Google Play Music

A few buttons change places and functionality improves across the entire app

It's been a little while since our last Google Play Music update, but we can say with today's new features the wait was worth it. First on the list is the ability to cache radio stations for offline listening — just like you were always able to do with specific albums and tracks, you can now create radio stations and save them for offline listening. It isn't totally clear how much of the station is cached (they're usually "infinitely" long), but we're sure a good bit of listening will be required before you hit the end of the cache.

Next up is in-app management of your Google Play Music authorized devices. Anyone with a number of devices or just switches phones often will know that you quickly hit the cap of 10 authorized devices, and now you can manage which ones have access to your music account directly from the app settings. Speaking of settings, they're nested in the slide-in panel from the left side now rather than an overflow button in the top action bar.

There are a few more fixes and tweaks throughout the interface in the latest update as well. You now have better options for managing your music queue with "Play Next" buttons on songs, albums and artist listings, the Cast button for sending music to your Chromecast moves down to the bottom center of album art when viewing your current song and you now have the ability to manually refresh your music collection from the settings.

It's a whole lot to digest for just one update, but we think more than a few Google Play Music users will be enjoying these improvements — we already are.

 
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Google Play Music update adds offline radio caching, in-app device management and several fixes

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Not to nitpick, but 1) "Play Next" isn't in more places; it didn't exist at all before, and 2) you could always refresh your music collection, but the option is now in the settings menu as opposed to the (now gone) overflow menu.

Notable improvements from Google, by the way! Now let's hope track / album metadata editing is added soon... not a huge deal but it would be useful.

Yeah, sometimes I have to use the site on my PC and link it to Amazon album art.

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When you click the change album art link from the album details, instead of adding a file from your computer, use the URL from Amazon instead.

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Great suggestion, only thing better would be if I could get it to do it automagically.
Way too many albums to go through.

Does the app still freeze in mid-song for any music that you don't have saved to local storage on the phone? I loved GMusic until I couldn't stand that anymore. It happened on every single song, even the ones I had cached on my phone! Unless it was purchased from Google Play, it wouldn't play all the way through.

I had a subscription from Day 1, and after the first few updates didn't resolve it, and seeing that Google denied that the problem existed, I decided to get rid of the subscription. No point in paying for something I can't use.

My songs freeze even when stored locally on the device. On my HTC One they'll just stop playing and I'll have to just hit play again, but oh God is this annoying. So tempting to use my free Beats sub.

Hope this fixes the crash on HTC One when changing Chromecast volume. Looking forward to the Play Next feature, too.

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Would be nice to add a setting to force explicit songs to play. So many of mine that I saved to Google play get forced to play the clean version. I shouldn't have to go back and do their "fix" to correct it.

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Can I share my all access with my sons phone? As long as I don't hit the 10 device limit?

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Yes, but keep in my mind if he changes you play lists, they are changed everywhere, adds songs, same. My wife and I share, I make her just add stuff to her own folder, as she uses it way less than me.

BaAAH

Does it now play a chosen artist following a Google voice search for said artist. The previous result was artist not found when you even have that artist stored locally

I have a Google Edition S4, and no I don't have issues. Unless I am on a hotel's wifi trying to stream...then I have an issue, heh. But of course if I were to download it locally to SD card as you mention and then play it, its not been a problem at all. I use mine for at least 6 hours out of every day to listen while programming at work.

I still use this everyday, but it lacks some major things.

Smart playlists
Star rating
Sorting track by artist
Night mode

BaAAH

Biggest thing (for me): they fixed the backwards way shuffle was handled.

Say you had a playlist with 5 songs. The first one you want to listen to is Song 2. Before, Song 2 would play, Song 3-5 would shuffle, but Song 1 would not. Example:

Song 1
Song 2 (Playing)
Song 3
Song 4
Song 5

You press shuffle, and the list becomes:

Song 1
Song 2 (playing
Song 5
Song 3
Song 4

But now it's fixed that it will shuffle ALL of the music, not just the songs after the one you select.

Play next is really welcome and I was surprised it wasn't in there before when I searched for it a few weeks ago!