Google Play Music

Google Play Music is a music and podcast streaming service and online music locker operated by Google. The service was announced on May 10, 2011, and after a six-month, invitation-only beta period, it was publicly launched on November 16, 2011.

Users with standard accounts can upload and listen to up to 50,000 songs from their personal libraries at no cost. A paid Google Play Music subscription entitles users to on-demand streaming of any song in the Google Play Music catalog, as well as access to YouTube Music Premium. Users in Canada, the United States, Australia, New Zealand, Mexico, Austria, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Norway, Russia, Spain, Sweden, and the United Kingdom also have access to YouTube Premium. Users can purchase additional tracks for their library through the music store section of Google Play. In addition to offering music streaming for Internet-connected devices, the Google Play Music mobile apps allow music to be stored and listened to offline.

Google Play Music
Play music triangle
Google Play Music screenshot
OpenedNovember 16, 2011
Pricing modelFree for "Standard", US$9.99/month for "All Access", US$14.99/month for "All Access" for 6 family members
PlatformsAndroid, iOS, web browser
FormatMP3, AAC, WMA, FLAC, Ogg, ALAC
RestrictionsConcurrent playback limited to one device, non-concurrent playback limited to 10 devices
Catalogue40 million songs
StreamingOn-demand
Trial30-day free trial of "All Access"
Availability63 countries
FeaturesFree online storage and listening for 50,000 songs; Chromecast support; custom radio stations
Websiteplay.google.com/music/

Features

Standard accounts

Google Play Music offers all users storage of up to 50,000 files for free.[1][2] Users can listen to songs through the service's web player and mobile apps.[3] The service scans the user's collection and matches the files to tracks in Google's catalog, which can then be streamed or downloaded in up to 320 kbit/s quality.[4][5] Any files that are not matched are uploaded to Google's servers for streaming or re-download. Songs purchased through the Google Play Store do not count against the 50,000-song upload limit.[6]

Supported file formats for upload include: MP3, AAC, WMA, FLAC, Ogg, or ALAC. Non-MP3 uploads will be converted to MP3. Files can be up to 300 MB after conversion.[7]

Songs can be downloaded on the mobile apps for offline playback, and on computers through the Music Manager app.[8]

Standard users located in the United States, Canada, and India can also listen to curated radio stations, supported by video and banner advertisements. Stations are based on "an activity, your mood, or your favorite popular music".[9] Up to six songs per hour can be skipped when listening to curated radio.[3]

Premium accounts

With a paid subscription to Google Play Music,[10] in addition to the standard features users get access to on-demand streaming of 40 million songs,[11] without advertisements during listening, no limit on number of skips, and offline music playback on the mobile apps.[3] A one-time 30-day free trial for a subscription to Google Play Music is offered for new users.[12] Paid subscribers also receive access to YouTube Premium (including YouTube Music) in eligible countries.[13]

Platforms

On computers, music can be listened to from a dedicated Google Play Music section of the Google Play website.[14]

On smartphones and tablets, music can be listened to through the Google Play Music mobile app for the Android[15] and iOS operating systems.[16] Up to five smartphones can be used to access the library in Google Play Music, and up to ten devices total. Listening is limited to one device at a time.[17]

Samsung Galaxy S8

In April 2017, reports surfaced that the default music player on the then-new Samsung Galaxy S8 would be Google Play Music, continuing a trend that started with the S7 in 2016. However, for the S8, Samsung partnered with Google to incorporate additional exclusive features into the app, including the ability to upload up to 100,000 tracks, an increase from the 50,000 tracks users are normally allowed to upload. Google also stated that it would develop other "special features in Google Play Music just for Samsung customers".[18][19] In June, Google Play Music on the S8 was updated to exclusively feature "New Release Radio", a daily, personalized playlist of new music releases.[20][21] In July, the playlist was made available to all users,[22][23] with Google noting in a press release that the exclusivity on Samsung devices was part of an "early access program" for testing and feedback purposes.[24]

History

Google first hinted at releasing a cloud media player during their 2010 Google I/O developer conference, when Google's then-Senior Vice President of Social Vic Gundotra showed a "Music" section of the then-called Android Market during a presentation.[25] A music service was officially announced at the following year's I/O conference on May 10, 2011, under the name "Music Beta". Initially, it was only available by invitation to residents of the United States, and had limited functionality; the service featured a no-cost "music locker" for storage of up to 20,000 songs, but no music store was present during the beta period, as Google was not yet able to reach licensing deals with major record labels.[26][27]

After a six-month beta period, Google publicly launched the service in the US on November 16, 2011, as "Google Music" with its "These Go to Eleven" announcement event. The event introduced several features of the service, including a music store integrated into the then-named Android Market, music sharing via the Google+ social network, "Artist Hub" pages for musicians to self-publish music, and song purchasing reflected on T-Mobile phone bills.[28][29][30] At launch, Google had partnerships with three major labels - Universal Music Group, EMI, and Sony Music Entertainment - along with other, smaller labels, although no agreement had been reached with Warner Music Group; in total, 13 million tracks were covered by these deals, 8 million of which were available for purchase on launch date.[31] To promote the launch, several artists released free songs and exclusive albums through the store; The Rolling Stones debuted the live recording Brussels Affair (Live 1973), and Pearl Jam released a live concert recorded in Toronto as 9.11.2011 Toronto, Canada.[32]

In January 2012, a feature was added to Google Music that allows users to download 320kbit/s MP3 copies of any file in their library, with a two-download limit per track via the web, or unlimited downloads via the Music Manager app.[33]

According to a February 2012 report from CNET, Google executives were displeased with Google Music's adoption rate and revenues in its first three months.[34]

In March 2012, the company rebranded the Android Market and its digital content services as "Google Play"; the music service was renamed "Google Play Music".[35][36]

Google announced in October 2012 that they had signed deals with Warner Music Group that would bring "their full music catalog" to the service.[37]

At the Google I/O developer conference in May 2013, Google announced that Google Play Music would be expanded to include a paid on-demand music streaming service called "All Access", allowing users to stream any song in the Google Play catalog. It debuted immediately in the United States for $9.99 per month ($7.99 per month if the users signed up before June 30). The service allows users to combine the All Access catalog with their own library of songs.[38][39]

Google Play Music was one of the first four apps compatible with Google's Chromecast digital media player that launched in July 2013.[40]

In October 2014, a new "Listen Now" feature was introduced, providing contextual and curated recommendations and playlists. The feature was adapted from technology by Songza, which Google acquired earlier in the year.[41]

On November 12, 2014, Google subsidiary YouTube announced "Music Key", a new premium service succeeding All Access that included the Google Play Music streaming service, along with advertising-free access to streaming music videos on YouTube. Additionally, aspects of the two platforms were integrated; Google Play Music recommendations and YouTube music videos are available across both services.[42][43] The service was re-launched in a revised form as YouTube Red (now YouTube Premium) on October 28, 2015, expanding its scope to offer ad-free access to all YouTube videos, as opposed to just music videos, as well as premium content produced in collaboration with notable YouTube producers and personalities.[44]

In December 2015, Google started offering a Google Play Music family plan, that allows unlimited access for up to six family members for US$14.99/month.[45][46][47] The family plan is currently only available in Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Chile, the Czech Republic, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Russia, South Africa, Spain, Ukraine, the United Kingdom, and the United States.[48]

In April 2016, Google announced that podcasts would be coming to Google Play Music.[49][50][51] Its first original podcast series, "City Soundtracks", was announced in March 2017, and "will feature interviews with various musicians about how their hometowns influenced their work, including the people and the moments that had an impact".[52][53][54]

In November 2016, Google introduced the Google Home smart speaker system, with built-in support for Google Play Music.[55]

In June 2018, Google announced that YouTube Red would be replaced by YouTube Premium along with YouTube Music.[56] As a result, users subscribed to Google Play Music in the United States, Australia, New Zealand and Mexico are now given access to YouTube Premium—which includes YouTube Music Premium. Users outside of those four countries are still required to pay the regular YouTube Premium price to access Premium features, but are given free access to YouTube Music Premium.[57] Google plans to transition Google Play Music subscribers to the YouTube Music service no earlier than 2019.[13]

Geographic availability

Google Play Music Availability
Global availability of Google Play Music

Standard accounts on Google Play Music are available in 63 countries. The full list includes: Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belarus, Belgium, Bolivia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Guatemala, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, India, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Malta, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Norway, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Ukraine, United Kingdom, United States, Uruguay, and Venezuela.[58]

Premium subscriptions are available in the same countries as Standard accounts.[58]

Availability of music was introduced in the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Italy, and Spain in October 2012,[59] Czech Republic, Finland, Hungary, Liechtenstein, Netherlands, Russia, and Switzerland in September 2013,[60] Mexico in October 2013,[61] Germany in December 2013,[62] Greece, Norway, Sweden, and Slovakia in March 2014,[63] Canada,[64] Poland and Denmark in May 2014,[65] Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Peru, and Ukraine in July 2014,[66] Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, El Salvador, and Venezuela in August 2014,[67] Brazil and Uruguay in September 2014,[68] 13 new countries in November 2014,[69] Brazil in November 2014,[70] Argentina in June 2015,[71] Japan in September 2015,[72] South Africa and Serbia in December 2015,[73] and India in September 2016, where only purchasing of music was offered.[74] The All Access subscription service launched in India in April 2017.[75][76]

Reception

In 2013, Entertainment Weekly compared a number of music services and gave Google Play Music All Access a "B+" score, writing, "The addition of uploading to augment the huge streaming archive fills in some huge gaps."[77]

References

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External links

9.11.2011 Toronto, Canada

9.11.2011 Toronto, Canada is a 2011 live album released by American alternative rock band, Pearl Jam. The album was released exclusively as a free digital download through Google Play Music on November 10 in anticipation of the official launch of said site on November 16.

Cheat Codes (DJs)

Cheat Codes is an American electronic music DJ trio consisting of KEVI (Kevin Ford), Trevor Dahl, and Matthew Russell based in Los Angeles. The group is notable for their 2016 single "Sex", which samples the chorus from "Let's Talk About Sex" by Salt-N-Pepa, and their 2017 single "No Promises", which featured American pop superstar Demi Lovato and peaked within the top 40 of the US, UK and Australia. The track was certified Platinum by the RIAA.

Comparison of online music lockers

This is a comparison of online music storage services (Cloud Music Services), Internet services that allow uploads of personally owned or licensed music to the cloud for listening on multiple devices.There were three large services—Amazon Music, Apple's iTunes Match, and Google Play Music—each incorporating an online music store (see comparison), with purchased songs from the associated music store not counting toward storage limits. Other than additional storage space, the main additional feature provided with an annual fee by Apple (and formerly Amazon.com) is "scan-and-match", which examines music files on a computer and adds a copy of matched tracks to the user's music locker without having to upload the files. Google provides both a large amount of storage space and the scan-and-match feature at no cost.

Amazon was the first of the currently significant players to launch their cloud music locker service in late March 2011 and the first to discontinue it on 30 April 2018. Amazon Music launched without obtaining any new music streaming licenses, which upset the major record labels. Google launched their service less than a month and a half later, also without obtaining any new licenses. Apple negotiated with the major record labels for a new license before launching their service six months after Google's. Amazon and Google eventually negotiated licenses before launching their scan-and-match features.

For streaming services where a person is unable to upload their own music, but is limited to music provided by the service, such as Pandora Radio and Spotify, see Comparison of on-demand streaming music services. See that article also for information on subscription streaming services provided by four of the companies below (Google Play Music All Access, Apple's Apple Music, Amazon's Prime Music, and Microsoft's Groove Music Pass).

F U Kristmas!

"F U Kristmas!" is a Christmas single by British singer Kim Wilde and thrash metal band Lawnmower Deth. The single was released in the United Kingdom as a digital download on iTunes and Google Play Music and on CD on 18 December 2017.

There are two versions of the main track, both R-rated: "F U Kristmas! (Clean Mix)" and "Fuck You Kristmas! (Sweary Mix)", the lyrics of the latter containing more explicit language. Both versions were made available on streaming sites Apple Music and Deezer on 1 December 2017.

List of Google apps for Android

The list of Google apps for Android lists the mobile apps developed by Google for its Android operating system. All of these apps are available for free from the Google Play Store, although some may not show up in search results if they are listed as incompatible with your device (even though they may still function from an *.apk). Some of Google's apps may be pre-installed on some devices, depending upon the device manufacturer and the version of Android. A few of these apps, such as Gboard, are not supported on older versions of Android.

List of original programs distributed by YouTube Premium

YouTube Premium is a subscription service that provides advertising-free streaming of all videos hosted by YouTube, offline play and background playback of videos on mobile devices, access to advertising-free music streaming through Google Play Music or YouTube Music, and access to "YouTube Original" series and films.

Media player (software)

A media player is a computer program/software for playing multimedia files like audios, videos, movies and music. Media players commonly display standard media control icons known from physical devices such as tape recorders and CD players, such as play (  ), pause (  ), fastforward, backforward, and stop (  ) buttons. In addition, they generally have progress bars (or "playback bars") to locate the current position in the duration of the media file.

Mainstream operating systems have at least one built-in media player. For example, Windows comes with Windows Media Player while macOS comes with QuickTime Player and iTunes. Linux distributions may also come with a media player, such as SMPlayer, Amarok, Audacious, Banshee, MPlayer, mpv, Rhythmbox, Totem, VLC Media Player, and xine. Android OS comes with Google Play Music as default media player and many apps like Poweramp, Beautiful Music Player, VLC Media Player.

Nexus Q

Nexus Q is a digital media player developed by Google. Unveiled at the Google I/O developers' conference on June 27, 2012, the device was expected to be released to the public in the United States shortly thereafter for US$300. The Nexus Q was designed to leverage Google's online media offerings, such as Google Play Music, Google Play Movies & TV, and YouTube, to provide a "shared" experience. Users could stream content from the supported services to a connected television, or speakers connected to an integrated amplifier, using their Android device and the services' respective apps as a remote control for queueing content and controlling playback.

The Nexus Q received mixed reviews from critics following its unveiling. While its unique spherical design was praised, the Nexus Q was criticized for its lack of functionality in comparison to similar devices such as Apple TV, including a lack of support for third-party content services, no support for streaming content directly from other devices using the DLNA standard, as well as other software issues that affected the usability of the device. The unclear market positioning of the Nexus Q was also criticized, as it carried a significantly higher price than competing media players with wider capabilities; The New York Times' technology columnist David Pogue described the device as being 'wildly overbuilt' for its limited functions.The Nexus Q was given away at no cost to attendees of Google I/O, but the product's consumer launch was indefinitely postponed the following month, purportedly to collect additional feedback. Those who had pre-ordered the Nexus Q following its unveiling received the device at no cost. The Nexus Q was quietly shelved in January 2013, and support for the device in the Google Play apps was phased out beginning in May 2013. Some of the Nexus Q's concepts were repurposed for a more-successful device known as Chromecast, which similarly allows users to wirelessly queue content for playback using functions found in supported apps, but is designed as a smaller HDMI dongle with support for third-party services.

Official Albums Streaming Chart

The Official Albums Streaming Chart is a music chart based plays of an album's songs through audio streaming services (such as Spotify, Deezer, Google Play Music, Tidal and Apple Music) in the United Kingdom. Introduced on 1 March 2015, it coincided with the Official Charts Company's decision to incorporate streaming data into the UK Albums Chart. The Official Albums Streaming Chart uses the same streaming sources as the Official Audio Streaming Chart to measure how many times albums have been streamed each week.

The formula for calculating the Official Albums Streaming Chart takes the total number of streams from the twelve most streamed tracks on the standard version of an album and subtracts the difference between the two most streamed tracks and the average of the rest (to avoid hit singles boosting album sales). This is equivalent to 12 times the average number of streams of the third to twelfth most streamed tracks.

Official Charts Company chief executive Martin Talbot stated: "The Official Charts Company's mission is to compile the most accurate, reliable and up-to-date charts around, and in 2015 that means reflecting the popularity of streaming, alongside downloads, vinyl and – still the most popular album format – the CD. Initial indications are that the impact on actual chart positions will be modest to begin with, but we expect this to grow as streaming becomes increasingly popular."The first album to top the streaming chart was Ed Sheeran's second album x, which topped the chart on 1 March 2015 with streaming sales of 3,369. Sheeran's third album ÷ has spent the most weeks at number one on the chart, with 34 weeks as of December 2017, and the most consecutive weeks with 26.

Songza

Songza was a free music streaming and recommendation service for Internet users in the United States and Canada.

Stating that its playlists are made by music experts, the service would recommend its users on various playlists based on time of day and mood or activity. Songza offered playlists for activities such as waking up, working out, commuting, concentrating, unwinding, entertaining, and sleeping. Users would vote songs up or down, and the service will adapt to the user's personal music preferences. Users would find playlists not just based on artists, songs, or genres, but also based on themes, interests, and eras, such as "90s One-Hit Wonders", or "Music of Fashion Week".Songza was headquartered in the Long Island City neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City, New York.On December 2, 2015, Google announced Songza would merge into Google Play Music on January 31, 2016. As of February 1, 2016, the main site is offline, displaying a redirect to Google Play Music.

YouTube Music

YouTube Music is a music streaming service developed by YouTube; it provides a tailored interface for the service oriented towards music streaming, allowing users to browse through music videos on YouTube based on genres, playlists, and recommendations. The service also offers a premium tier, which enables ad-free playback, audio-only background playback, and downloading songs for offline playback. These subscription benefits are also offered to subscribers of Google Play Music and YouTube Premium.

As of March 2019, the app is available in 43 countries: Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bolivia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Denmark, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Finland, France, Germany, Guatemala, Honduras, India, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Norway, Panama, Paraguay, Perú, Portugal, Russia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Ukraine, the United Kingdom, the United States and Uruguay.

YouTube Premium

YouTube Premium (formerly YouTube Red) is a paid streaming subscription service that provides advertising-free streaming of all videos hosted by YouTube, exclusive original content produced in collaboration with the site's creators, as well as offline playback and playback of videos on mobile devices.The service was originally launched in November 2014 as Music Key, offering only ad-free streaming of music and music videos from participating labels on YouTube and Google Play Music. The service was then revised and relaunched as YouTube Red on October 31, 2015, expanding its scope to offer ad-free access to all YouTube videos, as opposed to just music. YouTube announced the rebranding of the service as YouTube Premium on May 17, 2018, alongside the return of a separate, YouTube Music subscription service.

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