Groove Music (formerly known as Xbox Music) is a music streaming service from Microsoft. It is available for $99.90 for 12 months or $9.99 per month.
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Pro Modern design
The designs of each Groove Music application from the web application to the Windows Phone 8 application are all slightly different but they all share a modern and attractive design. Though the applications on iOS and Android are less appealing than on the other platforms.
Pro Integration with OneDrive
Groove Music integrates the music streaming service with OneDrive so that users can stream their own music files hosted in their OneDrive.
Pro Available on cross-platform
A Groove Music application is available for Windows 10, Xbox, Android, iOS and Windows Phone. There is also a web app that will open all of your music with a simple sign in.
Pro Free music streaming on computers and tablets
The Groove Music web application and Windows 8/10 application offer free music streaming on demand or artist based radio stations with unlimited skips. Although there are occasional advertisements and after 6 months of use, free streaming is limited to 10 hours a month.
Pro Huge music library
Groove Music has a massive music library with over 40 million songs, more than Spotify, Tidal, Deezer and Google Play Music,
Pro Over 92,000 music videos available with Groove Music Pass
Pro Has monthly and yearly subscription plans
The Groove Music Pass offers unlimited on demand music and artist based radio stations with unlimited skips, no advertisements, and offline playback. A one month Groove Music Pass is $9.99 and (a better deal) a 12 month pass is $99.90. The 12 month pass is great for kids, those that do not want to pay for a continuous subscription, or those that do not want to use their credit card.
Pro Ability to request missing content
While other music streaming services simply suggest to contact the artist to add their music to their service, Groove Music allows you to easily file a request for missing content right from the Groove Music player.
Con Poor music quality
Bitrate quality is not explicitly stated by Microsoft, but music is reported to be streamed at 192kbps WMA which is lower than most comparable streaming services. While music is downloaded at 256kbps WMA, an improvement but still lower than Google Play Music and Spotify.
Con No social network integration
This may be a huge pro or a con for different types of people. Groove Music does not offer comprehensive social integration like other music services such as Spotify. The only social feature Groove Music offers is the ability to a share a link to a song to Twitter, Facebook, or email. Groove Music will keep all your musical tastes strictly private unless you individually share it.
Con Inconsistent updates to Android app
It's a lot better than it used to be, but the update cycle is a slow and painful process.
Con No song lyrics
Con Extremely basic Android app
Con No tablet specific app for iOS or Android
The exclusion of a tablet specific application leaves Android or iOS tablet users with an unoptimized feeling experience.