Google has finally announced it’s killing off Play Music before the end of the year. Now millions of customers who may have uploaded their MP3 collection to the service need to make sure they don’t lose their music library with it.
One of the most popular features of Google Play Music was the ability to upload an MP3 collection from your computer to Google’s servers, allowing you to stream your own music using the Play Music app on smartphones or via a web browser.
Google says customers with uploaded libraries can transfer them to YouTube Music, the streaming service that has effectively replaced Play Music. The company has created a website where you can initiate the transfer, although the staggered release means not all customers will be able to transfer their libraries right away.
However, even if your music library is transferred across to YouTube Music, Play Music users are set to lose key features.
Firstly, the free Google Play Music app allowed you to stream your MP3 library without the phone’s screen being on. That’s not currently an option in YouTube Music… unless you’re willing to pay a subscription fee. YouTube Music subscriptions start at $9.99/£9.99 per month.
It’s also worth noting that Google’s support page warns that: “While all of your uploads and purchases will be transferred, certain songs or albums may not transfer due to rights or licensing issues.” It could be possible that you’ll lose chunks of your library in the transfer.
The Google Play Music Manager app for PCs, which allowed you to sync your local MP3 collection with Play Music, is also being retired. From now on, you will only be able to upload songs via the web browser, which is much less convenient.
If you’ve decided you’ve had enough and want out, now might be the time to make sure you’ve got a local copy of any songs you’ve previously uploaded to Google’s servers.
The Google Play Music Music Manager app (Windows and Mac) is still available for download at the time of writing. Once installed, you can use the app to download a copy of your music library.
But if you’re looking for a new music locker app with all the same features that Google Play Music offered for free, well, good luck. They’re an endangered species, if not extinct. The best option might even be to run your own server, using software such as Plex or Subsonic.