Music News

Here’s your last chance to save your Google Play Music files

The door is really finally and for real closing on Google Play Music. 

Users received an email over the weekend reminding them that their last — really honestly last and final chance — day to save any data and files uploaded to the service is quickly approaching. 

“On February 24, 2021, we will delete all of your Google Play Music data,” the company says. “This includes your music library with any uploads, purchases and anything you’ve added from Google Play Music. After this date, there will be no way to recover it.” 

Yikes. That’s ominous, isn’t it? 

Most of us probably took some protective action a few months ago when we were told, ok, this is it, time to move all your files over to YouTube Music. (If you did something else, please let us know! We’re all looking for a better substitution.)

GPM, which closed up shop for new purchases in October, says that if any changes were made to your library there in the intervening months, you can transfer your music files again. They also say if you’d like to download your library and data (again or for the first time), you can do so using Google Takeout prior to February 24. 

This was the first time I’d seen that name — is anyone familiar? — but apparently this has been a thing since 2011. 

“Google Takeout is a data retrieval platform that allows users to import and export data from a number of Google products. Simply put, Google Takeout takes all your existing Google data and compiles it into one file, which can be later downloaded,” explains. This will work for music and other files stored on GPM, so that’s another option if you’re still not sure what to do with your library. All the details are stored as .zip or .tgz files for later sorting. 

We all know this sucks. We all know GPM is a beautiful service that has been really friendly and convenient. And YouTube Music is lacking in a number of ways. That’s not going to change the inevitable. 

If you still have files floating around in the GPM library, you’ve been warned: In two weeks and two days, it’s gone forever. Spend a little time and at least download your files now so you don’t lose everything for good. 

A reminder: If you’re looking for alternatives to YTM for all those precious GPM files, we have a list here and are always open to suggestions, options, ideas, etc. Please share your wisdom! 

Amber Healy

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

Amber Healy has 520 posts and counting. See all posts by Amber Healy

One thought on “Here’s your last chance to save your Google Play Music files

  • I found this blogpost (and it may have been from here so I apologize if EVERYONE has seen it!) and this guy is me, I have backups of my backups and then some AND all the hard copies of ALL my music and I most certainly do NOT subscribe (ha!) to the whole streaming music phenomenon. I buy my music. Occasionally, I will buy digital music (Lizzy Mercier Descloux 9.99 on iTunes vs 70 bucks on Amazon about ten years ago) but it’s kept isolated and not anywhere that calls to the Mothership so they can take it back or make it not work. Anyways, I just loved reading this post because I think this dude is spot on. Some day, people are going to wake up and it’s just like once upon a time when your favorite rock station switched to (Gah!) country overnight…poof all that music you ‘bought’ is no longer yours or is no longer accessible, etc.

    Feels like real life to me.


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