Does play music app still work?

Google Play Music was a music and podcast streaming service and online music locker operated by Google. It was launched in November 2011 as Google Music with its music store going live the following month. Google Play Music offered over 40 million songs for users to stream or purchase and download for offline playback.

In May 2020, Google announced that Google Play Music would be discontinued by the end of the year as the company shifts its focus to the newer YouTube Music streaming service. Google Play Music is no longer available for new users to sign up and existing users are encouraged to transfer their music libraries and preferences to YouTube Music before Play Music shuts down completely.

Play Music App Status

Google Play Music officially shut down on December 3, 2020 as per Google’s announcement ( The app and service still function for now, but Google has stated it will stop working at some point in 2022.

Although Google Play Music is no longer available for new users to sign up, existing users can still access the service for the time being. As noted on Reddit, “The conversion, while you can say ‘works’, is disappointing. YouTube Music is nothing like Google Play Music. RIP decent application.” (

Google has not provided an exact end date for when Play Music will stop working entirely, only stating it will be sometime in 2022. They recommend users transfer their playlists and music libraries to YouTube Music before that occurs.

Uploading Music

Google Play Music will no longer allow users to upload new music to the service. This capability was shut down around July 2020 when Google began transitioning users to YouTube Music, according to a Reddit thread. So it’s now impossible to add any new music to your Play Music library.

However, any music already uploaded to Play Music is still available for streaming and download. Playlists and libraries will remain intact until the service shuts down later in 2021. But the storage limit for uploads has been frozen — you can’t add more tracks even if you have room left under the quota. So make sure to download any essential music before Play Music goes offline completely.

Radio Stations

For users who accessed Google Play Music’s pre-created personalized radio stations based on songs, artists or albums, these will continue functioning after Google Play Music shut down on December 2020 (source). The recommendation algorithm providing endless music according to your preferences is still in place. These radio stations can be accessed through the migration to YouTube Music.

However, one major limitation is that users can no longer create new radio stations in Google Play Music after December 2020. So any personalized radio stations based on a song, artist, or album will have had to be created prior to the shutdown date in order to still access them now. The ability to generate new autoplaying radio stations tailored to your tastes is a feature that disappeared along with Google Play Music (source).

Purchased Music

Users who previously purchased music through Google Play Music were given a limited window to download or transfer their libraries when the service shut down in December 2020. According to The Verge, Google allowed users to transfer purchases and uploads to YouTube Music until December 2020.

After that deadline, previously purchased music is no longer available through Google Play Music. However, users can still access their purchase history and download the content by using Google Takeout to export their data. This provides a final chance to save purchased content before it is permanently inaccessible through Google’s services.

In summary, the ability to download or stream purchases from Google Play Music ended in December 2020. But users can still use Google Takeout as a last resort to retrieve their purchased music libraries.


Existing Play Music playlists are still accessible and available after the shutdown according to Google’s support page (source). Users can view and play playlists they created previously. However, the ability to add new music to playlists is limited. Some playlists, such as auto-generated ones, can no longer accept new additions.

While Play Music playlists still work for now, Google recommends users switch to YouTube Music and transfer Playlists before support ends completely. The Reddit community for Play Music users is one resource available for help migrating playlists.

Alternatives to the Play Music App

There are several viable alternatives now that the Play Music app is shut down. Some of the most popular replacements are:

  • YouTube Music – YouTube launched its own music streaming platform as a replacement for Play Music. It allows users to upload music, access official songs and albums, and create playlists. Features like Smart Downloads also make it convenient for being offline or with limited connectivity (1).

  • Spotify – With its vast music library and popularity, Spotify has emerged as a leading contender. However, free users deal with ads and cannot download songs for offline playback (2).

  • Apple Music – For iPhone users especially, Apple Music allows uploading personal libraries with a subscription. Recommendations are usually on point too. But those without Apple devices lose out on deeper integrations (3).

While migrating apps, libraries, and playlists takes effort, some alternatives provide tools and insights to ease the transition. Evaluating different options based on individual use cases allows finding the best Google Play Music replacement.


Migrating Playlists

If you have playlists built up in Google Play Music that you want to transfer over to YouTube Music, Google provides some options.

Using Google Takeout (, you can download all of your Google Play Music data, including playlists. This gives you a copy of your playlists that you can manually recreate in YouTube Music or import to other music services.

There are also some third-party tools and services that can help transfer your Google Play Music playlists automatically:

  • FreeYourMusic
  • Tunemymusic
  • Soundiiz

These tools connect with both Google Play Music and YouTube Music (as well as other music streaming services) to directly migrate your playlists for you without downloading and reuploading your music library.

So whether using Google Takeout for a manual migration or a third-party tool for automated transfer, you do have options for bringing your cherished Google Play Music playlists over to YouTube Music or another streaming service.


Many users were unhappy with the abrupt shutdown of Google Play Music in favor of YouTube Music. A highly upvoted Reddit thread criticized the shutdown, with over 1,300 comments from disgruntled users.

The main complaints centered around losing features that were available in Google Play Music but not yet implemented in YouTube Music. This included the ability to easily upload personal music libraries, advanced playlists, radio stations based on likes, and a seamless experience across devices.

While YouTube Music aims to replicate all of the core functions of Google Play Music, many users felt the shutdown happened too fast before feature parity was achieved. There is a sense that loyal Google Play Music subscribers were not given sufficient transition time or support. The shutdown removed access to years of compiled playlists, stations, purchases and uploads – all at once.


In summary, the Google Play Music service has been discontinued. No additional uploads or purchases are allowed, and the app itself is no longer functional. Google is pushing users towards YouTube Music as their preferred music streaming option going forward.

Users’ previous music libraries and playlists from Play Music are able to be transferred over to YouTube Music. However, the migration process has had mixed reviews, with some users reporting missing songs and playlists. Additionally, there are key differences in features between the services that users should be aware of.

Going forward, YouTube Music aims to be Google’s sole music streaming offering. It contains plenty of the core functionality that Play Music provided. However, users have voiced valid complaints around its recommendations, lack of uploads, and reduced feature set from Play Music. As Google continues developing YouTube Music, it remains to be seen whether it can fully replace Play Music for former loyal users.

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