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Adam Creighton, Computer and Video Gaming (Subscribe)

Friday, May 26, 2006

Xbox Live downloads get queuing, background functionality

One of my major pet peeves with the new Xbox Live is going to be fixed in an upcoming updated.

Right now, when you download something, you have find it, start the download, and you can't do anything else while it's downloading. If it stalls or you kill it, you have to remember to go find it again, and restart it (and remembering is important, because the currently bad usability shows a checkmark if you start to download something, not if you successfully download it).

According to, an update is coming "in the next week" that will add "Active Download" -- where "you’ll be able to set up a series of downloads and have them complete in the background" (up to 6 queued up).The download will resume automatically if interrupted, and will pause when you play an Xbox Live multiplayer game, and resume when you finish.

About, freaking, time. This would have been nice to have during the E3 free week, and I suspect it was supposed to be ready for it.

I wish they'd give you the option to pause or not if you're playing a Live game (as long as you're not hosting).

Other improvements include a whole Xbox Marketplace refresh, which will make it easier to sort and find content (thank you thank you thank you). There'll also be new camera-related content, even though the camera itself won't be available until this fall(ish).

And they're adding the ability to fast forward and rewind through video downloads (thank you thank you thank you), and tweaks to DVD and music playback.

Microsoft is doing an awesome job listening to users with this service. So go buy an Xbox 360 to show your appreciation ... ;-)

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SOURCES:,,,, IGN, GameInformer, Official XBox Magazine, CNN,, and others.


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