Looking for Google Play Music alternatives?

Google Play Music was a music streaming and music locker service run by Google. It was replaced by YouTube Music in 2020.

There are multiple replacements for Google Play Music out there - we've collected information on a few, including (disclaimer! 😆) our own service, Astiga.

In this round-up we're comparing the services for music library owners; that is, people who want to play their own music library. Music collectors were amongst the most disappointed users when Google Play Music was terminated, so that's why finding alternatives is important!

Google Play Music logo

Google Play Music

Google Play Music provided a vast music catalogue for streaming to your computer, mobile phone or other device. Importantly for music collectors, it also offered a music locker service to upload your own music library to so you can stream it elsewhere. When Google Play Music was discontinued, these features were moved to YouTube Music, but many users feel YouTube Music has never been as good for owned-libraries.

But no music streaming service is, or was, perfect! There were a number of common complaints about Google Play Music which would resonate when looking for a modern alternative.

Catalogue

Google Play Music’s catalogue was subject to the same changes as any other streaming service. This includes removals and non-canonical changes to content (e.g. removing explicit tracks, changing mixes).

Personal library

There was a 50,000 song limit as to how many songs and MP3s you could upload to Google Play Music, and each song could be no larger than 300MB

Playlist limits

Playlists were limited to just 1000 tracks on Google Play Music. If you had a large library that would make it tough to build playlists of broad genres, or even some prolific artists.

Audio quality

Google Play Music was limited to a 320kbps stream. That was lower than many audiophiles or anyone with higher quality hi-fi gear would prefer.

The big-tech content firehose

Google Play Music was run by Google and thus subject to the usual big-tech intrusions.

Maybe things weren't so rosy in the past, eh? If you're back to choosing a modern replacement for Google Play Music, what are your options?

Comparisons of Google Play Music alternatives

What are the key differences between the different Google Play Music alternatives?

YouTube Music Spotify Apple Music Plex iBroadcast Astiga
Library Catalogue, limited uploaded Catalogue, limited uploaded Catalogue, uploaded Uploaded Uploaded Uploaded
Storage location No control No control No control Self hosted No control Any cloud storage or self hosted
Offline sync Max 10 devices, must login every 30 days. Premium only, max 10k songs, 5 devices, login every 30 days. Max 100k songs. Playlists only Unlimited Unlimited
Library integrity No control of catalogue No control of catalogue No control of catalogue No removals No removals No removals
Podcasts
Browsing Recommendations and catalogue-oriented "Discovery" and recommendation oriented Catalogue-oriented Library-oriented Library-oriented Library-oriented
Recommendations Algorithmic Algorithmic Algorithmic Algorithmic None None
Upload longevity Until subscription ends Until subscription ends Until subscription ends Unlimited; stored locally Unlimited Unlimited; stored in the cloud / locally
Advertisements In the free plan In the free plan None In catalogue content None None
Audio quality Medium: 256kbps in Premium Medium: 320kbps in Premium High: Up to 24/192kHz High: Up to 16/44.1kHz In Premium: unlimited Unlimited: Native
API Proprietary Proprietary Proprietary Proprietary Proprietary Open; Subsonic
Company size Big tech Big tech Big tech Middle tech Bootsrapped/indie Bootsrapped/indie
Cost $14 $11 $11 Free/$4.99 Free/$3.99 $4.99
Catalogue
A rented music library, provided by a streaming service.
Offline sync
The transfer of music from a streaming service to a device for later playback with no Internet access.
Proprietary
Technical standards controlled by the streaming service.
Recommendations
The presentation of music the user may want to listen to.
Upload
Music files transferred from a user into a streaming service.

Comparing the streaming services

One-against-the-other, how do to the music streaming services compare? We've written these from the perspective of a music library owner, not a listener that will just consume the streaming services' rented catalogue.

Google Play Music vs. YouTube Music

YouTube Music was the replacement music service for Google Play Music. It took over in late 2020.

Google Play Music advantages

  • Better upload and personal library management
  • Less pusing of algorithmically recommended content
  • No pollution of recommendations from the YouTube platform
  • No video ads

YouTube Music advantages

  • It exists (!)
  • Added music videos
  • Dedicated artist pages with more information
  • Larger, more varied catalogue

When YouTube Music replaces Google Play Music, fans of the latter hoped that it would support the same owned-library features. Alas, Google has pursued a strategy of orienting YouTube Music toward casual listeners, promoting algorithmic recommendations, video and more. These days, your music library is very much secondary.

Google Play Music vs. Astiga

While both are music streaming services, Google Play Music and Astiga differ in the source of the music. Google Play Music offered a vast catalogue of music, plus the ability to upload your own library, up to a limit.

Google Play Music advantages

  • A larger, more varied catalogue was available

Astiga advantages

  • No unexpected removals of music
  • No limits on the size of uploaded music
  • No ads
  • Native audio quality

Google Play Music was good for owned music libraries, but there were limitations, particularly on uploaded library size, audio quality and playlist size. Astiga removes all those limitations, making it the no-compromise music library streaming service.

Astiga is a music streaming service which combines the best of self hosted solutions with the full power of streaming. There’re no servers to setup, all you need to do is register and link your cloud storage with Astiga. From there you can browse your music library and stream your music anywhere, anytime, and sync for offline access.

Why choose Astiga vs Google Play Music?

30,000 music lovers trust Astiga as a Google Play Music alternative for your own music library.

Astiga is a music service that puts you in full control of your music library. Choose the music you listen to and its audio quality, including lossless and HD streaming. Sync your music for offline playback to your devices, and cast your music to playback devices around your home.

What makes Astiga different to Google Play Music?

Google Play Music and Astiga are similar services. You can stream your own music library to your devices inside your home or outside.

There are also some big differences.

… it exists

Google discontinued Google Play Music in 2020. Since then, music collectors have been looking for a streaming solution for their own, curated, libraries. Astiga is here to provide that service.

Your library

You, not an algorithm, are your own best curator. We don’t believe in pushing music on you that you don’t want and inaccurate “recommendations”. Astiga uses your own library, curated by yourself.

No missing songs

Missing songs could occur within Google Play Music’s catalogue. Sometimes you could get missing tracks in the middle of albums. With Astiga it’s your music, so all your albums are complete.

Privacy by default

We make money by linking you to your music, wherever you are. We don’t sell advertisements and we don’t sell your data.

No limits

Google Play Music allowed a maximum of 50k tracks in your personal library. With Astiga, there’s no limit to your music library size.

Audiophiles may apply

Google Play Music did not support high quality audio; it maxed-out at 256 kbps AAC. With Astiga you can stream your own HD or lossless audio to any of your devices, even on mobile connections.

Choose your own player

You are not forced to use a proprietary app or any other software. Astiga is Subsonic compatible; you can use the official app or any Subsonic music client to play and sync your music.

Choose your storage

We don’t force you to store your music in one place. Instead, we have connectors to all the major cloud storage providers. This means you are in control of where you store your music.

Your library, your way

Astiga allows you to re-tag your music so it can be organized in different ways. Tired of being forced into a user experience you don’t want? Then rename, re-tag and re-organize your music as you want!

Want your music back?

With Google Play Music, if you wanted to get your music uploads back on your computer you needed to order a new “Takeout”, a convoluted export process which oftentimes misses tracks and loses artwork and tags. No such problems with Astiga: simply download from your cloud storage provider.

Don't take our word for it...

The music streaming service you control

Astiga is like your own private Spotify; a music streaming service that connects your to your music, wherever you are.

Wide storage support

Astiga supports a plethora of cloud storage services, including Google Drive, OneDrive (for Business), Dropbox, Amazon S3 (and S3-compatible providers such as Wasabi or DigitalOcean Spaces), Backblaze B2, FTP(S), WebDAV (like ownCloud, Yandex, Synology) and SFTP.

Works wherever you are

Astiga works in your home and out on the road. The official Astiga app supports Android Auto, allowing you to easily use Astiga while driving, plus you can synchronise for offline access.

Your home music network

Astiga's app supports Chromecast, and you can stream to your browser. There is support for your Google Home, allowing you to easily play back your music without using your phone.

Wide file format support

Astiga supports MP3, AAC (MP4), OGG, Opus, WebM, WAV, ALAC and FLAC.

Includes podcasts

Keep up to date with your favourite podcasts by storing them with Astiga. Download for offline access and to listen on a plan, in a car...

Offline music

We don't all have high speed mobile Internet nor unlimited mobile data plans. This makes offline important. Astiga allows synchronisation to your devices for offline, local playback. Ideal when travelling!

Switching from Google Play Music?

Ready to make the move? Here are the steps you need to follow. Remember we're always here to help you make the move!

If your music library is currently in Google Play Music or YouTube Music exclusively, you’ll need to download it using Takeout.

Altenatively, you might have your music collection already on your computer, in which case you don’t need to do anything at all.

Once your music collection is on your computer, you can upload it to any one of the storage services that Astiga supports. Or, you can setup pCloud as part of your Astiga signup process.

While your music is uploading - sign up to Astiga:

Let's get started!

Once you log in, you can connect Astiga to your music library.

On the Astiga home page, under Add storage, click your storage provider:

Enter your username and password for your storage provider, and then Astiga can begin synchronising with your music library.

You can immediately browse your music library via its files and folders, or wait for Astiga to synchronise with your library so you can explore your albums, artists, genres and more.

In the meantime, you can add podcast feeds and experiment with mobile apps to connect to Astiga.

Why wait? Switch now.