Nobody knows exactly when it's coming, but it appears Microsoft is close to putting an Google Play Music-esque Xbox Music locker inside of OneDrive for personal audio files. Reports about a OneDrive-Xbox Music mash-up have been circulating since at least May, but recently more tangible signs of the service have been popping up.
Windows Central reported on Friday that if you click on https://onedrive.live.com/?id=music a music folder will be automatically created for you in OneDrive. Presumably, this folder would eventually be linked to Xbox Music.
Windows Central also reports the new OneDrive-Xbox Music mash-up would be free.
More recently, Microsoft watcher Michael Gilett found references to OneDrive in the source code for the Xbox Music site. "Connect OneDrive with Xbox Music and play your personal music files on all your devices," one of the references says, according to Gilett. Seemingly related image files have also appeared on Xbox.com servers, as first noticed by Windows Central.
The story behind the story: In December, Microsoft is putting an end to its ad supported free option for Xbox Music streaming. For those unwilling to fork over the $10 per month for an Xbox Music Pass, Microsoft's music service will be out of sight and out of mind. A free option to upload and stream your own music from OneDrive and Xbox Music will continue to make Xbox Music more visible, plus it will add more value to OneDrive.
Not your collection
Microsoft's Xbox Music already has a service for storing your personal collection in the cloud. But instead of uploading tracks similar to Amazon's Cloud Drive or Google Play Music, Microsoft scans your personal music collection and matches your songs to what's already in its catalog, similar to iTunes Match.
With this new rumored service, Microsoft appears to be going in the direction of Amazon and Google. By putting your music in OneDrive, it will be easily accessible, and adding new content is said to be as simple as a drag-and-drop from your PC.
It appears Xbox Music store purchases would also wind up in your OneDrive Music library, similar to what Amazon does with its Cloud Drive.
Microsoft continues its charge to expand and improve its OneDrive offerings. In October, Microsoft announced that Office 365 subscribers will soon have an unlimited amount of storage in Microsoft's cloud.