Mi­crosoft’s Groove Mu­sic app

PCWorld (USA) - - Contents - BY MARK HACHMAN

Win­dows 10’s Groove Mu­sic app may have lost its com­pan­ion Groove Mu­sic Pass ( go.pc­world.com/ grmp) ser­vice, but it still has a rea­son to live: so it can take care of your MP3 files. As cloud ser­vices turn away from per­sis­tent mu­sic stor­age in fa­vor of stream­ing, you may need it more than ever.

Mi­crosoft of­fi­cially killed its Groove

Mu­sic Pass ser­vice as the ball dropped on De­cem­ber 31 ( go.pc­world.com/ki11), shift­ing users over to Spo­tify. It’s a recog­ni­tion that stream­ing ser­vices are the fu­ture, and that cus­tomers just don’t want to buy songs or al­bums.

But none of th­ese ser­vices have ev­ery­thing. Bands like AC/DC and the Bea­tles held out for years. Artists ne­go­ti­ate exclusive deals on stream­ing ser­vices like Tidal. And for fan com­mu­ni­ties who pass around bootlegs of their fa­vorite per­for­mances, like the Grate­ful Dead or Rush, chances are you’ll never, ever, find th­ese per­for­mances on a li­censed mu­sic ser­vice.

WHY MP3 COL­LEC­TORS SHOULD WORRY

That’s why a gen­er­a­tion of MP3 col­lec­tors is rightly wor­ried about the fate of their pre­cious live tracks and remixes. Spo­tify will play them, but only from lo­cal sources (more on that later). Ama­zon has qui­etly an­nounced plans to shut­ter Ama­zon Mu­sic Stor­age ( go. pc­world.com/amms), its ser­vice for up­load­ing pri­vate MP3S to the cloud. (This won’t af­fect Ama­zon’s Mu­sic Un­lim­ited Ser­vice, or any MP3S you’ve pur­chased through Ama­zon.)

Even Google Play Mu­sic, which al­lows you to up­load a whop­ping 50,000 MP3S to its mu­sic locker, seems to be con­sid­er­ing merg­ing the ser­vice with Youtube Red ( go.pc­world.

com/ytrd). Google also “matches” songs ( go. pc­world.com/asng), rather than ac­cept­ing your ac­tual up­loads—if you up­loaded a rare track that Google misiden­ti­fied and re­placed, you might be out of luck. The an­swer to all th­ese threats is not to store gi­ga­bytes of MP3S lo­cally, where they can be lost or ac­ci­den­tally erased. In­stead, safe­guard your MP3 files in your Onedrive cloud stor­age ac­count, and use Groove Mu­sic’s app as the front end. Here’s how it works.

HOW TO BACK UP YOUR MP3 FILES TO THE ONEDRIVE CLOUD

If you sub­scribe to Of­fice 365 and its ter­abyte of Onedrive stor­age, chances are that you don’t have a ter­abyte’s worth of Word doc­u­ments stored on­line. You can fill up your re­main­ing space with your MP3S.

Groove will col­lect any MP3S that it finds lo­cally on your PC and on Onedrive, but first you need to tell it where to look. By de­fault, Groove will sniff your Mu­sic folder on your lo­cal PC, and a Mu­sic folder on Onedrive. (If you don’t have a Mu­sic folder in your main Onedrive ac­count directory, you’ll need to cre­ate one.)

Check to see that ev­ery­thing’s been set up cor­rectly by open­ing the Groove app, then click­ing the My Mu­sic tab on the left rail. In the main tab, you should see a tiny mes­sage high up that says “Not find­ing ev­ery­thing? Show us where to look for mu­sic.” That will open up a sub­menu where you can add fold­ers. If you al­ready have a Onedrive folder called My MP3S, for ex­am­ple, you can just add it here.

One of the ca­su­al­ties of the demise of Groove Mu­sic Pass is that, even with those fold­ers set up, you may see a num­ber of tracks that have a small cir­cled i in front, and a note say­ing that they’ve been re­moved at the re­quest of the copy­right holder. Th­ese (now) un­li­censed tracks are go­ing to clut­ter up your list un­less you do some­thing about them.

Un­for­tu­nately, there’s no bul­let­proof way to fil­ter out th­ese un­li­censed tracks, even by us­ing the fil­ter op­tion at the top of the Groove Mu­sic app screen. Show­ing only the tracks that you

Mi­crosoft ne­go­ti­ated a deal with Spo­tify to trans­fer over your pur­chased mu­sic and playlists, but if you didn’t down­load them first they sim­ply re­side within the Spo­tify ser­vice.

This seems like the best fil­ter­ing op­tion for mu­sic stored on Onedrive.

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