Microsoft and Sony are teaming up to help power Xbox Music. Although the music streaming service launched in October last year alongside Windows 8, Gracenote, a division of Sony, is announcing today that it now powers the Xbox Music matching feature. Xbox Music users can simply play a locally stored song in Windows 8, obtained from ripped CDs, iTunes, or just regular MP3s, and Xbox Music will automatically detect the song, tag it, and make it available in the cloud for other devices to stream it.
Xbox Music has supported music matching since shortly after its launch, but Gracenote’s integration should improve the process and allow users to edit songs and fill-in missing album cover art and other vital information. Gracenote uses a database of “fingerprints” that's very Shazam-like to pick and detect the correct albums and tracks and match them for Xbox Music. It’s an unusual move for Microsoft to select a direct competitor’s technology for Xbox-related services, but Gracenote operates as an independent company despite being owned by Sony. While Xbox Music is not available for Sony’s PlayStation 4, Microsoft has been pushing its music service across multiple platforms recently. Alongside Windows 8 and Windows Phone, Xbox Music is also available on iOS, Android, Xbox 360, and Xbox One.