Any music files you upload to the new “Music” folder in OneDrive automatically appear in the Xbox Music app on all of your Windows and Xbox devices. This includes any PC running Windows 8.1, any smartphone running Windows Phone 8.1, and your Xbox 360 and Xbox One.
If you don’t want to use Xbox Music, you can stream music directly from OneDrive’s website. For those that prefer native apps, Xbox Music is the way to go.
This functionality is available only 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, the U.K., and the U.S.
Microsoft is also trying to encourage the use of Xbox Music Pass, which costs $10 per month. The company is offering users an extra 100GB of OneDrive storage for free if they sign up for the subscription service.
Having all of your music in OneDrive, regardless of where it came from originally, means you can listen to everything whether you’re at home or on the go. Best of all, you can create playlists from both sources (music uploaded to OneDrive and music from the Xbox Music Pass) that work on all of your devices.
Microsoft admits to one shortcoming: Windows Phone users who have never used the Xbox Live service will have to sign up for a free Xbox Live account in order to have their music from OneDrive show up in the Xbox Music app for Windows Phone 8.1. “We recognize this experience isn’t ideal and are working on a fix to make it better,” the company said.
This new feature is similar to Apple’s iTunes Match and Google’s Play Music, though it’s unique in that Microsoft’s solution is spread across two different services. That may be a bit confusing to some users, especially given all the branding changes Xbox Music and OneDrive have gone through over the years.