Google Play Music Gets a Big Update With New Home Screen, Smarter Recommendations

Google announced a major update to Google Play Music this morning, one that will show you smarter and timelier recommendations with a new home screen layout and always-available offline playback. This is a big one, and it starts arriving today.

Up front, when you open the new app after updating, Google is showing you a new layout that they are calling the “ultimate personal DJ.” That means bigger cards of playlists and stations of “what you like, but also when you like it.” The images above give you a good feel for how this will look, including a “Recents” button, that we’re assuming gets you into recently played tracks. The update isn’t live yet, but my gut tells me that there is more to this new interface than just a fancy new home screen.  (more…)

NPR Says Google Play Music Podcasts Arrive Monday

According to an NPR email that has gone out to its partners, we should be seeing (or is it hearing?) Google Play Music Podcasts arrive on Monday, April 18. While I think it’s safe to say that we are all a little hesitant to mark it on our calendars, this seems much more official than Bill Simmons spouting off to Twitter. This is NPR, after all, sharing with who knows how many partners, Google’s plan to release podcasts. The point of this email is to let their partners know how they can prepare for the launch and probably isn’t something they would casually, softly, throw out there.  (more…)

Bill Simmons Says Podcasts are Coming to Google Play Music This Month (Updated)

Back in October of last year, Google announced that podcasts would soon join the line-up of offerings on Google Play Music. October seems like a hell of a long time ago, so as you can imagine, many of us have been itching for some news on when they might actually arrive. According to former ESPN and Grantland talking head, Bill Simmons, we should see podcasts show up this month (as in, February).  (more…)