Google Play Music
|Opened||November 16, 2011|
|Platforms||Android, iOS, web|
|Format||MP3 @ 320 kbit/s|
|Restrictions||Non-concurrent playback limited to 10 devices (4 for All Access), songs can be downloaded from web twice|
|Catalogue||22 million songs|
|Preview||90 seconds (30 seconds for songs shorter than 2:30)|
|Trial||30-day free trial of All Access|
|Features||Free online storage of 20,000 songs; Chromecast support; custom radio stations and unlimited on-demand streaming (All Access)|
Google Play Music is a music streaming service and online music locker operated by Google. Users with standard accounts can upload and listen to up to 20,000 songs at no cost. An "All Access" subscription, available for $9.99 per month, entitles users to on-demand streaming of any song in the Google Play Music catalogue and the ability to create custom radio stations. Users can purchase individual tracks through the music store section of Google Play. In addition to offering music streaming for Internet-connected devices, the Google Play Music mobile app allows music to be stored and listened to offline.
The service was announced on May 10, 2011, and after a six-month, invitation-only beta period, it was publicly launched on November 16. Google Play Music offers more than 22 million tracks for purchase or streaming. It is currently available in 34 countries for Android and iOS devices and web browsers that support Adobe Flash.
A cloud media player was first hinted at by Google during their 2010 I/O developer conference, when Google Senior Vice-President of Social Vic Gundotra showed a "Music" section of the Android Market that would allow users to download music through the market. The service was announced by Google on May 10, 2011, at that year's I/O conference, under the name "Music Beta". It was officially released as "Google Music", before a subsequent rebrand to Google Play. Features available at launch included free online music storage of up to 20,000 songs, as well as a music store. Initially, the service was only available by invitation and only to United States residents.
On November 16, 2011, Google publicly launched Google Music in the US with a music store, Google+ integration, artist hubs, and purchasing reflected on T-Mobile phone bills. The three major label partnerships announced were with Universal Music Group, EMI, and Sony Music Entertainment, along with other smaller labels. To celebrate the launch, several artists released free songs and exclusive albums through the store. The Rolling Stones debuted the live recording Brussels Affair (Live 1973) and Pearl Jam made available a live concert recorded in Toronto as 9.11.2011 Toronto, Canada.
According to Google, there are hundreds of free songs in Google Play and millions available for purchase. Users can also upload up to 20,000 of their songs to the service free of charge. Songs in Google Music are priced at US$1.29, $0.99, $0.69, and free. Users also get personalized recommendations based on what they listen to the most. Music can be played on the Google Play website or via the Google Play Music mobile app Android and iOS devices. Songs can be stored for offline playback.
Google also noted that "from time to time we'll be showcasing exclusive concerts and interviews available in Google Play."
The service allows the user to automatically create a playlist of "songs that go well together" using a feature known as Instant Mix. Music and playlists imported to Google Play Music can not alter playlists in other music program libraries, while changes in other applications are reflected in the Google Play music library.
On October 29, 2012, Google announced that the service would add a "song matching" feature: the capability to scan a user's music library and make available any songs that are present on Google's servers without the need to upload them. Google also announced partnership with Warner Music Group, the last major music label not already presented in Google Music. Google also announced that music purchases would become available in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, and the UK on November 13, 2012.
Google Play Music is currently available in Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bolivia, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Ukraine, United Kingdom and the United States.
At Google I/O on May 15, 2013, Google announced Google Play Music All Access, an on-demand music streaming service that would allow users access to stream any song in the service's catalogue. It debuted immediately in the US for $9.99 a month ($7.99 if signed up before June 30). The new service lets users combine the All Access catalog with their own library of up to 20,000 songs. All Access is currently available in Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bolivia, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Ukraine, United Kingdom and the United States.
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