Update 8/7/14 #1: Quite a few of you experienced issues with album art after updating to version 5.6.1616P. Google has now released a new update 5.6.1617P which resolves this (you can find the new APK below). You may need to clear data and restart the app if album art still doesn't show up.

Update 8/7/14 #2: Google posted the official changelog, and looks like this is also new in this release: "You can now undo tracks removed from playlists and the queue via swipe."

Google has been playing around with the Play Music interface a bit lately, but the widget hasn't been keeping pace. That changes in this update as Google has completely revamped the standard widget and added a new 1x1 widget for getting tunes going fast. But that's not all! There are also changes to the music download screen and search functionality.

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What’s New

We're still digging around a little, but this appears to be all the major stuff. We'll update if we spot anything else.

  • New 1x1 I'm feeling lucky widget (with neat animation)
  • Redesigned 4x1 widget with white color scheme, can be resized up to 4x4 showing full album art
  • "View Download Queue" is now "Manage Downloads." It lets you see everything that you've downloaded, view the total space taken up by each item, and remove the downloads from device
  • You can now undo tracks removed from playlists and the queue via swipe
  • Search can now find shared public playlists Update: This was added in 5.6.1616P but seems to have been removed in 5.6.1617P

The new widgets are awesome. The resizable one (starts out at 3x1 for some reason) looks great and you can make it any size you fancy. The I'm Feeling Lucky widget also shows a cool animationani on the home screen when you start it up (check that out to the right and in the video).

The free space meter in the remodeled download queue screen is handy to have too. This saves you from guessing how much storage space your local music is eating up. That's especially important if you let the app cache music as it plays.

Public playlists were added to Play Music a while back, but now the app can find them in search results. So if you're having a gathering and don't want to put together your own mix, just search and shoot it to your Chromecast.

Check out the old vs. new widgets below. It's a big (and welcome) change.

11 (2) 2

Left: Old, Right: New


The APK is signed by Google and upgrades your existing app. The cryptographic signature guarantees that the file is safe to install and was not tampered with in any way. Rather than wait for Google to push this download to your devices, which can take days, download and install it just like any other APK.

File name: com.google.android.music-5.6.1617P.1333751.apk.

Version: 5.6.1617P.1333751 (Android 2.3+).

MD5: e0aa17b7bd1e8d9d0b09f59aa1d45b98.

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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

  • rob damiani

    I'd like and use GPM more if they had a simpler text drive interface for playlists rather than the flashy artwork that doesn't display 1/2 the time. KEEP IT SIMPLE.

  • RedPandaAlex

    Public playlist search! Yay!

    • gspida

      Did you get it? I can't seem to find it. How do you make a public playlist search?

  • Ross Cohen

    Very interesting.... We have different widgets...

    • james fuston

      That one is the same size I have. Not sure why the die is so much larger in the article.

      • Ross Cohen

        I'm thinking that it's gotta be DPI settings.

      • S

        Screen size and dpi, 7 icons on the bottom row.

        • james fuston

          Upon retrospection, it looks like an Android L difference. That's the L app drawer button.

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

            It's not, it's just Nova.

          • james fuston

            aaand we're back to DPI.

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

      It's just the way it fits on my screen. I could resize it to be different. But I like a ton of icons to fit and have Nova use a 7x5 grid.

    • Ben F

      What's that clock/date widget at the top right?

      • Ross Cohen

        Zooper Widget.

        • Ben F

          Perfect, thanks!

    • Guest

      I'd say the grid size will depend on what the widget looks like.

      You appears to be using the the stock Google Launcher(?) where as one of the images in the article appears to be Nova/Apex with a higher grid size.

  • Frank Barten

    For me, it already was a 3x1 widget on the Google Now Launcher, non-resizable. Really like the new widget though!

  • iamnotkurtcobain

    The new version doesn't show my album artwork anymore... Am I the only one with this bug?

    • SSDROiD

      Album art showing normally here.

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

      All good here, but I heard someone else report the same in tips.

    • roger

      Same here. Does anyone know how to fix this?

    • heythere

      same here, not showing artwork :/

      • felix

        Me too. My player not showing album artwork

    • schneeland

      For me, it shows only some album art. In fact, it looks like album art from Google Play Music All Access loads fine, but loading album art from local files does not work anymore.

    • JackPackage

      Same here - no album artwork...

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

        Try the updated version above please.

        cc @bojan_tomic:disqus @yungqb7:disqus @vyktorsouza:disqus @disqus_Y8eajl3dC2:disqus @viniciusrsouza:disqus @manonyme:disqus

        • Erin Viegas

          Yes, it's working perfectly now.

        • JackPackage

          Works! Thank you very much! :)

        • heythere

          I updated to the new version and my nexus 4 lags (like, really a lot) while swiping to/from the screen that has the widget. :/

        • gspida

          Artem, how you get to the public playlist search?

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

            It's the very bottom section of the search.

          • gspida

            while I got your attention though, and totally off topic I know but could you or one of the AP staff look into google everywhere making it so you can't record video. Can you record video with that setting on?

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

            Correction: Used to. Looks like the bump we got today removed it. Or they removed it from the server or something. Argh.

          • gspida

            I thought it might be something like that. I was going crazy trying to find those playlists though lol

          • Alphajoe

            I am really wondering: Is there any way to find Public Playlists on Google Music - either within the App, the web interface or whereever else?

        • yungqb7

          v5.6.1617P displays local album artwork on my galaxy s4. Now Google just needs to fix how its displayed in full view mode

          • True Radiant Free

            The issue with album art not showing up in a high resolution or even a native resolution to your screen if you have an album art photo bonded to the music file that is that high of a resolution, has been around for the entirety of the app, which really is messed up. But if you go and find the albumthumbs folder using a file manager and replace the no extension files in there with your album art photos and then remove the extension, you can fix this problem yourself. Its just a tedious task to have to do.

    • Bojan Tomic

      Ugh.. The struggles! :S
      I want my beautiful artwork! D':

    • pk

      Same here on g-nex w/aosp 4.4.4 rom. Uninstalled!

    • Vinícius Souza

      Same issue here! All my music files are stored on my device and I put album artwork for all of them. All disappeared! Can't believe Google removed local files album artwork support from now on! It would be totally crazy!

    • vyktorsouza


    • yungqb7

      Yeah, album artwork is missing for me as well (Galaxy S4). Reverted back to previous version

    • getalife

      same here... i don't know what happened :)

    • manonyme

      ...actually, that bug is preferable to my near constant crashing of the app. . .But to answer ur question, yes...no artwork ~

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

      Everyone having this problem, can you try this updated version and see if it fixes it? http://www.mediafire.com/download/av6uawtpa5drbs1/com.google.android.music-5.6.1617P.1333751.apk

  • Kevin

    Mine's been doing that for awhile now, it also crashes if I queue up a bunch of albums to download. Hopefully this update helps.

  • joser116

    Waiting for that Material Design update.

    • Stylus_XL

      "I wonder when the album art will stop refreshing every time I scroll."

      Can you elaborate on what you mean by this?

      • joser116

        Sure, go to Listen Now, scroll, and you'll see that album art has to keep reloading every time you scroll.

        Also, scrolling is not very smooth because of that.

        A similar experience is when scrolling through the Play Store main page.

        • Stylus_XL

          Strange. Scrolling the 'listen now' screen is very smooth on my Nexus 5, and the app appears to be storing artwork locally. It does do something which reminds me of iOS though - the list always scrolls smoothly but the incoming artwork doesn't load "in time" if you scroll too quickly, so you have a flicker of whitespace sometimes.

          I'm with you on the Play Store app though - scrolling the main page is stuttery on that and has been for the couple of years at least.

          • joser116

            That is exactly what happens to me. It does scroll smoothly, but only when you scroll slow enough so that the images have time to load. If you scroll any faster, for the moment when the images load, there is stutter.

          • Patrick Smithopolis

            Yesterday I was talking to someone about that same issue. Most high end Android smartphones come with 2 or 3GB of ram. There's no reason why content should be loading while you're scrolling. It should all be preloaded for smooth scrolling.

    • Troy Dunn-Higgins

      I owned a HTC One M7 last year and was delighted to find that the HTC Music application did not suffer from the same reloading issue as Google Play Music. Google clearly intended for this to improve performance by reducing RAM usage but it has quite the opposite effect.

      Performance impact aside, album artwork is one of your primary means of identifying an album at a glance. Having to wait for the images to reload as you scroll is more than a little bit frustrating.

      Another issue with Play Music which has been bothering me is the size of the album list grid. Only being able to fit four albums onscreen at once is incredibly silly and there is no way to change it. What was Google thinking when they completely removed the standard list view?

  • Peter

    Nice update, yet they didn't update the Music Playlist widget with it's crappy old icon and doesn't auto-play when opened.

  • Alien

    Ryan Whitwam, Wallpaper Please!

    • RyanWhitwam

      That's Artem's screen. I think it's one of the included wallpapers in CM11.

      • Alien

        You're the man.

  • motoridersd

    Nice! The new widget should look good as an Overlay over Waze on my dash mounted Nexus 7.

  • Zebastian

    Do I really have to be the one to ask for that wallpaper?

    • Axel

      o/ me too

  • Simon Belmont

    What I'd like to know is why the Google Music app randomly launches a service to check for Album Art? I think it's called AlbumArtDownloader or something.

    Seems pointless to always be checking that and then not kill the service when it's done. But who knows.

  • Casin

    And they still haven't fixed the glitch in the web app that won't let you update the song art, have they?

    • Stylus_XL

      I change album art on the web version of Play Music all the time. Works for me.

  • Guest

    Glad the 4x1 Widget got updated, I don't know if I was the only one but I could never use the widget originally because it look very out of place and kinda ugly lol.

    • Lupe Fiasco

      Smh, Disq always glitching and doing these to posts I make with pictures.

  • http://www.twitter.com/b_boogey_xl b_boogey_xl

    I would really like an "recently played" auto playlist. Please!

    Oh, and the ability to create my own auto playlists.

  • http://www.torchingigloos.com sneakily1

    Props for Big Wreck's Ghost album... Killer album there!

  • JackPackage

    THANK GOD for finally updating the terrible widget! :)

  • Bakufreak

    Strange, that 1x1 widget is just a Shuffle button for me, not a die.. No fancy animation or anything, but still does the job I guess!

    • Kevin

      Do you have an All Access subscription?

      • Bakufreak

        No, but I think I've figured out why I had a Shuffle button instead of a die. I had it on "Downloaded only" to save on data. If I toggle that option off now, the widget becomes a die, with fancy animation and all that. I guess the Feeling Lucky thing is online-only.

        • Kevin

          That was my other guess as well. Glad you could figure it out.

  • joser116

    There's also this new card. Apparently your playlists are going to be restored now if you resubscribe after canceling.

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

      Ah, I saw the strings for it but couldn't test.

    • Ramiro Fernandez

      That's been the case for at least four months . I unsubscribed and resubscribed to all access earlier this year, and all my music and playlists returned (although it took a few days to happen)

      It just didn't tell me about it like it does now.

      • joser116

        It didn't happen to me or my sister. I had a few playlists that included songs I bought from Google Play and also songs from All Access. After I unsubscribed, only my songs remained in the playlist and the ones I added from All Access disappeared. After I subscribed, the songs that disappeared did not return to the playlist.

        • Ramiro Fernandez

          Interesting, it worked for me. I had the same situation and a few days after resubscribing all my songs returned and my empty playlists were repopulated.

          I guess this message means it will work for everyone now. :)

          • joser116

            I'll give it a try soon once I'll resubscribe.

  • Lee Woolridge Jr.

    Wish they didn't change to a white color scheme. I like all of my widget to have black background. If anybody knows a way to get a dark background I welcome the info.

    • pfmiller

      Yeah, I think the widget is too blocky and white. The old one looked much nicer and didn't stand out so much.

  • polesmoker99


    What is that wallpaper in that new image? It's lovely. Do you have a link?

  • Alex James Simon

    Really liking the new widget :D

  • SVem26

    About fucking time they updated that widget.

  • Jonathan Hamilton

    What's the deal with the album art disappearing for locally stored music. Missing my album art. Also, that new widget is ugly. Go back to the old one. Other than that it runs like it's suppose to.

  • Noob

    Google needs to fix the way it handles playing music. I'm sick if playing a sing from the start of an album, then if I get to like, the 4th song and pause it, clicking play will skip 2 songs.

    It's annoying because it ruins where you are and skips 2 songs.

    Google should add support for 3 clicks via headset as well like the MIUI Music player which will go back a song. That would be awesome. :)

  • Kevin Lavanne


  • cabbieBot

    My kingdom for light, dark and transparent widget options for all apps.

  • Mr. knister

    Wie man man eine einzelne Seite mit soviel mist, Werbung und schrott vollpacken!! Was für ein scheiß

  • Jonathan Hamilton

    Updated version fixed the album art issue.

  • gspida

    Okay here's mine without the circle background, just the die. Love it like that :)

  • rony

    hope in one day in my life , thumbs down will really mean that i do not like the song and i really do not want it to play again!

  • BrandonP

    I just wish music wasn't shoved down our throats. I just want a blank canvas to start with. If I add an album to my library through All Access... That's all I want to see in my library. I don't want auto playlists. I don't want to see music google recommended for me. I don't want the music I have synced from my computer. Which by the way I have deleted every single song from computer/Google music and STILL that music shows up on my google music on my phone.

    Google...please...let me control my own google music app..

  • Jack Jennings

    Ahh thank you so much for the updated apk! Was losing my mind over my suddenly absent album art.

  • Jorim Tielemans

    Oh no, the dice is all wrong! When it tips over you can see it changing: 3 -> 4 -> 5 -> 2.
    Normally the opposite sides of a dice should add up to seven.

    In this case the sequence implies that 3 and 5; and 4 and 2 are each other's opposite.
    Count it up and you'll see that this results in 8 and 6, not 7 like ik should.

  • t4exanadu

    I like the old widget, I liked the grey, even if the widget occasionally went weird and buttons would get very tiny. The white widget looks very out of place on my home screen.

  • http://www.technogeekguy.com dswartze

    I want the darker themed widget back! The new white one looks awful with my current setup.

  • ddh819

    why does google music use a lot of data when i don't even use the app?

  • yungqb7

    Still waiting for artwork to be properly displayed.
    Google Play Music (v5.6.1616P) and Samsung music player (v6.0.1)

    What launcher/theme is being used in the images posted above to get the unread count?

  • Sukrit Gupta

    I can't see the manage downloads option in my play music updated app :'(

  • sam

    This version is crashing a lot even if I was just scrolling in my album list.. Please fix that android 4.4.4 moto g xt1068

  • sam

    Worst music app. :(

  • SlickWik

    On my created playlist, when I hit shuffle, it will only play 1 or 2 songs from that playlist, then goes into entire library. I have 5 different playlist and it happens on all of them. It didn't use to happen on pre the latest update. Please advise what to do. Thank you