Google Play Music Curation

Google Play Music Adds Curated Playlists Alongside Redesigned “Listen Now” Page

October 21, 2014 - Written By Justin Diaz

We all have a certain type of music we like to listen to, but that certain type of music isn’t always the right music for the moment. Yesterday we were fortunate enough to have a chat with Google Play Music Product Manager Brandon Bilinski about the new changes to the app and service, which brings some awesome new features to make listening more personable. Today Google has officially taken the wraps off of their updated Google Play Music app, which adds in the advanced curation of playlists to suit every taste and give you the right kind of music for the right times and the right mood. As we stated above everyone has different tastes in music, some of us might even like the same stuff, and we all might have an early morning commute that leads us to our place of business for the next 9 hours in a day. Maybe your mornings are spent during a run to get in your exercise. No matter what your mood or what you’re doing, with the new Google Play Music app you’ll able to find and listen to playlists curated specifically for that type of mood or activity.

Google Play Music’s new curation features are inspired by the curated playlists found within Songza, the streaming radio music service that Google acquired back in the summer which also makes this Google and Songza’s first integration. Both apps will still operate independently, although using Google Play Music as opposed to Songza will obviously allow for some different and rather enhanced features, like offline playback and storage of curated playlists so you can listen even if you don’t have a connection to the web. Once this updates goes live for users,(which starts now and will roll out to 10% of users to start while hitting the rest over the next couple of days)you’ll be able to open up Google Play Music and receive a prompt to pick a music playlist based off of an activity, mood, or time of day. If you typically don’t listen to music until sometime in the afternoon, the next time you open the app after the update you can respond to the prompt to pick a curated list by selecting a playlist meant for afternoon listening.

Most of what Google Play Music does to feed you new songs to discover is all handled by algorithms, but the curated playlists are hand picked and selected by music experts that are constantly updating the stations with new music as it’s made available, in an attempt to keep things always fresh so that you have a new and enjoyable experience every time. Google has redesigned the “Listen Now” page of the app as part of this update too, with ways for you to find what you want to listen to more easily, while including Material Design style with bright, vivid, bold colors, large tile images and cards for recently played music, as well as cards that may contain new releases you might want to check out and radio stations that are inspired by the music that you like to listen to.

Lists are going to be customizable in a way too, as you’ll be able to reorder the songs that are within them, and you’ll be able to take out songs you don’t care for while adding in songs that you love which weren’t previously in the list. It doesn’t stop there as Google is also making it possible to search for stations, using an activity or a particular station type as the search query to find just the right mix. You’ll also be able to see what songs are coming up next, which isn’t a necessity but it sure is a nice feature to have, allowing you to be prepared to skip the song if you don’t want to listen to it. Google Play Music playlist curation also differs from Songza with unlimited skips, as well as ad-free listening. Two benefits that should entice users. For right now, the new curated playlists based on activities, moods and other criteria will be available in the U.S. and Canada only, along with the newly redesigned “Listen Now” page. All other countries where Google Play Music is supported will have access to the redesigned Listen Now feature of Google Play Music, and the new features are live immediately through the web based interface, and rolling out incrementally to users on Android and iOS starting now and continuing over the next few days. Google Play Music just got a whole lot better and we’re excited to see Google take advantage of the music curation and implement it into the service. Do you use Google Play Music or Songza?

Download: Google Play Music

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