Google Play Music update lands alongside the store’s UK launch

Google Play Music update lands alongside the store’s UK launch
Auto-generated ‘Instant Mixes’ and gapless playback are among the new features for Google's cloud based music player.

Google Play Music
Fans of the Android's stock music player can rejoice as Google has updated the app with some long requested features. Released today, the latest update (v4.4.811H) lets users enjoy smooth transitions between tracks with the new gapless playback feature, but only on devices running Android 4.1 Jelly Bean or later. Gapless audio playback works for offline music or when streaming the content from the cloud.
Google Play Music - screenshot
Another big addition to Google Play Music is 'Instant Mixes' that automatically generates a playlist based on your favourite tracks. You can find this feature in the music player's 'Recent' tab. There are also some minor improvements targeted at making the offline experience more enjoyable in Google Play Music.

Starting from today, customers in the UK, France, Germany, Italy and Spain are able to shop for tracks in Google Play on their Android devices or computer. Although the music service launched almost a year ago, its online store library has been continuously expanding, and now has around 13 million tracks on offer.
Google Play Music 2

But perhaps the most distinguishable feature of Google Play Music is its ability to store up to 20,000 user tracks in the cloud entirely for free. Cloud storage is especially useful for powerful multimedia devices that sadly lack expandable storage like the HTC One X or Sony Xperia U.

If you're unfamiliar with the service, here’s a quick guide of how to get it up and running in a few basic steps. First, you’ll need to download and install Google Play Music Manager to your computer. After selecting which folders of your local music library you want to upload to the cloud storage, the app will keep running in the background to complete the process.
Google Play Music Manager

Depending on the size of your music collection and internet connection, the transfer times may vary drastically. Also worth keeping in mind that you cannot upload any songs protected by DRM.
Google Play Music on Motorola Razr i

That's it! You should now be able to access your uploaded music files on your Android device using the Google Play Music app. Not only that, but you can also stream the content from any computer via the web interface of Google Play Music.
Google Play store

The latest additions to the app and the ever expanding music store clearly indicate that Google is making an effort at improving its services. On top of all that, it is turning Google Play store into a monumental online service that encompasses not only Android apps and games, but also books, movies and music. And, as the rule book states, if there's a surefire way of keeping the consumer firmly engrossed in one’s products, then it's a strong and healthy ecosystem.


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