Google Play Music will disappear at the end of the year, leaving YouTube Music as Google's only streaming music service. But before that happens, you have the chance to upload your music library, recommendations, purchased songs and personal uploads to YouTube Music with just a few taps. This will ensure that you do not lose any content when Google Play Music eventually turns off.
The transfer process can be done with an Android device, iPhone or from the Web. Whichever method you choose, all your stuff will be moved into the background, so you will be able to listen to YouTube Music and use the app as usual.
With an Android phone or iPhone
The process is the same for mobile devices whether you are using Android or iOS.
- Make sure you have the latest version of YouTube Music installed from Google Play or the App Store
- Open YouTube Music. You can get a pop-up advertising YouTube Music Premium. Just ignore it for now.
- On the main screen, you should see a banner that says "Upload your Play Music library." If you go to the app's settings, you'll also notice a new "Transfer from Google Play Music" option, which is another way to initiate the process.
- Click "Let's Go." YouTube Music will then display everything you need to move from Google Play Music, including songs, albums, playlists, purchases, uploads, your personal taste profile / recommendations, and your liked and disliked songs.
- Once the process is underway, you will see a persistent status transfer "upload your Google Play Music library" at the top of YouTube Music. Depending on the size of your library and how many others are currently doing the migration process, the migration can be done in minutes or as long as a few days. Things like playlists and your taste preferences are transferred almost immediately, with uploads and purchases taking the longest since Google makes a direct copy of these files.
- When the transfer is complete, you will receive both an in-app notification and an email confirming that you are done
- When all is done, take a look around and see to everything that has successfully made the trip. You should now also see a "keep listening from Google Play Music" line on the home screen to make the transition a little more seamless as you familiarize yourself with the YouTube Music app.
From a browser
You can also initiate the transfer from YouTube Music on the web – both on mobile and from a desktop browser. The video below is about the process, which is not too far away from the mobile process.
If you continue to use Google Play Music, you will need to transfer again
Google Play Music will remain available at this time and you will be able to access the service even after you have moved your library to YouTube Music. However, if you make changes to playlists or any other part of your Google Play Music library, you will need to make a new transfer to reflect them on YouTube Music. The two services do not synchronize content.
Thankfully, Google will only transfer what has changed or is new to subsequent transfers and will not attempt to copy the entire library again. The text will also read a little differently and should say something like "upload your latest Google Play Music extensions."
More questions answered
I really love Google Play Music! How much longer do I have to keep using it?
Google has not yet announced exactly when Google Play Music will go offline, but it is scheduled to happen sometime later this year. As you move forward, expect to see messages like the ones below in Google Play Music.
Since YouTube Music won't let you buy music, what happens to albums and songs I bought from Google Play Music?
All music you have purchased will now appear in the upload section of YouTube Music, which you will find on the right tab when browsing your library or viewing search results.
What about podcasts?
Google Podcasts are now the company's preferred podcast player, so that's what you can use when moving on from Google Play Music.
Is it possible that I dropped some songs on YouTube Music that I could stream on Google Play Music before?
Yes, there may be cases where this happens. The music catalogs for YouTube Music and Google Play Music do not match perfectly 1: 1. If a track is not available, YouTube Music shows it as gray in a playlist. It does this so that if the company acquires rights to that song later, it will appear in the places you expect it to automatically.
But keep in mind that your personal uploads are being transferred. And if you eventually find that a track is missing from YouTube Music's streaming directory after the migration, you can only upload it from your computer if you have it handy.
uploads? How does it work?
YouTube Music finally uploaded personal uploads a few months ago – and the limit has doubled from the Google Play limit of 50,000 and is now 100,000 songs. I think this is one of the best aspects of the whole service. But there is no longer a desktop app to send your files to the cloud; you will upload them with the YouTube Music site.
How is my Google Play Music subscription transferred?
Google analyzes your current Google Play Music subscription benefits during the transfer process to YouTube Music and provides you with a corresponding subscription. For example, if your plan previously included ad-free YouTube access, keep it. If it didn't, you only get YouTube Music's standard schedule. The price you pay each month and your billing date should remain the same.
I still have the really cheap $ 7.99 subscription plan that I got when Google Play Music "All Access" launched in 2013. Will I keep it with YouTube Music?
The answer to this question is incredible. Google does justice to its customers and lets them maintain that campaign rate from years ago, even after switching to YouTube Music. And if you live in a market where $ 7.99 also has an ad-free YouTube, you will keep it too. New customers can't get anything close to the cutest of a store. Enjoy.
How about family plans?
Family plans are also transferred to their YouTube Music equivalent, and Google tells me that users who do the migration process will be included in the Google Play Music Family Plan rules. YouTube Music requires all customers on a family plan to live at the same address – I'm not sure how strict it is for the company – but Google Play Music has never had this rule, so existing customers don't have to worry about it.