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Access music stored on OneDrive using Xbox Music

Microsoft now lets you store music in your OneDrive account for streaming on your Xbox. Here's what you need to know.

Xbox Music. Jason Cipriani/CNET

On Wednesday, Microsoft expanded the functionality of Xbox Music beyond that of strictly a paid streaming service. The added functionality allows you to upload music you already own to your OneDrive account and access it on your Xbox.

It's a welcome addition to the service, especially for those who'd rather not pay a monthly fee for access to Microsoft's music catalog. Which was, up until now, all Xbox Music was good for.

The service is similar to that of Apple's iTunes Match or Google's Play Music. The former is $25 a year, while both Google and Microsoft offer their services for free.

The process as outlined by Microsoft. Screenshot by Jason Cipriani/CNET

The process for using Xbox Music to stream your own music is simple.

First, you need to decide if you want to install the OneDrive app on your computer or use the website to upload your music. A limitation to keep in mind as you decide: the website doesn't allow you to upload folders. Meaning, if you have 10,000 songs (the limit is 50,000) you can't simply drag-and-drop your Music folder onto the website and watch as it uploads your content.

The OneDrive app, however, does allow you to upload entire folders. I suggest going this route, especially if you have a large music catalog. Download OneDrive here.

Next, sign into OneDrive using the same Microsoft account you use on your Xbox. Once you're signed in, begin uploading your music to the Music folder in your OneDrive account. This is an important detail; if the music is stored anywhere else, Xbox Music won't see it.

While your music uploads, download and install the Xbox Music app on your console. Alternatively, you can also stream your music using a Windows 8.1 computer, a Windows Phone 8.1 device or through the Xbox Music website.

To listen to your music, launch the Xbox Music app on your console, pick your favorite album and start dancing. If, you know, you're into that sort of thing.