Windows Apps Weekly for 22 March 2015 – Music

Windows Apps Weekly for 22 March 2015 – Music

As I was looking through apps over the last few days I was unsure what to feature but then I thought back to earlier in the week when Microsoft finally flipped the switch and integrated Xbox Music with OneDrive.

Now any music from your personal collection that you store in the Music folder on OneDrive is now accessible through the Music apps on Windows, Windows Phone and Xbox.

The best part of this new enhancement is that an Xbox Music Pass is not required to enjoy the new capability however, if you happen to be an Xbox Music Pass subscriber, you will find 100GB of extra storage in your OneDrive account.

The Xbox Music apps, which are simply referred to as Music on each platform, provide a great example of universal apps that gives you a very similar experience in each device.  There are a few inconsistencies, as I will point out below, but this is one of the better current examples of the vision Microsoft has for universal apps in the Windows 10 ecosystem.

Having your personal collection accessible in the Music apps also brought along the ability to create playlists that use your own music on OneDrive in any combination you want. These playlists will also sync between your different devices automatically.

There is another new feature that has been implemented to control duplicates between music on your physical devices, what you have purchased using an Xbox Music Pass and what is now in your OneDrive Music folder.

If you choose to use this new feature then do not fret about losing what you have in the OneDrive Music folder as that becomes your master location and any duplicates will be removed from other locations.

One other nice item to take note of is that the only folder in OneDrive that is discoverable for music is the Music folder. If you choose to store music tracks in other folders then they will not be accessible in the various Music apps.

The last thing to be aware of as you are using this new feature is that the apps will sometimes refer to the music on OneDrive as your streaming music and not cloud music or anything like that.  Just good to know to prevent any confusion.

Here are some images from the apps that show how to access your cloud based music collection:

Music app settings on Windows 8.1

Windows 8.1 Music app option in Settings for controlling duplicates.

Music app on Windows 8.1 sorting options

Sorting options in the Windows 8.1 Music app. Notice it uses both terms - streaming and on OneDrive.

Music app on Windows Phone 8.1 sorting options

Sorting options in the Music app on Windows Phone 8.1

Connect to streaming music on Windows Phone 8.1

Access streaming aka OneDrive Music folder in Settings menu for the Music app on Windows Phone 8.1

Web based Music access in browser

Accessing the duplicate control setting via the web based interface to Xbox Music.

Download Music app on Windows Phone 8.1

Download Music app on Windows 8.1

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