Google killed Play Music in October 2020, a service many people loved for one feature in particular: its online music file locker with uploaded songs that seamlessly integrated with Play Music's streaming catalog. You could also just add titles you own and listen to them without ever having to pay a dime. Luckily, there are a few alternatives that replicate some of Play Music's capabilities, including its successor YouTube Music.
Google has just announced the launch of a YouTube Music app for the Apple Watch. For folks keeping score at home, that means the streaming service all Google Music users are being forced to migrate to has debuted support for Apple's wearable platform before Google's own Wear OS. This makes the company's priorities pretty clear from where we're standing.
Legal battles between companies are destined to either play out in a settlement very quickly as each side comes to terms with the expense and ultimate lose-lose nature of a drawn out fight; or they go barreling down a path that costs everybody in the long run. The rumble between Sonos and Google looked like it may simmer down, but a new lawsuit filed by Sonos this week may push the situation to the boiling point.
Google Play Music's death date here in the US is set for just next month. But ahead of that eventual expiration, Google has started shutting down the Music Manager desktop application for managing your Play Music uploads, as it promised earlier this year. A notification going out now tells users that it's no longer available.
After years of playing catch-up with Google Play Music, YouTube Music finally got the ability to let you upload your purchased song library in March. However, that much-requested addition comes with a caveat: You need a premium subscription to cast your songs to smart speakers, which extends even to the ones you uploaded. Some findings by 9to5Google indicate that Google is planning to fix this soon enough.
Folks using gifted Play Music subscriptions don't need to worry about the unused balance of those gift subs when the service dies in September. Google is apparently giving them double the value (or more) by converting those subs over to YouTube Music while also carrying over the unused portion of those subscriptions into Google Play credit — and the math for that last bit heavily favors the customer.
Play Music will disappear over the next few months, starting with South Africa and New Zealand in September and the rest of the world following in October. While YouTube Music (YTM) is already an almost full-fledged (albeitquirky) replacement in the US and many parts of Europe, the same can't be said for some other countries. In some, YTM isn't available as a default music provider in the Assistant, and there's no proper voice control for Google's latest streaming service, either.
The signs have been there for months, but now we know for sure that Google Play Music will be discontinued starting September in favor of YouTube Music (YTM). Fans of the older streaming service will tell you that the newcomer has a long way to go before it's as functional and featured, and nothing will change that — not even Google's announcement that YTM has seen some improvements on Google Assistant and Android TV. As expected, those are botched implementations.
A while ago, Google announced it would discontinue Play Music this year. The company promised to work hard on making YouTube Music a viable alternative, and it looks like it's now happy with what the new app has become. As such, Google shared today that it will discontinue Play Music starting this September.
YouTube Music still doesn't have feature parity with Google Play Music, but the list of remaining discrepancies has been dwindling. Two more items can be checked off in the last few days as the Recent Activities list appears to roll out to everybody and you can now control whether devices like wired headsets and bluetooth stereos can trigger playback.