Fast Facts – Windows Phone Mango music and video

As details of Microsoft’s mobile OS coming media skills emerge, these are some of the new improvements to look forward to

It’s no secret that Windows Phone Mango has been touted as having over 500 new features and these new multimedia skills suggest that the folks over at Microsoft are finally bringing their A-game to the smartphone arena.

Podcast browsing and downloading can be achieved directly via the phone marketplace and the option to stream podcasts is a welcome addition for those who want to save some precious storage. If you’re on the lazy side then fear not, as any subscriptions you have can download automatically each night while you’re slumbering away. Sadly, these will be US-only features at launch.

There's a new Smart DJ. Think of an iTunes Genius playlist feature as opposed to a boffin turntablist. Smart DJ will let you make music mixes based on any song. A Zune Pass subscription will put the entire Zune music library at your disposal, ensuring that musical boredom will never strike again. Favourite mixes can also be pinned to the start screen so that you can take all of the credit for impeccable melodic arrangements at the next house party.

Taking a leaf out of Apple’s book isn't a bad idea when it comes to music management, which is why auto-suggestion in marketplace searches is a welcome addition. The organisation of results into different categories should also make things clearer, ensuring that a search for Red Hot Chili Peppers will provide you with funky upbeat rock as opposed to a spicy recipe app.

A host of minor improvements ranging from bigger on-screen buttons and the ability to control playback from the lock screen should all add up to a smoother user experience. The much-needed option to create a playlist on the go has also finally been included, which we’re sure will be received with fanfare and confetti by all Windows Phone users.