Google Play Music is Getting Smarter Thanks to Machine Learning

Today via a blog post, Google announced the redesigned and revised version of Play Music for all users. This brings much more intelligence to the search giant’s music streaming service and grants users a new UI to gander at while interacting with either the Android, iOS, or web app.

Starting with the new intelligence in Play Music, Google has built in the same kind of machine learning featured in their other products based on personalized recommendations. This means that based on your listening habits, Google will begin recommending songs, albums, artists, playlists, radio stations, and more right on the main page for quick access. You’ll also receive recommendations for music you like to listen to at certain times or at certain locations. Of course, recommendations have already been done before in Play Music, but this kind of machine learning is much more powerful. Therefore, Google will be able to predict songs and albums you may wanna listen to rather just suggesting them. The company explains this feature more in-depth below.

To provide even richer music recommendations based on Google’s understanding of your world, we’ve plugged into the contextual tools that power Google products. When you opt in, we’ll deliver personalized music based on where you are and why you are listening — relaxing at home, powering through at work, commuting, flying, exploring new cities, heading out on the town, and everything in between. 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.

In addition, alongside the new UI and search bar, Google has also built in a feature into the native Play Music apps where if you’re a subscriber to Play Music and plug in your phone, Google will download music for later based on songs and artists you’ve previously listened to. There’s no telling how accurate and useful this feature will be, but you may wanna turn it off anyway if you’re currently running out of space on your device.

All in all, this is a great revitalization of Play Music. By implementing the tools discussed here, it looks like Google really does have a worthy competitor to Apple Music and Spotify who have been using machine learning for quite some time now. Whether this will be enough for subscribers to either switch from another service or simply choose Google over everyone else is beyond me, but time will eventually tell if the search giant can really make it in the music streaming business.

You can download the free Play Music app for Android and iOS from the Play Store and App Store, respectively. The update will begin rolling out this week to all 62 countries where Play Music is available. You can also visit the official web player for the music streaming service here.