MICROSOFT IS to kill off its Groove Music apps for iOS and Android.
The move isn't a total surprise - after all, Groove Music (formerly Zune Music... *cough*) was designed to be an all-in-one music player, streamer and store, and the company stopped selling music downloads at the end of last year and ditched its "Music Pass" streaming offering, migrating customers to its new partner, Spotify.
Given that there are so many options to listen to music on both iOS and Android, we can't imagine there were that many users anyway, but one thing that was quite nice about the Groove client was that it let you stream music stored in Microsoft OneDrive.
That's still an option (the RESTful API will remain) but for most mobile users, from December, you'll be scuppered from doing that and the app will disappear from app stores from today.
That's not the end of Groove, however. It remains the default music player on Windows 10 for on-device (and OneDrive). It will also continue for Xbox (yay!) and Windows Phone (smirk).
If there is ever a Surface Phone, and we're pretty sure that it will happen, eventually, then Groove will become important to that too.
For the rest of us, you can still use the OneDrive app as a music player if that's really your thing - certainly we can appreciate that a good sized physical music collection is going to take a while to migrate - but you won't get the nice UI and album art of a proper music player.
The news is just the latest in a time of changes for the music players from the main players (as it were).
Google Play Music and YouTube Red are in the process of a merger to become YouTube Premium. Speculation continues to swirl about the long-term future of iTunes Store, with many expecting it to be absorbed into Apple Music in the next year or so.
Meanwhile, music streaming continues to mature, with Spotify solidifying its growth, with Deezer snapping at its heels. Tidal continues to limp along in a mixture of ego and frankly weird marketing. µ
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