Google Play Music will be retired later this year. We can't say we are surprised: the company is betting everything on YouTube Music now, and the old app, however popular (it had reached 5 billion downloads just a few months ago) had clearly become redundant and superfluous.
Play Music continues to have some features that make it unique in the panorama of streaming apps: for example the ability to upload your MP3 files and listen to them without a subscription. It may seem unnecessary nowadays (who still downloads the MP3s?), but there are some niche cases where the idea can make sense – for example if you are a musician and you have to / want to practice your own songs, for example, or if you listen to groups / musicians who for various reasons they are not present in the catalogs of the various Spotify and Apple Music.
The upload feature was recently introduced in YouTube Music, as well as the Explore tab from which you can discover new artists, suggested based on your music collection. Google therefore deemed the time for retirement to be ripe; in all this he also released a migration tool from old service to new. Just go to https://music.youtube.com/transfer and follow the instructions. It may not work for everyone yet: a notification will signal when it will be possible to proceed. Google says it will be possible to keep:
- "I like" and "I don't like" put on songs
- suggested bands and artists
- library of songs loaded
- purchased music
- albums and songs in the library
- any active paid subscriptions
The process could take a few days based on how many songs were loaded for free (remember that at the time Play Music had an exaggerated limit, 50,000 songs, regardless of quality and size). The tool does not allow you to select which content to transfer and which not: either all or nothing.
For those who use Play Music for podcast playback, there is also a migration tool to the new Google Podcasts. It works in a completely similar way: just go to https://podcasts.google.com/transfer.