Google Play Music quietly reintroduces yearly 4 device de-authorization limit [BLOODY HELL]


Google Play Music de-auth limit reinstated

In a move that will leave some of you cursing the heavens above and others not giving 2 flying effs about, Google has quietly reinstated their previous de-auth limit on Google Play Music. As found in both their support page — and in the Google Play Music settings (web) — users can once again only de-authorize 4 devices from their account per year. This could prove particularly troublesome for those of you who are constantly buying the next best thing, or found yourself with excessive hardware returns. For everyone else, it’s business as usual.

Remember, only 10 devices can be authorized at a time, so before you know it, you may find your Google Play Music backed up with no way to authorize new devices. It’s annoying and we’re sure it has more to the deals Google struck with record companies. No matter what the case — we don’t like it. If you’d like to manage your authorized devices, you can do so in your browser by visiting Google Play Music’s settings page here. Unfortunately, it looks like because this is retroactive, I’m maxed out for the year. Ugh.

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. I’m done with Google play music until it allows me to add music to my library via my phone or tablet.

    1. Huh? You can’t?

      1. Not that bothered, worst case ill copy most of my music onto my sdcard.and stop using google play music.

        Just a minor inconvenience, for those with no sdcard slots… hahhaha

    2. I’ve added music to my library from my phone before.

      1. Really? How?

        1. Well I don’t know if you tried it this way but I downloaded an EP on my phone and it synced to my phone and was also available on my laptop. Not sure how but I did not question it anyway. lol

  2. At this point even iTunes is looking better than Google Play Music :

    1. Don’t be silly about that one

      GPM doesn’t make you do a giant upgrade every time you open it.

  3. Even I don’t ROM much anymore, but that might do it for me.

  4. I’m already at my limit,no more deauthorizations.

    What SUX is the same device is listed multiple times if you switch ROMS,what a CLUSTERF***!

    First time I try to authorize a device & can’t,I’m canceling my subscription,even at the reduced rate of $7.95/mo.

    I aleady have Rhapsody anyway,so,no pain in walking away from it.

    1. It’s going to take me a lot to leave my $7.95 rate. Also, I noticed flashing ROMs doesn’t add another auth anymore (tried it with my Nexus 4 and Nexus 5). They must have changed that in the last month or two because it used to add an auth. Not anymore. Call Google and they’ll do a one-time deauth of all your devices. You should be fine then, even when re-flashing.

  5. If you’ve paid for music, any “illegal” download of it is no longer illegal – you are making a clone of already purchased property (well technically, making a clone of data that you have purchased the rights to possess). Source : law.

    If you have paid for it, just download a second copy, it is not illegal and it is 100% morally fine. It’s unpaid music without as support that is bad legally and morally.

  6. Evidently it’s retroactive. I just tried to de-authorize a device I don’t use any more and it said I had already done it too many times. WTF? I may just have to go back to using Amazon Music.

    1. Contact customer support via the link in the article.
      They’re gonna authorize a “One-Time” exemption for me & then afterwards,if I run into a problem,I have a rep I can contact directly when the issue arises.

      If enough people do this,perhaps GOOGLE will take another look at this policy.

  7. I’ve never started with Google Play Music…been using Pandora. Was sthinking about it, but I guess I now have good reason to avoid it. I do flash a lot.

    1. Personally I prefer Slacker as it doesn’t have the limits pandora does and has a better selection of the type of music I like to listen to.

      1. I may take a look at that some time. Another thing I like about Pandora is it seems to be the only one that is coming built into apps in cars. Quite easy to use in my Impala. Don’t need to touch the phone.

  8. The Amazon music app (used to be amazon mp3) is the only music store I can tolerate. I have never had problems removing old devices from amazon. I have never been a fan of google play music. Mainly I can’t find the music I download on my phone using a filebrowser. I generally hate all music stores because of these stupid issues, i-tunes being the worst with their “protected” files (recently you can use itunes files on non-apple products)

    1. The “protected” music format ended on iTunes a few years ago. Not to mention you can take all of your protected music and convert it in iTunes so it no longer has that restriction anymore. You can get it to play on anything.

      1. iTunes, DRM free for 5 years now.

        Memes never die.

        1. It goes to show you how long its been since I even used it!

          1. Same here – I googled it.

    2. Amazon does have a slightly better policy. When you deauthorize a device, it takes 30 days for the slot to open up again. So if you’re full, you can’t put on a new device for a month, but it’s better than 4 per year.

      The thing I don’t like is that the uploader software is separate from the player/store software so my laptop counts as two devices.

  9. …and this is why I don’t use Google Music :)

  10. This is nightmare for chronic ROM flashers. Xposed ftw.

    1. I wonder if someone will somehow make a work-around. Probably isn’t possible.

  11. That’s Google for you. Take 3 steps forward and one step back. I probably go thru like 4 or 5 Android devices a year not to even talk of my iOS devices.

  12. I’m a chronic ROM aholic, this is gonna be a pain for me. Not happy!

    1. I didn’t think about the ROMaholics, I guess it’s a bigger issue than it first seemed. Seems like an odd restriction to have, I don’t really get what they are trying to stop with this.

  13. Where’s the family multi user plans? I love their service but the pricing doesn’t work for me.

  14. That meand i am maxxed out as well with my constant Phone swapping and rom swapping danm it.

    1. #firstworld problems.

      1. Says the person with the Internet-connected device…….

      2. yea as a realty broke person thanks.I needed be someone who wanted knock me down a peg who is miffed over it

      3. Right. We should all sit around worrying about the world, 24/7.

        That is such a self-righteous comment, that I rank up there with the very racist ‘white people problems’.

        1. White privlage…or the oh so great..check your privlage

  15. You know what doesn’t have de-authorization limits? Torrents. Once again, pirates get the superior experience (sadly).

    1. until you ISP starts tracking your downloads and calls and emails after one download…so a friend told me anyway…I don’t look good in eye patches.

      1. Yep. I missed an episode of GoT one week, and HBOGo wasn’t working for some reason, so I snagged it off a Torrent. I’m running a blacklist, and I still got a note in the mail from my ISP. Damn. ONE freaking torrent and I got snagged. Not worth it for me, but it’s true that these anti-piracy measures only hurt those trying to play by the rules.

      2. VPN. It’s cheap and easy.

        1. who are you using? Have you heard anything about BTGuard?

  16. Don’t be evil…

  17. Yup I’m just going to roll everything to Amazon and Spotify.

  18. Shocking that people actually use google music.

    1. Whynot frees up my sd card by having all my music in a cloud

      1. Which is utterly useless when you have no cellular reception.

        Not everyone hides in the city 24/7. Some of us get out in the world… much of which has poor or no reception.

        1. And if I ever find myself in that situation, chances are I have a gig or two worth of music on my phone from it… there is more to the world than the city… but I wouldn’t call it hiding there.

    2. Google Music All Access has some absolutely awesome functionality, such as…
      -Unlimited playlist creation
      -Create stations and playlists off of almost anything (Song, Album, Artist, Genre)
      -Ability to quickly sort songs in your Now Playing que.
      -Ability to dismiss songs before they’re played
      -Permanent Caching, and to either the SD Card or to Internal Memory
      -Temporary Caching management of currently streaming music
      -Cloud storage of your song collection
      -Ability to change audio quality to help cloud streaming in poor data situations
      -Automatic Album Art for your music
      -Equalizer control
      -Ability to block Explicit songs

      And probably a lot more that I’m not thinking of off hand. Now, there are a bunch of music apps that offer some of those. But I can’t think of any that offer all of that control.

    3. No, what’s really shocking is that people still use pandora.

  19. Please fight back by giving the app one star.

  20. Also don’t forget to send feedback with the reasons why you dislike this change!

  21. Thanks Google. But I’ll just keep using my $5/mo Spotify student plan.

    1. They have a student plan?!?!? :O

      1. You didn’t know that Chris?? News on Engadget! Loll

    2. Edit: This is true, but only for 12 months according to spotify’s terms and conditions. (yeah, I just read those for once)

      1. Although you can renew it every year you’re currently enrolled in a university.

        1. Oh snap, didn’t read that hard. Peace out Google.

  22. Just reinforced my decision to stop buying music from the google store. Thank God I only bought 3 or 4 albums from them.

  23. One Word: Give Slacker a try.

    1. That’s 4 words…

    2. I used to have the paid version of Slacker. Google Music is better. The list view of what is coming up and what has already been played, with the ability quickly and easily re-order or outright dismiss individual songs is way beyond what Slacker offers. Also, individual tracks on demand is way cooler, and should have been the default situation for any paid music service. After all, it’s MY music player, it should only play what I want it to play.

  24. I’m probably switching to the Spotify plan too, this is kinda BS.

  25. Yeah I’m kind screwed by this I’m apparently at my max devices and deauth limit. Broke my phone getting a new one today….so I guess in forced to cancel since I can use it anymore. Will be. Calling cs to plead my case.

  26. Aw CRAP. If only I hadn’t had issues with my tablet this year. I probably have 1 deauthorization left… Gotta choose wisely.

  27. I just cleared my out last weekend after switching back to my N5. This is still silly to do though… 4 a year seems low to me.

  28. Is is just me that havent noticed before or has google added a new limitations so a google play account can only be used at a single device at a time ?

    1. I was just playing off my computer and phone at the same time, so I don’t think so?

    2. A Google Play account on one device!? That’s insane. People could own a tablet and phone. I don’t think it’s just one Play Device. That’s insane.

      I do know you can only have one streaming device at a time.

    3. It’s just you.

  29. I Remember when they did this the first time, i had the HTC Hero, Rooted users were screwed so badly because of the frequent switching of ROMS. Up until 3 days ago I was using stock rom on Galaxy Note 3, i guess i’m screwed again -____-

  30. I am betting this has to do more with the music industry than with Google, but its still sh*t. If you build custom ROMs you could go through 4 de-authorizations in one weekend. Come on Google this needs to be fixed.

  31. I don’t understand why this has to affect ROM flashing. Why can’t they iD devices by hardware identifiers? (IMEI, MAC address, etc.)

    1. It doesn’t seem to affect ROM flashing or factory wipes anymore. Used to be that when I ran out of authorizations, I’d go in and find that it was eight of the same phone. I had to reset my auths about a month ago and have re-flashed twice since then. Only one instance of each device shows now. Phew. I’d imagine this was an issue Google wanted to fix, and now that it has been they could re-institute the 4-deauth limit again.

      1. Good. I haven’t been ROM hopping in a while now. I was tired of clearing data and stuff like that.

  32. I’ve contacted Google Play support and have asked that my account be purged of all devices. I was told it would take 24-48 hours. I’ll report back next week if this works.

    1. If it works, please post an article about this, because the people need to know !

    2. Weird. I contacted Google Support and they told me there was absolutely nothing they could do. I’ve hit my 4 device limit and that was it.

      1. Any luck yet?

    3. Wow, Google has people on a phone you can talk to???

      1. Yes,& they answer within a minute,tops.

    4. Just checked my device list,it’s been reset to Zero W/four deauthorizations to burn.
      Might have been as early as yesterday (8/8/14),didn’t check,but,got a 2nd follow-up email from GOOGLE yesterday assuring me the case had been escalated to the engineering dept.

      Anyhoo,all is good now,as I don’t see myself burning through 14 authorizations before the end of the year.

      Others may,especially the bloggers/etc….,hopefully GOOGLE will make things right once the situation arises.

  33. So this just killed my rom hopping!!

    1. It seems to vary ROM-by-ROM if Play treats it as separate devices. Have you tried using Titanium Backup to preserve your device ID?

  34. I’ve already hit my limit and I just logged in to take my Nexus 5 off. wtf

  35. I really only see this as really affecting ROM hoppers and people who have several devices on their account who like to change devices often.

    As for ROM hoppers, perhaps use Titanium Backup to backup your device ID?

    I do not like this as much as anyone here, but I really love Google Play Music.

  36. Sounds like it is only a problem for someone whom regularly tests or gets new devices becuase there job revolves around reporting Android news…

  37. This is where having a 64-128GB sdcard really pays off. :)

    This will effect a lot of users, not just flashers.

    EDIT: Just checked and even my Nexus 7 2013 is authorised twice due to an official update. Nice one Google.

  38. Every new Roman flashed adds a new device I find myself clearing this list alot

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