Groove Music [Review]

Microsoft has one of the best vision of unifying an entire ecosystem, from mobile to PC to hololens to other small IoT devices, but in a practical world, the idea might not translate into something that is as effective as it wants it to.

GROOVE MUSIC LOOKING GOOD ON DESKTOP

On the PC or my Surface Pro 4, Groove Music app was looking good. Of course, if you're like me where most of my songs are either downloaded or ripped from a disc, you will have to add in the metadata on your own in order for Groove Music to look good in terms of the album arts.

Anyway, here are some of the screen shots that I have taken.

This is in the album option. A lot of the metadatas are edited with mp3tag which I'll blog about it later. A very useful app to add all the information such as years released, album art, etc. 


Album list

There is also a section known as "Your Groove". Here's where I see the list of my recent plays and also the ability to customize my own playlist. Pretty standard for all the music players available on the internet.



Then, there is the improvement in terms of the artists selection. I love the idea that there is a bio on the artists of the songs that we have. These little things make Groove Music looks much more interactive and alive.


Artists bio

Artists cover

Perhaps it will be better if we could select our own images instead of using the database available on Groove Music. Having said that, it helps to make it easier to have all these things being filled in. 

If the artists selection are wrong, then you will have to use a third party app known as GrooveManager to add the right image on the artists, if the data are available on Xbox Music. Otherwise it will be empty. This is one of the downside of it and it could be very annoying. 

PLAYING MUSIC IN YOUR ONE DRIVE

I think if there is any reason to use Groove Music, it is the ability to play the music available on your OneDrive account. So, all I have to do is update all the music that I have onto OneDrive and I can play it anywhere I go, as long as I have the internet connection. I have tried it using the WiFi and the data connection. It works pretty good! 




MOBILE APP STILL NOT GOOD ENOUGH

One of the things about Microsoft is the ability to screw up the mobile platform and once again, they did it even with the Groove Music app. I'm not even talking about the Groove Pass yet. (the music pass is not available in Malaysia and a lot of the countries in Asia as at the moment)

Anyway, back to Groove Music app. When on mobile, it seems to be slightly different from the one on my Surface Pro 4. While both of it should have the same core, as Microsoft said it about their universal app, I find it strange that both have a different results.

After spending hours understanding how to complete the metadatas on the music files, I transferred it to the SD Card on my Lumia 950. In terms of the experience in listening to music, it works pretty good but it's not as beautiful as it is on my Surface Pro 4.

ARTISTS MISSING ON MOBILE ALTHOUGH APPEAR ON PC

As I have shown earlier on my Surface Pro 4, it manages to detect the artist B.o.B and could even come up with some biography on the artist but this is what I see on my Lumia 950.

Artist not showing on Lumia 950 although it appears on Surface Pro 4

And the worst part is that there is not a platform where users could complaint on such errors. After googling on the matter, I realized that some users even have artists that are wrongly matched due to the same name, and there is no way for the users to change it. It's quite bad in my point of view.

Travie McCoy is another artist that Groove Music mobile couldn't detect

While it might be a small problem but issues like this should not appear in Groove Music, which is supposed to run as a universal app. I could understand if it doesn't work on both the PC and mobile but when it works on the PC and doesn't work on the mobile, it shows a crucial error on the Universal App idea.

The bio profile still works....here is one example: Bruno Mars


To my surprise, if you read the artist bio on Bruno Mars, there are actually two names that are highlighted: B.o.B and Travie McCoy as well. So, when I click on the link, I could actually go to these artists page but somehow Groove Music mobile refused to update them in my playlist. I'll definitely feedback on this. 

Other than that, the user experience has been pretty much consistent. 




Of course, I have look into other alternatives than Groove Music and have also written to Microsoft to update the Groove Pass to countries like Malaysia, Singapore and Asia. So far, there is a lack of focus in these countries. Very weak for Microsoft considering Spotify, Apple, Google and a lot of music streaming services have made it to these countries. 

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