07
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Google-Play-Music-icon
Last Updated: August 8th, 2014

Perhaps you recall back in 2012 when Google caught some flack for its 10-device limit on Play Music access with only four deauthorizations per year. It was forced to backpedal and allow users to deauthorize unlimited devices, and all was well with the world. Well, until now. It looks like Google has started enforcing a limit of four deauthorizations per year once again. Support docs and the Play Music settings list the limit. That means even regular users could suddenly find themselves unable to use All Access or get to their own stored tunes.

2014-08-07 22_07_11-Settings - Google Play Music

We've been going over this and testing on multiple accounts from the US and Canada to confirm and see what sort of behavior you can expect. Basically, you're still limited to 10 total devices, but only four mobile devices can get to All Access. You have to keep under that 10 device limit each time you connect something new (or what Google thinks is new). Now that you can only deauthorize four devices per year, it's very easy to run out of deauths.

The Android app doesn't give proper feedback when you hit the limit—it just doesn't remove the item you told it to. On the web, you get a notification that says, "Sorry, you've deauthorized too many devices." You may be thinking, surely only tech writers who are swapping devices all the time will fall victim to that, right? Well, no. Play Music creates duplicate devices when you do a factory reset or install a new ROM. Sometimes it does it for no reason. One of my phones has a dupe in the device list, and it has never been ROM'd or factory reset. To be clear, Google's device list doesn't even work right. It doesn't work, and someone thought it would be a good idea to attach an arbitrary limit to how many errors you can fix.

2014-08-07 22_15_32-Listen to music using multiple devices - Google Play Help

Almost everyone who has been using Google Play Music for any length of time will have a ton of old and duplicated devices in their list. Note, the app does not tell you about the limit. As of now, it looks like those deathorizations count against you. I was able to clear one duplicate device from my list before I got locked out, which indicates the counter started sometime recently without notice (that's scummy, Google). If Google is serious about this, the next device I try to connect to my music won't be able to access it. That says nothing of All Access, which I pay for (but don't own, obviously). I suppose this might last the rest of the year, when I'll be able to remove four devices. That should last me a few months...

Google's Support docs make no mention of a way to get Google to reset the limit on an individual basis. Hopefully that exists as an option. Even Apple can manually fix iTunes authorization limits. We're going to continue investigating this and will update with any new information we get.

Update: I talked to a Google rep (after a lengthy wait) who claims they can manually reset device authorizations. Not the deauthorization counter, but all your authorized devices. According to the Google rep, after you call and make the request it takes 24 hours for your device authorizations to be cleared out. Then you log back in with your current phones and tablets. Don't take it as gospel, but that's what I was told. I'll know if it worked tomorrow. Yes, this is very, very stupid. It prevents exactly zero abuses of the system and creates a new headache for users.

Update 2: A Google rep emailed me about 16 hours after my initial call saying:

I'll be more than happy with looking into your authorized devices. Are there any immediate circumstances that would require you to frequently authorize / deauthorize your devices (repairing or exchanging your laptops/tablets/phones)?

I replied saying I simply wanted my device list reset because I was out of deauthorizations. The rep replied saying it was done, but pointed out this was a "one-time courtesy." My device list in Play Music was indeed instantly cleared out. It isn't clear if Google is being smarter about the device list now, but some people are reporting it has started detecting devices by IMEI, which should ideally stop the dupes.

We will see about that, but I'm still not thrilled about potentially losing access to my music after four new devices in a year. That's a lot for regular people, but I would wager it's not that many for many AP readers. If you try a new device or two and end up returning them because they don't meet your expectations, that's going to eat into your deactivation limit.

[Google Support – Thanks, Joseph Bass]

Ryan Whitwam
Ryan is a tech/science writer, skeptic, lover of all things electronic, and Android fan. In his spare time he reads golden-age sci-fi and sleeps, but rarely at the same time. His wife tolerates him as few would.

He's the author of a sci-fi novel called The Crooked City, which is available on Amazon and Google Play. http://goo.gl/WQIXBM

  • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Cameron Summerson

    I am raging so hard about this right now. If they don't fix this soon, I'll have to go back to Spotify.

    • Weston

      I have the $7.99 early adopter price and if I run into issues with this I'll be switching to another service.

      • Jordan

        I had the same and ended up going back to spotify when they added in the "your music"(this not existing was the entire reason i had went to Play music in the first place). If you happen to be a student, Spotify is actually cheaper at $4.99 a month.

        • didibus

          Spotify lets you upload your music now too? That's the only reason I'm with Google

          • Kaero

            This doesn't cost anything though... I keep my music on googles servers for use on my tablet and friends places.

          • Adil Tajgeer

            you can sync an offline playlist and if tracks don't match their catalogue it will upload them to your device. it's a weird system, but it's worked for me the few times i've needed to use my own music vs, what's in their library

        • http://www.walkerreuben.com/ Reuben Walker

          Only if you're an American student. I'm still stuck paying $12.99 in AU.

          • usaff22

            Works fine in the UK too

          • http://justynsmith.info Justyn Smith

            I use MOG, $11.99 per month. Works great, and is unmetered on Telstra. So win-win for me. Can stream on 4G all day.

        • antifud

          Spotify is not a better service.

          • Cat Astrophy

            It absolutely is. More exclusives, better UI. Only exception is Chromecasting.

      • antifud

        exactly. Google or not, crap service is crap service. I'd be guessing this was brought on my the music industry, but all the more reason I suppose.

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

      It's better anyway (I sub to both and use Spotify 99% of the time).

      • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Cameron Summerson

        I definitely disagree. A lot of the stuff I listen to isn't on Spotify, and it's almost always on Play Music.

        • http://www.androidpolice.com/author/eric-ravenscraft/ Eric Ravenscraft

          I actually prefer gaps in Play Music because then I can just upload it to their servers and GOD DAMN IT, I'm supposed to be mad at you, Google! Stop making me like your crappy, broken, excellent service.

        • Alex

          I also disagree. I sub to both and have used both extensively, I've found myself to prefer All Access almost every day. This deauth limit would be a real shitter, though.

          • JB

            I've thinking about going back to spotify also, I have to check my libraries for discrepancies, but my impression right now is that spotify has more music I like, and I also like the radio better, it picks music in a better way for me. Only downside is no native chromecast support.

        • hp420

          Agreed!!

        • Cat Astrophy

          Examples? A lot more exclusives are on Spotify.

      • Sion

        Prefer all acces by miles. Sorry but it seems like you are behaingvlike spoilt brats over this.

        • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

          Well, I am telling the truth. The only time I open the Play Music app is when my wife is using my Spotify account.

          • http://infotainmentempire.blogspot.com Rob

            I can't stand how Spotify won't display metadata on my stereo in my truck! Google Play does though!

        • https://plus.google.com/+MichaelBond codemonkey85

          I think it would be a reasonable policy if they counted devices correctly. What is spoiled about that?

      • Alphajoe

        True, if Spotify wasn't completely ignoring Chromecast. That's why I finally cancelled my subscription and switched to Play Music.

        • Cat Astrophy

          I almost switched to go to Chromecast but Spotify got a great UX update that stomps all over GMs.

          • Alphajoe

            Well, it's more important to me whether my music is playing on my AVR than how the display is looking.

      • motoridersd

        I love Spotify's shared playlists and would use the service just for that, but their Android apps are always worse than Google's.

        I have a Nexus 7 in the car that I share the internet to from my phone. It takes a bit for the hotspot to turn on automatically and the tablet to get internet. Spotify will not start playing the music until it has an internet connection (when streaming, and I rarely save music to my device), and it will always start the song over. Then it sucks at caching the music, I get gaps very often on radio and sometimes on playlists I haven't synced/downloaded. It would also crash often after a wakeup from a firm sleep.

        Google Music never, ever, stutters when streaming. I can skip several songs and it always has them cached, even when listening to radio or big playlists on shuffle. That alone makes Google Music more worthy for me. It always starts playing songs after a wakeup, and it never crashes.

        I also love that I can play any song I want on my Sonos or the Nexus without having to sync with my computer. If I have a song not in the Spotify catalog, although rare, I can't play it in either one of them.

        I do wish there was an easy way to import Spotify playlists into Google Music. I've tried to get Portify to work, but it hasn't for me.

    • Mg

      Childish Internet threats. Way to go acting like an adult.

      • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Cameron Summerson

        lol, what? I literally won't have a choice but to go back to Spotify. I review tons of devices every year and have already passed my deauth limit. That means if I get a new device (for personal use or review), I can't use All Access on it. I'm not going to pay for a service that I can't use.

        • Andrew

          This hurts those of us that have jobs involving Android devices more than your average consumer who only has 1-2 devices.

          • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Cameron Summerson

            Exactly.

      • Cat Astrophy

        Nice try, Google rep.

    • PhoenixPath

      This is not the best work-around, but it may work for folks who flash a lot on the same device:

      Backup your Android ID in Titanium Backup:

      Open TiB, go to Backup/Restore, select "Storage Settings", backup (data only works fine). Tap it again, click the app name between "Backup" and "restore" and choose "send backup" and save it as a local file.

      You can store this *anywhere* - just keep in mind you might want to have one saved off-device.

      After flashing a ROM, go into the menu of TiB and import that backup - no restore. Go into the Menu again and choose "Manage Android ID" - Restore from backup.

      Done.

      If GPM is really using the Android ID, this should work.

      • http://www.eclipticsight.com/ headpiece747

        Thanks for this because this is the only problem I see running into with the new deauth limit because I like to try out new roms and do clean install even on rom updates so I wipe my device at least twice a month

      • lucasban

        I just did this after switching my M7 to GPE and can confirm it did not count as a new device.

      • Kevin

        When I do a full backup via TiBu, it apparently automatically backs up my Android ID because when I do a restore, it always asks me to restore my Android ID. I always do it because it makes it easier to restore purchases as well.

      • Nathan J

        I have no "Storage Settings" under Backup/Restore. HTC One M8.

        • PhoenixPath

          It's there - the instructions above were tested on my T-Mo HTC One M8.

          Keep looking - have someone else glance at it too. Could be another set of eyes are needed. ;-)

          (Not giving you a hard time- I've missed stuff like that more times than I can count...it's one item in a list of potentially hundreds, right?)

          • Nathan J

            No, that's a good idea. Tell you what — we'll use your eyes. http://imgur.com/fdv3oM5

            It's all alphabetical, right?

        • aSeven

          It's actually "Settings Storage".

    • David Schamis

      C - I had to use Spotify for a day because of this (see my comment above) - I subscribe to both (which is a whole other discussion) - Spotify is just not as good as Google - I was very happy to get back to Google Play.

    • Mr E

      Do you know of anywhere in particular we can send in complaints? They reversed this once, maybe they would do it again.

    • Cat Astrophy

      Spotify has a very superior UX after their update. The only reason to stick with GM is if you Chromecast GM a lot.

    • munkyxtc

      If you install a new rom or flash it is not increasing the count. THis has been confirmed by several sources.

      • derp hurr-durr

        Source?

    • xRepinsSporx

      Go here.

      https://support.google.com/googleplay/?hl=en#contact=1

      They will call you in a few seconds.I just called them and I asked them to deauthorize every device. They were very nice about it and did it instantly.

  • http://AndroidPolice.com/ Liam Spradlin

    I am genuinely confused by this. If anybody out there can ELI5 why this limitation is beneficial to any party involved, I'm all ears.

    In my mind what's worst about this limitation is the fact that the authorization process is broken in the first place - new flashes or factory resets create dupe entries, thereby trapping users into deauthorizing "too many" devices quite easily. If duplicate entries didn't crop up so easily, this would still be an ostensibly arbitrary limitation, but it would be easier to cope with.

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/author/eric-ravenscraft/ Eric Ravenscraft

      Far as I can tell, even a basic factory reset seems to trigger a new auth. I have two Nexus 10 entries in my list and that device has never been rooted/modified in any way, other than a factory reset.

      I've also got two desktops on the list, which is incredibly confusing. The settings page for Play Music states "Your Music library is accessible from any computer, as well as up to ten devices." If it's ten devices on top of computers, why do I have the option to de-authorize the desktops? It could be because I used the Chrome mini-player on both, but then why the hell would a Chrome extension need its own authorization?

      I know I have to do testing for work and I have more gadgets than the average person, but this seems to have filled up way too quickly. Eight of my ten auths are full and they're all allegedly used in the last year.

      • Scott Kaforey

        I'm not sure about this, but accessing your music library is probably different than accessing the other music (which you do not own)?

      • Alex

        I believe the desktop authorizations are for when you download the music manager app. Accessing the web app (even through the Chrome extension) shouldn't count.

        I've also always remembered flashing roms and factory resetting adding a new entry. That seems to have been resolved. I've been back and forth a few times today with 4.4 and 5.0 with my N5 and I only see a single entry. I used the Music app after each flash.

        • Yahren

          With the LG G2 with Kit Kat 4.4, I flashed 4 roms 4.4 and Play Music is telling me I have 4 differents device... Shit.

          • Alex

            When? I did this yesterday.

          • Yahren

            When this news appears, I try to delete some device and the 5th delete doesn't work.

        • hp420

          It's a crap-shot. sometimes it makes a new entry, sometimes it doesn't.

          • blumpkinator

            it's based on android ID. Any time you do a full wipe a new id is generated. So dirty flashing a rom will not trigger a new device, but wiping and flashing a rom will.

      • Christopher Robert

        As a ROM Dev this just plan pisses me off. Sometimes when I'm testing I go through 10 in one weekend. This is just plain stupid.

    • hmmm

      "why this limitation is beneficial to any party involved"

      Seems pretty beneficial for Google.

      • Samuel Hart

        How, exactly?!

      • Adrian Meredith

        It'll be the music studios forcing this nonsense on them

      • https://plus.google.com/+MichaelBond codemonkey85

        Not... at all?

    • Pierre Gardin

      "If anybody out there can ELI5 why this limitation is beneficial to any party involved, I'm all ears."

      It might be because of the music majors...

  • Nicholas “Lavacano” O’Connor

    And this is why I don't bother with streaming services. Local files or bust.

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Cameron Summerson

      Is that...Cristina Scabbia?

      • http://www.androidpolice.com/author/eric-ravenscraft/ Eric Ravenscraft
        • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Cameron Summerson

          I thought so!

      • Nicholas “Lavacano” O’Connor

        Yep. I admit to having a disproportionate obsession with the poor woman. Gods help her if she winds up in the same room as me. :V

    • Zac Davis

      Yeah, it sucks when you can't do what you want with something you pay for.

  • Axel

    Well this f**cking sucks. If this isn't fixed this month or less then I'm gonna stop paying for All Access and give my money to some other company.

  • Nathan Walters

    I love Play Music. I really do. It makes listening to and discovering music so easy, especially with an All Access subscription. But when Google pulls shit like this, I get really tempted to return to the good ol' days of local MP3s.

    • NothingUnknown

      Something tells me it's not Googles fault. I'm sure they couldn't give a crap about you constantly switching devices.

      It seems like the contract terms, perhaps to introduce a new label, required such a change. While others may have worked out better deals not requiring this, Google may have been forced into accepting this deal.

      Or maybe I'm being an appologist.

      • http://www.androidpolice.com/author/eric-ravenscraft/ Eric Ravenscraft

        Limiting deauthorizations is possibly something that Google can't entirely help.

        Fixing the feature so it at least doesn't result in duplicate entries for the same device is totally something Google can help.

        • Adil Tajgeer

          this, google needs to at the very least fix the issues on their end

          • EowynCarter

            Yup. As long as fake duplicates aren't generated, this won't pose a problem for 99.999% of people.

      • Nathan Walters

        I had the same thought at first too. But I don't think you can really "force" Google into anything. However, if this is part of a contract, shame on Google for accepting it, and a nice big "fuck you" to the music industry for this. Shit like this is why people pirate.

        • pfmiller

          Well, no one can "force" Google, but if the alternative to not complying with the RIAA's stupid demands is having a music service without the rights to stream any music then it's pretty similar to being forced.

        • Luke

          Music execs; let us force upon the people a limit on how many devices they may use to access our content!
          Underling; but then how will the people access our content when they run out of authorizations?
          Music execs; ....*crickets*
          Music execs; guards! execute this one here, and let our will be done!

      • Roger Siegenthaler

        Well spotify has a system of this kind... a bit... only offline devices count, and depending on what apps you have they count mulitple times each (for example, the official spotify app and any app using their sdk on my phone will count seperately towards my limit of 3 offline devices)...

    • Roh_Mish

      except you cant save all of them on the tiny memory of your mighty phone.

      • cough

        SD card?

        • Roh_Mish

          have my N4 in my hand. cant find where to put my SDcard. can you guide me to it?

  • Matt Coutts

    Ahahahaha. I just deauthed *one* device and it wouldn't let me remove any more saying I'd done too many. I've never removed any before.

  • http://k3rnel.net Juan Rodriguez

    Google Support is a joke though.It's all bots, no humans. :-/

  • http://www.androidpolice.com/author/cody-toombs/ Cody Toombs

    This is pretty baseless. Both my Nexus 5 and Google Glass have a duplicate each, and my G Pad 8.3 has never even run the Music app and it appears in the list.

    If I ever wind up in a situation where my primary set of devices (at a minimum, that's 3 new gadgets per year) is left with even a single one unable to play music. I hope it's obvious that this is only going to get worse as things like Glass and Android TV actually enter the world.

  • Matthew Hettrich

    Well, looks like I'll be switching back to Spotify.

  • Zain Ahmed

    So does this mean you can't clean flash roms more than 4x a year?

    • http://AndroidPolice.com/ Liam Spradlin

      Theoretically no unless you have some spare slots - flashing creates duplicate entries (at least in my experience).

      • nate

        Not anymore, at least for me. I've flashed twice today and still only have one entry.

        • RyanWhitwam

          Did you log into Play Music both times?

    • Dennis K

      IKR BIG Problem in this sense.

  • nate

    I've wiped my phone twice today (new l preview then back to kit Kat) and my nexus 5 still only does up once. I believe they are using the imei now.

    • Weston

      I had my Nexus 7 show up six times, but oddly enough I was able to remove all of them even as it was complaining about not being able to remove it.

  • Kyle Simmons

    the problem i have is that they claim they will use your device's IMEI, which i'm OK with in this scenario, because every time I flash a rom it makes me reauthorize, it's shitty handling of an easy to fix situation

  • scuttlefield

    Deep breath everyone. Give it a day and see what shakes out.

    • RyanWhitwam

      First day on the internet?

      • scuttlefield

        Yeah...sometimes I'm just a sucker for lost causes (i.e., suggesting people in a comments section to calm down).

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/author/cody-toombs/ Cody Toombs

      No, Scott! Join us in our hate!

    • Kevin Aaronson

      But this red hot rage feels so good! And my torch and pitch fork are already out! 😈

  • A googler

    I've had great customer service with my All Access Music. Has anyone actually called and spoken to a representative?

    • Taylor00

      I was about to ask the same question!

    • RyanWhitwam

      I was on hold for a long time. Just updated.

      • rxbot

        It is later now. Outcome?

    • Ramiro Fernandez

      I have the same experience.
      I was originally on the promotional rate, and when I unsubscribed and resubscribed I lost the rate. Sent them an email and two days later I was offered the promotional rate again.
      Can't complain about that!

  • Kenton Douglas

    You'll always run into issues like this when you run a service based on a third parties' licensed content. That said the implementation needs to be cleaned up.

    • RyanWhitwam

      Except it applies to all of Play Music, including the uploaded library.

      • Kevin Aaronson

        ... I didn't even consider not being able to access my OWN music.... Shit just got real google

        • abqnm

          But even for All Access, what benefit does the limit provide? You can only listen to it on one device at a time anyway, so why does it matter how many devices it is or has been used on? You are still only getting one song at a time.

          It is stupid. Period.

          • pfmiller

            What do you mean? I am able to access All Access from two devices at the same time. Although only allowing streaming from one device at a time per account does sound like a much better way to prevent abuse.

          • abqnm

            Did they drop that limit as well? I used All Access for the first few months and if I tried to play music on another device while one was playing, the first device would stop within a minute or so. I now just use Play Music for my own music and Spotify, so things could have changed in the last few months, I guess.

          • pfmiller

            Oh, if it takes some time to disconnect you then you may be right. I just did a test, but I didn't test playing for more than thirty seconds. If you are limited to one device at a time though, it seems the other limitations would be completely redundant.

      • Kenton Douglas

        ... which can be 'matched' to licensed content for higher quality etc. Take away that capability and you might have a point.

  • TrOpAzR

    Yeah...if this is legit...I'm out.

    • Kevin Aaronson

      Out and burning rubber

  • Justin Roskowske

    This will probably make me leave Google for Spotify. I like ROMs and the openness of Android. I bought a Nexus device for this reason. I've probably authorized my limit in the last month. This is ridiculous.

    • Satan’s Taint

      Let me call the whaambulance.

      • Richard Sullivant

        The only one 'whaa'ing or showing any signs of immaturity is you, as you've made your rather hyperbolic sentiments and e-criticisms clear at least a couple of times now. Users, not unlike our fine bloggers here at AP and including this last one you've elected to childishly mock, are merely relaying their thoughtful dissatisfaction as paying customers to a fairly relevant policy change.

        Users are agreeing with the concerns of the AP post and trying to follow through with a meaningful discussion, that includes their own user experiences. You, however, decided to join this party by sniping their valid concerns off, one by one, with juvenile puns. Of course, you'll probably just tell me to go cry [you] a river.

  • Matthew Skalecki

    I just successfully performed five deauthorizations with one being an old phone and the other four being duplicates. Hopefully this means they at least have some kind of exception for dupes.

  • http://www.modminecraft.com/ Nick Coad

    I must be the only one who doesn't understand why this is such a big deal.

    • http://AndroidPolice.com/ Liam Spradlin

      Basically it's a big deal for those people who deal with lots of devices each year (reviewing or otherwise) or for those who reset/flash their devices often, because it will essentially mean that at a given time not all your devices will have access to Google Play Music.
      Part of the problem is that the current authorization process can create false (duplicate) entries for devices very easily, while the other part of the problem is that 4 is a very small number for someone who racks up device authorizations quickly (duplicate or otherwise). Users want to be able to use the service they choose on whatever device they choose, and this prevents that.

  • Spasillium

    I build my own AOSP ROMs for my N5 almost every other day to add features, and sometimes it randomly takes up a slot, in which I remove. I just removed two of them this morning :( They need to tie these authorizations to IMEI or serial number or something instead of what I think they're doing, tying by Android ID.

    • Evan Anderson

      As long as you're not clearing data it won't cost you an auth.

      • turdbogls

        a ton of people on here are ROM flashers....in which you pretty much have to Wipe data between different ROM's....this sucks for us, big time.

    • Michael Robinson

      You are so right. If you experiment with new ROMS often which I do, you are basically screwed. This seems to go so much against the grain of open source that it's ridiculous.

      • Nightfall

        Google play music is open source now?

        • Luke

          No it's not, which I'm sure you already know. However google still releases much of it's base operating system open source, aosp.

          The problem is like Michael Robinson and others I too ROM my devices often. By setting a limit on deautherizations google will effectively stop me from being able to access my all access account from my devices. I'll cancel my $10/month account when or if that happens. Will google care? I suppose not if it's just me. But I care greatly, and as someone who has chosen to spend hard earned money on a regular basis supporting google, it's a slap in the face.

        • derp hurr-durr

          Nah, man....just like, the OS the Mobile app runs on.

      • blumpkinator

        Titanium backup can restore Android ID.

    • Olek

      Why Apple like? I don't get the joke.

      • andy_o

        Cause Apple are control freaks. You know, har har.

        Seriously though, Google are the ones that don't allow more than a couple name changes per year, up until recently had the "real names" policy, force youtube comments on your G+ stream (when you publicly share a YT video), made it impossible to turn safesearch off completely...

        But yeah, it's Apple-like.

    • turdbogls

      this X1000. they need to change the way this is handled. Serial number would be the way to go since everything has a SN, not everything has an IMEI.

    • Andrew Dodd

      One of my primary "test cases" for device bringup with Omni has been Google Play Music.

      Not any more...

  • Alexander Z Great

    Unknowingly, I'm at my limit already! I don't know when they slipped in this change but it's BS! I know we all should hit Google play and voice our opinion on the app and rate this change accordingly. I gave it a one star and hope everyone does the same. Hopefully, they change this like they did two years ago!

  • DJRiful

    Reflash Custom ROM are going to get screwed by this.

    • miri

      It seems to use imei now, so no more duplicates.

      • Josh

        Stronge I have my Nexus 5 listed 3 times.

        • CoreRooted

          Those could be holdovers from before they implemented the IMEI as the unique ID for mobile devices.

  • Willie D

    Effective next month, Spotify gets my $7.99 and then some extra fee, since Google just became that much more evil.

    • http://tuhgrr.wordpress.com/ Tuh-Grr

      I get that this is annoying and frustrating, but evil? Child slavery is evil. This is more of a not so well thought out policy.

      • Kevin Aaronson

        +1

      • Richard Sullivant

        I think he was just making a fairly innocuous reference to Google's well-known (albeit unofficial) "Don't be evil" motto.

        In those early halcyon days, Google was likely referring to things like this, as child slavery was presumably not on their minds.

        • Richard Sullivant

          (OT: If you're the type of person or business that actually feels the need to repeat "Don't engage in child slavery, don't engage in child slavery, no child slavery" as a mantra, yeah, you'll probably have at least three child slaves by Q4.)

    • Satan’s Taint

      Maybe if you hold your breath and stamp your feet to complete the tantrum, that would work.

  • Ray

    If you flash custom ROMs, you're fucked!

    It's a real shame. I might be downloading all my purchased music and heading back to Spotify as well at this rate.

    • CoreRooted

      Actually, that *could* be incorrect as *supposedly* Google uses your IMEI as the unique id for your mobile devices. So, if that is true, then flashing ROMs makes no difference.

      • Ray

        Find out soon. Flashing a new rom as we speak.

        • CoreRooted

          I was going to do the same. LOL

        • Kevin Aaronson

          *fingers crossed, my space monkey*

          • Ray

            Looks like flashing a ROM has no effect. I can still open Google Music and access everything. It doesn't appear to add an additional device to the list either.

            I guess that is somewhat good news.

            I tried unauthorising the LG G3 I had for about 2-3 days about a week ago and it wouldn't let me do it though. I've already reached my limit.

            When does this apparent year start and end so I know when I can actually remove devices??

          • Bluewall

            I don't get it because sometimes it duplicated after a ROM flashing for me.

          • Roh_Mish

            Looks like they fixed that. Created 3 entries last month while flashing PA updates.

          • CoreRooted

            I tested it also. 3 devices and 6 wipes/flashes and my devices didn't get duped. I would say they are definitely using IMEI as the UID.

      • Vomitous Mass

        Oh, it makes a difference unless they changed it recently. I flash Roms on a weekly (sometimes more frequent) basis and have had to deauth the same device hundreds of times.

        Hopefully they did make the change. IMEI would work best.

        Side question: Anyone know if you can "back up" your Android ID in TiB?

  • http://www.google.com/+jordancable Jordan Cable

    I discovered this last night when I deauthorized a computer and tried to connect Play Music with a new computer.

  • Robert Bolick

    Poor tech guy had to wait on the phone with customer service reps getting his account restored after spending 2 hours online blasting the company that he makes his living trolling :(

  • Nathan Walters

    Well, at least we know why they probably did it, even if it's a bad reason. From the 2012 article:

    "We limit the number of times you can swap out new devices at the request of some of our music partners in an effort to limit abuse. We understand this has caused some issues for users who often deauthorize and reauthorize the same device, and we are currently re-implementing the solution in a way that works for our users and music partners."

  • http://nopenopenope.nope Ryuuie

    I just deauthorized 10 duplicate Nexus 7s...I don't think this is on EVERY account?

  • Zak Taccardi

    This is so many kinds of stupid. Bad Google.

  • Bugdroid

    Google's stupid music service is not available in my country. Deezer is better anyway and its already supported Chromecast.

  • dude

    Something like this work perfect in the business plan of ATT and Verizon, especially if you are in a contract with sim locked device, so they should be happy about this. So like, enjoy the cloud. I can appreciate having a phone with 64gb internal storage.

  • DJ SPY

    Finally!! Android Police calls a stupid Google decision stupid and doesn't just roll over and agrees with them.

    • Arthur Dent

      FAIL comment is fail.

      I've seen AP call them out plenty of times.

  • Fredrik Ax

    Hmmm, that's a disappointment.

    I just checked my devices ... I currently have ten registered were of three are old devices that I could deauthorize and I also have a triplet of one device ... my Nexus ten ... on which I have three user accounts .... I guess it was added once for each logged in user starting Google Play Music ... that sucks.

    I don't know how many devices I already have deauthorized this year, but I can see at least three devices (my home workstation, my sons laptop & the light of my life's tablet) missing in the list, that I most probably at one point or the other will like to add ... and if I do know myself right, there will most probably be some additional devices before the end of the year ...

    I don't know how many devices I have already deauthorized this year though ...

    I guess I, at some point in time this year, will have to contact google and have them reset the list, the way it was explained in the article ... if that even works ...

    *sucks*

  • NathanDrago

    US only as always, I hope?

    • TĂ­ghearnĂĄn Carroll

      Haha, brilliant :L

  • ddd

    Can you also write here google support phone number?

  • https://google.com/+LateefAlabiOki Lateef Alabi-Oki

    Might not renew my subscription if this shenanigan continues. I'm already miffed I can't stream on more than one device at a time.

    • Nightfall

      Why would you need to do that?

      • Luke

        In the car listening while the spouse attempts to listen on the laptop at home.

  • Franz

    Why can't Google recognize a device by a Serial Number or something that's uniquely identifiable?

    I'm about to flash the second Android L preview on my Neuxs 5, and it will again think it's a new device.

    Seriously?

  • Thomas SteinbrĂŒchel

    @Ryan Whitham

    How is this request working? I already run out of authorizations by just deauthorizing old devices (there were 3 duplicates per device, I mean WTF?).

    Either they make this request easily accessible or I will definitely cancel my subscription.

    @Google Not the way to go, really not!

  • Carlos

    I don't really know how these things works on Play Music as most of Google's 'crap' are blocked in Scandinavia or actually were, but still blocked in Baltic, or at least Estonia...

    Google Play instant mix has never worked for me and when I create a playlist for e.g. on my Xperia tablet Z and make it public I can see the playlist on my Nexus (Galaxy nexus), but it's empty on my nexus... same vice versa. ;P

  • Funem

    All these online media services penalise the people who pay for stuff. Netflix wont allow you to chromecast outside the US, Flixster is hi and miss as to which films you can stream and download and Google now has a limit on the number of times you can de-authorize devices. I can see why people pirate stuff, they don't have to put up with all the stupid restrictions you have when you legitimately pay for stuff. Bit like paying for a DVD and having to watch a "cant skip past" advert for anti pirating followed by adverts for more films, meanwhile Mr pirate just sits and watched the film.

    • Colin Richardson

      I live in the UK, and I have ONLY ever chromecast my netflix.. I have never watched it on my phone or PC.

      • Funem

        Sorry I meant to say Flixster again rather than Netflix... not my flix in a muddle....

  • hahah

    Since Google Music is not available in my country (and most of the world), you can take your sweet time fixing this.

  • Caleb Escamilla

    I switch roms every 2 months or so. This is not good news at all. Google you need to either make unlimited come back or fix your device manager to notice when a device is the same device

  • Crysis85

    Damn you google I change ROM almost every other day. The authorizations are gonna last me 1 week...
    I'll guess I hate to switch to Spotify

  • saf1927

    That's a crappy move Google. Lukicky I don't use All Access so it doesn't really matter to me.

  • Peter Meulders

    The same problem over here in Belgium. Do I have to call the states now?

  • Seafox

    Not a problem for me, just went on to it out of interest and deauthorised 9 devices (5 of which were the same Nexus 7 tablet)

  • Peter Meulders

    I just used the feedback option on the webpage. I propose that everybody does that and get the attention of Google this way.

  • Guest

    This situation is ridiculous.
    Question: A Microsoft Windows 8.1 computer being used to listen to GM in it's web browser. Microsoft is expected to bring out a further update sometime later this year, to windows 8.2 or whatever they call new version. Because it has a newer OS, will Google then see this PC as a new device like it does when you upgrade a rom on an Android device?

    • Sean

      I don't believe it counts as a "device" when streaming through a web browser, so it shouldn't be a problem.

      • Arthur Dent

        Really?

        • Sean

          My mistake, sorry, I never noticed that until now.

          • Arthur Dent

            I wish it wasn't. Will be interesting to see what happens on the next Windows or OS X upgrade. Hopefully since they generally install over the top of what you have and retain settings it will not count as new.

          • Sean

            Hopefully, or that they're using MAC addresses or something as the ID so it won't matter.

  • Connor

    This is ridiculous. I have hit the limit so many times in the past when I've been switching between ROMs. The whole idea of All Access is to have your music anyway, but now, it will very soon become the opposite of that if you change devices or ROMs a lot.

  • Cuvis

    Welp, guess I'm not buying any music from Google.

    • CeluGeek

      The problem is not in buying music, it's in trusting it to the cloud. This is why I will not give up access to micro SD cards. Once I buy a track, I'm in control of what devices I play it on, and that's the way it should be.

  • Felipe UrzĂșa

    So back to deezer soon

  • David Schamis

    So funny - I just got my 1+1, which needless to say I was super excited for, and went to set up Google Play Music and ran in to this issue. Totally unnerving. I called Google - the first guy had no idea what I was talking about. I called again - the second guy had no idea either but he escalated the issue since he also agreed (once he found the new rule) that this was ridiculous. As discussed, a day or so later I got an email from them saying that all 10 of my devices have be reset and I can start again with a clean slate.

    The good news is that Google didn't really give me a hard time about doing the reset - the annoying part was that I had to call them and go through the whole thing.

    • Luke

      If google will reset when we call, why put an arbitrary number on the deathorizations to begin with? In other words, if google doesn't think it's a problem to reset it, why make it a problem to begin with?

      Unless google is attempting to follow the letter of a contractual "law", but not the spirit of said " law". It still sucks.

  • hp420

    Fuck you Google....fuck you, fuck you, fuck you!!!!!!

    If the system could learn how to tell the difference between a new device and a newly flashed device and this won't be a problem....until then you're doing nothing but stabbing those in the back who do all your beta testing, your experimental coding, and those who test out all the mods and hacks that eventually see their way to the official android releases...so thanks for giving those of us the imaginary finger, because it's not the people who buy a phone, then share their account password with two friends who this will screw over the most, like you've hoped, but those of us who crack-flash and do your dirty work for you....yup. You're welcome Google....and fuck you right back!!!!

    • Brayden Reesor

      Seriously, why can't they use the IMEI of the device to know it's unique. Then if you flash/reset it wouldn't matter because it'd know it's still the same device and already in the list...

      • Guest

        My WiFi tablet doesn't have one? S/N would probably be better.

        • Brayden Reesor

          Idk if the serial number is software accessible. In that sense, your network adapter's mac address would probably be the best identifier.

  • Wesley Modderkolk

    This is basically telling everyone to not buy too many Android devices.

  • EH101

    "Play Music creates duplicate devices when you do a factory reset or install a new ROM."

    This is actually exactly why I stopped using All Access. I just got tired of having to clean up my authorizations every 2 or 3 months. Luckily Prime music was released shortly after so I can still listen to some songs on demand while Pandora covers filler music.

    • CoreRooted

      I (and others) have confirmed that they are using IMEI for device tracking in GPM. So, flashing a new ROM should not create multiple device listings. Obviously, this is Google though, so YMMV.

      • EH101

        If you (and the others) tested by dirty flashing then I question the results. A clean flash and/or a system wipe has always created another entry for me.

        Regardless, I will not be coming back to All Access as I am pretty happy with my current set up.

        Thanks, though.

        • CoreRooted

          I tested using a Note3 (SafeStrap 3.75, ROM in stock slot) and a G2. Both were clean wiped before installing the ROMs.

  • Steve Freeman

    Does anyone know if restoring the Android ID after a TiBu restore gets around this? I've always restored the ID, and I've never run into the authorized device limit that I can remember...though I very rarely use Play Music.

  • http://zmyaro.com/ Gamer_Z.

    That sounds annoying, but TBH, most average users never hit the ten device limit. I flash a few ROMs a year that require a complete wipe, I occasionally sign in on friends' devices, and I have never hit any of the limits (even when they were not enforced).

    • http://mwinter.in/ Yan Gabriel MinĂĄrio

      Your life must be boring,

      • grumpyfuzz

        Did that comment make you feel better about yourself?

  • markgbe

    Doesn't seem like a big deal to me.... Worst case i call google and they fix it.

  • Tony Byatt

    Definitely not an issue for most people that use Google Play Music...

    But it surely is for the tech community...

  • https://plus.google.com/111019692970182387850 Carlos Sarthou

    If it's true that they can purge the list of all authorized devices then I really wish they would've just done that automatically for each account with a notice about the policy returning. Oh well, now I'm stuck with a duplicate of my Nexus 5, an entry for an old computer that I can't get rid of, and an entry for a phone that I already plan to get rid of (seriously, who thought to make this retroactive).

  • Harold Goldner

    Just stupid and pointless. Just like Apple's five device limitation to iTunes.

  • Leo

    Guys, this isn't Google's fault. I can already picture the MPAA/RIAA having something to do with it

    • Indianajonze

      how do you know that? your theory seems plausible, but you shouldn't portray it as fact...

      • Leo

        I didn't want to sound that drastic, edited )

  • deltatux

    Unfortunately Google thinks you have a new device if you flash another ROM on the same device sometimes...

  • GazaIan

    My Nexus 4 is listed as a device 6 times for Google Music. I've flashed a ROM once since I got the phone last year. I've had to do deauths a lot, but if this sticks around I may just pull all my music from the server and buy myself an iPod.

  • http://usamaisawake.wordpress.com usamaisawake

    Is there any way to prevent a device from counting? Let's say I'm playing with a device for testing and I log in with my actual gmail account (as opposed to a dummy testing account), how can I prevent the device from counting? Just disable the music app from the beginning and pray it never registered?

    I hope my curiosity with Android L doesn't make it hard for me to re-register the device later.

  • Rob

    Yep. Just checked devices in GPM, and my Nexus 10 is listed THREE times. Dammit, Google. Fortunately, I've not yet used any of my available de-authorizations, but to waste 2 on erroneous duplicates that should not be there in the first place pisses me off.

  • Kent Andersen

    I'm pretty sure we have the content owners to blame here. I used to work for DISH...we were trying to make a new app to stream shows/movies whenever you wanted (kinda like netflix, but live TV with a month or so of lookback). But those content providers wouldn't have it. Each different one through a different set of rules/regulations at us that it made it pretty difficult to make the app. I wouldnt be surprised if the music industry is forcing googles hand here.

  • GJV

    This is really stupid - Since you can only play on one device at a time, what abuse is this limiting???

    • CoreRooted

      Uh, what? You can play on multiple devices at the same time.

      • Yebra21

        I'm pretty sure for all access music, the limit is one device. For stored music you could play music on multiple devices

  • http://nopenopenope.nope Ryuuie

    This also would affect people who just OTA their devices as well or if Google Play Services comes along and makes them reauth randomly (it's happened to me once or twice). This is going to be a huge headache for literally everyone with an Android device that has access to Google Play Music.

  • Simon Belmont

    Honestly, with 10 devices allowed and four de-auths a year (basically 14 devices a year), it's fine for me, in my current situation (not flashing a ton of new ROMs, etc). But I don't like the limitation anyway because I could go into flashaholic mode at anytime.

    If they base it on the Android ID, then that stinks because it gets changed for every factory reset and ROM flash that occurs. They should base it on the device's serial number or IMEI so that it won't use up deauthorizations between ROMs.

    • nihir

      It's not a limit of 14 devices a year, it's actually limited to 4 devices a year after you hit the limit.
      Year 1 = 10+4 devices
      Year 2+ = 4 devices (remove 4, add 4)

      • Simon Belmont

        Yeah, you're right and I should have worded that better. That is true enough for folks that have a ton of devices or swap a lot.

        In my case I don't have 10 devices connected to my account. I have two at the moment, so I literally have 12 slots for this year (haven't de-authed any this year). Also, I like how you upvoted your own comment. Haha.

  • zsoltttt

    Or if you are using a iPhone, you can use this Gear app: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/g-ear-player/id799375088?mt=8 (OS X version here: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/g-ear/id513751032?ls=1&mt=12), using it seems not to count towards this limit...

    • blairh

      You are clearly the creator of this app.

      • zsoltttt

        Yes, I am.

        • blairh

          So don't act like you aren't from the start.

          • zsoltttt

            I am sorry, I didn't want to offend you or anyone else, but you are right, maybe I should have announced it explicitly (although I was not hiding it either, as you pointed out)

          • blairh

            No need to apologize. If your app is good just say I have an app that may help.

          • zsoltttt

            Good to hear that! :) Thanks.

  • CoreRooted

    I've tested it twice now on 3 different devices. Flashing a new ROM (all clean wipes) doesn't trigger the device to get readded to GPM. So, it does seem that they are using the IMEI as the UID for devices.

  • CheCorchete

    Sucks when you are given less for the same price that are you paying.

  • http://brgulker.wordpress.com/ brgulker

    Really hope this gets changed. I have dupes as well that could screw me over.

  • Elislurry

    Dammit, back to Spotify I go, very stupid move Google.

  • tonkemaskin

    Who exactly am I supposed to call to have the Auth list reset? Google are notoriously hard to get a hold of.

  • blairh

    Anybody have Google's phone number? I'm going to run into this issue if I decide to get a new phone soon.

  • John McNichol

    Isnt this service trying to compete with Spotify?

  • Aweso

    Currently on Spotify subscription and a month-free trial of All Access. I guess Google just made the decision for me.

  • Chattopax

    if I wanted to be treated like that I would just stick with Apple. right now I can't use my extra SD card bunch of games don't work bunch of apps don't work... even the Titanic sank...

  • http://terminal-interface.com/ Migamix

    and since I actually own 2 primary devices and a backup device I use in places where I'd rather not bang around my daily driver on a construction site.. I'm triply screwed.. good thing I'm already pulling all files off of my play account and going local only... again... ad people keep saying "the cloud is gonna be great"... oh really?

  • primalxconvoy

    I feel that, as someone who doesn't subscribe to services like this (as they are blocked in Japan), that I'm not really missing out. It just feels that piracy or streaming legally from alternate sources is less hassle than going down more legit paths.

  • torbus

    You people sound like tools when you spit that "hurr first world problem" crap, living in a first world country doesn't mean you can't make a complaint.

  • Kyle Edgey Edge

    I'm greatly annoyed with this considering I swap devices like crazy, now switching back to Spotify and illegal mp3 downloads, making use of the built in music app for the first time in a long time.......

  • alex

    My family and I just all got new devices and now cant use google play music which im paying for because of this limit.

  • fartbubbler

    what number did you call to get a Google rep to help out with this?

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