As it promised it would, Microsoft just turned its Xbox Music service into another credible Spotify alternative. Moments ago the company turned on OneDrive integration for its music subscription service. The change means that anyone can upload their unprotected MP3s to Microsoft’s storage service and stream through a web browser or a compatible Xbox Music app.
Microsoft announced the move on its Windows Blog just moments ago, sending thousands of users rushing to get their Xbox Music collection uploaded on to OneDrive. A detail sheet for Xbox Music’s OneDrive integration reveals just how seamless the experience is.
Microsoft has gone and added a Music folder to user’s OneDrive storage. Any unprotected music files uploaded there are synced back to the web, Windows 8.1, Windows Phone 8.1, Xbox 360 and Xbox One versions of Xbox Music. Microsoft isn’t charging users any extra for storing their music, but users will only be able to upload as much as their OneDrive storage pool can handle without upgrades. Users can either choose to add more storage to OneDrive directly or pay for an Xbox Music Pass which adds 100GB of extra storage. To be clear, anyone who is already subscribed to Xbox Music will get the 100GB of storage.
Spotify, the world’s most popular music subscription service doesn’t offer anything like Xbox Music’s OneDrive integration. Instead, users pay $9.99 a month and build a music library stored on Spotify’s services. Subscribers can download copies of their songs for offline playback later, but there’s no way to upload the songs you already own. That’s important, most smartphone and tablet users have went through one or even two different music services from which they’ve purchased songs. What’s more, there are still mixtapes and classic albums that aren’t available through any music services.
Besides, music streaming and 100GB of cloud storage, Xbox Music users also get access to music video streaming through the Xbox Music apps on Xbox 360 and Xbox One. Those who’ve been with the service for a while still get 10 free songs per month.
Microsoft says that users can add up to 50,000 individual tracks to their streaming personal collection without any issue. Setting up the integration is mostly simple. Use should download the OneDrive app or go to OneDrive.com and login with their Microsoft Account and password. Creating a Music folder and uploading the songs stored on your device is all that needs to be done. The Xbox Music apps should automatically begin to populate with music stored on OneDrive.
Windows watchers were expecting Microsoft to roll out Xbox Music integration with OneDrive. The company announced the move at its Windows 10 Media Briefing earlier this year. What’s surprising is how quickly the company is moving to tie everything into its core services. Already subscribing to the company’s Office 365 subscription service gets users extra OneDrive cloud storage. iPhone and Android users who choose to have the photos they take backed up on OneDrive earn an extra 15GB of storage. Even referring friends to OneDrive earns users more storage. OneNote, Microsoft’s free note taking application syncs to OneNote quietly.
The only thing disappointing about Microsoft’s move to catch Spotify is its apps. Today’s cloud storage announcements are great for Windows users because Microsoft says support on Windows Phone and Windows 8 is already available. Unfortunately, Xbox Music subscribers with an iPhone or Android device are still left out in the cold. That’s disappointing as Microsoft already doesn’t allow iPhone or Android users to browse its marketplace directly. Users can’t purchase new albums or songs through those apps either.
Both Amazon and Google offer music storage for their users already.