Google Play Music update introduces genre radio stations and new download queue


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The Google Play Music update that has been slowly rolling out since yesterday looks to have finally arrived for just about everyone in the Play Store today. The update doesn’t just address bugs, bringing with it the all new genre radio stations for All Access subscribers.

Previously, you had to pick an artist and let Google’s algorithms perform their magic but now you can start listening to stations pulling up musical artists only in the genres you care about. This is great for discovering new music and genres like like hip-hop, indie, pop, or even Christian/gospel are all included. What’s more, you can dive deeper into a genre if you were looking to listen to, say, 90’s alternative or electropop. It’s actually pretty damn amazing.

Google Play Music 5.2 update Genres queue.jpg

Also new is the download queue for keeping track of what’s currently being “pinned” to your Android device, and allows you to pause/resume downloads as you like. Small addition for sure, but just another building block Google Play Music needs to become the must-have music app for enthusiasts. Can you guys think of any features you’re currently missing from the app?

Side note: Google is currently offering 6 months of free Google Play Music All Access to Motorola Droid Ultra, Motorola Droid Maxx, and Motorola Droid Mini owners (no Moto X?).

[Google Play Music on Google Play]

Chris Chavez
I've been obsessed with consumer technology for about as long as I can remember, be it video games, photography, or mobile devices. If you can plug it in, I have to own it. Preparing for the day when Android finally becomes self-aware and I get to welcome our new robot overlords.

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  1. Genre based stations is the ONLY thing I’ve been missing from All Access, well desktop support too, but now it’s perfect!

    1. If you’re using Chrome on Windows then it’s not too bad on the desktop if you install the Chrome app, set it to start in its own window, then pin it to the taskbar. It’s not a real EXE, but then again I got sick of Spotify wanting to update itself.

  2. Creating playlist using more than one filter, example: a playlist in the country genre using only songs rated 4 stars or higher.

    1. Google uses Thumbs Up and Thumbs Down. The star rating was a lab feature.

      But I don’t think that’s important to mention right now. =.S

  3. It needs to be able to create a station based off of a playlist, not just off of a single seed.

  4. I never use spotify or pandora anymore. Love unlimited skips and the new music google helps me discover.

  5. Okay, rant time. I had All access, and loved it. I ended up canceling my subscription because I don’t get to listen to much music during school. Well, after my subscription ended, every single last song that I had “added to library” or my playlists was gone. In other words, songs that I hadn’t purchased were removed. Now I lost 2 months of discovered music. Note to all you guys out there… take screen shots or something before you cancel your subscriptions. Otherwise, discoveries go bye bye. I even contacted their customer service and they couldn’t give less of a dump. I’d call it a pretty decent sized bug.

    /end rant

    1. You were paying for access to premium service, then you cancelled and lost access to premium service. I don’t understand the confusion.

      1. He thinks he purchased those songs that he marked as favorites. “Add to your library” can be confusing . . .

        1. I’m not retarded guys. What I’m saying is, it would be nice if they were unplayable and still listed. When you cancel the subscription, they vanish into thin air so you can’t even tell what songs you had in there. I understand that I don’t own those songs, nor do I expect them to just “give” them to me. But for goodness sakes, let me buy the songs I liked don’t just send them to oblivion.

          1. I bet there was a line while you were cancelling your subscription that read something like “by cancelling your subscription you will lose all songs you added to your library that have not been purchased. are you sure you want to cancel?”.

            Of course I’m just speculating.

          2. I wonder – if you subscribed again, would they reappear? It could simply be a flag in the database rather than an actual deletion. Something just makes me think Google would never actually delete information about what music you liked! ;-) Perhaps it would be possible to re-subscribe, get the lists back, screenshot them, and then unsubscribe again and get a refund?

          3. Also might be worth looking at the Google Takeout page for your account, in case it still retains the playlists…

          4. I believe that they would probably reappear. A couple of months ago, my subscription got accidentally cancelled due to Google’s software glitch. Once they fixed it, I had to re-subscribe (still got the $7.99/month price) and all my old pinned albums were there again. It might be worth resubscribing for a month to get the playlists back.

  6. My boss actually cancelled his membership and went back to Pandora because apparently Pandora lets you play multiple stations at the same time? That’s a pretty awesome feature. I would love that in Google Play Music :-)

    1. Never even thought about that. Hopefully they’ll add it soon! :)

      1. +1000 to this!!! I want the ability to be able to shuffle my different genre stations.

        1. Should have read your comment. I would love that as well. Until then I’ll keep replaying my same music. =.S

          But, I want to keep finding new music that apparently came out millenniums ago. LoL!!

    2. Huh? I don’t get it. What do you mean? Like it combines different mixes? So you can combine a Rock station with a Techno station?

  7. i want a premium service to download FLAC files or some type of Lossless Audio Codec.. for audiophiles like myself

    1. Keep on dreaming. They’d have to host much larger files, costing them a lot more. If this ever happened, you’d have to pay a lot more than the meager $8-10/mo that it is now.

      1. i know bro thats why i said “premium”. to me All-Access is not premium, its more of a subscription service with 192kbps files…i would happily pay $15-$20 per month for higher formats…just imagine combining that with LG G2s HI-FI software..match made in heaven.. lol

        1. Touche. Still, I don’t think it will happen. Right now, audiophiles is a very small niche market, sadly. Most people can’t even tell the different between CD quality and YouTube quality, much less hi-fi. Plus, a lot of people don’t have nice enough headphones or speakers to really appreciate higher formats, lol. I would personally love high quality headphones, but I just can’t afford them right now. I think a lot of people are in that boat.

  8. Sd card storage

  9. The genre function is certainly lacking. Even though Pandora’s algorithms are terrible (although, Google’s aren’t any better when creating an artist station), at least you could add multiple artists to a station. I tried the metal station and the results were disastrous. It’s too damn general–you can’t specify black metal, for instance, so you can go from Black Sabbath to Gorguts to Slayer, for example. This is fine if you want to listen to a very broad spectrum, but it’s terrible for honing in on a certain sub-genre. And yes, I realize you can create a station based off of say Death for a death metal specific station, but like I said before, Google’s song suggestion algorithms are pretty terrible. I started a Death station and it suggests Cannibal Corpse and Dying Fetus… really? Even on stations that I have tried to curate, like Fun. or Taylor Swift they still suggest crap like Bieber and Katy Perry even though I keep thumbsdowning and deleting their songs from my queue. If All Access didn’t have unlimited skips and unlimited searchable listening, I would have unsubscribed by now. Please fix these fatal flaws, Google!!! /rant

    1. Cannibal Corpse and Dying Fetus!? You fer real bruh?

      1. “I preferred their early stuff, tbh.” ;-)

      2. Let me guess, you like one direction? To each their own.

      3. Unfortunately I am. How could they sully Death by putting CC and DF on the same queue. Pandora usually isn’t even that bad with song selections.

  10. Still missing: Native scrobbling.

  11. Play music will never be perfect in my opinion because of data limits, service area and phone storage limits

    1. What? Then in that case, no media player will be. LoL!!

      1. I know its hard to explain but play music is still my favorite though

  12. This may be slightly off topic but, I really don’t get why Chromecast controller notification for play music (and netflix) don’t have volume sliders. I hate having to go into the app to hit the volume down key, or worse, use the tv remote. I know it sounds trivial but it just seems so obvious to me to have a slider there.

    1. No, no. Technology is about making the simple things simpler. Complain about the trivial things. That’s what makes the difference. That one little feature makes you continue to use the service.

      The only reason I got the HTC One over the S4 was because the speakers were facing the front and that would good in loud places. LoL!!

  13. I would like to mark an album or even a song as owned. More for uploaded music, but would also be handy when you see different versions of the same album and you really don’t care to see it in purchase suggestions.

  14. I like the play history feature in Spotify. When I listen to stations to discover new music, I can come back to my history later to know what the songs were I heard. Makes it easy to add to your library. That’s the main reason I don’t switch, funny as it may seem.

  15. Hopefully this update won’t wipe everything out of my play lists like the last 1 did.

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