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Google brings Play Music to Canada, includes All Access streaming and cloud storage locker (video)

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After a considerable wait, Google has launched its Play Music service in Canada. Launched in the United States in 2011, Play Music initially allowed users to upload up to 20,000 of their own songs to the cloud for listening through any device.

Later, Google added a music portal for album and song sales through the Play Store. Last summer, during Google I/O, the company added All Access, a streaming music service available on Android, iOS and the web.

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Today, after hearing the cries of hundreds of thousands of Canadians clambering for more choice in the digital music space, Google is making all three tenets of Play Music available nationwide. Sporting 25 million tracks, including many Canadian artists that are not available in the United States, Play Music will be offered at an introductory offer of $7.99/month, with a 30-day free trial, until June 30th, after which time it will return to its regular $9.99/month price.

Play Music All Access has evolved tremendously since its launch last summer, and the product we’re getting in Canada is a mature product that goes up against Rdio, Deezer, Slacker Radio and even Songza.

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There’s an a la carte element to All Access, allowing users to search for artists or albums and save them to a Library, and even cache them offline, for later perusal. But it also has a heavily-curated Radio portion that uses Google’s search algorithm to determine a user’s most appropriate track list. Radio stations and playlists can even be stored in their entirety for offline listening.

An editorial element also exists, with album reviews and featured artists. Google is even launching an Artist Spotlight element in the next few weeks, allowing independent artists to upload their albums and EPs for more exposure and direct access to royalties.

Google is launching the service with some deals on classic Canadian albums, including Drake’s Nothing Was The Same, Arcade Fire’s Reflektor, Neil Young’s Harvest and Bryan Adams’s Reckless for $1.49.

Play Music is pre-installed on all Android devices, and can be downloaded for iOS from the Apple App Store.

  • Sarah Ingalls

    Is there a fee for Play Music if you don’t want the All Access?

    • rgl168

      Nope – you can buy individual songs, or use Music Manager to sync your local music files on your PC (including those that were obtained from iTunes) that you own to your Google Music Account. You don’t need to subscribe to All Access if you don’t want to.

    • Sarah Ingalls

      Oh Good, I have been using it for about a year….found a work around. Now I’ll share the good news.

    • Steve Rodrigue

      You can store up to 20000 (20 thousands) songs for free. You can stream and/or pin those songs on up to 10 devices.

      You can only stream from 1 device at a time, but you can listen to local content on all your devices at the same time.

  • Nick Wood

    I’ve been using Play Music and All Access for a while now, but hacked it a bit by spoofing an IP and mailing address…
    Be great to be charged $7.99 CAD instead of $7.99 USD…

    Anyone else done this and know what you need to do to be charged CAD? Maybe just cancel All Access and re-up it with a different credit card?

    • Nick Wood

      From the article – “Play Music will be offered at an introductory offer of $7.99/month, with a 30-day free trial, until June 30th, after which time it will return to its regular $9.99 cost.”

      I’d assume this is for the CAD launch, not in regards to the US launch over a year ago.

    • lfeuln

      I had a valid US credit card so signed up for All-Access during the promo last year, but eventually cancelled mainly due to the lack of Sonos integration…a few months before it was finally announced. Also kind of felt I should support Rdio for having made the effort to be here in Canada legitimately.

      Just checked and looks like I’m still getting the option of a free trial and $7.99 price. Tempting!

    • lfeuln

      PSA – clicked on the trial, would not accept my Canadian card as payment method and wanted me to resubscribe for $9.99 USD. Tried going over to Wallet, deleted my US credit card, still no go. Checked my settings for wallet and it says I can’t switch due to having a Google Play balance. No idea if managing to eliminate that (not easy to get exactly down to 0) would then allow me to switch and get the music trial to work. Ugh.

      So basically – do NOT advise cancelling if you have a prior US account!!!

    • getdummied

      I am stuck in the exact same situation!

    • JLishere

      Were you able to sort it out? I cancelled All Access (US version), but have to wait until June 2nd to sign up again, since that’s the end of my billing cycle. Did you try deleting all credit cards, and re-adding just the Canadian one?

    • lfeuln

      Not all cards, no – I guess I could try, but my Wallet account is definitely stuck to US due to the Google Play balance. I’m trying to find some purchase combo to total $5.87 USD, fun. :P

    • Lt_Dan

      I’m thinking I’ve got the same problem. My credit is only 1.43, but its going to be a pain to get rid of it.

    • lfeuln

      Don’t waste time trying – I finally found 4 apps and brought it down to 0, still won’t work. Pretty ridiculous. Only thing that might work is asking support to escalate, maybe it can be done manually. But the initial support person won’t be able to help.

      I ended up creating a new account yesterday so I could have 60 days free, since I think it was only a one-day promo.

    • Lt_Dan

      Great. I guess I’ll be sticking with Rdio for now.

    • bronbron

      mine works in Canada!

    • Merags

      I tried to get All Access when it wasn’t available in Canada by spoofing my address in the US, but it wouldn’t work because of my Canadian Google Play balance (Nexus 7 2012 credit), so I was unable to. I did research on xda, even if you get 0 you still can’t change the country – it’s a problem too because if you did move between US-Canada legitimately, you wouldn’t be able to use that country’s play store…

    • Ravi888

      Sonos is supported now!

    • Guest

      Plus it is Sonos compatible now.

    • Zee

      Special intro price of $7.99CDN until June 30

  • Merags

    I’M CRYING FOR EFFING JOY

  • Labrat

    But what about CANADA!!!

    Sorry, it’s was saved for every Google Music news.

    Great to finally have them officially here

  • Darryl Friesen

    Track pricing seems all over the place (compared to iTunes); 0.99, 1.29, 1.49. Saw that Sail (Awolnation) was 1.99. Is the pricing that varied in the US as well? As much as I dislike Apple I’m wondering if we’re going to have to price compare tracks between services

  • Many99

    With google music finally here, it created a problem with me, I have 2 google accounts us and and canada. My USA account where my 8000 plus songs are in including my bought google music. Now that I can use my canadian google account and canadian money to buy songs. What is the best way to keep all the music in one account.

  • mola2alex

    Launched in 2011 so wait is much longer.

  • Lazardus

    For today only! Just CAD $7.99 per month. Includes 60 days free!

    • Zee

      Where do you see that? I only see 30 days free preview for $7.99 (offer until June 30th)

    • Thrasher

      Yes it is posted on Google+ by Google Play.

    • Lazardus

      Not sure why I can’t post the link..I’ve tried twice now. link is being reviewed

  • ExcessDan

    Anyone able to get the trial working? I think I’m boned due to uploading music through the US with unblock-us stuff. It says all of my payment methods are not valid when I go to start a trial. I think it’s locked me to the US Play Music. :(

    • bronbron

      mine works!

    • Lt_Dan

      I’m having the same problem. I tried deleting all the US info out of my Wallet account, and still no luck. I’m thinking it might have to do with the small credit that I still have from Google Opinions. Maybe. I created a new account, and it works fine, so maybe my music will just have to go that way instead.

    • ExcessDan

      Lt_Dan, see my post below. I got them to fix it without needing to make a second account.

  • ToniCipriani

    I’ve actually been using the Locker part for quite some time, just no All-Access and Shop. I hope by now they fixed that god awful Music Manager the kept uploading my songs over and over again. And speaking of which I need to clean that up and reupload everything.

  • SpikedLemon

    I dislike that it’s different between Canada and USA. I supposed that feedback is directed at Netflix but this seems to have the same issue.
    Why can we not have universal setups?

    • Patrick Cuyegkeng

      Because content generally has different owners and licensing agreements in Canada and the US. Broadcast rights for TV shows are often held by different companies, even if they have the same original network in the US (i.e. a US ABC show could be owned by CTV in Canada, while another one is owned by Global, and they could have different thoughts on how those shows should be streamed). It’s been like this for decades, not going to change any time soon.

      It’s possible the music catalog is not the same between Canadian All Access and American All Access, though no one has yet validated that.

    • JLishere

      Google itself announced that its music service features some Canadian artists which are not available in the US. I’m sure the opposite is also true.

    • SpikedLemon

      I know the root but doesn’t that just sound dumb to say?

  • McNucklefuts

    Does anyone know how to transfer music from my old ‘American’ spoofed music account, to the new Canadian account?

    • ExcessDan

      i used the locker thing and i never signed up to the service with a US card but now the sign up screen has me locked to a US sign up that won’t take any of my canadian credit cards.

    • Jesse Heise

      I’m calling google to see if they’re any help with this

    • Jesse Heise

      Google is manually changing my currency back to CAD, They said it may take 24-48 hours, I’ll see if this resolves the issue and report back.

    • ExcessDan

      man i guess calling is better but i couldn’t find that option in help. i emailed them and am waiting to hear back.

    • Jesse Heise

      Google Wallet support –> Help –> Contact US

    • JLishere

      So did you get it working in the end?

    • Andrew Kachaniwsky

      Just spent 20 minutes on the phone with Google Play support. They suggested I go ahead and Cancel the subscription as others have above. Once the current paid month is expired, then you can try signing up again as a Canadian user. They recommended removing all items with USA Mailing Addresses from the Google Checkout/Wallet profile.

    • lfeuln

      No go for me. :-( Had a Google Play balance of $5.87 USD, and even after I finally found 4 apps to total that exact amount (and the balance read $0.00) Wallet still wouldn’t let me change country or delete the “balance” in my payment options. I got the purchases refunded within the 15 min window but I’m definitely annoyed.

    • Eid

      If you have or carry a google play balance, that account is forever locked to the country that the balance was received for.
      Learned hard way when I got 25 Canadian for nexus7 2012 and had to open another account for play music as my main is forever Canadian.

    • JLishere

      My Google Play balance is in CAD, so I should be able to switch back to using a Canadian credit card (I hope?). Waiting until June 2nd when my US All Access subscription expires, then I’ll see if I can sign up again with an all-Canadian Wallet account. Fingers crossed.

    • JLishere

      Did you get in touch with a support rep; if so did they say they could manually switch you to Canadian currency? (I also read on another site that they are aware of this issue and working on a fix to allow users to convert their balance to another currency, instead of being locked forever to one country).

    • ExcessDan

      Mine is working now. I did what Jesse said as the email was taking too long. Contact by phone through the wallet support since that’s the only place I could find the option. They transferred me to Play support and from there I explained my issue and was put on some list for them to do some work on the back end. It was fixed in a few hours but they never called me back like they said they would. Email support eventually got back to me but only after they noticed it was fixed.

      Just so you know, I had only uploaded music to the locker when it was only available in the US. I never signed up to anything with a US credit card. Everything in my profile was Canadian on Wallet and Play and my credit card was always Canadian.

    • JLishere

      I chatted with a Google Wallet support rep, and he told me they can’t switch me back to Canada if I have a Google Play balance (even if it’s zero). Bummer.

    • lfeuln

      But is your Play balance in Canadian currency? If so you’re probably ok, my problem is that I used to live in the States so my Wallet account was created there, and I got a Google Play balance initially with my 2012 N7 purchase. :-/

    • JLishere

      My Play balance shows up in CAD when I go to wallet .google .com so it should be fine?

    • Andrew Kachaniwsky

      Please let us know if you’re successful in doing this!

    • JLishere

      I already cancelled my US All Access subscription, but it remains active until the end of your billing cycle (for me: June 2nd). After that I can sign up for All Access in Canada. The promo is valid until June 30th. It’s almost as if Google anticipated that some Canadians users would need to switch and gave 2 months of ‘grace period’ to do so. Awesome news!

    • Stu

      Do you retain all the songs in your library added with All Access? My next billing date is the 16 so I’m thinking of switching as well but don’t want to have to rebuild my library.

    • JLishere

      You retain your library as long as you’re able to renew All Access in the first place, which many users are saying they can’t do due to a Wallet restriction (US vs. Canadian credit card).

    • Aaron

      I also would like to hear a confirmation of this working. I have Canadian Play account Canadian CC with US address when I was travelling I signed up, so US All Access.

      Wallet has 00.03 CND in it, and is Canadian. Wouldn’t Mind switching to Canadian All Access but don’t want to lose US Promo rate attempting it if its not working to sign up Canadian.

  • Jason

    Best News Ever! Been using the music locker portion and it’s been amazing….my go to music player!

    Having said that, something has to give with these overpriced limited data plans…not many people will be able to take advantage of this without wifi.

    • Patrick Cuyegkeng

      I’ve been using All Access (virtual US credit card) for almost a year. Works fine over wireless data. The app caches songs you play by default, so unless you are streaming hours and hours of music you’ve never played before, it’s shouldn’t be too bad. Worst month I’ve had saw All Access suck up about 900 MB, and that was listening to new playlists and radio mixes. Didn’t have a problem getting through the month on my 2 GB/month cap.

    • Andrew Kachaniwsky

      Just be careful if you have 200+ songs in a single playlist and you decide to Sync that playlist to your device… and you tell it that it can download over 3G/4G/LTE.

      I suppose that’s kinda asking for a bandwidth issue.. but I’ve been caught a couple times with 2GB downloads from Play Music in a similar situation.

  • Azreik

    So how do I download this on my phone? Or am I missing something?

  • ChameleonX

    It’s about time. I cancelled my Rdio subscription to give this one a go, even for just a little while.

  • Steve Pons

    I’m a long time Rdio subscriber…love the service… but heard GREAT things about Google All Access… worth switching (or even trying it out)??

    • TomsDisqusted

      It’s probably pretty similar, but for Google’s locker service. For some users it’s great being able to have your personal collection + your online purchased stuff + your subscription music, all together in one service.

    • JLishere

      In a word: yes yes yes! Google Music is not only cheaper than Rdio (if you sign up at $7.99), it’s a hybrid of everything and it does everything well enough. Streaming + music locker (20,000 songs) + on-demand + offline support on Android/iOS + music store.

    • Steve Pons

      Thanks for the feedback… I’m going to do the trial and see what I prefer…

    • BlueTruck

      I’m a current Rdio user as well, and after a few hours with GMAA I’m on the fence… the GMAA mobile app is superior to Rdio’s, and bitrate of the files is higher, but I’ve found at least 2 things that for me tilt things in Rdio’s favour:
      1. syncing playback across platforms (e.g. pause on phone, resume in desktop browser).
      2. pinning songs for offline play can only be done via the mobile app, I don’t see a way to do this in the browser.

      Any more experienced users know if there’s a way around this?
      [edit: typo]

    • BlueTruck

      I’m a current Rdio user as well, and after a few hours with GMAA I’m on the fence… the GMAA mobile app is superior to Rdio’s, and bitrate of the files is higher, but I’ve found at least 2 things that for me tilt things in Rdio’s favour:
      1. syncing playback across platforms (e.g. pause on phone, resume in desktop browser).
      2. pinning songs for offline play can only be done via the mobile app, I don’t see a way to do this in the browser.

      Any more experienced users know if there’s a way around this?
      [edit: typo]

  • Music Man

    I am currently with Rdio, but want to give this a try. Is there anyway to transfer my library to Google access or will I need to rebuild my library again?

    • TomsDisqusted

      Good question. Sharing playlists is the closest thing to an export function in rdio – that I’m aware of.

  • David Reynolds

    Y E S!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Brad Hermann

      Is this really any different than using Pandora or grooveshark for instance? Or having music on your device or transferring from drive to your device. What is the benefit? Separate cloud storage from drive just for music?

    • DJRiful

      The benefit is one single ECOSYSTEM sync across your mobile and computers. Less import and export hazzles.

    • David Reynolds

      I like that I can upload my iTunes library and keep it stored onto Google’s Cloud. It acts as another (free) back up. Also, I use both iOS and Android so my music is synced between both worlds; I never lose my music. For me, that’s the win here. I do wish Google had a desktop music player a-la iTunes though. Can’t have everything!

    • DJRiful

      If you open the Google Play Music on your Chrome browser, it will ask you to import from iTunes library. :D

      Sadly, I’m away from my main computer.

    • Salinger

      Same here. And I have “auto upload” on my Mac, so every song I purchase on iTunes is immediately uploaded into my Google Music account. It’s great because no matter where I go, I can log into any computer and listen to all my music whether I have my phone or iPod or anything with me.

    • David Reynolds

      Exactly! And you don’t have to pay for iTunes Match anymore..which I should promptly cancel my renewal.

  • Ben

    I was hoping the Sound Search Widget would now work because of this … Nope! Urgh.

  • Jesus McDongswoggle

    “Canadian artists that are not available in the United States” not really a selling point…

    • JujuFTW

      It is for music lovers like me. We have the best music scene on the planete I believe.

  • mxmgodin

    Too bad… my employer blocks certain Google services on our computers, and I can’t try out All Access at work… which would be the main reason for me to get it.
    So I guess I’ll pass…

    • DJRiful

      VPN? PrivateInternetAccess? You can use VPN on your phone to bypass the wireless network firewalls Sonic something.

      I know how you feel, haha. I have the same problem.

  • Sergio Carchedi

    I don’t understand what I’m supposed to do here. The play music isn’t different from before. There’s no all access button. Is there an update i didn’t receive? I know the play Store changed, seeing as it now has a music button. But after I click on free trial. It sends me back to the play music app with no difference.

    • DJRiful

      On your phone? Go to the setting, the first link “Connect to your ____@gmail.com” account and start from there.

    • ChameleonX

      Also try hitting Refresh in the Settings menu…had to do that myself before All Access kicked in.

  • hapa

    does anyone know how to get the 60-day free trial offer? when i click on the link google posted for the one-day offer, it only shows 30-days free trial.

    • DJRiful

      60-days trial only offer to Chromebook users who haven’t claim their previous trial.

    • Thrasher

      Not true. My 60 day trial went through and I do not own a Chromebook.

    • Thrasher

      Yes works fine for me. Just make sure you are not using it on a US-spoofed Google Play Music account. Says my free trial ends july 4.

  • bronbron

    play music is garbage. why pay when you can download for FREE

    • DJRiful

      You got to support the artists one way or another. Otherwise there won’t be music to your ears. Better stop ripping songs off YouTube.

  • mastjaso

    It’ll be great when they start matching tracks with explicit songs. It makes the service straight-up unusable if you’re a hip hop fan.

  • Alain Lafond

    Yes, and I’m uploading my music now…
    Why should always have to be nearly last…

  • DJRiful

    There are some Canadian Exclusive albums lol, but most artists I love are in US base anyways.

  • Eluder

    Does Google’s Play Music do anything like iTunes match does? Meaning it detects your local tracks and provide a cloud (potentially better) copy from the cloud? I’ve always considered signing up for iTunes match, but hate that it’s only compatible with iOS, so I’d match rather support Play Music if it has the same functionality.

    • JLishere

      Yes, Google Music has a scan-and-match feature. It even lets you un-do when it gets something wrong, so you can manually choose from the cloud.

    • DJRiful

      + Cloud 20,000 songs storage is free to use.

    • Eluder

      Awesome, that makes the decision easier… Thanks!

  • CarrierBilling

    Just got it for $7.99 and billed directly on my phone bill, quite amazing!

  • Alucai Vivorvel

    “Play Music is pre-installed on all Android devices”

    Uhhhhh, no, it’s not. Play STORE, the place you can get the Play Music app from, isn’t even installed on all devices. Granted those are like cheap Chinese knock off devices, but still, that’s a fairly ignorant statement to make.

    • thomas nguyen

      when you say “cheap chinese knock off devices”, it is not an official android device. and anything released in the past year or 2 already has playstore. I’m sure they assume that we are talking about the recent and upcoming android phones, not one made 2 or 3 years ago.

    • Alucai Vivorvel

      That may be so, but not everyone has a brand new Android device. I feel sorry for those who read this article and go looking for Play Music, only to find that it’s not actually pre-installed on their device, and start panicking.

      Though I doubt there are many of those; chances are, if you read articles on this website, you know that Play Music is available in the Play Store.

      I think I was just bothered by how broad of a blanket statement that was. It’s all very good that the author meant newer devices – why couldn’t they have said that?

    • thomas nguyen

      Thats true, you got a point.

      But in all honesty, if you have an older devices 2 years or more, i doubt they have the ability to run play music without any slowdown of their phone usage.

      anyways, on top of the article, you can also download Play Music APK from androidcentral, it allows you to install it without going through the playstore (for the cases that the version is not supported on your older devices).

  • Stuntman06

    I wanted to buy music from Google for years. This comes too late. HMV already has my business.

    • JLishere

      I had no idea HMV had an app until now.

  • Matt Welke

    Forgive my blondeness here but I can’t figure out how to stream music from the locker to my phone. I went online and uploaded some music (just added my Music library from Windows) and it synced about 150 songs. I had already manually transferred a few of them to the phone. The phone sees the local songs but does not see the online songs. I do see a fancy new cast button in the app though, which leads me to believe the app is up to date…

    • JLishere

      Are you using an Android? If so, check the top menu where it says ‘Listen Now’ and make sure you’re in ‘All Music’ mode (rather than ‘On Device’). Also, make sure your Google account shows up in your Settings, and that ‘Google Music’ syncing is enabled.

  • Andrew Kachaniwsky

    Google Play Music already supports iPhone!

    • Frederick Edwards

      Google will never support Windows Phone. Xbox Music is on all three already and is $99/year. Microsoft is the only one focused on delivering its services across all ecosystems

  • HD Z

    When will it be realeased in Quebec ?

    • Eric_M1968

      It’s working in Qc.

  • Jeff Hanson

    The “scan and match” system doesn’t work. It barely matches anything, even skips some tracks on albums where it did match a few.

  • thomas nguyen

    music streaming is great and all, but the data service will go through the roof when using google play music on the 3g/lte network, it is not as optimized as others streaming music app.

    its good when you have wifi though!

  • Aaron

    Wondering the same thing…

  • Chris

    Enjoying it, but not worth $10 per month. Maybe if I had a longer commute.

  • Anthony

    Still no Chromecast support!

    • David Tran

      works on chromecast what are you talking about?

  • Jonah Emery

    I totally buy RDIO’s line that they are better because they focus on app design. Because they only do streaming music they are laser focused on the experience. Google has many hands in many pots. Does anyone know the bitrate of Google Music?

  • Steve Mielke

    If you’re with Rogers you can also have the 7.99 CAD/mnth billed directly to your Rogers bill.

  • Squint

    I didn’t really know much about Google music, but saw the banner in the play store and started it up and love the crap out of it. The Future is now!!

  • sharkhark

    Hi I downloaded the app and having recently switched from ff (due to horrible ff 29) I found it easy to have it add my songs.

    The app worked well on my phone and looks great.
    But using the beautiful looking app has a huge irritating problem?
    The full all access offer is pushed and pushed and constantly popping up. Driving me nuts. I have zero interest in their offer so the free access to your collection comes with this irritating problem.

  • dell

    I had the same US currency problem with my account because i signed up last year via vpn, and I put in a helpdesk request with google and they switched me over to canada, and i signed up for all access sucessfully.

    • NexusMarts

      how did you do it? can you elaborate the whole process?

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