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Feature Request: Google, Don’t Make Music Listening on All Access an Individual Experience

Welcome to another edition of our feature requests. Last time, we asked Motorola to tweak its Active Display features to be a bit more like AcDisplay, to make things a bit easier to use. Today, our request focuses on Google Music All Access. We are humbly asking Google to let us get other people involved, because as The Beatles once said, we all get by with a little help from our friends. 

Google’s All Access was announced about a year ago, at Google I/O 2013. There was much excitement leading up to the announcement, and Google responded with a very capable and competitively priced service. When stacked up against other streaming music services like Pandora or Spotify, All Access brings a lot to the table. I have been using it ever since (thanks to the $7.99 early-adopter pricing), but there is one thing I would like to propose to Google.

There is a lot that I like about All Access, but when I am using it, I get the feeling that this is solely my collection of music to enjoy. Only mine. If you go to the All Access web portal, it feels like you are detached from any other human beings who might also be using the service. There is an “Explore” section that is great for finding the newest albums and chart-topping singles, but where are the people that are listening to this music?

Google has a built-in sharing feature with Play Music, but it centers around Google+. When I’m in the mood to listen to music, I want to be browsing in the Play Music library, not the pages of Google+. The only thing that comes close to sharing within the Play Music web portal is the “Shared with me” section, which is incredibly cluttered and unusable for exploring what your friends are listening to.

Screenshot 2014-03-28 at 3.34.47 PM

What happened to the days of creating mix-tapes for your summer jams or a burned CD for that special someone to tell them how you felt? Music exploration is in a good place right now, but sharing has taken a hard hit thanks to the migration away from physical content. Spotify does a great job of pulling in your friend’s music selection and their custom playlists into its application. Even when you are only listening to your stations and music, it doesn’t feel like you are in a vacuum.

So, my suggestion for All Access would be to at the very least, find an interactive way to bring in playlists and recently played tracks from a person’s list of Google+ friends. If they wanted to really blow the doors off this feature, they could make All Access the place to create a playlist/mix-tape for someone. Giving users the ability to pull from Google’s music library into a playlist that would create a shortlink that could be shared on other social networks outside of Google+ would be amazing.

Google, if you are looking for a last minute feature to work on to announce at this year’s Google I/O, this friendly feature would be welcomed.

If you have other general Android or device specific feature requests that you would like to see us talk about, be sure to hit us up.

  • thejman156

    how about this for feature requests:

    Listening history,

    resume playing where I left off when switching between

    social integration

    Sync individual tracks
    instead of whole album only

    when offline have option to show only synced songs

    sort and filter options (ie release date, name, popularity)

    view new releases for artists only in my library instead of

    notifications for new releases of artists in my library

    show the rating button (thumbs up/thumbs down) for any track
    you’ve played instead of only for the currently playing track

    last.fm integration for scrobbles from mobile device and web

    ability to edit playlists instead of just create them.

  • GT500_Grad

    I like that idea. I was so frustrated for the longest time just trying to share on Facebook songs I liked. I also would love to see a party playlist option. A playlist you can share and people can add to. Similar to Spotify.

  • This is why I use Spotify instead of All Access in the 1st place. Not to mention that you can see what your friends are listening to in real time with Spotify both within Spotify and on Facebook itself.

  • Good Idea, but just to play devil’s advocate for a sec, I personally didn’t like Spotify because of this feature. Sometimes you don’t want your friend’s bad taste in music shoved down your throat. =)

    • @Thanassi:disqus You can disable the feature. Nothing’s being shoved down your throat, but we see where your mind is.

  • Kevin Cefalu

    As an aside: Why don’t we have an Auto-Playlist for music we’ve asked google now to identify?

  • mullerlt

    I would just like better sorting of the songs and albums. Let me filter by Release Date, Date Added, etc. This is a simple but grossly overlooked feature.

  • virduk

    Though I’m not sure how much use I’d get if my own use of the service is an indicator. An awful lot of the music I listen to is uploaded tracks and so I can’t even share those aside from as links to youtube videos. Not that any other service is better.

  • One Meat Ball

    Let’s take it a step further. I want Google Glass to have a feature (opt-in optional) where if you encounter another person wearing Glass, you can see what they’re listening to and tune into that same music if you so choose. I hate seeing people jog by with their earbuds and having no idea what they’re listening to.

  • dave birney

    “What happened to the days of creating mix-tapes for your summer jams or a burned CD for that special someone to tell them how you felt?”

    you can still do this you know? you dont even need CDs any more, just use audacity to combine all the songs into one mp3 and stick it in your dropbox or upload to mixcloud so you can share it with everyone. job done.

    • virduk

      There’s services like 8Tracks too if you want to make/share mix tapes.

  • Eric W

    I’ve been wanting smart playlists (like on iTunes) since Google music started. Would love an auto-generated playlist of songs I’ve thumbed up and added in the past couple of months. Or thumbs up songs that I haven’t heard in a couple of months. They could even do this with a smarter search that would allow me to enter these requirements in a query. I wonder how many people are working on the engineering side of Google Music.

    • Philip

      Google Music does have a few smart playlists – specifically “Thumbs up” and “Last added” (last 500 songs added to your Library) like you mentioned. An expansion on those would be nice, though!

  • Anthony Calabro

    all access should not be individualized to each device that you own so many times I Find myself listening to a song on my phone getting home taking my head phones out and wanting to listen to that same song on my computer in my living room. Google please make a cloud syn feature that can make each devie pick up where the other left off.

  • michael steinmetz

    also have more than just 25 top songs on mobile

  • FelisLachesis

    What I’d like to see is a family-level plan.like what Beats Music is doing with AT&T. I’m not sure if $15/mo for 5 lines is too cheap (ok, it’s not, but trying to be fair). but even $20 for 4 or 5 lines would be great for my family.

    • dizel123

      Times about a million and a half.

  • James Briano

    I’d love an easier way to share playlists within the app. I have a few friends who are REALLY good at seeking out and finding music I love. They are all Android/Google users, but they share music through Spotify.

  • javier rodriguez

    The featured playlist section currently has playlist made by people… These people are random I would like playlists made by people I know

  • Craig P

    Google should take notes from Rdio, however I don’t want to be “forced” to be shown what others are listening to, but rather, just have the option.

  • gpzbc

    Try 8tracks.com. Great service.

  • iNomNomAwesome

    Don’t encourage Google to do even more social integrated crap, not everything has to be shared or a part of Google+

  • Todd

    My family should have the same access as me to Google play since it is installed on the family’s PC.

  • I would love to see album reviews (critics and user based) along with the other descriptive material you see on the desktop version or in the Play store. Now all you see when you pull up an album is the year it came out. When looking at an artist’s entire collection, would love to be able to sort them by year.

  • Justin W

    How’s this for an extremely simple feature addition: Save the search history! YouTube does this flawlessly. As does Gmail. And Maps. The Play Store.

    Why should I re-type the name of a recent song/ artist/ album twice? Why should I have to remember the name of that killer band I discovered last week, but forgot to add to the library? (They don’t always show under Recently Listened) Why is a search company so inconsistent on basic app features, such as saving search history? Why Why Why

  • Tyson

    I think you hit the nail on the head Eric. I used to be able to easily share music I liked, by creating mix CDs for my friends. I can’t do that with All Access, and it’s a huge bummer.

    And people who keep bashing Eric’s idea, what is wrong with you? It could work like every other Google service, where you can add people if you like, and you don’t have to participate at all if you don’t want to.

  • Taylor Abrahamson

    The only ‘social’ feature that I want is to be able to have a collaborative playlist with a few friends. I used to do this on spotify and now I can’t anymore with Play Music. My friends and I spend a lot of time on a boat in the summer and like to add music to a big shared playlist, so we all get our songs in the queue and just have to hit play on one of our phones. Each person can add or remove songs from the list and everyones playlist updates. It works great on spotify.

  • markswoods

    Just today I was wishing I could share a song – and not on Google+ alone. I like the sharing idea a lot. OK, but not personally enthused with the shared playlist concept.

  • Droid_Dude

    I would love an option to permanently ban a group from coming up in my music. When I thumbs down Limp Bizkit for the millionth time, I would like for them to never play Limp Bizkit again!!

    • Wazzifer

      Say all you want about LB, but Wes Borland is the man.

    • Terry West

      Or, if I’m using the “I’m feeling lucky” playlist, and I decline a song by “remove from queue”, I don’t want to hear that song in that playlist EVER. And, as you stated an option that would give us the option to not play an artist, or possibly album.

  • Christian

    You must be feeling lonely writing a article just about sharing!…. How about features like crossfading more space for paying users to upload….. Google give me that and I’ll love you forever!

    • ak

      +1 for crossfading ! i love my gfs ipod nano cause it does that ishh =/

  • bibbyboi

    All I want from them is to stop using the edited versions of songs I upload.

    • michael arazan

      What would be real cool is if they allowed user submitted songs to be heard by everyone with all access, especially for bootlegs of concerts and live songs recorded in small clubs.

  • Wazzifer

    Actually the only thing I would change about Google Music right now is probably adding more display options of artists, albums, etc.

  • JHay

    Google, provide a setting for allowing lower quality music when off WIFI. All Access is horrible compared to Pandora when it comes to data usage.

    • JSo

      If I didn’t have unlimited data, I’d probably be right there with you.

    • Trevor

      They already let you set it to high, normal or low quality. What more do you want?

    • Wayne

      This is already a thing. Just check in the settings.

  • Travillion

    I would love to be able to share playlists with others (without paying for All Access). For example, my wife and I share our music (naturally), but I maintain two separate libraries (one under each google account) so that we both can listen to the music when we are apart. I don’t mind this so much, but maintaining the playlists across two accounts is a drag. I’d love to be able to have my playlists, and then “share” them with her. Since she has all the same music, it should be easy. For shared playlists without song ownership, perhaps a 30-second sample could be used as a placeholder.

  • Israel Fabian

    They need to upload more old school music. So far I’ve noticed they are slowly doing that..but I feel they’re very selective. Perfect example with be Metallica. Come on Google. But then again, Lars might be putting a stop on this as always 🙁

    • trixnkix637

      I’d bet a billion on it being the band and not Google. So far they’re only available on Pandora & Spotify. That I know of.

    • JSo

      Like trixnkix637 said, it’s probably the bands fault. But the good thing is, if you have the music already, just upload it to Google Music and you’re good.

  • Alex Boro

    Just use spotify then. Its better

    • Wazzifer

      Good joke.

      • Alex Boro

        Yeah well spotify has more music and better features. Same 9.99 price. I love google but it doesnt mean every service they have is the best.

        • Wazzifer

          I doubt that you know/like a lot of the music you claim Spotify has and Google Music doesn’t. Plus, I actually enjoy adding my own library to Google Music with a simple drag and drop. Oh, and I actually pay $7.99 for Google Music.

          • Alex Boro

            Lol the damage control. Spotify has better social features and more music. Most people have to pay 9.99. Spotify is just more feature packed while google play lacks many features.

          • Wazzifer


          • Chris

            stupid image is not needed child

          • Taylor

            You need to stop barking or I’m calling animal control.

          • Chris

            Go ahead

        • But I’m paying $7.99 for All Access….

          • Chris

            i fell sorry for you.

    • AjMobileGuru

      Except that the search function on Spotify is so bad that it doesnt even auto populate the drop down which i find really annoying.

    • Chris

      its not american based like slacker is…

      • Alex Boro

        So? Your phone isnt american based either

        • Chris

          I’m talking about the music service.

          You are just using Spotify because everyone else is

  • Maff

    No thanks at all. I didn’t like the social additions to Spotify and I like that it allows me to ignore all of them. Google Music is (at present) not very social, and I’d prefer it stays that way.

  • bydavidrosen

    I just don’t really get all this sharing nonsense. I want to listen to my music, that’s it. But hey, features are features, so that’s cool, I guess.

  • fillyo75

    With that playlist, I would pray for a FC

    • JSo

      That’s why I wouldnt want to see my friends music preferences on my device. lol

  • M Boogie

    I would love to be able to sort my playlists and search within my playlists.

    • DJ Anderson

      +1 to search within playlists! That’s the biggest issue I have. If I want to make sure I have a certain song in a playlist, I don’t want to have to read through all 300 to find it.

  • JSo

    If it had its own little section (which I would never go to because I hate what my friends listen to) that would be fine. If it just merged into my “Listen Now” section, then no.

    • Most definitely. If I didn’t come across, that’s what I was suggesting. Have another tab for Playlists for sharing and such.

      • JSo

        Ok, another separate tab, I could live with.

  • nosedive94

    I’d also like to be able to use NFC to share All Access playlists I’ve compiled with other All Access subscribers.


    • James Briano

      Patent this idea!

    • Stinker

      I still don’t get NFC. You have internet. You can not only send something to someone in your “near field,” but everywhere in the world.

  • EC8CH

    I have the opposite problem. I share an account with my wife, so…

    • Kregstrong

      agree, share with my girlfriend and when i hit im feeling lucky sometimes, i feel extremely unlucky

      • phdc

        Hi five guys…

  • Tony Byatt

    It would be a nice option but not something I’m dying for, like the add music through browser which we got recently…

    And Google I/O 2013 was less than a year ago, not over… 😛

  • MH

    Who wants to share?

  • NeilOMalley

    I would like something along the lines of what the Beats Music is offering with a Family type plan. Something me and all my siblings can share while still remaining individual users with separate devices and saving a little bit of money too.

    • EC8CH

      As someone who shares a single account between two people I completely agree. When Beats Music the sharing of an account was the one thing I really wished GMAA had.

      I have a feeling though that if Google ever added this I wouldn’t like the price increase that would go along with it though.

  • hebrewHAMMER

    If I want to discover music with great station algorithms, I’ll use Pandora. When I want to listen to MY music, I have all access. They both provide well from their corners of the music spectrum *for my needs*.

    • James Briano

      Dude…. Pandora? You and I have different needs. (But that’s OK)

    • Uptown Project

      I agree Pandora’s radio superior to all other services. Usually screen shot them and look up on Play Music later.

  • Rafy286

    This is something I provided Google feedback when GMAA first released. Previous to GMAA I was using Rdio and there was a human based playlist system that I quiet enjoyed. It takes exploring music to a whole new level and that was without tying any social network to rdio.

  • PoisonApple31

    Just what I need 5 different playlists of crappy Dave Matthew’s Band and Phish from my Google+ friends.

    • In a perfect world you’d be able to select the ones you want to see. Maybe you need to educate your friends on music 😛

      • PoisonApple31

        You couldn’t be more right on that!!!

      • Music taste is subjective at the end of the day. “Educating” implies wisdom or superiority, or at the very least, pretentiousness. The reasons everyone likes the music they like have nothing to do with learning, but everything to do with organic exposure and peer influence.

    • Mike Cary

      Time for more interesting friends perhaps…

    • michael arazan

      And still NO Led Zeppelin In all access, its in the play store to buy

  • Pedro Alvizu

    Make Lyrics for songs happen Google.

  • viewthis66

    I like love that it’s “my collection”. Don’t change a thing Google.

    • Tyson

      This is asinine. A well designed version of this feature would allow you to participate if you wanted to, and not if you’d rather not share. Don’t force people to be isolated like you…

      • TheOiulkj

        So not liking or caring about what horrible music your friends listen to is considered “being isolated”? I can tell you’re smart. Not asinine at all, like those people in comment sections of random websites who go around calling strangers stupid because they disagree. Those are just the worst, amirite?

        • Tyson

          Love your public profile. And yes, that is one definition of isolated. Not being open to some of the music your friends care about.

      • dave birney

        youre assuming a well designed music player should be a social one though. its just a weird idea that somebody had one day

        • Tyson

          Sharing music with people that you like if you choose to is a weird idea that someone had someday? Is that why college radio, mix tapes, mix CDs, Napster, and Spotify have all been so popular? You are dim.

    • I do too, but make it optional. There have been numerous times I’ve heard a friends or strangers playlist and wished I had it to listen to.