The Windows 8 Music App available on the Start Screen has been much maligned and is due for a bit of an overhaul in Windows 8.1. Whilst it is true enough that it isn’t the easiest tool to manage your library in I have found it pretty good for casual listening to my music collection.
What it is not so good at is playing that collection on other PCs with DLNA library support not available (at least in Windows 8) it has really been limited to playing your own music when it is stored on your device. Of course you could sign up for an XBox Music Subscription and have unlimited access to all the music Microsoft has in the cloud but that involves paying money to listen to something you may have already bought.
Fortunately Microsoft recently added Music in the Cloud to the App. This is a bit similar to other cloud music solution which allow you to match music you already own and if they have it on the cloud allows you to play those songs on any other Windows 8 device for free. Yes interestingly you do not need an XBox music subscription to do this. If you do have a XBox music subscription you can take this one step further and also play the songs on your XBox or Windows Phone 8 device.
So how does it work
First you need to open the music app and got to the My Music section and add your Music – in Windows 8 it has to be locally stored –as soon as you have done this you will notice a new prompt at the top of the window. Want to hear this PC’s music on other devices?
Tapping on this gives another screen
At the bottom of this screen tap Match My Music and that is all you will need to do – other than wait patiently for it to do the matching, It took about half an hour for my several thousand of eclectic songs to be matched. Rather surprisingly considering how eclectic my music is it managed to match about 90%.
Opening Music on my surface shortly afterwards and going to My Music in the music app took about 5 minutes for all (well 90%) of my music to appear. Obviously as this music is in the cloud it only plays when connected to the internet but I’m not going to look a gift horse in the mouth.
All in all a very welcome addition to the Music app which certainly makes it a much more usable music player and yes it does still work in 8.1.