It’d really be a surprise if you haven’t heard of this application, and the only conceivable reason would be if you don’t have an Android phone. No matter how hard to imagine, it’s entirely possible, and if you’re a new user, you might be wondering what that orange-white icon represents, and what is it capable of? Well, now’s the time to find out, and we’ll go through both features, interface, and even how it fares in comparison to other services in our Google Play Music review. Before we move on to the app itself, it’s important to mention something that really confused us at first.
And it’s no wonder, many users around the world are confused. You should know by now that Google is the owner of YouTube, and even though they launched Google Play Music back in 2013, with the year 2015 came YouTube Music. Why would a giant own two services with the same purpose? Even though it has some additional features, like searching for a song by using very vague descriptions or lyrics, in the end, it’s pretty much the same thing. We don’t have a definitive answer, but it’s suspected YouTube Music will replace Google Play Music in the future. Let’s shift our focus back to the application in question.
Google Play Music Interface
The interface is very simplistic, we got to be honest with you. And we’re pretty sure it’s intentionally kept like that so that it can run on older devices with previous Android versions. Not all of us buy the latest phone, but we all enjoy music, right? But don’t worry, nothing has been taken away when it comes to functionality. There are multiple menus, all with pictures of the latest and most popular artists. Even if you don’t know them by name, you’ll probably recognize them from a picture, which is great for us that see a music video but forget the name of the artist or the song.
The only thing we didn’t like – we noticed that the default theme, white and orange, is pretty intense on the eyes at night if you’re used to dark themes in other applications. Even Spotify has a dark theme intended for late-night drives or relaxing before a night’s sleep. We hope Google will take this into consideration for future updates.
Google Play Music Features
Like we mentioned, the focus has been transferred from having the best-looking app to having an app with all-around best features. Another part is certainly the number of features, and they’re plentiful.
Free version limitations
Of course, you can stream music to your device via Wi-Fi or mobile network. While there’s special, low-quality streaming when you’re using mobile data, it’s important to notice that you can only stream and listen to the songs you personally uploaded. While the number is up to 50 thousand songs you can upload, you can only get recommendations for new, similar artists based on your music taste. While you can listen to the radio of your choice, it’ll be filled with ads, and if you don’t mind them, the experience is pleasing to the ear.
Another possibility with a free version, and something very popular in the age of audiobooks – podcasts. You can both discover new ones and listen/subscribe to them for no charge. Finally, you can listen to music you uploaded via your Android device, of course, but also web and iOS on your Apple device.
Paid subscription features
The subscription can vary, but it’s usually 9.99$ per month for one account, however, if you have a big family, you can get a family plan. You’ll have the possibility to include five more family members to one account in order to reduce the cost. That opens the door to over 35 million songs and counting. Purchase and download songs to your device to listen offline, or choose to stream them if you’re tight on space. Of course, low-quality settings apply if you’re using a limited mobile data plan, but if you’re on a home Wi-Fi, the quality should be flawless. Once you have a Google Play Music subscription, you should receive a membership for YouTube Music Premium.
That service is slowly spreading to other countries and is expected to take over the current app in 2019 or 2020. This gives you the possibility to enjoy YouTube Music without ads both in the background and offline. And that’s probably something you’d really wished, to get rid of ads, as they can be long and annoying at times. Finally, they use your location to give you music recommendations. For example, if the app detects you’re in a gym, they’ll automatically suggest a playlist with legendary rock performers like AC/DC, Guns N Roses, Led Zeppelin, etc. But if you’re at the airport, you can automatically start a playlist of relaxing music by tapping the play button. Neat, right?
Pros and Cons
Google Play Music has a lot of features and functionalities that any kind of user will find helpful for their music downloading needs. Here are some of those pros and cons which we found interesting on this application.
- Listen to radios all over the world, and with a genre/topic you’re interested in
- Discover, subscribe and listen to long podcasts by experts
- Find new music to obsess over, all based on the history of music played
- Easily change playlists based on the location you’re in
- Upload your favorite songs, you can enjoy them on other devices and operating systems
- Premium version unlocks ad-free listening, as well as access to more than 35 million songs and counting
- Play music offline after downloading
- Economic family plan for multiple Google Play Music users, up to 6 accounts
- You can’t stream and download music on a free account
- Ads can get in the way unless you upgrade
- Bugs can happen from time to time, resulting in the removal of downloaded music
- No theme options besides the default, white-orange combination strains the eyes
- You don’t have the player itself on the lock screen, so you have to unlock to change a song.
Even though this application will be replaced with YouTube Music in the future, it’s still worth paying for a Premium version, since you automatically get a membership. A free user can upload songs from his collection so he can enjoy them on multiple devices, but cannot stream and download any songs. Ads can pop up in the most inconvenient times, for example, when you’re just about to fall asleep listening to a radio, and wake you up, which isn’t the best. Many users seek theme options, and we’re sure that’s something that can be done in the future.
Google Play Music Review
- Value for Money
Google Play Music is a music downloader or streaming application that can be of great use. If you want to find the best of music files, this is the right app for you.