Google Play Music, which debuted in 2011, has been on the chopping block ever since Google decided to refocus its music streaming efforts on the YouTube brand. Now, Google is bringing the blade down. YouTube Music will take over completely from Play Music, with the latter shutting down forever in the next 60 days. Google encourages anyone still using Play Music to transfer their content before it’s too late.
YouTube Music focuses on streaming content, as well as remixes and live renditions that are only available on YouTube. Google pushed Play Music almost a decade ago by promising to store users’ uploaded music and stream it for free. Initially, Play Music supported 50,000 tracks, but that later expanded to 100,000. Naturally, many customers took Google up on the offer, and that has made it difficult to move away from Play Music.
Earlier this year, Google released a transfer tool that migrates purchased and uploaded music from Play Music to YouTube Music. However, the process could take several hours, and the way older Play Music content is integrated with the YouTube Music app is confusing. It’s also harder to stream that music from various devices — you basically have to give in and pay for a YouTube Music subscription for Assistant-powered speaker support.
Regardless of the inconvenience, Google is moving ahead with retiring Play Music. The first phase of the shutdown will come in September when users from New Zealand and South Africa will lose access to Play Music. Those are the guinea pigs — if there are no major issues, Google will shut the service down in all other regions. The Music Manager application will also stop accepting new uploads or downloads later this month.
The easiest way to save your Play Music content is to transfer it to YouTube Music. If YouTube Music isn’t to your liking, Google also supports downloading all your personal music via its Takeout tool. Whatever you choose, make sure to get it done by the end of 2020. Google says that it will completely shutter Play Music in December, removing any remaining data from its servers.
If you’ve been putting off the migration, it’s time to get on that. For those who primarily stream subscription tunes, the change to YouTube Music won’t be too painful. However, anyone who relied on Google to stream thousands of uploaded tracks is in for some pain, though.
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