Google Play Music Closes Shop

It’s finally happening — unfortunately. 

Users of Google Play Music found out the hard way this week that they can no longer go to the site and listen to their tunes. 

Instead, you get this: 

As recently as last week the service was still operable. 

We’ve known for a few months now that this was happening, but it’s still kind of a surprise. GPM (because it’s easier than typing it all out, forgive me) is now encouraging users to transfer everything over to YouTube Music. 

Here’s how that process looks: 

There are all kinds of warnings and fine print and disclaimers, like:

and

Despite several attempts to contact GPM — the definition of futile — I’m still not entirely sure how much or whether I’ll be charged for moving my music over. Stay tuned for that update.

Anyway.

You can choose to move your entire library over to the service. It might take a while — my few thousand songs took several hours to move. 

In the meantime, your screen will look something like this: 

Those arches turn into spinning wheels.

Don’t expect to be notified on the transfer screen when everything’s been moved, by the way. I received an email saying everything was done long before the red spinning wheel stopped moving. 

Another thing to note: To find your music after the transfer is complete, you have to toggle through and find your stuff. It’ll be listed under Uploads — it won’t automatically populate. This is kind of frustrating, because why wouldn’t you want instant confirmation that all your songs, your uploads and purchased pieces, were safely in their new home? 

Toggle down from the “YouTube Music” arrow and find “Your Uploads” for your library.

Once the transfer is complete, you’ll also notice that YouTube Music is going to try and figure out what you like by suggesting music. My suggestions? WAY OFF. 

(I listen to a lot of Canadian artists, but Shawn Mendes and Drake are not usually among them. Almost never.)

Then again, maybe that’s to be expected, since this new “relationship” is just starting. The suggestions are clearly based on what’s popular. Try not to roll your eyes too much if the initial suggestions are far off the mark. Keep scrolling and you might find things more suited to your taste and actually based on what you’ve transferred. 

YouTube Music will also ask you to add a shortcut to your desktop, kind of like the GPM Music Manager. 

When you come back to listen to songs on YouTube Music, you’ll have the chance to build your own playlists or listen to songs they recommend, or artists similar to what you already have in your personal library. This is the attempt to copy some of the GPM features. I’m not super interested in this, but please sound off in the comments whether this feature works for you or is better left unused. 

If you try to log in to GPM again, you’ll see this, regardless of whether you’ve transferred your files:

Remember, if you’re still angry about this transition — and from what we’ve seen over the past few months, more of us are furious about this than in support of it! — there are other options available. If we’re missing something in our suggestions, please keep us posted. Let us know what’s working for you. 

Amber Healy

I write about music policy and lawsuits because they're endlessly fascinating.

18 thoughts on “Google Play Music Closes Shop

  • October 16, 2020 at 10:11 pm
    Permalink

    i’ve used YTM since the changeover from GPM was allowed in Oztraya

    It is NOWHERE as near a good user experience

    They need to do a lot of work on it to get up to the standard of GPM, which was honestly the best UX of all music streaming services – and they hadn’t messed with it for YEARS

    Perhaps that’s part of why I so much preferred GPM; familiarity

    Reply
    • October 16, 2020 at 10:14 pm
      Permalink

      Completely agree. It was a great UX and YTM is…not. it’s clumsy and not at all intuitive.

      Reply
    • October 17, 2020 at 9:51 am
      Permalink

      Agree. My Google music is still functioning.

      Reply
      • October 17, 2020 at 4:59 pm
        Permalink

        I promise you, it’s coming to an end. Google said earlier in the summer it would be pulling the plug starting in October. Enjoy it while you have it — but make your moves to transfer or save files now.

        Reply
  • October 16, 2020 at 10:26 pm
    Permalink

    You missed mentioning that for those of us who use(d) GPM with Android Auto to listen to music in our cars from our personal library, Google really left us out in the cold. I switched all the music stored on my phone (all bought and paid for, copied from my CDs etc.) to YouTube Music, as instructed. But now I can’t play it because I just get a voice in my car telling me I need a YT Music subscription! I have no interest in a paid subscription to YT Music. I already subscribe to Spotify, so I’m currently trying to figure out how to use it in my car while offline. I am furious with Google for trying to force me to subscribe to YT Music just to play music I’ve already paid for!

    Reply
    • October 16, 2020 at 10:30 pm
      Permalink

      Thanks for pointing that out! Yet another strike against YTM.

      Reply
      • October 17, 2020 at 9:01 am
        Permalink

        Don’t get me started on YTM, there is so much that they need to fix to even compare it to GPM. 1 using so much power, 2 play offline without downloading, 3 podcast… Trust me I can come up with thousands of reasons, why can you even download your own music 🤔… I’m done I’m done

        Reply
    • October 18, 2020 at 3:02 am
      Permalink

      Yeah google really screwed it’s users. I’m glad I downloaded my library back.

      Reply
  • October 17, 2020 at 8:45 am
    Permalink

    I also hate this transition. Thankfully so far my Google music account is still working as of right now. Just tested it out this morning. But this was one of the worst ideas that Google has ever done….

    Reply
  • October 17, 2020 at 10:41 am
    Permalink

    I detest YouTube music so far. When I upload a song and then try to search for it well I can’t. There is no way to search just my music library. This has been an awful experience. If I could find any other free service that was comparable to Google play music I would be using it.

    Reply
  • October 17, 2020 at 4:56 pm
    Permalink

    I’m still able to use and listen to GPM. Mine has not been terminated…yet.

    Reply
  • October 17, 2020 at 6:24 pm
    Permalink

    Until YTM has a playlist called “last added” or “recent uploads ” its pure garbage 🗑. The only positive thing is they increased the song storage to 100,000 and the playlist to 5,000 songs. They still have a lot of work to do and quite frankly should have already been ironed out.

    Reply
  • October 17, 2020 at 6:29 pm
    Permalink

    I made the jump to YouTube Music late in August, just to see if it was going to be acceptable or not. First week was… Okay. It played the songs I wanted, downloaded what I clicked, and had all the selections GPM had. Sound quality was *noticably* poorer, though, with different tracks of the same album having completely different sounds. It was so bad I thought my car’s speakers had blown out.

    That made me stop for a while, and toss on some podcasts instead. Was still willing to give it the old college try until Sept 12, when my paid subscription (from the YouTube Red days, thanks Pixel 1) was cancelled with no warning.

    I uninstalled, updated MusicBee and Blackplayer, and haven’t looked back since.

    Reply
  • October 18, 2020 at 3:18 pm
    Permalink

    Half baked is what I can say for YouTube Music. Google Play Music was way better. So far YouTube Music give priority to PAID subscribers, hence the recommended tracks and queues that go beyond the songs you set up to hear…. like they push songs out of their own library and then have the audacity to stuck an ad in front of them. The only reason I want to use YouTube Music is to playback the albums, songs and playlists I created in Google Play Music and whatever new ones I create in YouTube Music out of my UPLOADED music library only. Not the commercial interrupted stuff they want to push to me. YouTube Music needs some serious fixing to support those Google Play Music users who only want to manage and playback their own UPLOADED libraries. Ugh!!!!!

    Reply
  • October 19, 2020 at 10:35 am
    Permalink

    YTM = Junk.
    Basic music library management functions missing. Plus the non-integration of my uploaded music and whatever Google thinks I want.
    But the worst is the mix of original recordings and the BS videos users post that use poor versions of the songs. I want the original versions… not some crazy bad quality version.

    GPM was so good. YTM is so bad. I’ve switched back to Apple Music where I can seamlessly integrate my uploads with what I subscribe too and not have all the weirdness of youtube interrupting my music.

    Reply
  • October 19, 2020 at 5:14 pm
    Permalink

    I just recently discovered that I can no longer purchase music from Google Play store anymore. Has Google stop selling music?

    Reply
    • October 19, 2020 at 6:27 pm
      Permalink

      Unfortunately, yes, that’s part of the whole enterprise. It stinks! You should be able to access anything you’ve purchased to this point, but the store was one of the first parts they promised to shut down.

      Reply
  • October 20, 2020 at 10:31 am
    Permalink

    I solved the problem by switching to Spotify. The fact that Google couldn’t even be bothered to make a Wear OS app for YTM tells you how well supported it’s going to be. Between that and how YTM struggled to deal with offline situations when GPM handled them quite well meant I took my money to the competition. When they lose customers, maybe they’ll notice. But I’m very happy with Spotify now, even if a few bits were better with GPM. How hard would it be to add a simple dislike for songs/artists? Spotify does so much else right, I’m willing to give it a pass anyway.

    Reply

Let us know what you think!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.