What is Google Music store?

Google Play Music was a music and podcast streaming service and online music locker operated by Google. The service was announced on May 10, 2011 with an invitation-only beta period starting soon after. After six months, Google Play Music was publicly launched on November 16, 2011.

Google Play Music offered users the ability to upload up to 50,000 of their own songs to the cloud, stream purchased/uploaded music to any device, and subscribe to the Google Play Music “All Access” service for on-demand access to millions of songs and expert-curated playlists. The service also integrated with YouTube Music and allowed users to access their music collection from YouTube.

In May 2018, YouTube Music was introduced as Google’s new premium music streaming service separate from Google Play Music. Then in August 2020, Google announced that Google Play Music would be shutting down, with users transitioned to YouTube Music. The shutdown was gradual throughout late 2020, with Google Play Music no longer accessible as of December 2020.

(Wikipedia, “Google Play Music”)

Music Library

Google Play Music offers access to an extensive library of songs to stream and download. Users can access over 40 million songs through a paid subscription, providing a vast selection of music covering many genres and artists [1]. The service also allows users to upload up to 50,000 of their own songs to the cloud, which can then be streamed alongside the Google Play Music catalog [2]. This provides a lot of flexibility for users to access both a huge licensed music library as well as their personal music collection through one service.

With over 40 million tracks available and room for 50,000 personal uploads, Google Play Music offers an incredibly deep music library for subscribers to enjoy. The 50,000 song upload limit is quite generous compared to other similar services and should satisfy most users’ personal collection needs [3].

Subscription Plans

Google offers both free and paid subscription plans for its music services. The free option is YouTube Music, which provides access to YouTube’s catalog of over 80 million official songs, albums, live performances, and more 1. With a free YouTube Music account, you can stream music with ads, create playlists, and get basic recommendations.

For an ad-free experience, YouTube Music Premium costs $9.99 per month for an individual plan or $14.99 per month for a family plan up to 6 people 2. This gives you offline and background listening, downloads, unlimited skips, and audio-only mode. It also removes ads on YouTube when signed in to your Premium account.

Previously, Google Play Music offered a subscription for $9.99 per month. However, this service has now been discontinued in favor of the combined YouTube Music and YouTube Premium offering.

Platform Availability

Google Music can be accessed on Android, iOS, and desktop platforms. On Android, the Google Play Music app is pre-installed on most devices running Android 4.0.3 or higher. According to Google Play’s list of supported devices, Google Music is compatible with phones, tablets, Android TV, Android Auto, and Chromebooks from major manufacturers like Samsung, LG, Motorola, Sony, and more.

For iOS devices, Google Music is available through the iOS app on iPhone, iPad and iPod touch running iOS 8.0 or later. On desktop, Google Music can be accessed through the Music.Google.com website on Mac, Windows, and Linux computers using the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Microsoft Edge, or Safari.

Google Music also integrates with Google Nest and Google Home smart speakers and displays. You can use voice commands or the Google Home app to control music playback on multiple compatible devices simultaneously using multi-room control, as noted in Google’s support article.

Music Upload and Storage

One of the key features of Google Music is the ability to upload your own music library to the cloud. According to Google’s support page, you can upload up to 100,000 songs to your Google Music library (source). This provides ample storage space for most people’s music collections. Some users have reported being able to store even more than the stated limit (source).

Uploading your music library allows you to access your personal collection anywhere, from any device. This makes Google Music an excellent option for storing your music in the cloud and streaming it on the go. The upload limit is generous enough to support even large personal libraries of tens of thousands of songs.

Music Discovery

Google Music makes discovering new music effortless through features like Samples and song recognition. Samples provides a tailored selection of song previews based on your listening history and preferences. As you listen to Samples, you can like or dislike them to further refine recommendations [1]. Google Music also automatically recognizes the songs playing around you, whether that’s at a coffee shop or in a TV show. The Now Playing history logs all these songs for you to easily find later [2]. There’s also a dedicated Discover tab in the YouTube Music app that recommends playlists, artists, and other content you may enjoy [3]. With these smart features, Google Music makes it effortless to expand your musical horizons.

Playback Features

Google Play Music offers high quality audio streaming and downloads. Users can stream music at up to 320kbps, providing excellent audio quality for streaming (Google Play Help). Downloaded music can be saved for offline listening at up to 320kbps quality as well.

In addition to a user’s personal library, Google Play Music offers pre-programmed radio stations based on genre, mood, activity, decade, and artist. The stations are powered by advanced algorithms to provide a customized listening experience (Google Play Help). Users can thumbs up and thumbs down songs to further refine the stations to their preferences.

Overall, Google Play Music offers robust playback capabilities for streaming, downloading, and radio listening across devices.

Ease of Use

Google Play Music provides an intuitive user interface that makes navigating and playing music easy for users.

The home screen features clear sections like “Listen Now” that surfaces personalized recommendations, “Stations” for radio-like streaming based on genres or artists, and “Library” for managing your own collection. Everything is thoughtfully laid out with large buttons and images.

Searching is quick and effective. Typing in an artist or song immediately pulls up matching results. There are also handy options to filter, like searching just your own uploads.

According to this UX case study, Google Play Music aims to provide a seamless user experience that makes enjoying music effortless. The clean interface gets out of the way and lets users access content and recommendations with minimal hassle.

Audio Quality

Google Music offers high quality audio streaming for subscribers. According to SoundGuys, Google Music streams and converts uploaded music to 320kbps in the MP3 format. This provides better than CD-quality audio. By comparison, YouTube Music streams at 256kbps AAC for most songs.

Google Music does not appear to offer different streaming bitrates or quality settings like some competing services. The default 320kbps bitrate provides excellent audio quality for most listeners. However, audiophiles may prefer other services like Tidal that offer lossless streaming up to 1411kbps.

Overall, Google Music provides high quality 320kbps streaming that should satisfy most users. While it lacks selectable bitrates or lossless quality, the default setting is higher than competitors like Spotify (max 320kbps) and on par with Amazon Music HD (max 850kbps).


Google Play Music competes directly with other major music streaming services like Spotify, Apple Music, and YouTube Music. Many consider Spotify to be the leading music streaming service overall thanks to its large music library, curated playlists, social features, and support across platforms. However, Google Play Music stands out for its tight integration with YouTube and the ability to upload your own music library. While Apple Music boasts better exclusives and human curation, Google Play Music tends to be cheaper and work better across Android and iOS. Overall, Google Play Music holds its own against competitors, offering a quality music streaming option with unique features like music locker storage. But Spotify still reigns supreme for most mainstream music listeners.

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