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Google drops Play Store option for all Android users – and starts deleting your data

Google has shuttered its Play Music for Android users worldwide. For those who don’t know, this iTunes rival lived in the Play Store and allowed Android users to purchase individual tracks and albums. Interestingly, it also allowed Android users to upload tracks they’d already purchases from other stores, like iTunes and Amazon, to be able to access them from the cloud anywhere in the world. As such, it was a solid option for those with more obscure music tracks that might not be catered to by the library of some 60 million tracks available on Spotify and other streaming options.

However, Google has now shifted to a Spotify-like model. Dubbed YouTube Music, this new option costs £9.99 a month and offers ad-free music playback, curated playlists of popular tracks, and the ability to download music for offline listening.

While Apple Music offers exclusive albums and its 24/7 radio station as its main differentiator, Spotify relies on its colossal podcast library and almost ubiquitous apps for all smart speakers, set-top boxes and more. In contrast, YouTube Music touts its unparalleled access to live performances, including gigs uploaded to YouTube which can be streamed ad-free. There are also covers and remixes – two more hugely-popular video categories on YouTube.

And for those who relied on Google Play Music to listen to their favourite tracks?

Google had offered users the chance to transfer their existing library to YouTube Music free of charge. However, the deadline to complete this process was set at December 31, 2020 with the new year marking the end of Google Play Music.

However, despite the deadline now being firmly in the rearview mirror, Express.co.uk has still just about been able to access the free transfer tool, which can be found at: music.youtube.com/transfer. We’ll update this article if we hear any different from Google, but if you haven’t already transferred your music from Play Music, you should race to use this online tool as quickly as possible.

You’ll need to be signed-in with the Google Account that you used to purchase or upload your Play Music library to complete the transfer to the new streaming option.

A message on the site says: “Google Play Music is no longer available. You can transfer your account and library, including playlists and uploads, for a limited time. If you want to keep your music, download it soon. If you choose not to delete it now, we’ll automatically delete any remaining music and data once shutdown is complete.”

With any luck, Google has extended the deadline for a few days to allow those who had forgotten about the shutdown to retrieve their digital purchases.

That said, Play Music users have had a long time to download or transfer their music. Google first confirmed that Play Music would be closing its digital doors back in August 2020. Speaking at the time about the decision, Google said: “Over the past couple of months, we’ve been welcoming Google Play Music listeners to YouTube Music as they effortlessly transfer their music libraries, personal taste preferences and playlists to YouTube Music.

“Today we’re announcing two important updates. First, YouTube Music will replace Google Play Music by December 2020. Users will have the opportunity to transfer their music libraries from Google Play Music to YouTube Music in that timeframe. Second, in the coming months, Google Play Music users will no longer be able to stream from or use the Google Play Music app. Additionally, we are making changes to the Google Play store and Music Manager.

“Starting in September 2020 in New Zealand and South Africa — and in October for all other global markets — users will no longer be able to stream from or use the Google Play Music app. But don’t worry, we will be holding onto things like your playlists, uploads, purchases, likes and more until December 2020 to make your transfer to YouTube Music easier. Users who wish to transfer their music libraries from Google Play Music to YouTube Music, can do so through December 2020, after which their Google Play Music libraries will no longer be available.”

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