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Jim’s WebLetter for 7/8/17

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Hi-ya Music lovers!

It’s been awhile since I’ve written about Google Play Music, so I’m going to update what I wrote before to include some of the new features now available. Google Music and the Google Music Player are one of the features you have available to you with a Gmail account.

First, let me say that it is one of my most favorite because of what it does … provide music, MY music, whenever and wherever I am. You see, one of the features of Google Music is the ability to SAVE your favorite songs that you own, in your account. I’ll tell you more about that in a moment.

So, here are nine ways you can get the most out of Google Play Music.

1. If you’re using Google Play Music through the Music app for Android or iOS, then the app itself automatically caps the quality of streamed songs and downloads to save on your cellular data bill. But if you have unlimited data or at least a higher data plan, change these settings so you always get the highest bitrates at all times. The higher bitrate represents better quality sound.

Open up the app menu, tap Settings, and scroll down to find the three options: Streaming quality on mobile, streaming quality on Wi-Fi networks, and download quality. Set each one up to your data plan and the available storage space on your phone or tablet allows.

2. Next, and as I mentioned, you can store your MP3 selections in your own Library as Google allows up to 50,000 selections. I use my Library to house my favorites I once played when I was a DJ, plus a few I have come to enjoy since then.  

The easiest way to upload tunes is with the Music Manager client for Windows or macOS, or the Google Play Music extension for Chrome downloadable from Google Music.

3. Once you’ve uploaded your songs, you can edit the information (aka, metadata) associated with each file, including the track number and album name, the year it was released, and the genre of music.

Note: You need to be on the web to do this. Just click the three dots next to any track on your list, then select Edit Info to make changes. 

4. One of the newer features of Music Player is setting it up so you can fall to sleep to music without having it go on all night. Open up the Settings page from the app menu on Android or iOS, then choose Sleep Timer.

Set a countdown timer and the app will fade to quiet once it runs down. The beauty of this is nothing else on your phone is affected, like your alarms or other apps.

5. Using artificial intelligence, Google looks at your previous listening history to decide what you might like. But you can change it by using the link in Settings on the Web or the Improve Your Recommendations link under General in the mobile app menu.

If you want to clear your preferences and start again, go to the Settings page on the Web and click Delete Recommendation History. Simple.

6. Once the track you’re playing is complete, Music Player will automatically go to the next selection. Click the queue button on the Web or on mobile (three lines by the musical note symbol) to see all the tracks that are coming up in queue. Click or tap the three dots next to any album, song, or playlist, and you’ve got a couple of options to choose from … you can either add it to the end of the queue, or you can play it next, which bumps all the songs already in the queue back but doesn’t get rid of them.

7. Having your music player in a Web browser tab means you can access your music from anywhere, but it also means you might not be able to quickly see the track and artist name for the song that’s currently playing. 

To fix this, turn on desktop notifications by opening up the Settings page on the Web, scroll down to the labs section, and turn the Desktop Notifications toggle switch to On. Note: Google says this is still an experimental feature, so it might not work perfectly all the time.

8. A cool feature in Google Music player is a mini-player that can pop out of the browser. Just click the Show mini player button on the far right of the playback bar on the Web, and you get a smaller window showing what you’re listening to, with its own set of playback controls.

9. Last but not least, there is an unofficial Google Play Music Desktop Player for Windows and macOS. That means one less browser tab to deal with.

Download and load up the app from the respective stores (Apple or Google), sign in with your Google user and password, and you’re up and running.  

I enjoy Google Music Player on my devices without listening to the radio. That way, I hear what I want without all the commercials. If you give it a try, I believe you’ll agree.

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iTab Magazine. http://iTab.jimonline.com

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That’s it this week. Have a great weekend and may God bless you and keep you safe.
c-ya!
Jim

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