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Apple Music vs. Google Play Music

Need help deciding whether Apple or Google has the right music streaming service for you? Then keep reading. Apple Music launched in 2015 and was a relative latecomer to the streaming services market, but Apple's continual development of the platform has made it into one of the most popular choices for enjoying digital music. Google's music strategy on the other hand has been confusing in recent years, so before we dive in with a deeper look at the two streaming service rivals, here's a quick recap. Google Music Google launched its original Play Music streaming service in 2011. Like Apple Music, Play Music gives you access to a vast music library, music recommendations, radio stations, and offline listening, all for a monthly fee. In a unique contribution to the streaming services field, Google Play Music also lets all Google account holders (i.e. not just subscribers) upload up to 50,000 tracks from their existing music library to the cloud, for storage and online streaming. In May 2017, Google launched an on-demand ad-supported music streaming service called YouTube Music, shortly followed by YouTube Music Premium – a revamped version of its ad-free YouTube Red subscription service with a renewed focus on original programming. The rebranded service includes personalized playlists, intelligent search, support for background playback on mobile and music downloads for offline listening. It also offers access to remixes, covers and live versions that aren't available on other platforms. Initially Google said its new YouTube Music service would replace Google

'Google Play Music' Articles

YouTube Red and Google Play Music to Merge in New Subscription Service

Google Play Music and the ad-free YouTube Red service are set to merge in a new streaming package, according to YouTube's head of music (via The Verge). Lyor Cohen revealed the coming change during a panel session at the New Music Seminar conference in New York on Wednesday, saying the two services needed to be combined to educate consumers and attract new subscribers. The important thing is combining YouTube Red and Google Play Music, and having one offering,” Cohen said when asked about why YouTube Red isn’t more popular with music users. He didn’t address whether or not the two apps would merge — but it seems very unlikely.By consolidating the offerings into a unified package, Google hopes the benefits of its subscriptions will be clearer to customers. Currently the company offers YouTube Red, which removes ads and lets users save videos for offline viewing, in addition to an ad-supported YouTube Music app (with additional benefits for Red subscribers), while YouTube TV is provided as a separate subscription service. Google said it would notify users of the changes beforehand, but the timeframe for the rebranding remains unclear. Still, existing subscribers to YouTube Red or Google Play Music shouldn't see a hugely significant change, as the two services are essentially already

Google Play Music iOS App Now Supports CarPlay

Google's music subscription service, Google Play Music, now has a dedicated CarPlay app available, according to comments shared on reddit. That means Google Play Music users who own a vehicle equipped with CarPlay can access their music directly through the CarPlay interface when an iPhone is connected to the car. The Google Play Music CarPlay app is sectioned off into Home, Recents, Music Library, and Stations, giving subscribers access to recommendations, their own custom playlists, radio selections, and more. Google Play Music is the first Google-made app to be available for CarPlay, and it joins music apps from services like Pandora, Amazon, and Spotify. Google Play Music allows users to store up to 50,000 songs and listen to ad-supported radio stations for free. With a premium account, priced at $9.99 per month, users can listen to more than 40 million on-demand streaming songs without advertisements. Google Play Music can be downloaded from the App Store for free. [Direct Link]

Google Home Owners Can Now Stream Songs They Uploaded to Play Music

Google has updated its Home smart speaker software so that owners can now listen to music they have uploaded to and purchased on Google Play Music. Previously, using a free Play Music account through Google Home was limited to playing radio stations, while paying subscribers could listen to tracks in the streaming service's own online catalog. But now both types of account holders can also play music they have personally uploaded to the cloud (up to 50,000 songs) or bought outright on the Play Music store. As detailed in the company's product forum post, Google Home will now prioritize uploaded and purchased tracks over radio mixes when users ask to play a certain artist, but on-demand content will play before purchased/uploaded content unless paying users specifically ask Home to play something from their library. The feature is currently rolling out to all regions where Google Home is supported. See Google's help page on the subject for

Google Play Music Gets New Playback Quality Options For Streaming and Offline Listening

Google has updated its Play Music app with new options to control the quality of music playback over wireless networks and choose the compression level of downloaded tracks. Previously, users of the streaming service could only adjust the quality of music when listening over their mobile connection, but the additional options offer the same control over WiFi and when listening offline. The options to adjust streaming and download quality are listed simply as Low, Normal, and High, so it's unclear exactly what bitrate Google is referring to, but it's safe to say any increase in quality will eat further into any data caps, or use more storage in the case of downloaded tracks. For comparison, Spotify offers a streaming choice of 96kbps, 160kbps, or 320kbps, while Tidal offers 96kbps, 320kbps, and Apple Lossless (Hi-Fi). Apple Music streams at 256kbps by default, but does include a 80kbps option for cellular connections. (Via Engadget.)

Google Offering 4-Month Free Trial of Play Music Streaming Service

Google is offering four free months of Play Music as part of its Cyber Week deals. The four-month trial includes a YouTube Red subscription for ad-free YouTube streaming and can be cancelled at any time. The Play music streaming service usually costs $9.99 per month, giving members access to over 35 million songs. Google recently announced an overhaul of its Google Play Music streaming platform, with new contextually aware, opt-in music recommendation features that promise a more personal music listening experience. Users who have had a free trial or cancelled a Play Music membership in the past aren't eligible for the Cyber Week promotion, but that doesn't stop anyone curious to see what's changed from creating a new Google account to take advantage of the

Revamped Google Play Music Streams Content Based on User Location, Activity, and Time of Day

Google today announced an overhaul of its Google Play Music streaming platform, with new contextually aware, opt-in music recommendation features that promise a more personal music listening experience. Building on its stated aim of helping users find the right music for any moment, Google says the fresh take on its streaming service is "smarter, easier to use, and much more assistive", thanks in large part to deeper integration with machine learning technology that allows it to offer content based on user location, time of day, current activity, and music preferences. Central to the overhaul is a redesigned home screen that Google likens to "the ultimate personal DJ", which learns what you like to listen to and when you like to listen to it, presenting content accordingly. Examples include suggesting a users' workout playlist when they arrive at the gym, offering music for unwinding after a day at the office, and recommending additional songs from new artists the user has previously expressed an interest in. To provide even richer music recommendations based on Google's understanding of your world, we've plugged into the contextual tools that power Google products. When you opt in, we'll deliver personalized music based on where you are and why you are listening — relaxing at home, powering through at work, commuting, flying, exploring new cities, heading out on the town, and everything in between. Your workout music is front and center as you walk into the gym, a sunset soundtrack appears just as the sky goes pink, and tunes for focusing turn up at the library.In

Google Play Debuts 'Family Library' for Sharing Purchases Across Devices

Google this morning announced "Family Library" for Google Play that allows six family members to share their online purchases from the company's stores across devices. The new program means movies, TV shows, and books can be shared by families on iOS devices and the web, as well as over connected TV platforms like Roku and Smart TVs, with no sign-up fee required. Starting today, Family Library is rolling out over the next few days and will be available in Australia, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, the U.K. and the U.S. Meanwhile, up to six people can continue to share streamed music using Google Play Music's existing $14.99-a-month family plan, which today expanded to Ireland, Italy, Mexico, and New Zealand. Users of Family Library can access a new setting in the Play Store, where one person is designated "Family Manager" and they can then add other members. Member purchases are shared by everyone by default, although an option to selectively share purchases is also available. Lastly, the system supports pre-configured Parental Control settings on children's devices, and parents can approve purchases requested by younger family

Google Offers Free 4-Month Play Music Trial Subscription to Celebrate July 4th

In celebration of July 4th, Google is offering new U.S. subscribers to its Play Music streaming service a four-month trial completely free of charge. Play Music subscribers can choose from a library of over 35 million tracks, which usually costs $9.99 per month, so the offer amounts to a $40 saving and users can cancel the subscription at any time. Customers who sign up to the trial will also gain access to the company's ad-free YouTube Red service, which features original content, and enables offline and background playback of YouTube videos on mobile devices. Prospective users of the service should note that it's a U.S.-only promotion, and is only available to those who have never signed up for Play Music or YouTube Red in the past. Google Play Music is a viable alternative to Apple Music, Tidal, and Spotify, as the company offers an iOS app as well as desktop access via a web browser. Third-party standalone apps like Radiant Player are also available for accessing the service on a Mac. In addition to music streaming, Play membership includes access to a cloud storage locker where users can store up to 50,000 of their own songs, with or without a paid Play Music subscription, using the Google Music Manager client. Google's promotion comes the same week that Spotify accused Apple of using its App Store process to stymie rival streaming services after Apple rejected a Spotify app update. Apple responded to the accusation through its lawyers, who said Spotify was seeking exemptions to rules that have applied to all app developers long before Apple

'YouTube Red' Ad-Free Subscription Service Launches in U.S. October 28

Google today announced YouTube Red, a new subscription service that provides unlimited ad-free access to YouTube videos for $9.99 per month on Android, desktop and the mobile web, and $12.99 per month on iOS due to Apple's in-app purchase tax (via TechCrunch). The membership also includes several other benefits. YouTube Red features the option to save videos for offline playback and to play videos in the background on smartphones and tablets. In early 2016, the subscription service will also take on Netflix by introducing member-only access to Original series and movies by some of YouTube's most popular creators. YouTube Red launches in the U.S. on October 28, and will expand to other major markets over the course of the next year. The service works across all devices and anywhere you can sign into YouTube, including its new Gaming and Family apps. A free 14-day trial will be available in the U.S., which can be extended to 30 days with a credit card. Google has also bundled a Play Music subscription into YouTube Red on iOS and Android, providing access to both services for a combined $9.99 or $12.99 monthly payment. YouTube Red's unlimited access to both streaming music, videos and more makes it an attractive competitor alongside rivals like Apple Music and Spotify. The Verge published an exclusive in-depth article and hands-on video about YouTube Red: Google also announced YouTube Music, an all-new app for discovering, watching and listening to music videos. The app is coming soon in the U.S., followed by additional countries in 2016. YouTube Red

Google Music Gains Free Ad-Supported Radio Tier in U.S.

Google today announced that it's adding a free tier to its Google Music subscription service, just a week ahead of the launch of Apple Music. Apple Music doesn't include a free listening tier, but it is accompanied by a free ad-supported radio service that provides users with a way to access music without shelling out cash. Google's free listening tier is built around Songza, the radio-based streaming service that Google purchased last July. It includes curated radio stations and playlists, which Google describes as human-curated and crafted "song by song" for moods and activities like working out or driving. It's currently available in the United States and rolling out to Android and iOS devices this week. At any moment in your day, Google Play Music has whatever you need music for--from working, to working out, to working it on the dance floor--and gives you curated radio stations to make whatever you're doing better. Our team of music experts, including the folks who created Songza, crafts each station song by song so you don't have to. If you're looking for something specific, you can browse our curated stations by genre, mood, decade or activity, or you can search for your favorite artist, album or song to instantly create a station of similar music.Apple's own upcoming revamped radio service also has a heavy focus on human curation, headlined by the live Beats 1 radio station that will play music chosen by human DJs 24/7. It will be broadcast in more than 100 countries and led by former BBC DJ Zane Lowe and other famous DJs from Los Angeles, New York, and

Google Expands Free Google Play Music Storage to 50,000 Songs

Google today announced an update to its Google Play Music service, expanding the amount of available storage. Users can now store 50,000 songs in the cloud at no cost, up from 20,000. Content stored within Google Play Music can be played on computers via Google's Music Manager app, on iPhones and iPads via the recently redesigned Google Play Music app, through a Chrome extension, through Chromecast, and on Android devices. Google's Google Play Music storage does not require a subscription to Google Play Music to use it, making it free for all users. Those interested in using Google's free music storage can access it by going to the Google Play Music website, skipping the subscription offer, and going straight to the music interface where there's an option to upload music. Content can be uploaded directly from an iTunes library or from any folder. Google, of course, hopes users will opt-in to its $9.99 per month subscription music service when signing up for free music storage, which offers on-demand access to millions of songs much like Spotify or Beats Music. With the boost in free storage space, Google Play Music gains a bit of a competitive advantage over Apple's iTunes Match service. iTunes Match costs $25 per year and allows users to store up to 25,000 songs in iCloud, but it gives users the benefit of accessing 256-Kbps AAC DRM-free quality music for any uploaded song that's also available in the iTunes Store. For those in the Apple ecosystem, it's arguably easier to access songs on any device through iCloud using iTunes Match, but Google Play