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Video: Overview of New Google Play Music and All Access

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Now that Google I/O is wrapping up here in San Francisco and we finally have a chance to take a minute and breathe, we decided to sit down and do an overview of the new Google Play Music app along with its accompanying All Access service. Announced on Wednesday as a subscription-based Pandora and Spotify competitor, All Access is an important piece to the media puzzle for Google. The future of music appears to be in streaming services. 

So in the video below, we try to walk through it all, from starting radio stations to saving music to your library to navigating around this beautifully designed app.

Keep in mind that All Access is currently available as a 30-day free trial, but will jump up to $8 per month after the trial ends. Also, that $8 price is only good as long as you continue your subscription or sign-up before June 30. Once June 30 hits, the service will run $10 per month. If you sign-up for the free trial, you will be automatically billed once the trial ends, so should you not want to get charged, be sure to cancel it.

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  • Ben

    It appears that “Listen Now” is the spiritual successor to the “Recent” tab. I dig the improved functionality of offering suggestions, on-device and streaming music, and start radio. However, I miss the old “Recent” tab for the following reasons:

    1) I really miss how the old “Recent” tab was adjacent to “Artists”, “Albums”, “Songs”, and “Genres” tab. You could get to these by swiping across the screen. Now I have to swipe out a menu and tap a button to go between these two options. “Listen Now” should be adjacent to the other catagories.

    2) I really miss the large “Shuffle All” button in the old “Recent” tab. It was a great way to dive in, find something you like, go to album or go to artist and you are set!

    3) The text associated with the albums is difficult to read. I really like the old old “recent” tab, with smaller album art, more options on screen at once, and easier to read text.

    All that said, I have thoroughly enjoyed this update and I find music discovery to be much easier. Actual day-to-day music playing is more tedious for the reasons above.

  • http://www.facebook.com/lee.goldschmidt Lee Goldschmidt

    What clock widget is that?

  • http://twitter.com/JohnnyACE562 GRAND MASTER SEN$Ei {{-_-}}™

    Only problem I have is the album cover art. {{-_-}}

  • KnowYourEnemy462

    As someone switching over from Rhapsody, the only things I’m not liking so far are slower downloads for offline listening and no “download all” button. You have to click on each album in order to download.

  • http://twitter.com/metal_legions Mark G

    Sorry if this has been asked before. I scrolled the comments pretty far.

    The thumbs up/down feature, are these ratings global or just relative to that station? If I thumbs up a song on “Slayer Radio” for example, I want to hear more of that type of music. If I thumbs down a song I don’t feel should be in a playlist with Slayer, I only want that song/artist removed from that station. I like the song/artist, I just don’t want it in “Slayer Radio”. Similar to Pandora. So are the Thumb ratings just relative to that station or are they global across all stations?

  • RezoundingFail

    Can’t get the update to work on my Rezound! Any one know how to make it work?

  • Chris Baxter

    I’m so iffy on this service so far. I have been a Spotify subscriber for a while now, so Google had to wow me…and I don’t think they have thus far. It’s hard because I usually LOVE anything Google and have been looking forward to this for a long time. .

    There is not ONE thing that Google does better than Spotify.
    –No offline for PC
    –Dislike their offline for mobile (Pin) as you can STILL search/listen to online music. No true offline
    –No shared playlists
    –Cannot listen to multiple devices at same time (Can on spotify when one device is ‘offline’)
    –Cannot do advanced searches!(really google?!?)
    –Cannot see when tracks were added to playlists
    –Cannot send direct links to friends
    –Poor (or no) social media integration
    –No IOS support (What?!?)
    –No PC/Mac App (Spotify has both Web/Client)

    I do take it back. I like how Google combines it’s streaming service with your library you have uploaded. So, if you want to listen to the Beatles and have them in your library, you can listen to them seamlessly. But, there is a small problem; you cannot tell what songs are yours, and what songs you are using from Google’s library. Huge problem? No, kinda odd you cannot differentiate. . .

  • maslan

    Ok – what am i missing. Like the service but something i cant figure out??

    when playing your radio stations – how do you shuffle the songs? I dont mind that it starts with the song you created the station with – but every song after is always the same. It does not “create” a new list each time so when you start it, such as driving to work, you hear the same 10 songs in a row??

  • michael arazan

    I don’t get why The Play Store sells every Led Zeppelin album and song, but the all access won’t allow you to access any Led Zeppelin Music. I know why they don’t have the beatles, But No Led Zeppelin to add to my playlist?

    • onDroid

      Why do you not already have every Zeppelin song in your library. I think that is the real question

  • Vincent Fulginiti

    Ok. I’ve seen a few users have the same question I do, but unfortunately it sounds like the answers are just guesses. Has anybody actually legit tested what exactly happens with the songs/albums you “add to my library” during the All Access free trial once the trial ends?? Do you get to keep them? Are they removed from “my library” once I go and Cancel my “All Access” subscription after the free trial??

    • Chris

      Why wouldn’t they be removed..? Do you really expect to keep music that use ‘got’ while paying a subscription…?

      • Vincent Fulginiti

        @Chris – Not really. Seems to good to be true; and usually, in life, things like that end up being just that. But I’m still curious because nobody seems to have a definitive answer (i.e. they have not actually tested that out by canceling their ‘free trial’ subscription and then seeing if all the music they just ‘added to their library’ was still there or not). I know, I know; “why don’t you just do it your damn self and figure it out!?” right? I probably will at some point here soon. If/when I do, i’ll report back for anyone that’s interested. Cheers.

  • dsteele1

    How do you play an entire Genre for the My Library section… no way to do it easylike before???

  • Spencer

    All Access beats competitors for the following reasons:
    1) It’s Google… let’s be honest.
    2) HUGE Song selection!
    3) Making a radio of a song starts the radio playing that song!!!!

    Pandora and Spotify need to make notes about Google’s choice of UI. So beautiful. Definitely will continue to pay $8/month for a while, depending on the usage I get out of it.

  • EatUrCrap

    Absolutely love the All Access Radio, waaaay better than Pandora One.

  • James Friedman

    How do you change the streaming quality? I looked and didn’t see it

    • Seth Schorr

      It’s in the main menu about 2/3rd’s down the list.

  • James Friedman

    I have been having an issue with the buffering of songs on 3G. It’s almost unlistenable in my car because it cuts out every 10-15 seconds. If you pause it for a minute the song plays fine. They need to fix that key feature if I’m going to switch from Spotify. Anyone else have that issue. I’m seeing this issue with full bars too

    • LionStone

      Dang, that’s too bad…I haven’t tried it yet. One thing about Pandora is when I’m in the mountains and only 2G, I can still stream. I don’t know if it’s because they improved their app or my phone?

      • James Friedman

        And I also wanted to note that I’m on Verizon so I don’t think it’s my connection. From what I’ve read there seems to be a way to control the quality of the music being streamed. It may be on the highest quality setting but I looked through briefly and didn’t see a setting to change this

  • http://twitter.com/kirilv Kiril

    Does anyone know what happens to the songs that you “Add to my library” once you cancel All Access? The assumption would be that they disappear, but then what is the point of the “Add to my library” option in the first place? I remember there was a service a while back which had unlimited streaming, plus you got to keep a limited amount of songs each month. Could Google have worked out such a deal?

    • http://www.Fresh360.net/ Fresh360

      The “Add To My Library” actually just places them in the “My Library” section so you don’t have to look for the song/album every time you want to listen in “All Access”…When you cancel they are removed.

      That was Zune Pass, it was a great service but limited by it being only available on the Zune HD (R.I.P) and Microsoft actually cancelled the keep song portion of it.

      • http://twitter.com/kirilv Kiril

        So it is a useless option, as I suspected. Cool. Wouldn’t search pull from your library and All Access just the same? I have 15,000 songs in my library, and the My Library tab is pretty unmanageable, even with perfectly organized metadata.

        Thanks for naming it. I would have never guessed it. I’ll try to remember it for the next few days.

  • Andy

    All of my playlists were deleted and now say insufficient memory when I try to play them. What gives?