Previously, using Google Play Music with Google Cast would occasionally stop playback between songs, which could really throw a kink into your house party’s groove. Also, the Google Play Music/Chromecast combo had a nasty habit of inserting little gaps between songs, breaking the flow of songs which were intended by artists to transition seamlessly into each other. Most frustratingly, Chromecast used to go completely silent if the owner of the casting device left the building to grab some more snacks for the party. Now, in addition to fixing those other bugs, Google Play Music will keep the party going over Chromecast even in your absence!
Google Play Music users who don’t regularly Chromecast won’t notice anything different about this new update, which leaves user interface and most features as they were. It’s certainly not a major update by any metric, but it does fix some long-linger issues that had been plaguing a minority of users for quite some time.
For those who aren’t in the know, Google Play Music is a service provided by Google that’s fairly similar to Pandora Radio on the surface. Non-subscribers have access to ad-supported radio stations that can be seeded by artists, specific songs, or whole albums. You can also browse radio stations based on genre, decade, or situation (radio stations exist for “Having friends over,” “Going for a Late Night Drive,” and “Taking a Sunny Stroll,” for example). Paid subscribers to Google Play Music gain on-demand access to an extensive database of millions of songs that can be added to the user’s personal library, compiled into playlists, streamed from any device, or downloaded for personal use.
Thanks to this update, Google Play Music now combines even better with Chromecast, which is a product released by Google in July 2013. The Chromecast device is a small dongle that looks a lot like a USB drive, but it plugs into your television’s HDMI port. Chromecast connects to your Wi-Fi network and acts as an intermediary between your television and other devices like your smartphone or tablet. With Chromecast, you can “cast” media content like music or videos to your television seamlessly. It’s an excellent little device with a queue function that will revolutionize your next YouTube “That’s pretty good, but check out this one” video-binge party.