Spotify has upped the ante and has added video content to their app, still named Spotify Music. The update comes after months of speculation and an announcement last summer that the company would be moving beyond just music. The update is hitting Android this week while iOS users of the service will have to wait an additional week. Now when you open the app, you have a video section that allows you to view content from a range of providers. Right now the content is limited but it is expected to grow as other providers get signed up. Right now you can get content from ABC News, Adult Swim, Comedy Central, NBC Entertainment and ESPN.
Google continues to update and improve the Google Play Music app through updates but also some behind-the-scenes updates to the music app. The latest little touch came last week in a more streamlined and uniform search windows in the app. Searching within the app has always been there but it has functioned slightly different than the search function in other Google apps. That, it seems, is no longer the case. Now when you tap the search icon within the app you see your search history in a drop down list and you can of course search for new terms like artists, albums or genre.
The update came to Google Play Music as a behind-the-scenes update and does not require a new version of the app for your Android phone or tablet. It will just appear for you when it is rolled out to your device. At this point however everyone should be seeing it.
Fans of The Beatles, your wait is finally over. You can now download and stream all 13 of the Fab 4’s albums through the Google Play Music service on your PC, Mac, Android tablet or phone. In addition, there are four collections that are available through Google Play Music for purchase. Individually, the albums are $7.99 each while the collections are $12.49 each.
The best-selling band in history, with 20 number one Billboard Hot 100 hits, The Beatles continue to be one of the world’s most beloved bands decades after their last original album.
The news is certainly welcome for fans of the band and brings the Google service on par with Apple’s iTunes which has had The Beatles available for about a year now.
Last week I posted that Google Play Music would be introducing the Family plan for subscribers “soon”. Soon appears to be today. In the latest update to the Android phone and tablet apps, you can now sign up for the family subscription. If you are a family with lots of music lovers, this will be a great plan at only $14.99 per month for unlimited streaming and downloading for up to 6 members of your household. Keep in mind that a single subscription is $9.99 per month so basically for $5 you getting 5 additional accounts. Plus, that subscription also gets each member access
to YouTube Red, the ad-free version of that service, which is valued at $9.99 per month. It is a very competitive offering in a landscape full of streaming music services. To sign up your family members, you will need to have their email addresses that are associated with their Google accounts. This is usually their Gmail account but it could be different. You can designate those who have account rights as well as those who are required to get permission for making purchases.
One thing to note, if you are currently trying out Google Play Music via a trial (if you took advantage of it after buying your Chromecast for example) and subscribe to the family plan, your trial plan ends immediately. That may not be that big of a deal for some but keep it in mind. The trial is for individual users only.
Also, if you want to sign up for the Family plan, currently you can only do it from your Android devices. The web-based Play Music site does not allow you to sign up.
The latest version of the app is 6.2.2221U for those keeping score at home and it is out in the Google Play Store now. If you have the app installed on your device(s) then you should see the OTA update for it at any point over the next couple of days. If you haven’t downloaded and tried it yet (you can try it free for 30 days) now is a good time to do so and see if it is right for your family.
For those of us in the United States, we have had Google Play Music ad-supported streaming music for months. Unfortunately for our friends north of the border in Canada, that has not been the case. While the app has been available, it has not allowed you to stream audio content other than what you have uploaded to the service unless you subscribed to the unlimited service. That changes today. Now Canadians can stream music in Google Play Music on their Android phones and tablets free without having to subscribe.
T-Mobile has added 11 new streaming music services to their already impressive Music Freedom service. In case you are not familiar with it, T-Mobile allows you to stream music over LTE without consuming any of your monthly data allotment. If you remember, last month they added video stream in a similar package named Binge On. Essentially, as long as you are streaming content from the providers listed by T-Mobile, you won’t be charged for your data usage. It’s an awfully impressive program and certainly puts the pressure on the likes of AT&T, Verizon and Sprint here in the US who do not offer anything similar in size. Whether you like them or not, T-Mobile is certainly causing a disruption.
When the carrier started Music Freedom there were only 7 services included. With the addition of these new services added, it is up to 44. The good news for Android users, Google Play Music is on that list so you can stream your library while you are on-the-go care free over your data usage.