Google Play Music

Google has long since been known as a company that enjoys placing some not quite complete features on a few of their products out there to mix things up. Those items usually fall under a beta or "labs" moniker and that's exactly what they've done with Google Play Music now. While most of use are making use of Google Play Music through the Android app Google offers, there are a number of folks who also like to use it on the desktop as well and for those folks Google has introduced:

  • Desktop Notifications - Find out what's playing without having to switch back to your Google Music tab. A notification will appear at the start of each song with the song title, artist name, album title, and album cover. This lab only works in the Chrome browser.
  • HTML5 Audio - Listen to your music without the need for Flash. Works in all browsers that support MP3 playback with HTML5 audio: Chrome, Safari 3.1+, and IE 9+.
  • 5-Star Ratings - Rate songs on a 5-star scale rather than thumbs-up or thumbs-down.

With Google making changes to Google Play Music for desktop users, we kind of have to wonder if they're also going to working on labs for their mobile version as well. Can you all think of any features you'd like to see added that would be of use? Sound off in the comments.

Source: Engadget


Reader comments

Google Play Music introduces labs features: Desktop notifications, HTML5 audio and 5-Star ratings


"HTML5 Audio - Listen to your music without the need for Flash. Works in all browsers that support MP3 playback with HTML5 audio: Chrome, Safari 3.1+, and IE 9+."

anyone know of any mobile browsers with html5 support yet?

I love the thumbs up/thumbs down rating system. I'd like to see this feature taken further, however.

For example, I'd like to be able to select a genre, like "Rock," and play all thumbs-up'd Rock songs. Or all thumbs-up'd songs by a specific artist.

As well as a way to automatically set all thumbs-up songs to be available for offline playback.

Smart playlists and scrobbling support would be nice. I know there are Chrome extensions for scrobbling, but it would be nice if both were natively supported by the web app *and* the mobile app.

YES! Hated the thumbs up/down rating system. Way too black and white. From the looks of it, its translating the star ratings that were attached to the songs in itunes. Now we just need this change to occur in the android app.

Love the move to five star ratings. Hopefully this is the first step to getting Smart Playlists. Once they add Smart Playlists then I'm done with Itunes for good.

maybe this is an HTC thing (for my phone at least) but I'd love to be able to switch my music on the lock screen without having to go in. It's a real pain to have to unlock the screen every time I want to switch a song.

I use widgetlocker as a lockscreen replacement. It let's me use the Google Music widget on my lockscreen, but I can only skip forward and pause with it.

Nice, but it's still inaccessible outside the US (Canada, in my case), as is Amazon's MP3 store.

And don't get me wrong, alternatives like 7digital do well enough, but it's frustrating with iTunes is right there.

i wish they would fix the playlist resume issue where it only plays out the resumed song and stops and also a better method of shuffle. I have a lot of music but it has the same sequence of playing each of them whenever and where ever I start. Those two things are annoying. Otherwise I love it.

I actually sent this suggestion to Google ... I want to be able to control how much music is temporarily stored in the cache. Right now the option are to cache recently played music or not to cache recently played music. I like the idea of caching, but when I turn on that option it fills up my SD card. I want to be able to set a limit, for example "cache the last 50 songs" or "cache limit 25 MB".

Nice, but I am a long time Media Monkey user and I already have my entire library rated on a 10 point scale (five stars, but including half stars), so I can't see myself migrating to Google Music unless they add half stars and a weighted shuffle mode.

Not to mention all the other origination features I would miss from Media Monkey...

The mobile app needs to be more friendly for downloads. Their album-only, temporary cache of "Play offline" files is immature compared to something straightforward like amazon's ability to simply download a file right to a folder that doesn't get wiped out.

Until they work this out I'll just keep buying music on Amazon's much friendlier (and usually cheaper) service.

I still don't understand the thumbs down. Why would I thumbs down a song instead of deleting it.