Google Music De-Authroize

A bit of a wet blanket has been tossed onto Google Music recently. We're not exactly sure when this policy went into effect (but we're pretty sure it's been a recent change), but you can now only de-authorize four devices from Google Music per year. (You can still have a total of 10 authorized to play.) This is one of those situations that generally wouldn't affect your "normal" user who has one or two phones, and maybe a tablet, and doesn't go around swapping devices every few weeks.

We are not your normal user. And chances are a good percentage of Google Music users aren't "normal" users either, flashing ROMs and what not. (As a side note: Having a rooted device has nothing to do with any of this, headlines to the contrary.) That leaves some of us in a bit of a pickle. That's my authorized device list above. Somehow I've managed to get two Logitech Revues authorized, even though I only have one, which needs to be hard-reset every few weeks because it's a piece of crap that likes to forget it has certain applications installed. (The latest app to fall victim to my Revue's disappearing act -- wait for it -- was Google Music.) So not only do I have two Revues listed and can't de-authorize either of them, I'll be stuck with the Revue as an authorized device if and when Google releases something new later this year. (I'm still expecting an announcement of some sort at Google IO.)

I don't blame Google here. Online music still is a ridiculously overcomplicated endeavor, thanks to the record labels. (And it's second only to online video streaming.) But, obviously, this won't do. Because I shan't be using this Revue any longer than necessary, and phones don't last forever.

So is it back to Amazon for me? Or back to local music? 

More: Google Music support page; Thanks, @anthonok, for pointing this one out


Reader comments

Google Music limits device de-authorizations to 4 a year


I know it's a pain but you could start another google music account. One on the laptop and one on the desktop and use an application to keep the libraries on the two computers in sync. Obviously that would mean keeping all those music files stored offline in two locations so your two google music accounts will be identical.

For what it's worth, I have 2 *actual* devices, a Thunderbolt and a Galaxy Tab.

Under Google Music, I have 9 "devices" listed between the 2 of them. Judging by the dates, it's pretty obvious that a data wipe alone does NOT trigger a new activation (at least not for either of my devices), but installing a NEW ROM apparently does.

With my Galaxy Tab 10.1, for example, I have one "device" registered from when I bought the tab and was running stock HC. I have a 2nd "device" listed from the date when installed AOKP on it a while back. Since then, I've actually reverted to HC a few times, and am now running CM9 as opposed to AOKP, yet no *new* devices have been registered. So, for this device I essentially have 1 authorized while running Samsung's current HC build, and another for either ICS ROM I've run. (perhaps it's a kernel thing?).

For my Thunderbolt, I have 7 authorized devices...not gonna try and untangle that mess, but it is obvious that just doing a data wipe did NOT trigger a new authorization...but switching from various ROMs obviously has.

Just sharing what I've got going on with my account...

You are correct flashing a new rom triggers a new activation on your google music. I been having this issue since google music was released, since I flash ROMS daily. So if you want to continue using Google music you will have to stop flashing every new AOKP update.

Oh nooo! Big problem for me! I flash a new rom once a month and I have my GS2 registered like 5 times... If I can't access my music on the go, Google Music locker will only be a storage service with no streaming. Hope this gets a fix solution or I'll be out of gmusic :(

This is just one more reason for me to move away from Google Play Music. I've already hit my 20,000 song limit anyhow with no option to "buy" more space. I have unlimited space with Amazon, but their cloud service/player is not the best.

I would love to see another cloud-based company really embrace the cloud music industry and all that it entails (mainly, sophisticated tag editing, smart playlist creation, advanced EQ options, and TRUE two-way syncing between web and android).

This is pretty frustrating. The interface is lovely, but there definitely are more limitations that are making me reconsider.

"TRUE two-way syncing between web and android"

This is something I really want to see. There is so much potential as long as the proper resources are placed behind it.

Totally agree. As bad as we all want to bash *pple, they certainly tackled music organization the right way.....they saw the importance (and demand) for proper tagging, playcounts, ratings, last played, etc.

Please tell me you're joking. itunes ? Seriously?

Maybe you're referring specifically to icloud. I'm hoping so. itunes is the reason I own no iproducts.

Have to agree with him on this one, Itunes is by far the superior music store or player when compared to Google music. I dont own any Iproducts but I have a Macbook and Itunes is great.

I don't care for the iTunes OSX application very much, but its iOS app is well-designed and intuitively organized. And Apple has done a very good job of making consistent deals with media production companies.

Hey, at least you got to your 20k limit. I've been stuck on ~9300 & the stupid music manager app tells me I can't upload anymore because I've reached that limit.

Hmm i've ran plenty of diff roms but I've only got 2 authorized devices on my gmusic list. My desktop computer and my Evo. Not sure why it doesn't show my other ROMS and whatnot but oh well works for me.

I find this new information conflicting seeing as how I deauthorized 8 devices yesterday. Keep in my that all 8 devices were my Galaxy Nexus running different ROMs, though. Maybe the policy only affects completely different devices.

It seems to be rolling out to users in phases. I deauthorized several devices a few days ago, but as of this morning, I have reached my limit. Apparently this started about 60 days ago per some reports.

Out of curiosity, why would you want to de-authorize a device to begin with? What's the harm in leaving it as an authorized device? I only have 4 Android devices currently in-use, but is there a maximum amount allowed to be authorize?

I've only ever had to de-authorize when using Amazon if the login for some reason gets screwed up, but never needed to with my Google Play account, so just wondering.

Like I wrote, this won't affect most normal folks. But you can only have a total of 10 devices authorized. I have more devices than that go through here in a month. :p're beyond even being an outlier on this one. You may be in the rarest category of all.

I used to have this problem with Zune and XBOX Music from time to time. How they handled it was that if you called them, they would clear your device list. A simple solution, honestly.

This is as stupid as the limitation that you can only download a subscription song 3 times.... just 3. So, if you delete it and pay for the subscription, you can only download it 3 times even though the license expires after 30 days.... :) But that was an old Zune limitation.

This is meant to stop piracy, I guess, but if the license expires in 30 days, what's the point? It's probably written into the agreement with the record labels that someone didn't fully think out.

My problem with this list is that downloading the Google Music uploader through IE or adding the Google Media uploader counts as 1 device each. If you uninstall the app and reinstall, it counts as another device. I can't get out of this idiotic 4 device removal limit.... good thing I didn't pay for the annual subscription or i'd be really upset.

I don't think so. I have 2 computers and 2 Android devices but I keep hitting my limit. My problem stems from using multiple VPN's on my computer's, so every time I'm connected to a different VPN it adds my same computer as another device on the list. I also occasionally flash my devices and with that comes another authorization.

It's far too easy to hit the limit, even with a relative small number of devices. I'd be ok with a limit but they would have to fix the issues where a device can be counted multiple times.

If I hit the limit I'm dropping Google Music.

I also use multiple network adapters so it may be due to that rather then the VPN, not really sure. Either way it sucks.

Every computer you log on from gets authorised, and every rom installed on your phone gets authorised separately. Which means that if I have my personal home computer and laptop, my work computer, my 2 year old phone which I stopped using a couple of months ago, the new phone I replaced it with and the OTA update to ICS last month gives me 6 devices.

Ah ok, so they do impose a limit, that sucks.
My Amazon account has way more than 10 devices on it though...

Nope. Can't do it. I just tried deauthorizing a couple of my Galaxy Nexus(due to flashing different roms), & it won't allow me. I already have 7 items on the authorized list, 4 of them being my Nexus, & 1 being a phone I no longer own. So, I only have 3 more for the entire year? This will not do at all.

Everytime you install a custom rom and add install GM to it, you are in effect authorizing a new device.

If you do this often enough, you authorize too many and will have to deactivate the account from some of the old roms even if they are long deleted ones.

I just deactivated supposedly 4 devices just last week to make room for newer roms I am going to be installing, or already installed and backed up. This will be a huge problem!

Another reason to the list while I've stuck with Amazon's service. It has worked flawlessly for me, and frankly I get better deals from Amazon as well.

I really want to go "all in" with them. I love their unlimited music option which I purchase annually for $20, but their uploading process is horrible (getting tons of duplicates) and there is absolutely no tag editing which is very important to me.

Also, a big reason you get their great deals is because of the competition that Google provides. For example, notice that whenever Google puts some of their albums on sale for $3.99, Amazon follows suit and puts those same albums on sale for $3.99. They wouldn't have been on sale if it weren't for Google doing it first. Competition is great that way....the consumers win in the end!

Is it possible that you can just back up the Google Music app and restore it in Titanium Backup every time you switch ROMS to avoid another authorization?

Yup it's possible. I always restore from a nandroid backup after flashing a new ROM and don't have to reauthorize google music. The only time people will have to reauthorize google music is when you phone treats it like a new install. Then again I could be wrong, but that's what I've been doing for a while now.

My $0.02

That is pretty ridiculous, this is awful news for Google Play users that are also Flashaholics. I flash a new Rom once or twice a month and it registers a new device each time, and I know there are people out there that flash more than that.

ya its actually unbelievable, I just purchased a HTC One X last week and already have it registered 3 times. Pretty much I have to now find a different music service after I spend hours and hours getting all my music to Google. Unbelievable.

I do have the same problem every time I flash a new rom count as a new device lol I change roms like underwear well right now iam not able to play music in my device google music say to many devices What can we do to fix this

You can go to Google Music and click the gears icon and then click submit feedback. It will ask you to highlight your problem so make sure the dialog that says too many devices deauthorized is showing. I sent them a very long piece of feedback that included suggestions (namely that they should have told users this policy would be going into effect at a later date and until that date, allow users to deauthorize as many devices as needed).

I also brought up the fact that those who run Android sites will now no longer be able to test Google Music on new review devices, for fear that they won't be able to play Google Music on a device that they actually own.

Finally I stated that while this many not affect the majority of Android users, it affects a good portion, and that there were certainly better ways to notify users about the change in policy.

This is absolute crap! I checked my devices list and I have three authorized devices now and two of them are the same phone so if I update or flash a new ROM I am hosed? Google Music just became almost worthless to me.

You get 10 devices. You can only deauthorize 4 a year. I don't even get the message about only 4 a year, I get a message that says too many deauthorized.

Chondog Amazon had CD album sales as well as digital albums sales for $3.99 years before we had Google Music

Oh and @Google seriously? Wtf are you thinking? You murdered the Android Market and now this? Do you want me to buy a crappy iPhone or something?

yeah, I know that Amazon had some great deals prior to Gmusic.....but when Google began to have their big specials (Valentines Day and such), Amazon would match any album that Google put on sale with the same price. There's nothing wrong with that, that's awesome and one reason I may go entirely with Amazon.

I am restoring Google Music from Titanium Backup every time I flash a new ROM. So far only one Galaxy Nexus has showed up on my list.

Well this is dumb. I've already switched back to local storage since I don't get decent cell service in my office. Guess I'll be sticking with doubleTwist for the time being.

Well, I would never use this then. I am constantly hitting the 25 device (or whatever it is) limit Amazon has and have to delete them all the time otherwise you cannot log into the Amazon app store. I have like 8 Nexus S 4G on there right now. Everytime you flash a rom your device is considered new.

^Lol at the 250mb limit per song. I have never seen mastered song more than 15 mb, but hey there's a first time for everything right..

I have 10 devices listed already and by checking the dates I believe it's counting the hard resets on my crappy Evo 3d before I sold it off last year. I go through my fair share of flashing but some of us go through phone issues and have carriers (cough cough looking at you SPRINT) who make us hard reset our phone for Anything before we get any service, repair, or trade ins. So between these new limitations, whack carrier support, and flashing we're screwed!!

I was already growing weary about this 360 cloud service push down our throats since internet coverage is still not 100% available everywhere you need it, but this pushes me over the edge. Back to local storage for me

Get a Synology NAS and you'll have your own personal cloud to stream from without any limitations.

I've had it with Google Music. I haven't been able to add a new song to my library in months b/c I've allegedly hit the "20,000 song limit" even though I only have 5,000 songs. It's on their bug list - great. Well, as far as I'm concerned, this is another bug. Looks like it's time to move on to greener pastures. Thanks Google.

Is there a way to pay to de-authorize? I think its BS that I would have to, but that doesn't solve my problem. I need to de-authorize. I test new phones, and 4 of the devices on my list were only activated for a total of 24 hours.

Well now...this is good to know! I'm actually surprised I *only* have 7 "devices" registered right now (only 2 actual devices, my Thunderbolt and Galaxy Tab).

It appears that a data wipe itself is OK, but changing ROMs will add a "new" device to the list...

Not good for the chronic flasher like myself!

I have my computer showing up 8 times. Every single time I turn my computer on, I am told I can't sign in to Google Music because my device limit is reached. I can de-authorize some, but then it just adds a new device every time I turn my computer back on. As you can see I gave up on using my computer for Google Music in March.

I want to point out that some people (like me) who had defective issues with the HTC One X or wanted a white one after they bought the gray one also got hit with several activations for devices that I do not even own anymore and can not deactivate.

I fall into the category of "normal user"...I haven't hit the limit of activations, let alone deactivations. I have 2 computers and 1 phone. I don't flash ROMs so maybe that's why. I like the google play service, just wish the android app had a couple kinks worked out.

Understandable anger from all the above, but really a regular user like me isn't impacted in even the slightest. Go team Google!

What the hell! I just literally wrote to Google about this yesterday. Damn it! I was wondering why I wasn't able to deauthorize my multiple NS entries. And now I'm stuck with no Google play streaming on my phone.

I was having issues with authorizing devices (an ubuntu desktop) changing the MAC address on the NIC fixed it. Does android allow you to 'spoof' a different MAC address?

Well that sucks, I flash roms like 3 time a week at the very most. Just when I start feeling good about Google they go and mess things up 2 steps forward one step back. My only question is why the hell don't they use the same system to identify devices as the do for Google Play market, at least when registering with a mobile app, not sure about desktops. Either way this is a huge problem for me since I've already had to clear my device list like a million times. Oh well I'm going to delete my library and simply use windows media sync again I guess. I only have 760 songs a far cry from 20000.

Keep your music local and stream it to your mobile devices with Subsonic. There is no limit, and the functionality is great... the only downside is you need to leave a PC on at home to be the server. I have about 35,000 songs on my server and it runs as smooth as can be even over 3G on my phone. It will also "downsample" any codex on the fly to whatever bitrate you want to avoid buffering (a lot of my music is lossless FLAC and there is no issues with using subsonic to play these on my phone).

The Android App is ever better looking than the Google Play Music app!

I tried to de-authorize a device an hour ago and I got the same message. However, I just tried it again and I was able to remove 2 devices.

I suppose you could just edit the APK file to make Google Music, think all your devices were the same device. I don't even think it would be complicated ;P

OK so if this is THIS much of a problem to everyone then everyone contact Goggle and tell them about it. That's the only way it's gonna get changed.

Wow, can't believe this. First time that I've ever been disappointed in Google. The only way around this is to add new Google accounts and upload to that as well. (Will of course take forever if you have a lot of songs.)

Very weak!!!!

I just deauthorized a bunch of devices, maybe six, I have a nook color which I have been in the habit of flashing every month or so, there were no limits to how many devices I could deauthorize. I also just bought and set up an ASUS Transformer Prime tablet and it does not even show in the devices list, even though clearly Google music has been set up on it with my google account.

It must've been really recent because it was only about 2 weeks ago after installing an ICS-based custom ROM on my 3VO that I was notified by Googs that I had reached my limit of ten devices. I then realized every time I flashed a new ROM Google Music was setting my phone up as a different authorized device.

I deleted the other 6 redundant entries for my HTC PG86100 & went about my business. Glad I hit the limit when I did!

For all you people saying you don't need SD storage because you have the cloud...welcome to the limitations of the cloud.

You do not _really_ own your music unless it is physically on your device.

Amazon's music cloud has none of these limitations AFAIK... /shrug Their app isn't as pretty and it's $20 for unlimited storage after 5GB but it works pretty reliably and they have a bigger catalog anyway. I've been meaning to upload my stuff to Google Music and try it out but ehh... Amazon also lets you redownload music files to mobile devices at any time, as well as stream, none of this cache business which is just another layer of quasi-DRM if you ask me.

um i had 10 devices listed and just deleted 6 of them. I have my sony google tv, a gnex, a one x, and my laptop. Just put my google music on my girlfriend's phone and it showed registered and then i promptly deauthorized it and it worked. I'll worry about it when it has actually happened. Then i'll probably just go back to local music, amazon will cost me $50/year and i'd rather have 10-15gb of music local then pay to listen to music I already own.