Pour one for Google Play Music, the official music platform for Google and Android from 2011 to 2020. As of Thursday of this week, Google has shut down all of its functions on each platform, and his website now redirects users at Youtube music. Longtime users of the service lament its loss in the face of declining functionality on YTM.
Google Play Music was first an alternative to iTunes, a centralized place for Android users to purchase individual songs and albums in MP3 format. But it grabbed the headlines by allowing users to upload thousands of songs from their personal collections to Google’s servers, then stream and download them for free. Over the next few years, Google added Pandora-style streaming music stations and podcast features, with premium tiers providing ad-free listening to a large collection of music.
GPM users were warned in advance of the service shutdown, as Google proposed transfer their existing music collections to the new YouTube Music. But many of them weren’t happy with the arrangement, because YouTube Music’s interface is much more about discovering videos and music than just playing the music you already own.
I wouldn’t say Google Play Music was the best at it, but it was definitely among the best options out there in terms of value thanks to this server download option. And for an app preinstalled on most Android phones on the planet, that was really great. Rest in peace, GPM. You will be missed.