As of December 31, 2017, Microsoft will be killing off the Groove Music Pass and eliminating music purchases from the Store. That means that the pre-installed Groove Music app that comes with Windows 10 is going to lose a whole bunch of its features.
But while the streaming subscription will die, Groove is still a great music player for your own local and cloud stored music.
Here's everything you need to know.
How to move your music out of Groove
Microsoft has partnered with one of the biggest players in streaming music, Spotify, to make it simple for its customers to move their music somewhere new. Inside the Groove app there's a simple one-click method to move everything across to Spotify for you, assuming you set an account up first.
If you're going elsewhere for your streaming, there are ways and means to move your playlists. The guide below tells you what you need to know.
Whether you've got a collection of personal music from your own sources or amassed through online stores like iTunes and Google Play, the Groove app on Windows 10 will catalog it and play it for you. In most cases, all you need to know is where on your PC the music is stored and tell the app where to find it.
The links below are specific to two of the bigger online services, iTunes and Google Play, but several of the basic steps apply to any form of local music you have on your computer.
- How to import your iTunes playlists into the Groove music app on Windows 10
- How to import your entire iTunes library into the Groove music app on Windows 10
- How to get your Google Play Music into Groove on Windows 10
The Groove music app is actually pretty simplistic. There's no huge list of confusing menus and settings, and it's very easy to get going with. But, should you go looking, here are what some of the key settings are and what they do for you.
Music on this PC
- See the above section on "Local music" for more on these settings.
- Automatically retrieve and update missing album artwork and metadata: If you're a stickler for keeping your music collection in line, make sure you keep this turned on to replace any album art that went missing somewhere.
- Are you a light theme or a dark theme kind of person?
Streaming your own music from OneDrive
Groove doesn't just allow you to stream music from its online catalog; you can also create your own personal cloud locker with OneDrive.
By adding your music to OneDrive, you can point the Groove apps to play it on all your devices. If this sounds like something you're interested in, check out the video above or the link below for everything you need to know.
Selecting and playing music
We've just about covered everything you need to know about getting your music into Groove, but what about actually finding something to play? The three main tabs are "Albums," "Artists" and "Songs."
Albums are shown as squares, artists as circles and songs as one giant list.
There are a couple of ways to deal with your music once it's playing. The bar along the bottom of the window keeps your timeline scrubber and play controls at hand. But, if you hover your mouse over the Groove icon in the taskbar you get mini controls for play and pause, skip back and skip forward.
Oh, and if you fancy going full screen, there's that option, too. You'll get a background of artist-related images, some text and not a lot else. To access this, tap on the "now playing" segment on the bottom left-hand side of the media control bar, then hit the full-screen icon on the artist title bar.
We've already covered how to bring over existing iTunes playlists, but what about creating your own within Groove? It's super simple, and they can sync across your different devices, too. The option for "New playlist" is right there in the sidebar, just hit it and give your new creation a name.
Supported file formats
Groove Music supports more file formats than you may think. It won't play everything, but it covers the most popular bases.
Updated December 15, 2017: We removed all information on Groove Music Pass and introduced information on how to move your music away before it shuts down.