The latest update to the Google Play Music app for Android brings a much needed ability to stop auto playing of music when you connect your phone to an external Bluetooth device. The update, version 7.12.5218-1.V.4310085 for those keeping score at home, is in the Play Store now and should come to users as an OTA update over the course of the next few days.
The new toggle is in the Settings of the app and is shows as “Allow external devices to start playback”. If you disable this, when you connect your phone to a Bluetooth device, it will not start automatically playing music. This is particularly handy when it comes to connecting your phone to your car’s Bluetooth as it won’t just start blaring music.
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Google has acknowledged that they are working on a reasonably significant bug between Google Home and Google Play Music. The issue varies from user-to-user but most are experiencing one of two issues. First, purchased music is not showing up in their libraries and is not playable. Second, entire libraries for some artists are not searchable or playable. What makes it interesting is that if you open up the Google Play Music app and Cast the songs in question to Google Home, they will play.
The issue was discussed in detail in a post in the Google Product Forums for Google Home. There, users were encouraged to use the Send Feedback feature within the Home app to send detailed information to Google so they can continue to investigate. Right now, there isn’t a fix available.
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Chalk this one up in the “about time” category.
There is an update rolling out for Google Home that finally brings the ability for Google Play Music subscribers to stream their library of uploaded and purchased music to the Smart Speaker. The update is rolling out as a device-side to your Google Home. There is no update to the Home app itself expected – but keep an eye out.
To this point, when you wanted to play music on Home, it would always stream stations from the service, regardless if you had that music in your Google Play Music library. The work-around of sorts was to specifically name an album that you have in your library, say “Play the album Clockwork Angels from Rush”. If the album you requested was in Play Music, it would play it but it was streaming from the service itself, not necessarily what you had in your library. This becomes a problem if there is an indie artist or other music that you have in your library but it isn’t in Google Play Music. The work-around above won’t work. The other work-around was to cast Play Music from your phone to your Home but that somewhat defeats the point, eh?
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For those who are on Windows 10, The lack of a native Google Play Music app means, for some, you are limited from listening to the music from your PC. Some version of Windows 10 won’t allow you to install non-Windows Store apps so that rules out Chrome for your browser and easier Play Music playing.
Enter GPMDP. The app is developed by Samuel Attard and gives you a customizable app that allows you to play your Play Music natively within Windows 10. While it is not an official Google app, it gets the job done and works really well.
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The Google Play Music app for Android has an update rolling out that brings new features to everyone. The bulk of the version 7.9 build is aimed at the future, namely Android O so a lot of the attention and focus of this release is to be found once O rolls out to everyone. That includes things like Notification Channels, a new feature that will be coming in Android v8.
For today however, there is a new Search History feature that you can access on devices today that will give you access to your music search history. This history includes any music, album or artist searches you have done either from the Play Music app or site.
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Google Play Music has released their first podcast produced by Google, City Soundtracks. The 15-odd minute casts are aimed at highlighting an artist and the city from which they originate. While Play Music has had the ability to listen to podcasts for a while now, this is the company’s first foray into actually producing one. And I have to say, it’s pretty good. Right now the cast list is only three episodes, all released yesterday, featuring artists from Austin, New Orleans and Oakland. You can check it out here.
The official description pretty much tells you everything you need to know.
City Soundtracks by Google Play Music is a traveling conversation about the people, places and moments that shape our musical lives. Each episode features an artist and a city. Host Hrishikesh Hirway invites musicians to lead listeners on a tour of the city through conversation and music.
I’ve listened to two of the three episodes and I have to say, it’s not bad.
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A small dot release of Google Play Music is hitting the Play Store that brings back a menu option and other small improvements. The updated build is version 7.4 for those keeping score and with it you will find that the Recents option has returned to the main menu or navigation drawer of the app. This feature disappeared late last year when Google started injecting machine learning into the app so it could better learn your listening preferences. Since then, your Recents appeared as a button on the main display of the app (but it only shows your downloaded music if you are in offline mode)
The return of Recent to the menu should clean things up a bit whether you are online or offline and make it easier to find the music you have recently listened to in chronological order.
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