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…)

TripAdvisor Gains Google Play Music Integration to Play Trip-Related Tunes

TripAdvisor and Google announced a new partnership today that puts Google Play Music inside of the popular trip planning and booking service to help you get in the mood for your upcoming vacations. Through a new update to TripAdvisor, you’ll be able to stream locally-curated or tailored playlists from places all over the world. That’s a fancy way of saying that as you plan your trip to Italy, you’ll hear music you might find while in a cafe, sipping espresso. Or maybe you’ll just oonce-oonce it out for a bit once you step foot in Germany.  (more…)

Google Cast Offer Gets You 3 Months of YouTube Red for $0.99, Which Means Google Play Music Too

YouTube Red, the ad-free version of YouTube that also includes a subscription to Google Play Music at a price of $9.99 per month, can be had as a Google Cast (Chromecast) offer for just $0.99 for three months. At less than a dollar, I’d say signing up is probably worth the hassle if it gets you the next few months of ad-free YouTube streaming with a bonus of the Google Play Music collection on the side.

If you own a Cast-eligible device, you can check to see if the offer is available to you by hitting up the Google Cast Offers page, linked below. Once redirected, the site will check all of your devices to see if the YouTube Red can be yours. If it can be, the click of a “redeem” button followed by a short sign-up process over at YouTube should be all that is required.

Enjoy.  (more…)

Poll: Do You Still Buy Music?

Pretty simple question, right? If you are wondering about the timing, it’s because the internet media fumbled and slobbered all over itself yesterday when a report surfaced suggesting that Apple was going to kill off paid music downloads within the next couple of years. Why would Apple do that, you ask? I think it’s pretty obvious that subscription streaming is the future, or at the very least, these tech companies are going to try to keep convincing you that it is. Apple has already called the report “not true,” but that doesn’t mean it isn’t an interesting idea. Ideas like this, though, are only that if the world has stopped buying music (sales are in decline) and is instead turning to streaming services exclusively. Then again, maybe Apple doesn’t care if you still buy music because they see more money in the long-run with you subscribing to streaming services.

And that brings us back to our poll for the day – do you still buy music? Do you pay for albums online or by physical copies of them? Have you given up buying music and have instead attached yourself to a subscription streaming service like Google Play Music or Apple Music? Do you both buy and pay for streaming? Feel free to answer the simple yes/no question before taking to the comments to explain.

Do You Still Buy Music?

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Tip: Not Seeing Podcasts in Google Play Music App? Hit the Refresh Button.

If you have yet to see the Podcasts section show up in your Google Play Music app, a simple tap on the “Refresh” button in settings should force it to arrive. Seriously, just pop into your app, slide out the side navigation menu, tap on Settings and then “Refresh” and you should then see the option for Podcasts just under Music Library.  (more…)