New Video – Google Play Music Is Closing! Why Google Home Is (Now) Useless For Me

My first ever video covered how to listen to free music (with no ads) on your Google Home/Google Nest devices. One of the methods relied on Google Play Music, where you could upload your own music library and play these songs on your Google Home.

Unfortunately Google Play Music is shutting down in December 2020, with YouTube Music taking its place. But is YouTube Music as good? Can you upload your MP3 library and still play them on your Google Home/Google Nest devices?

This video explores this and – spoiler alert – results in me saying that my Google Nest Mini device is now pointless for me, and thus I won’t be using it much anymore.

Video Transcript

Hey YouTube, I’m Tristan from Smart Home Point. My first ever YouTube video covered how you can play completely free music with no ads whatsoever on the Google Home lineup of products. Now if you’ve read the news recently, you would have seen that the Google Play Music service is actually shutting down in December 2020 – at the end of this year – and that was one of the key methods in my first video Uhm but thankfully although Google Play Music is shutting down, YouTube Music is taking its place his build has been better than Google Play Music, so I wanted to film this video and look at some of the features of this and see whether the free music with no ads method that I spoke about in my first video still holds true for YouTube Music.

Okay then, so you can see right here if you Google “Google Play Music you can see YouTube Music is making it simple to transfer from your Google Play Music library. Uhm so the key thing here is I want to see: can I actually end up migrating to Google Play Music and play music there? And actually a quick Google search would suggest you actually can’t play it on… [Music] You can’t actually do it. Uhm which I hope is not true, but that’s the purpose of this video… is to find out… see somebody’s actually asked ‘how do I play my YouTube Music library from my Google Home Mini’.

Uhm, this person’s very recently – a few months ago – was saying unless you actually pay for YouTube Music you can’t play specific ones, even in your library, which would be completely rubbish. But let’s actually test that out. So YouTube Music does migrate from my old account… blah blah blah… Google Play Music can easily transition over with just one click. With all this you get your uploaded and purchased songs, so if you remember in my first video I actually had a single song so see if that comes over. ‘How to transfer’. Just visit that and click transfer, oh it’s so easy. Obviously you don’t have much choice because they shut it down! Uhm I’ll just sign in here. Okay there you are, transfer your Google Play Music account. Transfer that transform a playlist. I might upload some purchases, and obviously since I’ve purchased music – or uploaded music – it would seem sensible I can use it, but I’m not convinced I will be able to.

Start transfer. And again I could hold off until December but what’s the point because they’re going to close it anyway. Transferring may take 24 hours, which is fair enough. Obviously in my case I’ve got a lot less… I’ve only got one song, but if you’ve got a lot more then it obviously would take longer. Anyway while I wait for that to actually happen, pick five artists. You… should I be serious or not? Or should I just, yeah why not, probably not going to use this much. But oh, that’s pretty cool, so as you choose people, it obviously changes. Yeah bit of Sia, why not. One Republic… who else and then Foo Fighters, why not, and Led Zeppelin, Green Day, Metallica. there we are – fine, that’s five people. A bit of a random collection there, but there we are. See your library transfer progress.

That’s complete, there are… that’s pretty good then, because I have one song, this is good that they actually have done that quickly. Okay so everything’s transferred over, so whilst I can play specific music, um, on this account at least. Uhm, or I can shuffle and build a song radio like Spotify, especially when you’re logged in… um I’ll go to my library and just check that song transferred over. Yep which it has, which is great, and then after that auto plays on and it’ll just keep playing similar songs. Well actually it’s not similar songs, as it’s just songs based on what I’ve said I liked, but that’s fine. Okay so the next thing, very easily is to see whether or not I can play this song with my Google Mini device after firstly setting YouTube Music to be my music provider.

If you can then great, if not I think it makes it’s a big disadvantage of the whole transfer process, so let’s find out if you can or not. Okay so before I move over to my Google Nest Mini device and actually see whether I can play a specific song in my YouTube Music library – which is the all-important question – I need to actually launch my Google Home app and just check that. I’ll configure Google Play Music to be my music provider. Let’s go to settings, scroll down to music, and then – there – you’ve got different music services. At the moment – as you can see – I just got Spotify Free active, uhm, because I don’t pay for any monthly subscription music. Uhm, as you remember in my previous video – or my first ever video – was using Google Play Music to actually play free music with no ads whatsoever. Let’s see if we can do the exact same thing with YouTube Music.

And you’ve got it right there: “YouTube Premium membership is required”. YouTube Music requires a YouTube Music Premium Membership to play on Google Home. You can sign up… blah blah blah blah… which is stupid, that’s really pointless, because you could do it previously with Google Play Music. You know you could buy your own songs, you could have hundreds of MP3s, and then you could just play them through your Google Mini Device… um, or any Google Home device, but it doesn’t look like you could do that at all with YouTube Music, which is terrible: it’s a big backwards step.

Obviously remember on the Amazon platform you can buy MP3s, although you can’t upload your own, you can buy MP3s through uhm, Amazon Music, and then play them on any of your Echo devices. So instead of paying ten pound a month – or ten dollars a month – for a music subscription, you could just buy a couple of MP3s for a couple of dollars and then you can actually play that for free, you know with no recurring monthly fees thereafter. But obviously you can’t do that now on the Google Home platform, which is rubbish. All you have as an option is Spotify Free where you can’t play specific songs, you can just play song radios based on what you’ve requested. Uhm, and there’s obviously adverts so it’s really bad that you actually can’t… “free service available”.

Yeah that’s really stupid. Yeah so 9.99 a month was… right that’s basically ten dollars – ten pounds – a month. Yes that’s really stupid, so what happens if I do try and… what’s going on… okay, got it, so if I just leave that what actually happens? Go back to music, okay so it does say at least free service available. I’m not convinced though that anything good will happen, because obviously it’s giving me the warning saying I have to have a premium membership. Uhm, but at least it’s let me select it, so I’ll just go to my Google Nest Mini device now and actually see what – if anything – I can do now that this is selected.

“Play Skies and Shadows by Ryan Sheeler”. “All right check out this for always station on YouTube Music”. Stop. Okay that’s not the song I wanted, that’s not the song I uploaded, and that’s not the song that worked on Google Play Music! Let’s try again. “Google, play Skies and Shadows. “All right check out this catch me outside station on YouTube”. Stop. Let’s try again, I don’t think it’ll work, but “play my uploaded songs”. “Okay music on YouTube Music, here you go”. Stop. So again that’s not my song either! “Play Skies and Shadows from my library”. “Sure check out this someone to you station on YouTube Music”. Stop. Again, that’s not what I asked for. Clearly as the app said, and as the internet said, you can’t unfortunately play your own music that you’ve uploaded to YouTube Music. Okay there you have it: so it’s not possible unfortunately.

My first ever YouTube video shown how you can use Google Play Music to play your MP3 collection – music that you own – on your Google Home range and your Google Nest devices, and obviously Google don’t allow this anymore by this move to YouTube Music. They’ve made it easy to transfer which is good, and if you pay a monthly subscription then it’s just as good as Spotify… probably, I’m not really interested in subscribing to it to be honest. But if you just want to play your music collection on your Google Home range you can no longer do that by this move to YouTube Music, which is a bit rubbish. Ultimately Google could allow this because you can upload your MP3s and you can play them on a dev… on your computer and similar devices, but you just can’t play it on your Google Home devices, which for me means that my Google Nest Mini is a bit pointless right now.

Uhm I know everything’s moving to this, licensing laws are such that even if you buy a game or buy a Kindle book you don’t actually own that content, you just own a license for that content, and that’s linked to your account and your account can be revoked. So I know everything’s move into it… you know, towards a monthly – sort of – subscription economy, if you will, but for me personally I like to sometimes own content – and own MP3s, and as a result my… the Amazon Echo range is a lot more attractive to me because I can actually buy an MP3 for 99p or 99 cents, and then I can actually play that on any any of my Echo devices without actually paying for an extra subscription on top. You know, I don’t need an Amazon Music music subscription to play my music, I can just play them on my Echo devices.

You can no longer do that with the Google Home range, even though you used to be able to do that, and even though Google would be able to very easily deliver that feature. So it’s a bit rubbish and as I say it makes my Google Nest Mini pointless for me, which is a pity but I hope you enjoyed this video. If you did, please click the thumbs up button and don’t forget to subscribe. Thank you!

About Tristan Perry

Tristan Perry is a software developer who is passionate about tech gadgets, DIY and housing. He has therefore loved seeing smart homes hit the mainstream. Tristan also has an academic background (in Math & Computer Science), and so he enjoys digging into the technical ways that smart home devices work.

Tristan owns close to a dozen Amazon Echo devices, way too many Philips Hue bulbs and lightstrips, a boat-load of Ring Cameras and Doorbells... and a bunch of other smart home devices too (from Reolink, Google Nest, GLEDOPTO and others).

If you have any questions, feedback or suggestions about this article, please leave a comment below. Please note that all comments go into a moderation queue (to prevent blog spam). Your comment will be manually reviewed and approved by Tristan in less than a week. Thanks!

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