When comparing Groove Music vs MusicBee, the Slant community recommends MusicBee for most people. In the question“What are the best music players for Windows?” MusicBee is ranked 4th while Groove Music is ranked 9th. The most important reason people chose MusicBee is:
MusicBee can be skinned which can significantly change the appearance of a player. To apply a skin, it must first be downloaded, moved to the appropriate folder, and after restarting MusicBee, it can be applied. A collection of skins can be found [here](http://musicbee.wikia.com/wiki/Skins). It's also possible to customize the layout by choosing which panels to display.
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Pro Available 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 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 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 Modern UI 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 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.
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 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 Customizable look and feel
MusicBee can be skinned which can significantly change the appearance of a player.
To apply a skin, it must first be downloaded, moved to the appropriate folder, and after restarting MusicBee, it can be applied. A collection of skins can be found here. It's also possible to customize the layout by choosing which panels to display.
Pro Can autofill information on songs
MusicBee can automatically identify songs based on their sound signature and use that information to pull metadata about the song (such as tags, artwork, and lyrics).
Pro Remarkably responsive interface with small to medium numbers of files
Your media library is stored in a flat file rather than a traditional database, limiting its ability to manage truly massive collections of audio files, but offering far reduced processing overhead for small to medium-large collections.
Pro Portable version is available
A version of MusicBee can be used without having to be installed. It can be kept on an external device and run from that.
Pro Functionality can be extended via plugins
A collection of plugins can be found here. These plugins extend the uses of the app from iOS support, last.fm support, to streaming services support.
Pro Auto-playlist creation with powerful rules
Pro Lots of ways to organize media
Pro Simple interface
MusicBee offers a very straight-forward and easy-to-use interface.
Pro Synchronized lyrics
In addition to automatically pulling lyrics for songs, MusicBee can synchronise music playback with lyrics.
Pro Can convert media
Pro Integrates with Last.fm
MusicBee allows scrobbling with Last.fm.
Pro Good podcast support
MusicBee allows the user to subscribe to and auto-download podcasts.
Pro WASAPI/ASIO support
High-end audio cards can be easily used to their full potential without any additional software due to WASAPI and ASIO support.
Pro iOS sync support
There is a plugin available that allows users to sync their iOS devices (including music ad podcasts).
Pro Ability to lock down access to settings
It's possible to lock down access to settings while still having access to the player. This is great for parties, allowing guests to browse and play music without worrying if they will mess something up.
Pro Supports Winamp visualizers
Pro Waveform seekbar
Pro Supports seeing time on seek
MusicBee tells you the time you are seeking to on mouseover on the seek bar.
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 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 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 No song lyrics
Con No family plan
Many other streaming services now offer a family plan, Groove is lagging behind.
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.
Con The UPnP plugin is still buggy
Con Installs pictures that are irrelevant to the artist being played
Con Plays same tracks repetitively , even when marked for skipping
Con MP3 and AAC transcoding requires installing separate encoders
Due to licensing reasons, MP3 and AAC encoders don't come bundled with the software and have to be installed separately.
Con Doesn't integrate with system media playback interface
Con Does not handle large numbers of files very well
When opening a large number of files, the interface slows down, album view blocks, process blocks disk every now and then on updates.