page 4 of 7
Google Play Music will also present new releases that may interest you. Unlike Spotify, this feature needs improvement. At best, Google Play Music will only offer one or two new releases that interest me. I still get emails from Spotify telling me of new releases. Their new releases section offered dozens of albums.
You can browse new releases by tapping the “hamburger” button on the top left and selecting “New releases” from the main menu. “Recommended new releases” are presented at the top of the screen.
Browse Past Activity
If you’re like me, you probably listen to a lot of music. It’s easy to forget what I’ve been listening to. Fortunately, Google Play Music keeps track of recent activity, presenting it on the Listen Now screen. Tap the “MORE” button next to the “Recent activity” heading to expand the list. You will see a list of the past 100 albums, songs, radio stations or playlists you’ve played or added to your library. The best thing about this feature is that it gives you freedom. You can explore Google Play Music, listen to music and come back to this list, adding music that you like to your library. I also use it when I’m in the mood to listen to music, but I’m not sure what I want to listen to.
Get the Best Music Quality
By default, Google Play Music will stream 320 kbps audio if there is sufficient bandwidth. This is higher quality than Apple Music’s 256 kbps. Given that most people have broadband capable of delivering much faster speeds, you will normally experience the best audio quality when streaming Google Play Music over WiFi.
The Internet is not perfect. There’s no guarantee that data packets will be sent without delay from Google’s servers to your home Internet connection. While it’s unlikely that Google’s data center is the problem, the data hop across multiple servers on their journey to your device. Any problem along the way can slow data transmission and Google Play Music will throttle the quality accordingly. If you want to guarantee the highest quality of music, download it. It only takes a few moments, and you can begin playing an album while it downloads. You can always remove the downloaded files later.
By default, Google Play Music disables downloading over cellular networks. This is good design, as most people don’t have unlimited cellular data. There may be times when cellular is your only option. For example, if you’re on a road trip, cellular connections may be too spotty for streaming. If you want to download new music, using cellular data may be required. You can turn on cellular data downloading from the settings menu. First, tap on the “hamburger” button to display the main menu. Next, tap on Settings, scroll down and turn off “Download via Wi-Fi only”.
If you want to stream high fidelity music over cellular data, ensure that Google Play Music is properly configured. Go to the Settings menu and scroll down to “Mobile networks stream quality”. Set this to High to stream 320 kbps music over your cellular connection. This will use approximately 1 GB of data for every 7.25 hours of music streamed.
Conserve Cellular Data
Most of us don’t have unlimited cellular data. We need to be careful not to go over this limit, so as not to face overage charges. Google Play Music makes it easy to conserve cellular data. (continue…)