Google Play Music has always been useful for streaming your music collection instead of letting it hog your phone’s internal storage, but until now Google hasn’t offered an app for iPhone users.
On Friday, Google Play Music’s official app finally arrived in the App Store. It allows you to stream your entire music library over an Internet connection and listen to Pandora-style radio stations based on your interests. You can also pay $10 per month for Google Play Music All Access, which lets you listen to millions of songs on-demand. The app supports Chromecast and AirPlay as well, for listening to your music through a television.
To add your music collection to Google Play Music, you need to download the Music Manager software onto a Windows PC or Mac. Run the software, and enter the location of your music folder. Google scans for any songs that it recognizes and adds a high-quality MP3 to your online library. It also uploads any songs that it doesn’t recognize, which is helpful for all those Phish bootlegs you’ve been hanging onto. You can have up to 20,000 songs in total stored online.
Apple does have its own online music solution, called iTunes Match, but it costs $25 per year. Without paying the subscription, you can only stream songs that you have purchased through iTunes. Google Play Music covers every song you own, no matter where it came from.
Once you’ve added your library to Google Play Music, just open the mobile app, or use the Google Play Music website to stream your tracks to any laptop or desktop computer. The mobile app also lets you store songs, albums and playlists for offline listening.
The iPhone app is similar to the Android version, with the notable exception that you can’t buy songs or subscribe to All Access directly through the app. Most third-party music and video apps don’t allow in-app purchases, because Apple’s 30 percent cut would take away all their profits, so Google is no different here.
It only remains to thank third-party apps such as gMusic and App for Google Music for their years of valuable service. Sadly, their ad-supported and paid apps are no longer needed, as Google’s official app is completely free.