Groove Music

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Groove Music
Microsoft Groove logo.png
Groove Music screenshot.png
Groove Music on Windows 10
Stable release
Windows 1010.21012.1051.0. / January 20, 2021; 5 months ago (2021-01-20)
Operating systemWindows 8, Windows 8.1, Windows 10, Xbox One, Xbox 360, Windows 10 Mobile, Windows Phone 8, Windows Phone 8.1
Platformx86, x64, ARM, ARM64[1]
PredecessorZune Music Pass Xbox Music Pass
Available in113 languages[2]
Typeaudio player
LicenseFreeware Edit this on Wikidata

Groove Music (formerly Xbox Music or Zune Music Pass) is an audio player software application included with Windows 8, Windows 8.1, and Windows 10.

The app is also associated with a now-discontinued music streaming service, Groove Music Pass, which was supported across Windows, Xbox video game consoles, Windows Phone, as well as Android and iOS.[3] As of 2014, The Groove catalogue had over 50 million tracks.[4][5] Its subscription service Groove Music Pass was officially discontinued on December 31, 2017, and the Android and iOS versions of the Groove Music app were discontinued in December 2018, restricting the player to its native Microsoft Store base.


Microsoft had previously ventured into music services with its Zune brand. The Zune Music Marketplace included 11 million tracks. The line of Zune players and Zune music store were somewhat unsuccessful, and the brand was largely discontinued at the beginning of the 2010s, although it continued to exist on different devices and the Zune Music Pass offered unlimited access to songs for US$9.99 per month.[6]

During its E3 2012 press conference, and in the wake of the upcoming release of Windows 8. Microsoft announced the relaunch of the service as Xbox Music. With the accompanying announcement of Xbox Video, this move was intended to position Xbox as the company's main entertainment brand. Both services launched on October 16, 2012.[7][8]

On July 6, 2015, Microsoft announced the re-branding of Xbox Music as Groove to tie in with the impending release of Windows 10. The new brand utilized the Microsoft-owned "Groove" trademark formerly used for the unrelated product Microsoft Office Groove (now OneDrive for Business). Joe Belfiore explained that the re-branding was intended to disassociate the service from the Xbox product line, making it more inclusive to non-Xbox platforms.[9][10][11]

On October 2, 2017, Microsoft announced that it would discontinue its subscription service Groove Music Pass and music purchases on Windows Store after December 31, 2017, leaving support for playing music stored locally and on OneDrive. At this time, Microsoft began advertising the competing service Spotify, displaying a banner ad for the service within the Groove Music user interface,[12] and offering the ability to migrate music collections and playlists to the service. As a side effect of the discontinuation, Microsoft additionally announced on May 31, 2018 that the Groove Music apps for Android and iOS would also be discontinued and cease functioning on December 1, 2018, with users being redirected to Google Play Music and iTunes Match for similar cloud synchronization functionality (the OneDrive app still offers limited music playback functions within).[13][14]

Groove Music Pass[edit]

Groove Music Pass (formerly Xbox Music Pass and Zune Music Pass) is a discontinued pay subscription service that allowed unlimited streaming of the service's catalog on any device with the service installed. The pricing in the U.S. included monthly and annual subscriptions.[15] A one-month trial offer was available, but those who previously tried the Zune Music Pass subscription prior to the rebranding were ineligible for this offer.[16] An advertising-supported streaming tier was previously available, but discontinued effective December 1, 2014.[6][17] Music could also be purchased directly from Windows Store.[18]

Users' purchased music, and playlists consisting of songs available on the service could be synced through OneDrive and accessed from multiple devices. Songs in a user's local library on a Windows 8.1 PC could be matched and made available to other devices if available on Groove Music Pass.[19][20] Custom "radio stations" could be generated using songs related to user-selected songs.[21] Songs could be downloaded for offline listening on smartphones.[22] Uploading of non-Groove music became available on Windows 10.[18]

Windows 10's Anniversary Update allowed users to hide features that require a Groove Music Pass from the interface.

On October 2, 2017, Microsoft announced the discontinuation of the Groove Music Pass service effective December 31, 2017. Existing subscribers were refunded, and Microsoft began promoting Spotify as an alternative by allowing saved playlists to be migrated to the service.[23]

Cloud Collection[edit]

Groove Music lets users create a collection of songs and playlists that roam through the cloud on all the supported devices.[19] The songs can be added from the Groove Music Store or matched (within the Groove Music Catalog) to songs either saved locally on the user's machine or uploaded to the user's OneDrive account for the country the user is in.

APIs for developers[edit]

The Groove Music API provides access to RESTful web services for developers to leverage the catalog and features of the service in their application or website.[24]

Geographical availability[edit]

Blue: Groove Music Pass was available
Dark Blue: Only Groove Music Store was available

Countries where Groove was available included:[25]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Get Groove Music". Microsoft Store. Retrieved August 9, 2019.
  2. ^ "Get Groove Music". Microsoft Store. Retrieved August 9, 2019.
  3. ^ "Xbox Music launches on iOS and Android, free streaming on the web". Retrieved September 9, 2013.
  4. ^ "Xbox One: Xbox Music". Archived from the original on July 1, 2017. Retrieved January 27, 2014.
  5. ^ "Xbox Music service announced, coming to Xbox, Windows Phone, and Windows 8". Retrieved December 20, 2012.
  6. ^ a b Brodkin, Jon (June 4, 2012). "30 million-track Xbox Music service coming from Microsoft". Ars Technica. Condé Nast Digital. Retrieved December 19, 2012.
  7. ^ Wingfield, Nick (October 15, 2012). "Xbox Music Leads Microsoft's New Push to Challenge iTunes". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved March 25, 2019.
  8. ^ Warren, Tom (June 4, 2012). "Xbox Music service announced, coming to Xbox, Windows Phone, and Windows 8". The Verge. Retrieved March 25, 2019.
  9. ^ "Microsoft rebrands Xbox Music to Groove". The Verge. Vox Media. July 6, 2015. Retrieved July 6, 2015.
  10. ^ "Windows 10 preview turns Xbox Music into 'Groove'". Engadget. AOL. July 6, 2015. Retrieved July 6, 2015.
  11. ^ "Xbox Music is now Groove, as Microsoft recycles and rebrands". Ars Technica. Retrieved July 6, 2015.
  12. ^ "Groove Music now shows an ad for Spotify, lets Windows Insiders transfer their music". MSPoweruser. October 4, 2017. Retrieved March 11, 2019.
  13. ^ Bright, Peter (May 31, 2018). "Microsoft killing off the Groove Music apps for iOS and Android". Ars Technica. Retrieved March 11, 2019.
  14. ^ Lardinois, Frederic (October 2, 2017). "Microsoft Will Soon Shutter It's Music Store and Streaming Service, Move Users to Spotify". TechCrunch. Retrieved October 3, 2017.
  15. ^ "Xbox Music API – Music for Every App" (Press release). Microsoft. April 4, 2014. Archived from the original on April 5, 2014. Retrieved May 9, 2014.
  16. ^ Packham, Matt (October 16, 2012). "Can Microsoft's New Xbox Music Service Do What Zune Couldn't". TIME techland.
  17. ^ "Microsoft to discontinue free Xbox Music streaming". PC World. Retrieved July 6, 2015.
  18. ^ a b "Updates to Entertainment in Windows 10". Blogging Windows. Microsoft. Retrieved July 6, 2015.
  19. ^ a b "Digital Music: To the Cloud". Retrieved March 29, 2013.
  20. ^ "Understanding Xbox Music". Retrieved July 6, 2015.
  21. ^ "Xbox Music For Windows 8.1 Preview Adds Pandora-Like Radio Feature". TechCrunch. AOL Inc. Retrieved July 6, 2015.
  22. ^ "Xbox Music". Xbox. Archived from the original on March 28, 2013. Retrieved March 29, 2013.
  23. ^ "Microsoft retires Groove Music service, partners with Spotify". The Verge. Retrieved October 2, 2017.
  24. ^ Viswav, Pradeep (December 20, 2013). "Microsoft Launches Xbox Music API And Affiliate Program". Microsoft-News.
  25. ^ "Xbox on Windows feature list". Microsoft. Retrieved April 7, 2016.

External links[edit]