Google Play Music

Cached music can now be handled on external storage

There's a new update for Google Play Music rolling out from today, and it brings a pretty big feature addition for anyone using Google's music app on a device with an SD card. The new Google Play Music version 5.3 introduces the ability to store cached or pinned music on external storage — i.e. a microSD card — as an alternative to internal storage. The app has always been able to play music from external storage, but until now cached music from online libraries was limited to internal storage.

It's a pretty big deal for the many users of Android phones with an SD card slot but limited built-in storage, for instance most Samsung phones and lower-end devices from other manufacturers. Cached music can quickly chew through precious internal storage, and so offloading it to an SD card wherever possible makes a lot of sense. It's a curious decision, however, given Google's stance on SD cards, and the lack of external storage on current Nexus devices.

As usual, the new version of Google Play Music is being pushed out to devices gradually as part of a staged rollout, so watch out for it in the days ahead. The new option to change your cache location can be found under Music settings > Download > Storage location.

 
There are 88 comments

twolastnames says:

About time, even though there was an exposed module that let you do this a while ago.

derp

tigeryee says:

Agree I used the same module

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Greig Muir says:

Any advice on the module, my s2 could be waiting a while for kitkat

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crazed_z06 says:

Awesome.

Another plus for teh Galaxies!

They would do this the day I am ditching my s3 for a moto x...

Notus says:

That's because your stupid..

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*you're. ;-)

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Notus says:

And you're an asshole

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NoNexus says:

See that is the kind of comments that cause nerd rage.

It wouldn't be my, or your, first choice of an upgrade, but it is an upgrade. The X is a fine device.

twolastnames says:

I was hoping you were talking about the Grammer Nazi, and then I saw the other comment, and realized I was stupid for trading my rezound in for a S4. That comment opened my eyes ;)

derp

vor says:

So true, just ordered the Moto X to replace my HD Maxx...I'm going to miss that extra 32GB

Glenuendo says:

The phrase "staged rollouts" is kryptonite to me.

mikepahl318 says:

how come?

because either
1.) you were one of the first to receive an update that was flawed.
or
2.) you think everyone should receive flawed updates on day 1.

Suntan says:

Honestly, I used to use Google Music a lot because it was easy to switch between playing cloud stored stuff and local stored music.

Then they overhauled it a while back to try and "encourage" people to pay for songs through google and I could never get it to reliably play just local content on the phone (usually futzing with it while driving across the interstate after the cell signal caused audio pauses) so I just stopped using it in favor of simpler audio playing apps.

-Suntan

brendilon says:

There's an On-Device toggle. It's pretty simple to flip one to the other, not something anyone should have a problem with.

Winter is coming. She's quite the screamer.

dannyd86 says:

I quickly found google play not up to the task for my music needs. It wouldnt sync and stream bluetooth properly with my 2012 tacoma. It would work very basicly but would run into problems when I had other apps going like youtube, Its like it was causing a traffic jam on the bluetooth hwy.

All was solved with poweramp, power amp also looks much nicer.

Does this mean that I can finally store my purchased music on sd?

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Deke218 says:

This option as existed since day one. Just download your music to a PC and transfer it to your phone.

Ummmmm,there should be a option on the phone and not everyone has the time to go through all of that.

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NoNexus says:

use a file manager

twolastnames says:

It didn't work, gmusic had to be pointed to the correct folder for downloaded cloud music. The exposed module did that, but root was needed.

derp

NoNexus says:

Huh didn't know that

----------------------------------------------------
So where is the competition for the Note 3? Oh right there isn't any...

twolastnames says:

It also gives the files ridiculous names, so trying to play the files in another player was not awesome.

derp

mzanette says:

I just hope they fixed gapless playback again with this update. They break, they fix, they break, they fix...

jhilker says:

I couldn't see that it's fixed. :-(

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Jay Holm says:

Considering how Google feels about microsd's this is a pleasant surprise!

Posted via Android Central App Using my Samsung Galaxy S4 T-Mobile

Anyone try doing this with the Meenova SD card reader?

SippinCitrus says:

I'd like to know the same thing.

scobb says:

About damn time. It was a fairly bizarre move to stop supporting it. Especially that weird thing where Google Play wouldn't stream a song from the cloud if it existed on the SD card.

BTW, this article referenced an old article "Google's stance on SD cards" really addressed a very different issue. This was more related to fixed internal partitions labeled as SD cards. Which I agree with. Google changed the internal media partition to be dynamic - which makes sense. That has nothing whatsoever to do with actual removable SD cards.

rawpower87 says:

Yes!!!

Posted via my Galaxy S 4 Google Edition

jonnyships says:

But will it work for us? We havent been able to write to the SD card since the 4.3 update.

jonnyships says:

Seems to work on the GS4 Play Edition. Maybe they've changed their minds?

JellyFringer says:

I almost couldn't believe it... I still don't forgive Google and Samsung for gimping this phone, but this will make a HUGE difference.

jimmyvluv4u says:

Holy sh-t, hell has frozen over. I can't believe they finally implemented this.

Tinostre says:

Omg FINALLY!

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Oddly enough, this is the first time in a very long time that I've had a desire for an sdcard slot on my phone. Bummer.

NoNexus says:

With any luck this is the thaw that "should" happen between Google and SD cards.

Yes I know that they are slower than normal memory, and that they can be unreliable (any part can fail though so lets not get on that bandwagon) but there has never been a reason to not include them. It was a decision and thats all.

With devices going to 32GB, there is less of a need now (from my point of view) but it is a welcome addition.

brendilon says:

Re: Thaw
It'll be a cold day in hell.

Winter is coming. She's quite the screamer.

NoNexus says:

Winter is coming...

I didn't say a break, but a thaw and technically this is one. They are at least acknowledging them again instead of pretending that the largest Android manufacturer doesn't use them

----------------------------------------------------
So where is the competition for the Note 3? Oh right there isn't any...

badkitties says:

pardon my French, but is Google bullsh*tting me?

Wasn't it Google who insisted that no Nexus phones/tablets should have SD card slots?

Now Google is letting people put Google Play Music on SD cards?

Can't they make up their minds?

Well... at least I'm glad I wasn't stupid enough to buy a Nexus phone. Only Samsung
Galaxy Note 2 & 3 for me. (and eventually Note 4, 5, 6....)

NoNexus says:

You still need to cater to the crowd that has it

----------------------------------------------------
So where is the competition for the Note 3? Oh right there isn't any...

twolastnames says:

Don't they have to pay Microsoft to include the software to format an sdcard? My guess is its a way to make the phone cheaper.

derp

Samsmalls says:

XPERIA & GALAXY FTW!

wezi427 says:

I don't know what Google has against SD cards, but it seems a lot of people like them. It makes sense to have them for people that have music and movies.

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twolastnames says:

You would have to say apple hates them more. Just to be a glass half full guy.

derp

brendilon says:

And Microsoft.

Winter is coming. She's quite the screamer.

Ry says:

Next Nexus to come with expandable storage.

lol.

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Just seems redundant. Most people who b**** about phones not having SD cards say it's because they store their music on it. Why would you upload your music to Google only to the move it back to SD?

Posted via Android Central App using an LG G2.

bigtank says:

its about space...I have the HTC EVO LTE that has 16gb internal and microSD support..up till know my Google Play music has taken a large portion of that 16gb while my 16gb microSD just sits there with like 12gb left

I guess what I don't get is why wouldn't you just have the music on your sd card? Why bother with Google Play? If you have it on your sd card, you could turn off data.

glazedfaith says:

Google Play Music is more than just uploading your own music. A large number of people, myself included, have something called Google Play Music All Access. This means I can store songs and albums I've never bought on my device, and listen to them anytime for the $7.99 monthly fee. Then, just as easily, I can remove them and choose other songs. With this feature, I don't have to remove hundreds of songs to make room for hundreds more songs.

brendilon says:

You can also play your uploaded music from anywhere. I can listen to my entire music collection anywhere on any device with a data connection. My phone, tablet, laptop, chromecast, at a friend's house, etc.

Winter is coming. She's quite the screamer.

NoNexus says:

With a data connection is the key. Sometimes you don't have that be it because of network or other restrictions. I carry quite a few gigs of music around, even though I mostly stream. I can never see myself ever going to the cloud exclusively

Better to have it and never need it than to need it an never have it.

----------------------------------------------------
So where is the competition for the Note 3? Oh right there isn't any...

^^THIS^^ All day long.

3VO via Android Central App

gamefreak715 says:

So does this mean I can pin music to the SD card, take it out and play it in another device like a mp3 player that takes SD cards? I know similar music services have allowed this as long as you refresh the music DRM monthly

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glazedfaith says:

I seriously doubt this, as I'm sure the files require authentication to play. But if you find out otherwise, definitely let us know.

gamefreak715 says:

Once I get the update on my tablet I'll pin some songs to it and try it out in my old sansa. It would really be nice because I hate working out with my phone. Too paranoid something will happen.

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scobb says:

I suspect you could pin "your" music that you uploaded. I'm sure that if you pin a song that was part of "All Access", that it will be encrypted - and not playable anywhere else.

robotaholic says:

This just shows you that Google doesn't have an iron fist like Apple. Even though their own devices don't support SD cards, they acknowledge their existence in other devices. This is a good move.

Dan29466 says:

Neat. I sure wish I could give Google my money. Unfortunately, Rhapsody is going to keep getting my money until Google has standalone mp3 players that work with the Google Music Unlimited service. Rhapsody has been letting me do it for at least 6 years. Plug my mp3 player into my computer at least once a month and I can send anything I want to it. Clip that 0.8 ounce player to my helmet, hop on my bike, and go. No need for some freaky way to protect/carry my phone while burning its battery all day.

glazedfaith says:

That is an awesome feature. I miss my circa 2007 Sansa e200R, though it was quite dense.

Dan29466 says:

Get a Sansa Clip. They're less than an ounce and you can get a new one for under $40 or find factory refurbs for $20 to $25. At that price, it's really easy to just stop worrying about sweat getting on it or letting it sit in direct sunlight on the boat. If it dies after 18 months I'll just replace it for cheap and my phone can stay safely tucked away somewhere.

David Gast says:

cool. I wonder if my Yamaha Network Receiver will see the music and allow me to airplay it. I doubt it...but one can only hope.

Coopsdm says:

Best news I've heard all day :) especially as Santa is bringing me a 32gb card for Xmas!

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CountryDevil says:

Big FAIL!!! Just got the update. Went to go turn this option on, not available. Went back to "What's New" section on Google Play and this is what it says...

"SD card support for offline music on KitKat (Experimental support on some older devices)"

I have the HTC EVO 4G LTE. There is NO, NONE, Nada, Zero, Zilch reason why this is not available for my phone.

pattavino says:

You beat me to it. I always read the what's new before posting coments hoping AC got the news right. It does say some older devices but not older os versions. So don't know what to think.

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Edit: Nope does not work on EVO LTE stock, for the moment, as expected.

dchawk81 says:

I don't know if my S3 will actually do it, but the toggle is there. I have yet to test it.

jimbo says:

Thanks for the info regarding your EVO LTE experience after update CountryDevil. I also updated Google Play Music and looked for the unavailable option on my EVO LTE.

I don't regard this as a Big FAIL. This is a good start because, as described, Google is also experimenting with older devices. Moreover, HTC EVO LTE owners will likely be receiving Kitkat OTA this month as pre announced.

--Suntan..............?

NoNexus says:

My understanding on the EVO is two things.

First it would get Jellybean, not Kit Kat, in December.
Next, that has been delayed. They are going back to the drawing board so think February at the earliest.

jimbo says:

Yes NoNexus... I stand corrected. 4.3 with Sense 5.
Hadn't read about the delay though. Hope that means Sense 5.5 instead.

Unless they fix file names too it's better to stick with bittorent sync I think.

AQPerry says:

It works with my AT&T Galaxy Note 3, but not with my AT&T Galaxy Tab 3 7.0 which is what I usually use to stream music to my car radio, guess it'll catch up eventually till then the note will be my "I'm feeling lucky" jukebox.

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Chaz Barber says:

Hello,

I recently bought a Galaxy Tab 3 7.0. Still on Android 4.1 Did you ever receive the update and are able to pin from Google Music?

jimmytheflea says:

I reckon the update to use the full sharing options rather than just g+ is a big deal too.

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Steve Box says:

I'm with you on this. Huge improvement being and to share to numerous places at last!

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Uselessbass says:

Whoo finally able to update

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wolfman7828 says:

SWEET!!

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jdot104 says:

I assume the app doesn't automatically transfer downloaded content to the SD card. I think the easiest solution is to clear all the stored music and then re-download it with the new setting on. I'm using a GS3 and it seems to work fine, in case anyone was wondering.

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scobb says:

I've been systematically unpinning then re-pinning to move it. Not sure if it was necessary.

Note - the feature is supported on a standard GS4 running 4.2.2.

jdot104 says:

That seems to be a much more efficient method.

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jhilker says:

Another feature they added is the about to share on more social media other than Google Plus. Very nice!

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Mac58 says:

lol day after I order moto x for the wife who has 64gb sd card *facepalm*...

They need to fix the horrible bug on HTC One when using with Chromecast. Once again, clicking the volume buttons to control chromecast volume while outside the app causes the whole phone to instantly crash and restart! Hope they get to that soon.

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Can anyone verify that the bug isn't only on my HTC One, based on my settings and custom environment?

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panda_mode says:

Alright, I admit, I'm pretty "jelly" about this *glares at 16gb internal storage device*

Petya19 says:

Shit. It's only available on KitKat, bad news for me using 4.1. First I was happy, because I can use it with my sdcard, because my RAZR has only 8 GB internal memory.

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tom_i535 says:

This, to me, is a very minor improvement and it does nothing to alter my distaste for Google Music's heavy-handed relationship with its music purchasers. I will continue to buy & download music from Amazon (or anyone else but Google) who allow YOUR MUSIC to be stored anywhere that you choose and it's never erased as Google still does unless you move or copy the files from /Android/data/com.google.android.music/directory into another folder on your SD card. A caveat to this file management is that you lose Google Music's tags: music & album titles, composer/artist, and the album art, though you could recreate some or all of the tags manually and place jpegs of album covers into your music folders that are easily downloaded from Google Image Search or directly from Google Play Music Search. As a player, GPM isn't even close to the superior quality & user options of Poweramp.

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kronosx1 says:

Poweramp is an amazing player. And I agree about Amazon music. Google has a great environment with android but they are trailing with the music/app storage front. People want more storage. 8, 16, and even 32 gig may not be enough for some. Plus its so much easier to pop in a SD card when you upgrade. And music is a big deal, cloud based services are good for the most part, but what about days you are unable to get a web connection?

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