Friday, January 28, 2022

Replacing Google Play Music: How I Store & Stream 22 GB of My Own Music (MP3s) for a One-Time Cost of $7.99


Ah, Google Play Music... How I miss you!

Once upon a time, I was a loyal and satisfied Google Play Music customer. I used it to:
  • Upload and store thousands of my own MP3 music files (many pulled from my own CDs) in the cloud.
  • Search for and purchase new music as MP3 files.
  • Stream music to my Android tablet and phone.
  • Save and play my custom playlists offline.
  • Cast music to any combination of my eight Google Home speakers.
  • Stream music from my phone to my Android Auto screen and control playback hands-free while driving.
And all this was free of any monthly costs and free of advertising. The only cost was a one-time purchase fee for new songs or albums from the Google Play store.

And then Google killed Google Play Music and replaced it with YouTube Music, which requires that I pay a monthly fee for doing many of the things that Play Music did for free. Worse, they insert ads where there had been none before!

The bottom line: I decided to figure out how to replicate the old Google Play Music experience using free alternatives. And I'm pleased to say that my new music streaming system works great!

My New Cloud Storage & Streaming System

Here are the key components of my Google Play Music replacement:
Using the components above, I am able to do pretty much everything I was able to do with Google Play Music, including casting music to any cast-enabled device. The only thing missing is the ability to initiate music playing by saying, "Okay Google, play [playlist]..." Instead, I use my phone or tablet as a remote control to begin casting a particular playlist via CloudPlayer. Then, once the playlist has started playing on my Google Home or Nest smart speakers, I can use "Okay Google..." voice commands to stop, pause, rewind, tell me the name of the song that's playing, etc. So for a one-time cost of just $7.99 I get pretty much everything I need from my personal, custom-made, ad-free streaming service. **

(NOTE: If I had a TON of my own music and needed more than 22 GB I could buy 100 GB of storage for just $20/year from Google Drive. But, for now at least, I have plenty of cloud capacity so I'm going to stick with my free 22 GB storage strategy.)

So how can you set up your own service like this? It's easy! Below are the steps.

How to Build Your Own 22GB Cloud Streaming Service for One-Time Fee of $7.99