Microsoft is retooling the Music+Videos Hub for Windows Phone. When the Mango software update rolls out later this year it will bring new tools for managing podcasts, a “Smart DJ” option which creates a playlist based on an individual song, artist or album, and better Marketplace search.
The podcast update is long overdue. While you can listen to podcasts on a Windows Phone device you currently need a computer running Zune desktop software to subscribe to podcasts. Mango will add an on-device podcast directory.
The Smart DJ service will create playlists from music on your device. But if you have a subscription to Microsoft’s Zune Pass service, the Smart DJ feature will be able to create mixes by pulling in some of the millions of songs available to subscribers.
Other changes in Mango include new placements for the shuffle, rate, and repeat buttons, better history, and new options for controlling media playback from your phone’s lock screen.
We got an early look at some of these changes when the Windows Phone 7 Mango emulator hit the streets. But now Microsoft is highlighting most of the major changes to the Zune media software and Musi+Videos Hub in a Windows Team blog post where you can find more details and pictures.