Groove Music in Windows 10
|Opened||October 16, 2012as Xbox Music|
|Discontinued||December 31, 2017 (Groove Music Pass service)|
Paid unlimited streaming in 22 countries|
18 million+ tracks (US);|
50 million+ tracks (globally)
|Preview||30 second previews of songs are available for free|
|Burning/copying||Yes (With Music Pass)|
|Website||Archived official website at the Wayback Machine (archive index)|
Groove Music Pass (formerly Xbox Music and Zune Music, and also known as Microsoft Groove) was a digital music streaming service developed by Microsoft that offered music streaming through subscription or purchase through the Windows Store. The service was web-based and also available via software applications for the Microsoft Windows and Xbox product lines, as well as Android and iOS. The Groove catalogue had over 50 million tracks.
Groove Music Pass was officially discontinued on December 31, 2017 after Microsoft announced on October 2, 2017 that it would be shutting down the service by the end of the year.
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.
Microsoft announced on October 2, 2017, that it would shut down the Groove Music Pass streaming service and remove all music for purchase from the Windows Store by December 31, 2017. Microsoft partnered with Spotify to allow customers to transition their music collection and playlists to the Spotify service. After December 31, 2017 the Groove apps would only play downloaded music stored in customers' local or personal cloud storage locations.
On May 31, 2018, Microsoft announced in a support document  that Groove Music apps are being discontinued on iOS and Android on June 1, 2018. On December 1, 2018, the Groove Music iOS and Android apps will be retired.
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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- 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 Music Is Now Available on the Web". Mashable. Retrieved 24 August 2013.
- "Xbox Music goes head on with Spotify: web streaming now free, iOS and Android apps out today". Endgadget. Retrieved 9 September 2013.
- "Xbox on Windows feature list". Microsoft. Retrieved 7 April 2016.
- Official website (Archive)