Another week, another free music album on Google Play. This time it's something a little more contemplative: a classical instrumental album from Yo-Yo Ma, probably the best-known concert cellist on the planet. You can grab The Sound of Yo-Yo Ma, which incidentally is exclusive to Google Play Music, for free right now. The deal is available in the United States and probably a few other places, though we can't be sure exactly where it is and isn't valid.
Yo-Yo Ma was born in Paris, and his family moved to New York City when he was five years old. His talent for the cello and other instruments earned him a place at the prestigious Julliard School. Read More
Tonight the Google Play Store is giving US customers a lesson in delayed gratification. Would you rather have a free album of music in about two months, or a cheap album right now? That's the choice being presented between the self-titled Jaime Lawson and Ed Sheeran's X: the former is available for free if you pre-order it, and the latter is just a dollar, but all the songs are available right now. Of course, there's nothing stopping you from taking both of them.
Both artists are from the United Kingdom - according to his Wikipedia page, Lawson was recently signed to Sheeran's label, Gingerbread (which may have something to do with the discounts). Read More
Google Play Music has seen its fair share of bugs in the spotlight over the past few weeks, including the web app's failure to stream All Access songs on multiple browsers (and its subsequent fix) and the weird reported bug of cached music being wiped from Android devices when SD card storage had been enabled. The latter's fix has rolled out with the latest update to the Android app.
Previously, users who had downloaded some Play Music songs for offline playback and toggled the app's setting switch to use SD card storage found that their tunes disappeared when the phone was rebooted or the card was removed and reinserted. Read More
As of this morning, most users are finding it back up and running normally
Starting early in the AM on July 14th, reports started coming in that Firefox and Safari can both use the web app again. IE users should be good to go, too. My own testing confirms this as well. Happy listening!
With no obvious cause, numerous subscribers to Google Play Music All Access have suddenly found that just about any non-Chrome browser cannot use the web app to stream songs. Read More
Every so often the Google Play Store makes previously paid movies, TV shows, and music albums free for a limited time - add them to your account during this window and you can keep them forever. The latest album to get this treatment is Nina Revisited, a compilation of songs honoring pioneering African American singer Nina Simone. Her career spanned five decades, and her style mixed jazz, American standards, pop, and gospel, making her one of the most unique vocalists of her era. She was also a prominent member of the Civil Rights movement.
The album is almost entirely comprised of covers of Simone's songs from contemporary artists like Lauryn Hill, Common, Usher, Mary J. Read More
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. Read More
Update Wednesday came and went this week, leaving us with about a dozen new and updated apps. Project Fi and Google Connectivity Services were added to the Play Store in preparation for Google's first MVNO customers, and new versions were rolled out to bring Quick Reply to Messenger and prepare Google+ for the wide release of Collections. A small bump to Google Play Music also made the list, but there wasn't much in the way of visible changes. However, a look inside suggests there may soon be a new behavior when two or more devices try to use the same Chromecast at once.
: Teardowns are necessarily speculative and usually based on incomplete evidence.
Play Music's v5.8 rolled out last month with a slew of fixes and improvements to make the app fit better with Material Design's guidelines and provide some added functionality like biography and history for artists, and a previous song button in the collapsed notification. The app has since seen a few incremental changes, but the latest v5.8.1836R got a rare treatment from Google: an official changelog. So it must be something important, right?
Well, yes and no. If you don't subscribe to Google Play Music All Access (or Unlimited as it's being referred to recently), you may not notice any significant difference in the app. Read More
Google launched Play Music back in 2011 with the option for users to upload their entire music collection for easy streaming. Play Music started with a limit of 20,000 songs, and it's stayed there ever since. Google has just announced a change, though. Play Music now allows up to 50,000 songs.
As nice as Google Play Music All Access is for music lovers (and it's gotten considerably nicer since essentially being merged with YouTube Music Key), the branding is a bit of a mouthful. We've been sent a series of tips that indicate that Google may shift the name sometime in the future... but don't hold out for something particularly ingenious. According to our tipster, the new name might be "Google Play Music Unlimited," as indicated way back in July of last year.
At least some of the portions of Google's support text refer to "Google Play Music Unlimited," particularly the newer email messages sent to customers. Read More