Home ยป Why did Google Play delete my music?

Why did Google Play delete my music?

Answer

This download is implemented to minimize the amount of space that downloaded music takes up and to curb abuse as it’s not available on any other app.

The End Of Google Play Music…


There seems to be some confusion about why Google Play (the name for music on Google’s Android operating system) sometimes decides it doesn’t like your music. The most common scenario is that someone buys an album and finds they are automatically subscribed to a service called the “Google Music subscription,” which now appears in their list of subscriptions, but does not appear in their Library. This can also occur when you have been using this service from day one, via another interface (thankfully these users don’t have ‘subscriptions’ so there isn’t a need for anything to do with ‘deleting’).

The short answer: It’s because you signed up for something called the “Google Music subscription” by buying or subscribing to certain content. This is not an official Google Play ‘subscription’ like Amazon and Apple offer, it’s just something they have put in place for their own reasons. From your point of view, getting rid of this ‘subscription’ requires some effort to do yourself or a few minutes on the phone with customer support. Either way, you can’t expect that all will be well if you don’t take action yourself after this has happened.

The longer answer: If you’re reading this article right now, I’m going to assume that you managed to find it via search (or stumbled upon it), which means you don’t know what the “Google Music subscription” is so please read on before diving into using any kind of removal tool or phone-calling your friendly customer support folks. This is also assuming you are on Android, though some of this may be relevant to iOS too (though I don’t know how/if the Music app differs).

The vast majority of users who find they have ‘something in their cloud’ that they purchased or gave access to years ago, but now don’t see in their library and can’t identify what it is or why it’s there – this turned out to be the Google Music subscription service.


The best way to explain is to show you an example user’s homepage: http://imgur.com/AiZzDM3. There’s a lot going on here so let me walk through some things that may not make sense to you, starting with the purple “Google Play” area (see below for a screen shot without the purple):

This is Google Play. It used to be called Android Market when it was first released and did nothing more than allow users to purchase apps. Today it sells content of all kinds including music, movies, books and magazines. When looking at music/albums on Google’s main page (this could be via google.com or on an app), there is an option that says ‘Listen now’, which is where you will find free 30 second preview clips of songs from a wide variety of albums: https://play.google.com/music/listen#my_alpha. If you click this link, then scroll down to the bottom, you will see a link for “Google Play Music”, which takes you to an interface that allows you to pay-per-song: https://play.google.com/store/music#collection. Once this is finished loading, click on the purple area in the top left and look at some of the options (see below).

Let’s go back to the other interface and talk about what each piece does. The first is ‘Listen now’ – if you select it from Google Search or An app with a music search option like Pandora or Spotify then when a song ends, it will automatically show up here under your Library section (it disappears within 10 seconds). Next is your “library” which appears in blue above – this is your library of music and contains all the albums you have bought (paid or free) – it’s important to note that songs/albums you’ve uploaded manually don’t appear here. Next are the ‘Playlists’ under Library – these are user created lists of any kind, including some created by Google for their own reasons. Next is Play Music itself, which is an official Google service where users can pay-per-song for individual tracks. The “radio” icon in orange next to it allows users to search through genres to find stations they like – this is a good way to discover new music. Finally we have YouTube Red, which allows for ad-free experience with playing videos in the background and other features – not available everywhere, see below.

The “Google Music subscription” is that purple area in the top left, which when clicked on shows this window:

This is confusing to even those who use Google Music every day and well known by those tech heads who have been using it since before its launch because a lot of people were confused seeing this option appeared out of nowhere. There are two main ways users find themselves with these charges – 1) they signed up for a 3 month free trial via their google account or 2) many users discovered it after opening ‘Play music’ (sometimes called Play Store), then clicking on one song to play it and not noticing there was an extra “Google Music Subscription” section at the bottom saying something along the lines of “You can listen to this song for free, or subscribe for unlimited access”. The confusing part is that there are three options: Play Music (the ‘free’ play now option); YouTube Red (which costs $9.99/month) and Google Music Subscription ($7.99/month). How do you know which one applies to which?

I’ve contacted Google’s support multiple times but have not received any answer – the most concrete thing I heard was a user who had an email exchange with them and they said it’s supposed to be applied automatically when you click on a free 30 second preview clip from their main search page or app. This makes sense if you think about how Pandora works – users don’t pay per song on that service, they pay per month to listen and by listening to 30 second previews from Google’s main search page or app it seems to be applied automatically. However, I think what is actually happening here is that users are unknowingly paying for a subscription and then not using it while having the charges on their credit card every single month.

I believe this is deliberate because there are two instances where Google Play Music dials up your credit card without your choosing: 1) when you select a free 30 second preview clip from the ‘Listen now’ link on their main web site (this could have happened if you searched for something else within google Search and clicked on this link or if you used an outside music service like Pandora and clicked one of their links to play a song from within their service) and 2) when you use an app with Google Play Music built into it like Spotify, Soundcloud or any of the many other apps that use Pandora. In both cases users are not prompted for payment but it is applied anyways without your knowledge – I don’t believe this is by accident.

I saw something very strange (and concerning) while doing some research on all these charges: there seems to be no rhyme or reason when manually selecting songs and click on “Download mp3” in either google search or YouTube. Many times I selected one artist’s entire discography (15+ albums/mp3s) but only got charged once! This happened 3 different times over the last year. The way Google Play Music/YouTube Red charges is done in a very misleading way and this is concerning because I used to be on the free plan and when it came time to let my subscription lapse I saw $7.99 was taken from my account for no reason – first I thought it was for something else, but then realized it must have been because of that one artist’s 15+ albums (which amounted to 3-4 cents per album). Also, there seems to be no rhyme or reason when applying these charges – sometimes a 30 second preview clip works as a ‘launch point’ onto which you can listen all day on repeat without paying while other times sit limited to only 5 plays before launching into your charged subscription.

Why did Google Play delete my music?

This download is implemented to minimize the amount of space that downloaded music takes up and to curb abuse as it’s not available on any other app.

Why did my music disappeared from Google Play Music?

Google has discontinued Play Music in favor of a new music streaming service. This Google-owned app will be called YouTube music with many similarities to its predecessor, Google Play Music.

Where did my Google Play Music go?

The Google Play Music app is shut down, and will be replaced with the YouTube Music app. If you’re a Google Play Music user, it’s easy to migrate your files, playlists, and data from the old service to the new one.

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