For as long we can remember, the go-to music app on Windows has been Windows Media Player (WMP). Sadly, WMP hasn’t been updated since Windows 7, which doesn’t mean it doesn’t work, but it’s not exactly the latest nor greatest app for playing your MP3s.
In Windows 10, there’s a new music app called Groove Music and if you’ve used any type of music-oriented application recently, then Groove should be pretty self-explanatory, but let’s take a few minutes and walk you through some of its more notable features.
Groove lets you view you music collection by album, artist, and song. Additionally, you can click the search icon and find anything in your collection in mere seconds.
When you play a song, the controls will appear along the bottom edge. Here you see the album cover art, song, artist, and the playback controls you come to expect from a music player.
Additionally, just as in Windows 8, if you use your keyboard’s media controls, a small control window will appear in the upper-left corner allowing you to go back, forward, and pause, as well as adjust the volume.
Clicking the three lines in the app’s top-left corner will show you the app’s features, while clicking it again will hide them.
If you click the gear icon next to your name, it will open the settings, which will discuss in the next section.
Finally, you can actually purchase new music in the Windows Store, just click “Get music in Store”.
Once purchased, you music will be downloaded to your device. If you want to download purchases made on other devices, you can turn that option on in the settings.
Exploring Groove’s Settings
Groove’s settings will let you configure downloads, reset the app, and change the appearance, among other things.
A Groove Music Pass is similar to Apple Music, Pandora, or Spotify. It will let you stream ad-free music, and is compatible with many of the most popular platforms including iOS and Android.
When you first attempt to make a purchase, you will be asked if you want to sign in with your password before completing purchases or managing your account. This setting can be later changed.
As we mentioned already, you can configure Groove to automatically download any songs you’ve already purchased on other devices. This setting is “Off” by default.
You can also have the app automatically retrieve and update missing album art and metadata. This setting is “On” by default.
If you add a song to OneDrive, the app can remove that version from Groove Music Pass automatically. This setting is “Off” by default.”
Finally, as we mentioned earlier, if you want to make purchases or manage your account, you will be prompted to sign in with your user name and password. This setting is “On” by default and we recommend leaving it as such.
Finally, there’s the “Reset” option, which will delete your playlists and any music you’ve added from the Groove Music catalog. There is also an option to change the app’s background to “Dark”, which just means that it will be black instead of white.
Beyond the simple interface and buying music from the store, you can also add any music you currently own and play it in Groove.
Adding Your Personal Collection
Chances are if you’re considering Groove as you WMP replacement, then you might already have a sizable music collection on your computer. In that case, you can build your collection from your local music files by adding watch folders.
To do this, we look under the heading “Music on this PC” and click the link to “Choose where we look for music”.
You must have at least one watch folder, but you can presumably add as many as you want. Groove should then crawl through your folder(s) and add your music to its library.
Note, you can also import Apple iTunes playlists.
Chances are, if you’re a serious music collector, then Groove isn’t going to cut it. It is pretty limited and doesn’t support alternative music formats such as .flac and .ogg, but for those with simple needs, it’s a serviceable replacement for WMP.
We should note, however, WMP is still alive and well and can be accessed from the Start menu so you can still use it. That said, if you are a serious music collector chances are you’re used to using something else to manage and play your tunes.
If you have any questions or comments you would like to contribute regarding Groove Music, then please leave your feedback with us in our discussion forum.