YouTube Music may not have had the most auspicious beginnings, but the service is quickly adding features ahead of Google Play Music's impending shutdown. Earlier this month the Explore tab started rolling out on the web, then the Android app gained a new 'Related' tab, and just last week it added the ability to swipe between songs. Now YouTube Music on the web is gaining a small speed improvement to album playback.
Now that Google has enabled multi-user support for Google Home, what can you do with your media? After a little research and a chat with Google Home support, I have the answer to that question. Keep in mind, this is the situation as of today. As we always do, we hope for these features to be fine-tuned and expanded.
This article assumes each user has already linked up to the Google Homes in their household. This is an easy process that the Google Home app will walk you through for each multi-user equipped device.
You know how you can press the little music icon while you're doing a Google voice search, and it will identify a song playing in the background Shazam-style? It looks like that functionality is making its way to the Android version of Google Play Music as well. A few of our readers and one Android Police staff member have seen the "listen for music" prompt while using the built-in search function in Google's default music player. It looks like this:
The tool appears to be independent of specific versions of Google Play Music or the Google search app, so we're probably looking at another Google A-B testing session with server-side functionality enabled.
In every popular album there always seem to be one or two songs that get the vast majority of attention, no matter the relative quality of the other songs. Google, for whatever reason, has decided to give this phenomenon a bit of visual representation. Head on over to the Google Play Store and click "music" (not the Google Play Music player interface), then pick any of the various albums featured on the front page. You'll see a new column in the track listing, ranking each song in popularity, presumably in relation to the others on the same page.
Oddly, some albums seem to be excluded, multi-artist compilations and extended plays in particular.
YouTube has become a great place for indie musicians to get their work out to the public, and in a few cases, even make a little extra money with Google's automated Content ID music identifying and licensing service. That was all well and good, right up to the point where Google decided it would make its video site into a formal music service with YouTube Music Key. We heard of serious issues with the contract terms even before the service launched, but now one independent artist has spilled the beans on those terms, and how they've left her in a conundrum.
Brazilian readers have had access to Google's music store and cloud song storage for only a couple of months, but it looks like they now have access to the subscription music service as well. Brazil has been added to the list of countries with access to, uh, All Access, and at least one Google+ user has been given the promotional message on the Google Play Music Android app. Hop to it, music fans.
In Brazil, ad-free, unlimited streaming of Google's All Access library will run you 12.90 real a month (approximately five US dollars a month - not bad!) if you sign up before January 7th.
Since his departure from Cyanogen, Inc., Koush has been a pretty busy guy. Yesterday, he released AllCast Receiver to the Play Store, an app that essentially turns any Android device into a casting target, a la the now-extinct CheapCast. Today, he pushed an update to AllCast that brings a couple of new features, including Google Play Music streaming and the previously-teased headphone mode. Check out the latter in action:
This is essentially a jab at Roku's remote, which includes a built-in headphone jack for private listening while watching content on the TV. For the time being, however, Koush's solution only works with AllCast Receiver and FireTV.
Since its introduction, Google Glass has been in the unfortunate position of having relatively limited functionality. However, with a steady stream of updates and eventually the emergence of the Glassware tab in the MyGlass interface, we've known the elusive wearable was due for some more exciting things. A few weeks after announcing plans to add Play Music to Glass, Google has quietly added it to the list of apps supported on the elusive wearable. Alongside this release, the Accessories store also launched the Stereo Earbuds at the hefty price of $85.
Music can be activated by simply calling out 'Ok, Glass, Listen to' followed by the name of an artist, playlist, album, or song.
Google Music has provided for the cloud streaming needs of the average user, but what if you've got more than 20,000 tracks or you want to stream video too? Well, there's always Subsonic, which relies on streaming media from your personal storage instead of Google's cloud. The app has gotten three big updates in the last few weeks, including today's jump to 4.1.