Google rolls out new version of Google Music All Access with Songza playlist integration

Google Music All Access Listen Now page
Credit: Google

It's been a while since Google announced that they were buying streaming music service Songza but at long last Google Music All Access users are seeing the results of the acquisition.

As a former Songza user and a current Google Music subscriber I said in July that I was looking forward to the integration of Songza's playlists into Google Music. Now it's happened and I am not disappointed.

I'm still waiting for my Google Music apps to update so this post is based on my experience with the Google Music website.

When you hit your Listen Now page, Songza's playlist guide is featured prominently at the top of the page. Songza gives you a few 'themes' to pick from, such as "Working (No Lyrics)," "Traveling The World," or "Boosting Your Energy." These options are supposed to be based on time of day and what device you are using. You pick a choice and then get another tier of options to help refine that choice. For example, picking "Traveling the World" led to a choice of locations: "East Asia," "Iberian Peninsula," "Jamaica," etc. I chose "East Asia" and had three playlist options: "Essential J-Pop," "Best Voices of Mainland China," and "Cantopop."

Once you start listening to a playlist it gets listed under the "My Stations" section of the Radio page. Unfortunately there doesn't seem to be any way to favorite a playlist to keep it handy. You can however delete a playlist if it turns out to not be your cup of tea. You can also rearrange the songs, delete an upcoming song you don't want to hear, or even hit the Refresh button to get a new batch of songs.

If you're a Songza user you'll notice a lot of options that haven't migrated, at least not yet. Songza lets you browse playlists by mood, activity, genre or playlist and lets you tag your favorites for easy access later. I'd like to see some of these options make it to Google Music eventually.

Still it's a good start. Google seems to have added the Songza functionality without removing anything, so aside from a new look to the Listen Now page no one is losing anything that I can see (if I'm wrong, let me know in the comment section). It feels like a win for everyone to me.

You can learn more about Google Music's new features on the Official Android blog.

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