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Top 7 Google Play Music Features

I admit it:I'm quite late to Google Play Music. It's been around for over five years, and while I've looked into it from time to time, I never really gave it a "seriously use it for a month" chance. So when my new Chromebook arrived with three months free, I decided to dig deeper into Google Play Music.

Before we do that, let's clear up some of the confusion.. Google Play Music has two components:the music locker and online store (free) and the All Access subscription (premium). All features in this article should be assumed to be part of All Access unless specifically stated as part of the basic service.

So is Google Play Music worth trying? Here are the most compelling features you'll find.

Top 7 Google Play Music Features

1. Buy, stream or upload

Google Play Music offers the trifecta of modern online music playback:the ability to stream music from your online library, the ability to purchase music from its store, and the ability to upload your own music to Google's servers as part of His collection. The last two are available for free users..

This is such a killer feature because it satisfies almost everyone. Why aren't you taking full advantage of Google Play Music? Why aren't you taking full advantage of Google Play Music? Google Play Music is a great service, but it includes an additional program that allows you to listen to your own music anywhere. It's worth checking out! Read more.

Google's on-demand streaming library has more than 30 million songs. Can't find a particular song or album? Buy it on the Play Store for about $1 per song or $10 per album on average. Still can't find it? Download it somewhere else and upload it. Any song you buy or upload can be streamed like the rest of your Google library.

As of this writing, the upload limit is 50,000 songs. Formats are limited to MP3, AAC, WMA, FLAC, Ogg, and ALAC. It's also worth noting that you can share music in your library with others (excluding songs uploaded due to copyright concerns). Think of all the hard drive space you can save!

2. High quality audio

The Google Play Music All Access online library consists of 320 Kbps MP3s, which is more than enough for most users. (What are audio compression and bitrates? How does audio compression work and how can it really tell the difference? How does audio compression work and how can it really tell the difference? In this article, we'll look at how does music compression work. and if it has any real effect on how music actually sounds. Read More) For comparison, Apple Music offers 256 Kbps AAC and Spotify offers 320 Kbps OGG. 10 Common Audio Formats Compared:Which One Should You Use 10 Common Audio Formats Compared:Which One Should You Use We may all be familiar with MP3, what about AAC, FLAC, OGG, or WMA? So many standards? Which ones should you care about and which ones can you ignore? Read More)

In short, you'll be happy with what you hear, even if you're an audiophile.

Please note that if you are using Google Play Music on a mobile device, you can manually set the audio quality to Low, Medium, or High, or you can let it automatically change the audio quality based on your current connection and whether you are using Wi-Fi. or data.

Top 7 Google Play Music Features

3. Play offline

One Of The Main Arguments Against Online Music Streaming The Pros And Cons Of Streaming vs MP3 Download The Pros And Cons Of Live Streaming Since MP3 Download I've Been A Long Time User Of Services streaming music, from Pandora to the now defunct online music El casillero, and now as a monthly subscriber. If you have a computer and a... Read More That's why every respectable music streaming service, including Google Play Music, now offers some form of offline playback.

Or, in other words, the ability to download a song that can be streamed to your device so you can play it whenever you want. However, you're not buying the song:if your All Access subscription runs out, you won't be able to play it.

So if the only reason you're not using a service like Google Play Music is because it forces all your music "into the cloud" and you want to listen even when you're on the go or stuck in a tunnel, then fear not. Offline playback is here to save the day.

Also note that Google Play Music does not limit the number of songs you can download for offline playback, which is in contrast to services like Spotify, which is capped at 3,333 downloads per device.

4. Discovery of music

Google Play Music has a handful of features that give it an edge over other streaming music services when it comes to music discovery and music recommendation. Most people search for Spotify and Pandora, Google Play Music is quite capable of competing.

  • Better graphics - The most popular music right now according to Google Play Music back-end statistics. Top charts can be filtered by genre, albums, or songs.
  • New releases - Latest albums to be added to Google Play Music. You can filter them by genre, which is a great way to stay on top of your favorite music and expand your collection.
  • Music stations - Hundreds of curated playlists that are categorized by genre, activity, mood, decade, and age. For example, there are music stations for exercise (activity) and insight (mood). If you've ever used Songza, it's basically the same thing:Google acquired Songza in 2015.
  • Radio of songs and artists - Dynamically generated music stations based on a particular song or artist. Want to hear more like Eminem? Or maybe you like the musical style of “Under the Sea” from The Little Mermaid ? Create radio stations for them!
  • Sound search - Listen to a nearby song and identify the artist and title. You'll need to install the Sound Search app, which is a separate download, but integrates with Google Play Music, so the identified songs can be purchased directly or saved for later.

All of these features are ad-free and have unlimited skips, so you won't have to deal with the annoying restrictions that some other services tend to impose.

Top 7 Google Play Music Features

5. podcast

If you listen to podcasts, chances are you've lamented the struggles of finding a good podcast manager app. Well, if you are using Google Play Music for music, you can also use it for podcasts. Keeping all your listening pleasures in one app is so convenient.

There are many ways to find new and interesting podcasts, but iTunes has been king for quite some time. Google Play Music is doing its best to catch up, and while it has room for improvement, it's pretty good. The podcasts are divided into two dozen categories and the selection is growing every day.

Never listened to a podcast before? Get started with some of our favorite podcasts for everyone. Top 12 Podcasts of 2016 You Need to Hear Top 12 Podcasts of 2016 You Need to Hear In this article we share the top 12 podcasts of 2016, all of which we recommend you listen to. Whether you're looking for inspiration, to discover something new or just need to be entertained. Read more.

6. Subscription to the family plan.

As of this writing, Google Play Music All Access is available for $10 per month, which isn't bad at all, on par with other subscription services like Spotify, Netflix, and Amazon Prime. But if that's too much for you, there's always the Family Plan.

Family plans are awesome. Services of all kinds are beginning to offer them, and taking advantage of a family plan is a great way to lower your monthly expenses. In the case of Google Play Music, you can get six accounts for $15 per month , which is the equivalent of $2.50 per month per account. Which is an incredible value when you think about what you get for it.

Each Google Play Music account can connect up to 10 devices — five smartphones plus any mix of tablets, laptops, and desktops — but you can only stream music on one device at a time per account. Accounts on a family plan can share items purchased using Family Library.

Top 7 Google Play Music Features

7. YouTube Red is included

Although it's the last item on this list, YouTube Red is one of the main reasons why users choose Google Play Music over the alternatives. We've looked at YouTube Red before, but here's a quick rundown of benefits you might find useful:

  • There are no ads when watching YouTube videos.
  • Access to original content for YouTube Red subscribers only.
  • Audio-only playback of YouTube videos on mobile devices.
  • Offline playback of YouTube videos on mobile devices.
  • Background playback of YouTube videos on mobile devices.

YouTube Red costs $10 per month on its own, but it comes bundled with Google Play Music. Which makes Google Play Music even better value for money.

Google Play Music competes with the best

Some of the above features are available with Google Play Music's main competitors, Spotify vs. Apple Music vs. Google Play Music:Which is the best? Spotify vs. Apple Music vs. Google Play Music:Which is the best? While there are a plethora of music streaming services out there, there are three main ones that stand out above the rest:Spotify, Apple Music, and Google Play Music. But which one is better? Read More But when you look at each service as a whole, Google Play Music can offer the best and most versatile overall package.

Plus, there's one more benefit:Google has the broader ecosystem Apple vs. Android:Buy the Ecosystem, Not the Gadget Apple vs. Android:Buy the Ecosystem, Not the Gadget You love your Android phone and want to buy a tablet. Everyone tells you that the iPad is the best tablet, and it really is the best; But you still have to buy an Android tablet. Read More Most of us already have an Android smartphone and a Google account, which, in this writer's opinion, makes Google Play Music an easy task.

Try it now - Google Play Music on the Web | Android | iOS

How do you feel about Google Play Music? Is it on par with, or even better than, alternatives like Spotify and Apple Music? If you don't use it, why not? Please let us know in the comments below!