Groove Music on Windows 10
|Operating system||Windows 8, Windows 10|
The app is also associated with a now-discontinued music streaming service, Groove Music Pass (formerly Zune Music Pass and Xbox Music Pass), which was supported across Windows, Xbox video game consoles, Windows Phone, as well as Android and iOS. The Groove catalogue had over 50 million tracks. Groove Music Pass was officially discontinued on December 31, 2017, and the Android and iOS versions of the Groove Music app were discontinued December 2018.
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.
Meanwhile, Microsoft had been emphasizing the strength of its Xbox brand because of its appeal to consumers. It had been expanding the multimedia services available through its Xbox Live to include services such as a video store and online game marketplace. It decided to introduce a new music service to build upon these existing features.
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 utilizes 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.
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 promoting competing service Spotify, displaying a banner advertisement for the service within the Groove Music user interface, 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).
Groove Music Pass
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. 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. An advertising-supported streaming tier was previously available, but discontinued effective December 1, 2014. Music could also be purchased directly from Windows Store.
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. Custom "radio stations" could be generated using songs related to user-selected songs. Songs could be downloaded for offline listening on smartphones. Uploading of non-Groove music became available on Windows 10.
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.
Groove Music let users create a collection of songs and playlists that roam through the cloud on all the supported devices. The songs could 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 was in.
APIs for developers
Countries where Groove was available included:
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- "Xbox One: Xbox Music". winsupersite.com. Retrieved 27 January 2014.
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- Brodkin, Jon (4 June 2012). "30 million-track Xbox Music service coming from Microsoft". Ars Technica. Condé Nast Digital. Retrieved 19 December 2012.
- Langshaw, Mark (4 June 2012). "E3 2012: Xbox Music announced by Microsoft - watch video". Digital Spy.
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- "Groove Music now shows an ad for Spotify, lets Windows Insiders transfer their music". MSPoweruser. 2017-10-04. Retrieved 2019-03-11.
- Bright, Peter (2018-05-31). "Microsoft killing off the Groove Music apps for iOS and Android". Ars Technica. Retrieved 2019-03-11.
- 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.
- "Xbox Music API – Music for Every App" (Press release). Microsoft. April 4, 2014. Retrieved May 9, 2014.
- Packham, Matt (16 October 2012). "Can Microsoft's New Xbox Music Service Do What Zune Couldn't". TIME techland.
- "Microsoft to discontinue free Xbox Music streaming". PC World. Retrieved 6 July 2015.
- "Updates to Entertainment in Windows 10". Blogging Windows. Microsoft. Retrieved 6 July 2015.
- "Digital Music: To the Cloud". winsupersite.com. Retrieved 29 March 2013.
- "Understanding Xbox Music". Thurrott.com. Retrieved 6 July 2015.
- "Xbox Music For Windows 8.1 Preview Adds Pandora-Like Radio Feature". TechCrunch. AOL Inc. Retrieved 6 July 2015.
- "Xbox Music". Xbox. Retrieved 29 March 2013.
- "Microsoft retires Groove Music service, partners with Spotify". The Verge. Retrieved 2017-10-02.
- Viswav, Pradeep (20 December 2013). "Microsoft Launches Xbox Music API And Affiliate Program". Microsoft-News.
- "Xbox on Windows feature list". Microsoft. Retrieved 7 April 2016.
- Official website (Archive)