30
Jan
playmusic

While Google's fledgling music service is pretty good, it's still far from perfect. Most GMusic users could probably jot down a laundry list of issues with both the app and service at a moment's notice; however, Google's slowly-but-surely doing its part to correct some of those problems. Let's take today's Play Music app update for example.

1

v4.5.910I
* Instant mixes continue playing beyond 25 songs.
* Added ability to shuffle an album, artist or playlist.
* New default album art.
* Previous button added to widget.
* Pinning progress now shown on album and playlist pages.
* Fix for the Galaxy S3 freezing issue.

It's a shortlist of fixes, no doubt, but it's a useful list. A previous button on the widget? It's about freakin' time. Longer instant mixes? Good stuff. Improved shuffle? Great – because everyone gets sick of listening to the same songs in the same order all the time. New album art and pinning progress actually displayed within the app? Both nice additions. And, for Galaxy S III owners, the app shouldn't freeze any more. That could be the biggest fix of the bunch, really.

Anyway, the app update is in the Play Store now, so you should be able to pull it on down.

Cameron Summerson
Cameron is a self-made geek, Android enthusiast, horror movie fanatic, musician, and cyclist. When he's not pounding keys here at AP, you can find him spending time with his wife and kids, plucking away on the 6-string, spinning on the streets, or watching The Texas Chainsaw Massacre on repeat.

  • bydavidrosen

    Does pinning progress mean you can save the location on an mp3 to come back to later even if you switch over to listening to something else. That would be awesome as I have some old episodes of podcasts in MP3 format I'd love to be able to jump back and forth between and save progress.

    • Josh Rahn

      agreed.

    • Kirbysuperstar2

      No, I think it means it's easier to see if an item is pinned (saved to storage).

      • bydavidrosen

        ahh you're totally right. i forgot that the music that's saved to your device is called "pinned" ... oh well. i'll keep waiting.

    • ddpacino

      There's a pie graphic on the pin icon to show the pinning completion status. That it all.

    • Jonathan Berry

      Pinning is marking for offline listening. The progress is how much has been downloaded.

    • Zak Taccardi

      no

  • Tommy Thompson

    definitely some speed improvements too.

  • Adam92Wilkins

    can it see music saved on sd card yet?

    • ddpacino

      Never had the problem here, then again my "sdcard" is virtual on the Gnex. Music shows up from any folder they're in.

    • http://twitter.com/Serotheo Simon Yu

      Never had that issue on my S3 or Nexus 4.. try checking if there's a .nomedia file?

  • JonJJon

    No saving to sd card still :( that's a shame, that's the only reason I've gone back to doubletwist atm, that and the random album art glitches with Play Music.

    • ddpacino

      I don't believe that feature will ever come. The songs are pinned to the app's data folder.

      • JonJJon

        I know, I doubt it will ever come, it's a shame really as I found my internal storage fill up far too quickly with my most frequently listened to music and my data plan cannot support how much I use my music on my commutes, not to mention data connectivity on the train is appalling.

        • exefdt

          It won't come because google imposes a 2 download per song limit for individual songs, likely from a deal with record companies. Try downloading a song from their web interface. By hiding the files in data, they can get around this limit.

          • ddpacino

            Yea, they only other way to download your stuff is to use the desktop applet and download EVERYTHING.

      • JonJJon

        The only snippet that gave me hope of SD card caching was that the Play Magazines app got updated recently to support SD card storage.

        • Matthew Fry

          My guess is probably because the magazines are friggin' gigantic. IIRC ~300MB a piece. That's a gigantic hit to your internal storage especially on older phones. Unless you are pinning flac files, music is much smaller. Not to say that I believe any of these restrictions were dictated by common sense :-P

  • McLean Riley

    Have they added the ability to share playlists created in GMusic with other apps yet?

    • ddpacino

      Would love a social playlist sharing feature. Put a limit on it or something, and not allow others to download. I know there's some politics here dealing with the labels.

      • 8Charlie

        I would love to be able to share a playlist. Even if it would be text only, or link to youtube vids. And if they wanna make money... You can listen to previews of tracks you dont own and buy them directly into ur library. Ptobably the only thing I share with my friends are songs from youtube. Weird how no one has thought of this.

  • Zak Taccardi

    after the 25 song limit, it plays off device songs even if you set it to play on-device. Bad bad bad

  • Wis

    "Previous button added to widget."

    Finally! Didn't understand how Google could forget that in the first place...

    • 8Charlie

      It was a "design feature". Form over function at its worst.

  • http://twitter.com/BroMonty Joe Montgomery

    I like the previous button, but I wish they would add bigger widgets. Apollo and the Sense music widgets are SO much better than the GMusic one.

    • Abhisshack D

      but as a music player Apollo is a total shit. i dont understand why people like that shitty low quality music player !!!????!!!! beside Google Music , N7 Music Player and PowerAmp (paid App) , WinAmp and JetAudio (free) are much better

      • ddpacino

        Hey Hey Hey... let people have their own preferences. I cannot use any other player since none hook into Google Music. Well, that I know of.

        • Román Rodríguez

          I personally think PlayerPro is the best. You can grab album art (you can choose) display lyrics AND save them, a lot of skins, DSP Pack which improves the sound quality, music tag editor, etc.

        • Namarrgon

          BubbleUPnP will stream Google Music. Crappy player UI unfortunately, but does stream to DLNA players very well.

      • Karuji

        I like Apollo since it is the only thing I have found that handles album covers decently.

        • Abhisshack D

          really !!! this is why i dont Apollo , it did not show any embedded album art in my mp3s it just try to download album art from the net , WTF , the almost each and every music player i have been used all of them shows embedded Album art in my mp3s !!!!! why can't Apollo do that !!!?????

          • Matthew Fry

            Woah. There's a strict 3 exclamation point/question mark per sentence limit here.

          • Abhisshack D

            LOL

      • http://twitter.com/BroMonty Joe Montgomery

        I'm talking strictly widgets here. I agree that Google Music is a better player than Apollo, I'm just saying the widget has always been a bit subpar.

        • Abhisshack D

          Ok No Problemo ;-)

  • Cédric Tremblay

    So the shuffle function didn't quite work before, right?

    All this time, I thought I was just goddamn retarded and couldn't manage to consistently use the shuffle feature.

    • ddpacino

      Yes, it was wonky before. Seems there's no Shuffle or repeat option when you play an instant mix though. Might have to save to playlist first.

  • Claude Ndahayo

    "Fix for the Galaxy S3 freezing issue", now I know that I was not imagining things. Good to know that this was an issue for others with the S3 and now it has been fixed.

    • http://twitter.com/misterE33 Mr E

      I thought it was just me, or just the app in general and couldn't figure out why nobody else was complaining about it!

    • Hashtaghell

      Hahaha. I thought it was just me too.

    • Maciej Benke

      Is it the one that made album art, title and artist disappear when rotating screen?

  • Lexster

    It STILL won't show the notification bar when in landscape mode...that's the single reason I don't use Google Music.

    • http://twitter.com/jt5220 jt5220

      Seriously, if there was only one thing they should have fixed, it was that.

      • Lexster

        Exactly. I get maybe it's a design choice and maybe some people like it, but...at least give us an option to show the notification bar if we want it.

  • Brian Knapp

    Still needs to display the album and track number on the Now Playing screen!

    • 8Charlie

      You need to see the year a song was released when your playing it?

  • LiamBryant

    They need to do some major work on the queue. I think it's a good idea but they need to make it more accessible and not hidden away in the overflow menu. Also, I think they should have a way to access the "More by artist" without clicking on that popup menu button: in the Now Playing screen, clicking the artist name could so easily bring the user to that artist's albums, but instead it brings up the seek bar...clicking the album already does that, there's no reason why the artist button has to do that too.

    • ddpacino

      I don't think you understand how any of this works. Clicking anywhere below the action bar (and not labeled an icon) brings up the extra play tools.

      The queue is not hidden in the overflow...

      Trying to touch the artist name without adequate space to avoid clicking the album name or something else would be quite annoying. It's convenient in the way it operates now.

      • LiamBryant

        You're right, I was talking about the clear/save queue options; they could easily be buttons within the queue screen itself. And as for the artist click area, I'm talking about the outlined space here:
        That could easily lead to the artist's albums as opposed to doing exactly what clicking a half inch further down does. It's not losing any functionality to have this section lead to the artist page.

  • Abhisshack D

    Huh! but the web Google Music is broken. can't change the album art there for almost 2 weeks :(

    https://productforums.google.com/forum/#!msg/apps/haCCXvF669U/crhLIDnbRYYJ

    • ddpacino

      YES!!! Just figured this out. I have to keep my data up to date, and make sure my art is high quality. This is annoying as hell.

    • Matthew Fry

      It's in the guise of them fixing the "wrong album art appearing" bug, I think. Maybe they're revamping the whole album art system.

      It's been bugging the living daylights out of me. Seeing a 10px version that Google decided was correct blown up on my screen is painful.

  • Matthew Fry

    Bookmarks. An interface that makes sense. Notifications that don't disappear when you pause. Fix album art. Add the web interface (lab) star rating system to the app. Star based playlists. Resume when switching connection sources. I can go on.

  • 8Charlie

    Finally a freaking previous button on the freaking widget! How old is Android? Five to six years now?! So it took only half a decade. F U Google.

    • FrillArtist

      Wow. F U after they added it? Seriously? That wasn't needed. Maybe before but they finally added it so let's be happy instead.

  • 8Charlie

    Did they fix the equalizer? It lowers the volume of the sound that comes out of the headphones drastically. You could raise all the bars and set then to max. Your music should sound loud and screechy then, but since the last update it sounds incredibly low and muffled. How do you f up an equalizer. Its like an age old technology.

    • Yannick

      Agreed! Same here on Nexus 4. Talking about age old technology, what happen to set mp3 as ringtone or set mp3 as alarm? Also we should be able to exclude some folders. My Mandarin mp3 resources show up before Muse. ..

      • 8Charlie

        Exactly. And yeah, they should add a "remove from library" feature. Tip: add a .nomedia file to the folder of the Mandarin mp3s. It'll ignore it. Google .nomedia file for android music for more info.

        • Yannick

          Thank you :)

  • http://www.facebook.com/jonathan.hamilton.1485 Jonathan Hamilton

    Finally a fix for the album art. Kind of getting sick of seeing album art for Better Than Ezra appearing on Everclear tracks. Also, liking the new default album art.

    • Guest

      Also, nice to see they added the previous track button back to the widget.

  • LazarusDark

    Actually, I always listen to the same music in the same order all the time. I have never ever used shuffle in my life. Typically I run through my collection all the way, sorted by genre then artist, then start the collection over. And I prefer to listen to albums by chronological order of release. I guess when you listen to good bands, you appreciate cohesive albums and progression of style more...

    /realmusicloverburn

    But seriously, my buddy always has shuffle on when I get in his car, but then he'll have to press next five times after every song to get to a song he's in the mood for, when he could just pick an album and go with it. Doesn't help that he has audiobooks mixed in his mp3 collection, so Max Brooks reading WWZ is every other track when shuffling.

  • FrillArtist

    I'm just SO happy that they added a previous button to the widget. It was pathetic that there was a thumbs up button but no previous button. I mean which do we use more, previous or thumbs up???

  • Diego Salvador

    Just buy PowerAmp guys. If you use your phone as a music player a lot like I do, it is totally worth the price.

    • Allen

      I would use PowerAmp but it has some really annoying bug where navigating the list has a mind of its own, and it still lacks the ability to sort tracks by Album Artist instead of normal Artist. The Album Artist thing is what keeps me from switching from Play Music

  • Mike

    and still no basic function - queueing...

  • schneeland

    It's funny how a release that claims to have fixed freezing issues now freezes for several seconds when I start it on my Galaxy Nexus. Also, the "Play" entry seems to be gone from the contextual menu (now you can only queue).

    Sometimes I really wonder whether Google actually tests the stuff they release.

  • http://twitter.com/ryandigweed0 ryandigweed

    They really need to revamp this player. The album art integration and downloading isn't good at all.

    I kinda like a part of the UI, i.e just the control buttons, but otherwise I'll stick to PowerAMP,