Since it’s launch four years ago in 2011, Google Music has been a go-to source for music for many. When it initially launched, it offered an unprecedented amount of free cloud storage for anyone looking to upload their music to the cloud. It even replaced low quality files with high quality official ones. Over the years the service evolved and offered a music streaming service to users across the world. And during this time, it’s music recommendation algorithm and app have evolved considerable.
Today, Google Music has made a huge update to its music streaming service. It now comes with an updated UI for its Android and iOS apps as well as its browser interface. The new interface brings focus to new curated selections of music based on a variety of metrics such as location, time and interest. It makes it easier to see exactly all the music that Google has found for you.
The new update brings a host of back end improvements as well. It uses a machine learning AI to learn what users a likely to listen based on their music listening history. For instance, if people often listen to one song after listening to another, or group certain songs in playlists together, Google uses that data to suggest these songs to you in your own playlists. The result is the creation of playlists that are tailored to music that you are likely to like, and it often works well.
Another new feature is the inclusion of location based playlist suggestions. Google Play Music now tracks your location and logs the type of music you listen to in certain places, like bars or on your commute or if you’re working out at the gym.
The new update also brings auto caching of playlists. So if you are somewhere without a data connection or don’t want to use your limited data on music streaming, you’ll still be able to listen to something new on the go.
However, not all are happy with the UI update. It performs poorly on older, lower end computers and doesn’t solve the navigation issues that have plagued it on mobile devices since the beginning. It has been often criticized for being confusing and not offering a clear way to go back to the home screen of the app. Furthermore, the library view, populated by large bubbles with each musician’s avatars, is often seen as overly bulky and it is often request feature that the library be simply a list. None of the UI changes in this update address either of these issues.
That being said, the update brings great improvements to the platform and we can’t wait to see what comes next from Google on this front.
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