Personally, I don’t think that’s a good thing. I’ve long believed that Steam could use a visual overhaul, and greater customization in its various sections. Making matters worse, it seems at this point, only a few music formats are supported – excluding FLAC. Further, its album cover feature seems to rely on images embedded into the files, rather than external sources.
Of course, this is a beta for a reason, and Valve’s goal is to simply make this work. We’ll see where things go, but for now, and probably forever, I’ll stick to foobar2000.
If you want to try Steam Music, you’ll simply need to enable the beta build in the options. After a quick update, you’ll see the option become available from the Library menu.