Google Play Music – Everything you need to know

May 17, 2013
30 63 29

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Google’s Play Music has been around for some time now. It acted like your standard music player with a few bells and whistles thrown in, such as being able to play stream music instead of just off of your internal storage. The app had a really nice techno-themed design as well.

As you know, Google I/O is underway. During the conference’s first keynote, the search giant has said out with the old and in with the new. Welcome to the new, vastly improved Play Music app — now a rival to Spotify and other similar services.

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Design

The first thing you’re going to notice after updating Play Music is that everything has changed. Much like Google+, and the recently updated Google Play Store, Play Music has adopted that beautiful Google Now-esque card design. While the design is a complete overhaul of that old techno-themed design, it should be quite familiar to those who use Google’s services regularly.

When you open the app, at the top left of the screen you’ll see the Play Music icon. When you tap it, you’ll be presented with a list. In that list is options like Listen Now, My Library, Playlists, Radio, and Explore. This makes it easier to enjoy your own library while making it a nice hub to explore and consume great content through the All Access radio (more on that later).

When you go to your playlists, song lists, or artist lists, you’ll notice that everything shows up as cards instead of the list view that the old version of Play Music used to use. It’s a lot nicer, cleaner, and makes the app feel a lot more natural.

One of the benefits to the new app is that once you get used to it, you’re able to swipe and slide through everything with the greatest of ease. It was a bit more complicated than that in the old version. As you can tell, everything is more colorful as well. This is a great improvement over the old app where all we really had was a dark background, and a simple list view. With this new design Play Music feels more like a media hub than your standard music player with streaming support.

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Functionality

When you really look at it, Play Music has about the same functionality as before — you can play music either off of your device or stream it. Nothing’s really been removed from the app — it functions just like it did before. However, all of the big changes that happened to Play Music come from all of the new features Google has packed into the app.

Google is trying to offer its users a more convenient, and immersive web experience. The search giant is essentially eliminating the need for you to use multiple native applications. That said, you can now browse music inside the Play Music app instead of having to open up the Play Store and browse for music through that instead. In other words, you don’t need two apps to get the full Play Music experience.

Play Music will also recommend new music to you based off of your playlists and radio stations. On the other hand, you’ll be shown your own music when you’re exploring new genres, music, artists, etc. It really is a seamless experience.

Another basic, but really cool feature is that you’re able to create a new radio station based on an artist in your library. In example, if you’re a fan of Bon Jovi, you’ll be able to create a radio station that will play the same music in that genre. In addition to creating radio stations based off of artists, you can also create them based off of albums, songs, and even genres.

While Play Music has a lot of new exciting features, the biggest addition has to be the new subscription service. You can purchase the all access pass for $7.99/mo if you subscribe before June 30, 2013, and after that the price will go up to $9.99 per month. For the time being, Google is calling the subscription service All Access.

Here’s how All Access works: as long as you’re subscriber, you can listen to anything that is available on Google’s Play Store, which has a very wide variety of songs with more being added everyday. For the cheap subscription fee, you can listen to every artist, song, and genre on the Play Store. Simply head on over to the artist page, and you can listen to anything you want. It’s really an awesome service so far.

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Conclusion

The new Play Music experience is jaw dropping. The Play Music has truly become a full-fledged Google service that all music lovers can enjoy. It’s an all-around seamless experience that can be enjoyed by all, even if you don’t have an All Access pass.

Of course, having the All Access pass makes the Play Music experience even better. Being able to seamlessly blend your library with Google’s without noticing it is a job well done, I say.

Play Music will, in the future, be a great rival for the likes of Spotify and similar services. At the time being, Play Music may not seem appealing to Spotify customers as Google doesn’t have the 20 million tracks that Spotify does just yet. After launching this music streaming service though, there’s no doubt that Google will catch up in no time.

Watch out Spotify, you’ve got a new competitor in town!

Get it on Google Play

Comments

  • http://twitter.com/dyonisii Dennis Lazo

    what’s interesting is, after i restart my phone and tablet, google music play is up and running and since i don’t usually listen to music on my devices, i have to kill it each time. that aside from the fact that google music isn’t even being offered in my country.

  • Luighhy

    I noticed that in this update I can’t eliminate songs directly on the phone. I mean, there’s no option to delete, only to add to playlist or cue but not delete, does anyone know what’s going on?

    • Austin Eschweiler

      Do you mean delete from your Google Music library? As far as I know that’s from the website only.

    • Leonel Macias

      I’m having this problem as well. It’s only showing up on my phone though…tons of albums that aren’t even existent on my phone anymore.

  • Justin Winker

    All of the songs available in the Google Play Store are not all available to be streamed… There’s currently only 2 (maybe 3) major record labels allowing streaming through All Access… Might want to correct that.

    Also, you can’t really get the same “browsing” experience through the app as you can through the Play Store – you only see music you can actually stream, not all songs available.

  • vampyren

    meh its not even working in sweden, damn google for being lazy. Make it work worldwide damed.

    • Leonel Macias

      Yes, it’s because of Google’s laziness that it isn’t working in Sweden. That makes sense.

      • vampyren

        Why dont we have it than? They could make a bigger effort. Or what it your thoughts beside saying nothing.

        • Leonel Macias

          Take it easy man, take it easy. Take a breather, get in your Volvo, listen to some ABBA on the way, and eat some meatballs at Ikea. When you’re back, read bellow.

          Internation Licensing

          • vampyren

            More BS from you. And by “Internation Licensing” you mean “International Licensing” they should have made the preparation already when introducing this.

          • Leonel Macias

            So what you’re saying is that they should wait to release it for people in the United States just so you can get it at the same time?

          • vampyren

            When i say they were lazy i meant they should have prepared worldwide and not only US alone. Why couldnt they worked it out in parallel? its not like they are a small company and dont have the muscle.

          • Jonathan Moore

            Pardon my intrusion, but that’s not how any company does anything. Most of the latest smartphones come to the US last except for the iPhone (because it’s a US based company). People just have to come to grips with the fact that services that companies offer have to roll out in waves. We all, in spite of our anger or frustration, are forced to be patient and wait.

          • vampyren

            A product is different from service. For a phone to be available it needs to be finalized and tested in different markets and operators etc
            A service they could have initiated the negotiation and paper work like last year. its not like something they come up with in a weekend.
            I know you think it has to come in waves and that is what they have been doing but still for a giant company its a poor excuse in my opinion.

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1076674789 Friðberg Leifs Jensson

            Most American companies roll out their products first in US, mainly because it is easier for them to gather information how the public responds(correct me if I’m wrong). I think it hard to make a product that is supposed to be international and not roll it out in stages.

      • http://twitter.com/and1945 Andreas Brandenborg

        Apple did it?

  • Sam12

    Caution – When I installed the update on Motorola Razr HD, the Voice Command app stopped working and give me this error “Unfortunately, voice command has stopped.” After much search on the Internet, I found that it is the new Google Play Music. I uninstalled it and the Voice Command worked perfectly. What a mess Google!! Also, there are much better options than Google Play Music and we don’t have to pay $9.99/mth. This is ridiculous!

  • Erik Abbey

    Or, I can continue using both Pandora for free streaming servie.

  • Ruzveh

    While having a web based browser app is always good but its not reliable. Imagine i am using all the apps on my browser and suddenly there is a browser crash? Yes thats what happens with me. Every half an hour my firefox browser crashes.. I am used to this crash on every browser.. I think google should make a note of this and also release desktop based alternatives who doesnt like to work within our browsers

  • hariton

    I can’t find radio

  • http://twitter.com/zeeh0le Paul Allen

    Is this $7.99 per device? Sounds like it may have a few more features and deeper integration with the device, but for $15 I can access Rhapsody’s collection from three different portable devices, two PCs and stream through the browser on Mac (and Linux, IIRC). Can AndroidAuthority do a comparison of the different services/price points?

    • hitsquad27

      no..you can have 10 devices on google play for one price

  • druekberg

    I wish they hadn’t eliminated the list view. You comment on the usefulness of the “card” (tile) view, but I would prefer having a choice. I can only see 8 albums at a time on my Droid screen, versus twice that many in list view. In the previous version, viewing my phone in landscape view forced me to see album tiles, which I hated, but now I don’t even have that choice.

  • DiamondDNice

    Not remotely better. I have 20k songs with thousands of artists. It’s unusable to try and scroll to find an album or artist. Plus it’s so amazingly slow. it literally takes 5 seconds or more after a mouse click to register.

  • DiamondDNice

    needed the option of list view.

  • Paul DeLuca

    List view needs to be brought back. The tile view is not a useful design element and is akin to the flaming spinning logo. Just because you can doesn’t mean you should. A list has much higher data resolution for the user. You can scan it and easily jump to other letters of the alphabet. I don’t care what the artists or the covers look like. I want to be able to find what I want fast without searching. It’s the same reason I never use cover view in iTunes. It’s not cleaner, not nicer, not more natural and it certainly isn’t more convenient or immersive. It’s bad design and it’s lame.

  • Andre Guimond

    Any tips on Album artwork? Seems to be an issue with my Galaxy Nexus…is it the age of the phone?

  • Heather O’Day

    I agree with Paul deLuca – I HATE the card view. I miss list view, and I’m REALLY upset that I can’t go in and sort by genre from the desktop site anymore. I used google play so I could organize the music by virtually any category – whether it be genre, title, album, artist – can’t do any of that anymore. NOT happy and I’ll be looking for a more dynamic tool.

  • Blanca Pez

    As a recent trier of Google Play All Access, I liked it a lot until I discovered a deal breaker. It’s certainly not “all access” from an app on an Android or IOS device. As an exampe put “lush life” (a song title) in the search bar on the app and it
    returns 10 albums and 10 songs. (It shows 6 albums and shows a button
    for “4 More”). Doing the same thing with Spotify or Beats and you get
    dozens of albums and hundreds of tracks. Try it from
    https://play.google.com/music/… website (where it finds 6 albums and a button for “see all”) or using Sonos and you get
    everything. Clearly Google All Access has the content so why can’t the
    Android or IOS app make it available? Why not replace the “4 more” with Show
    All”? It’s
    just a bad app design.