A feature that many of us have wanted has finally arrived. Microsoft today has flipped the switch and you can now store your music within OneDrive and stream that music directly from any device. The update means that you can have Xbox Music look in the new Music folder that is now in your OneDrive account and you can upload your music to that folder. Once you do that and everything is synchronized, you can stream your music straight from OneDrive, eliminating the need for storing it locally.
The process for doing this is pretty straight forward. First, you need to upload your music you want to sync with OneDrive to the new Music folder in OneDrive. You do not have to create this folder – it is already there as Microsoft added it to every OneDrive account. Second, once the sync is complete, open up the Xbox Music app on your Windows PC and go to Preference and at the top, tell the app where to look for Music on your PC. By default you will be taken to your new Music folder in OneDrive. Click OK and now Xbox Music will look for music in this folder. That’s it. Done and dusted.
Now from your Windows Phone, open up Xbox Music and all the music you have uploaded to your folder in OneDrive will be there for you to start streaming.
There are a couple of things to consider as you do this. First, this is streaming music so if you want to listen to your music offline, you will have to have a local copy on your hard disk. In this sense, you have simply moved your music from one folder (C:/User/Music) to OneDrive. This isn’t such a bad thing as you have a copy of your music in the cloud should anything happen to your hard disk. Second, and somewhat hand-in-hand with my first point, if you want to listen to music on your Windows Phone offline you will still need to sync that music to your device via the Windows Phone app for Windows 8.1 and store it on the device.
As an added bonus for those of us who are Xbox Music Pass subscriber, Microsoft is giving you an extra 100GB of storage space on your OneDrive account. Just make sure you log into Xbox Music and OneDrive with the same Microsoft account. It’s a nice touch for subscribers but really, 100GB when you have 10TB as an Office 365 subscriber….
The ability to stream music from your OneDrive account is something that has long been desired by those who use both services as a way to save storage on your mobile devices instead of having to sync up music. I personally will use it this way, much as I have done with my photos in OneDrive, to save space on my device. The reality is I’m always online via GSM or Wi-Fi including when I’m on a plan 90% of the time. I frankly just don’t have the need for having music offline so for me, this new addition is very welcome.
You can read more about all of this on the Xbox Music site