Microsoft is expected to expand OneDrive in the near future to include your music collection in the cloud. Such a move should probably not come as a surprise after all Microsoft has been very generous with storage lately, including bumping it to unlimited for Office 365 subscribers.
Now, some new information has come forward to suggest that the transition to enabling this free feature is getting much closer to a release.
According to the insider, OneDrive already has some rudimentary support for the Locker, including the creation of a Music folder:
"Going to https://onedrive.live.com/?id=music today will automatically create a "Music" folder on your OneDrive - this will be where you place all your music files to add to your Xbox Music collection for playback across all your devices (Windows Phone 8.1, Windows 8.1 PC or tablet, Xbox, or on the web.)"
Additionally, when this Xbox Music locker launches it will reportedly only be available in the following countries: Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom, and United States.
Reasons are unknown for the limited-rollout, but it likely has to do with regional licensing agreements, which could interfere with Microsoft hosting of people's music.
Furthermore, Microsoft will allegedly dole out a bonus 20GB of OneDrive storage to users who upload music to their new online Music folder. This mirrors a similar offer for those who backed up their phone's photos to the Microsoft cloud service.
Free to use
Perhaps the best part of the OneDrive + Xbox Music Locker service is it is supposedly free. Since the music uploaded is technically yours, there should be no restrictions on its usage. The concern though was that Microsoft would link its paid Music Pass service to this locker, however, that does not seem to be the case, at least according to this source.
First look at Xbox Music Locker?
Finally, some graphics for the Xbox Music Locker via OneDrive can be found right on Microsoft's own servers (and seen above), including http://music-cache.xbox.com/Content/images/onedrive-banner-v0.1.png
Those graphics will reportedly be used for the web version of the Xbox Music player to indicate that the music being streamed originates from OneDrive and not Microsoft.
There is no word on when Microsoft will throw the switch on their Xbox Music Locker. However, with free streaming from Xbox Music coming to end in December, the timing appears to be too coincidental to not be connected.
Will Microsoft's move let them catch up to Amazon and Google who already offer similar services? It is too early to tell, but at least Redmond is headed in the right direction, albeit belatedly.