Dissecting Windows 10 Mobile: Filtering offline music in Groove

Posted by:Staff Writer

Microsoft’s been making numerous improvements to its Groove Music app on Windows 10 Mobile based on user feedback. Some of these changes can be a bit jarring, as certain settings or functions get shifted around unbeknownst to its users. One particular change that was quite alarming was how it handled music stored on OneDrive.

Groove Music can automatically show your entire OneDrive music library within the app, and stream the music as necessary for whatever song you want to play. However, some of us who prefer to micro-manage our music libraries, or want finer control over data use, opt not to use this feature.

Some of you may recall that in earlier Groove Music versions, its settings page contained an option to enable or disable showing songs stored on OneDrive that weren’t stored on the phone. Recent versions have removed this option, and have seemingly done nothing to replace it. As it turns out, this isn’t quite true. The option is still there, but it’s not as obvious as before. To access it:

Tap on the hamburger menu (or swipe from the left side) to expose the main menu.
Tap on the hamburger menu (or swipe from the left side) to expose the main menu.

Tap any of the songs
Tap any of the list views for songs: Albums Artists, Songs, or Playlists.

Dissecting Windows 10 Mobile filter offline music 02
On the very top of the list, there will be a “Refine” label. Tap on any of its options, and a menu will slide out from the left.

Dissecting Windows 10 Mobile filter offline music 01
In the “Filter” section of that new menu, you will see options to filter between All, Available Offline, or Streaming.

Select Available Offline, and your OneDrive portion of your music library is visible no more.

When I first noticed this change, I immediately assumed the worst and believed that Microsoft decided in all its OneDrive PR wisdom to force all of us into some cloud music streaming lifestyle. As a diligent citizen of the new Windows 10 world, I took to the Windows Feedback app to complain. My complaint looked something like this:

Are you f****** serious? Why would you take away the option to show only local offline music? Did it ever occur to you braindead f******** that maybe we don’t want to see our entire OneDrive music library on our f****** phones?

I can’t remember the exact wording, but I think it went something like that. Tepid isn’t it? I was trying to be polite. Admittedly, I should’ve just spoken my mind more.

No more than ten minutes later, I discovered this filter to offline refinement. Being the gentleman that I am, I felt the need to correct previous feedback. As the feedback app offers no way to recant your outbursts, I once again took to the Feedback app to quickly post something along the lines of:

Nevermind, just found the offline filter. Stupid me. Please delete my previous outburst at your earliest convenience.

I’d hoped that Microsoft would be able to see my Microsoft account’s chronological feedback postings and be able to cleanup my dirty undergarments on my behalf.

My stupidity aside, despite the potentially jarring nature of this change, I think this is the smarter location to have this setting, as it allows you to more dynamically sift between your streaming and local music.

I’m quite happy with the current iteration of the Groove Music app. I really like the UI, especially how it handles access to the current playlist whilst searching through your library for other songs.