In the wake of Microsoft’s most recent step back from online music, I’m struck by how many people feel burned by this coming change. Guys, relax. You have much better—and much cheaper—ways to stream your own music from the cloud.
The issue: As part of an ongoing scaling back of its online music endeavors, Microsoft announced today that it will kill the Groove app for Android and iOS at the end of 2018.
This should not have been a surprise to anyone: Microsoft killed its Groove Music Pass service and stopped selling digital music back in late 2017. At the time, it provided a way for subscribers to easily move their Groove playlists and content to Spotify, the leading subscription music service.
Spotify is a great choice for many. But it’s not very easy to use with your own personal music collection, which you perhaps ripped from CD years ago. Until recently, users who wished to mix and match their personal music with music from a subscription service (as I do) had three major choices: Google Play Music, Apple iTunes Match, and Amazon Prime Music. But with Amazon exiting this business in Microsoft’s wake, our choices have dwindled to two: Google Play Music and Apple iTunes Match.
I coincidentally wrote about this situation earlier this week in Fewer Options For Those with Their Own Music (Premium). But here’s some advice for everyone, and not just those who wish to use both personal music and subscription music: Just use Google Play Music. It’s a better app and a better service.
Best of all, you don’t need to pay for it. If all you want to do is stream your own music and not pay for a subscription, Google lets you upload an astonishing 50,000 songs from your PC to the cloud for free. It’s a no-brainer.
Let me be even clearer.
No one should be storing music in OneDrive and streaming/downloading it from there to their devices here in 2018. The cost is too high: You only get 5 GB of storage for free and the most common storage upgrade comes via Office 365 at a cost of $70 to $100 per year. And playing music to a mobile device via OneDrive is a ridiculous option.
By comparison, Google Play Music is fully supported, has a great mobile app, and is free for libraries up to 50,000 songs. This is the right way to go.
You can get started here. Once you sign-in, you’ll want to download any music you have in OneDrive and then upload it to Google using their web-based music upload page (for small collections) or the Google Play Music app for Chrome, which has uploading capabilities.