Revamped Google Play Music to Use Machine Learning to Suggest Songs

Updated version of streaming service will start becoming available in United States and 60 other countries this week.  

Google Play Music Lists

Google uses machine-learning technologies in multiple applications including Translate, Photos and Inbox by Gmail. Starting this week, the company's Google Play Music streaming service will begin to use it, as well.

Google's newly revamped Google Play Music will leverage machine learning techniques to first figure out an individual listener's music tastes and preferences. The app will then combine other factors like time of the day. user location, activity and weather to suggest what it judges to be the most appropriate music for that situation.

Google Play Music will serve up different, customized playlists depending on whether the listener is at work, relaxing at home, working out, flying, or in the library.

"Your workout music is front and center as you walk into the gym, a sunset soundtrack appears just as the sky goes pink, and tunes for focusing turn up at the library," explained Elias Roman, lead project manager for Google Play Music in a blog post.

Google Play Music will serve up the music suggestions via a new home page that is customized for listeners based on music preferences. The goal is to ensure that the music that a user is most likely going to want to listen to at any moment is always on top of their home screen.

Like many other mobile applications and services from Google and other developers, Google Play Music will be available in an offline mode when the user is not connected to the Internet or is in a location with poor connectivity. In such instances, subscribers to the server will get an offline playlist populated with recently listened to songs,

The new Google Play Music will start becoming available to subscribers this week. It will be available on Android iOS and the Web version of Google Play Music. The updated app is being rolled out on a global basis and will be available in more than four dozen countries initially.

Google Play Music service allows users to load up to 50,000 songs from their devices to the cloud from where they can play it anytime on any Android, iOS and Web accessible device from anywhere around the world.

The service boasts a 35 million-song catalog across a wide variety of genres. Music listeners, who sign up for the $9.99 per month—or $14.99 per month per family per month—service get full, ad-free access to the catalog. People who subscribe to Play Music also get access to YouTube Red, Google's ad-free video and gaming service.

At least some of the features that Google announced this week were previously available through Songza, an online music streaming service that Google acquired in 2014 for an undisclosed sum.

Songza gave users the ability to listen to contextual playlists curated by experts and boasted of the ability to serve up song ideas based on location, time of day, activity and similar factors, just like Google announced this week.

Google maintained Songza as a separate music streaming service until last December when the company folded it into Google Play Music.

Jaikumar Vijayan

Jaikumar Vijayan

Vijayan is an award-winning independent journalist and tech content creation specialist covering data security and privacy, business intelligence, big data and data analytics.