Well, I must share that writing a Google Play Music Review has been the most difficult so far. I struggled for a while using it on my iPhone; then I had to open in Nexus to understand that Google Play Music does not have any unlimited music access on iOS smartphones! However, it was when I opened the website I got the most of it.
First things first, to get unlimited access to Music, you can log in to your account and get a 14-day free trial of the music service. That’s much less when compared to the 30-days trial by Spotify or 3-months trial in Apple Music. Google Play Music has been a competitor of all the other paid streaming music services when it comes to showcasing mainstream content. And why not, Google owns the music and video streaming giant called YouTube. In this post, we will review the music service and rate it on parameters of:
- Website or App UI
- Music Library
- Music Player & Quality
- Also read: Free Music Downloads
Google Music comes with two layers of plans:
- Individual Account Plan that costs $9.99/month
- Whereas the Family Plan for up to 6 members costs $14.99 a month
In India, it costs Rs. 99 per month and there seems to be no family plan introduced in the country so far
The website UI is excellent. It’s literally the best layout I’ve seen on a music streaming website. For the Apps, it’s easy to navigate, fast and good enough like any other music apps. Nothing really great though. Before you can access Google Play Music, you need to sign in from your Google account and choose from the subscription plans available in the country.
- Also read: Best Free Music Downloader
Before you select a plan, choose to go for the free trial (that doesn’t require a credit card), and you will have unlimited access to the Music app. Try it for free and then select the plan you seem fit. The homepage gives you various Collections to discover. These are based on the day, time, country, and the previous listening history of the user. For example, I got this on a Saturday Afternoon: I’m guessing the algorithm works in a way wherein it guesses the activity people might be doing on a particular day, such as Relaxing at home, House-keeping, Weekend, or just a happy high on yourself! You can choose to either choose from the collection, or explore your Music Library, Recent Songs, Listen to Top Charts, New Releases, or Browse radio stations.
In a free version of Google Play Music, you can only get to listen to the radio that includes songs curated by Google for free streaming. The list includes old songs of only regional artists. Also, you get advertisements too, and you can only skip six songs in an hour. The unlimited service is excellent for Android App users though. When you search for a song, you will get the links to both the audio and video version (if available).
The video link will redirect you to YouTube app. Since you use your Google account to access YouTube or Google Music, your history is known to Google, and its songs suggestion algorithm will serve you better results. Whereas, in the iOS app, you will only find video versions of songs while you search using the free subscription (because you can’t subscribe). I’d give it an 8/10, for the website, and compatibility with Android phones.
Google Play Music boasts of a huge 35 million songs library! That’s more than the 30 million libraries each of Apple Music & Spotify. Talk of Mainstream artists, there’s no disappointment at all! Almost all the artists I listen to, and all the other famous artists I don’t listen to, are all there! Hans Zimmer, Ed Sheeran, Imagine Dragons, Shawn Mendes, DJ Snake, The Chainsmokers, Adele, you talk of anybody who is famous in their genre!
I could quickly search for other artists I wanted to listen to and found them: Coldplay, Steven Wilson, AR Rahman, Amit Trivedi, Michael Jackson, Daughtry, Zayn, Maroon 5, Drake, The Weeknd, etc. There is also an enormous collection of all the regional languages such as in India you can find many famous songs in Tamil, Malayalam, Telugu, Kannada, Bhojpuri, Marathi, etc. Therefore, I’d give the library a 10/10!
There are two ways to listen to music on Google Play Music –
- Streaming from the songs, charts, radio
- Music Locker – where you can put your own songs on your device and play through the app
The App supports MP3, FLAC, WMA, AAC, and OGG formats. However, the streaming happens at a 320-kbps bitrate which is excellent as compared to its competitors!
Talking of what you can do while listening: Apart from the basics of Play, Pause, Forward, Back, Shuffle and Repeat options, you can like/dislike, add songs to the library or a playlist, or create a radio station wherein Google will play similar songs like the one you’re listening. It’s identical to the concept of scrobbling. For the Quality and Options, I’d give it a 10/10 for sure! Featured Photo Credit: Tech Crunch