Mobility

Pro tip: Manage Google Play Music for easier transition between online and offline modes

Jack Wallen shows you how to make Google Play Music work well when you're online or offline.

Google Play Music

If you're like me, music plays a huge role in your life — it helps get you through busy and on-the-go periods. If you do a lot of traveling, a great way to enjoy your music is through Google Play Music. With this tool, you can listen to and manage your music on your Android device, laptop, or desktop.

One issue you may come across is the inability to listen to all of the music from your Google cloud. What happens when you have no service (or you are in Airplane mode)? Any song saved in your cloud won't be available. Fortunately, Google thought of that and has made it very easy to manage your music. With a bit of set up, you can easily enjoy your music — even when transitioning between online and offline modes.

There are two ways to best manage this. The first is to manually download music from Google Play Music to your device. This is actually the easiest method. Out of the box, your device will be configured to only download music when connected to a wireless network.

To download an album or a song from your cloud, do the following:

  1. Open the Google Play Music app
  2. Swipe right, from the left edge
  3. From the sidebar, tap My Library
  4. Locate the album (or song) you want to download
  5. Tap the associated menu button (three vertical dots)
  6. Tap Download (Figure A)
  7. Allow the download to complete

Figure A

Figure A

Google Play Music on a Verizon-branded Droid Turbo.

Of course, there's an easier way to do this. You can set up Google Play Music to cache music so it won't use data the next time you listen to a song. In the settings window (open the sidebar and tap Settings), you'll find two options:

  • Cache during playback
  • Automatically cache

The Cache during playback option will cache every song you listen to for later (offline) playback. The Automatically cache option allows caching when charging and on a Wi-Fi network (this will save data). I highly recommend you enable both options.

Once you've cached your music, you can enjoy those tunes while traveling or when you're on a job site with spotty or no connection.

Is music a crucial part of helping you get through the work day? If so, what service or app do you prefer for the job?

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About Jack Wallen

Jack Wallen is an award-winning writer for TechRepublic and Linux.com. He’s an avid promoter of open source and the voice of The Android Expert. For more news about Jack Wallen, visit his website jackwallen.com.

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