Put your music in the cloud and stream it anywhere
Before All Access, before the white and orange overtook Google Play Music, the service was rather simple: you uploaded your music, and you streamed it anywhere. It was a simpler time. It was a better time. Nowadays, many users use Google Play Music without ever uploading their libraries. Whether you want to download the music you bought, upload the music you own, or just get music saved on your phone for offline listening in the car, here’s how to manage your Google Play Music library.
- How to upload and download music on Chrome
- How to upload and download music through Music Manager
- Why can’t we upload on Android?
- Saving albums or playlists for offline playback
- How to automatically save music while you listen
- How to automatically save new podcast episodes
How to upload and download music on Chrome
Uploading and downloading music can be done quite easily in Google Chrome, thanks to Google Play Music for Chrome. This web extension adds a miniplayer for Google Play Music while listening on your laptop or desktop, and it also adds the behind-the-scenes necessities to upload and download music from Google Play. Keep in mind before using Play Music for Chrome that using it to download or upload music will add that computer to your device list, so make sure the computer you’re using it on is the computer you’re normally going to use.
Tap the three-line menu icon in the top-left corner of the screen.
Tap Upload music.
Drag and drop your music into the window.
If you haven’t already added Google Play Music for Chrome, Google will prompt you to add it so that it can commence the upload.
To download a song or album:
Tap the three-dot menu next to the song or album you want to download.
If you haven’t already added Google Play Music for Chrome, Google will prompt you to add it so that it can commence the download.
You can only download a song or album twice through the Google Play Music website and Chrome extension, so be mindful, and if you’re planning on doing a large download or upload, switch from Google Play Music for Chrome to Google Play Music Manager.
How to upload and download music through Music Manager
Google Play Music Manager was originally the only way to get your music in or out of Google Play Music’s music locker service, and while the program is slightly old, it works well and more importantly, it works in the background, so you don’t have to look at it very often. Music Manager is available for Windows, Mac, and several Linux distributions; in fact, it’s compatible with just about every major laptop/desktop OS out there except for Chromebooks.
After downloading and installing Google Music Manager, you’ll log into your Google Account, and then you’ll be presented with a few options:
- Uploading from iTunes — or Windows Media Player, if anyone still uses that — or uploading music from specific folders on your computer
- Whether Play Music automatically uploads new music from iTunes or your chosen folder
- If you want to download your library, you can choose to only download free and purchased music or your entire library
Once you’ve applied your settings, simply close the window and let the program run in the background while you use your computer normally. Because the app relies on background uploads and downloads, it’s not lightning fast but it also doesn’t bog down your computer’s internet speeds while it manages your music. Uploading your initial library or downloading your whole library will of course depend upon how many songs you have and how fast your internet is, but if you have a few thousand songs, I’d give it a day or two to finish uploading everything. Your times may vary but your patience will be rewarded.
Why can’t we upload on Android?
You’ll notice that for a Google service that is so geared towards the mobile experience, Google Play Music doesn’t actually have a way to upload or download music directly from its Android app. The “download” option that exists in the Google Play Music app is actually more akin to the save for offline playback in Google Play Movies. The music’s on your phone, but it’s encrypted, so no other music app can see or play it.
At least for the downloading side, I can see how that might get a touch dicey, especially when you get the paid subscription songs involved in offline downloads. However, it’s been over five years, and it’s long past time for Google Play Music to have an option for uploading your music directly through the Android app, especially when the device you upload or download music through counts towards your device limit. If Google Photos can automatically scan your phone and ask you if you want to upload photos and videos in whatever random folder of your phone, then damn it, so can Google Play Music. Don’t make users go through a desktop middle man.
Saving albums or playlists for offline playback
Open the playlist or album you want to download.
Tap the download icon next to the three-dot menu icon.
Want to download an individual song? Well, you have three options: download the whole album that song is from, add it to a playlist and download the playlist, or turn on the setting in our next section.
How to automatically save music while you listen
Don’t want to hassle with manually going and downloading every album, song, and playlist you’re listening to? Not a problem. Google Play Music has a handy hidden feature to help users download music for offline playback while they’re streaming their libraries. Cache music while streaming is a great setting that you should turn on immediately, whether you spend a lot of time off Wi-Fi or just want to make sure you’re not tuneless should your trusty Wi-Fi go down.
Tap the three-line menu icon in the top-left corner of the screen.
Tap Cache music while streaming.
How to automatically save new podcast episodes
Having new podcast episodes downloaded and ready to listen without having to go hunt them down while you’re on Wi-Fi is a blessing for long commuters, and Google Play Music makes it very easy to keep the latest episodes downloaded on your phone. There is, however, one caveat: Google Play Music will only auto-download 3 episodes at a time. So, if you listen to a podcast that’s updated every day — or sanity help us multiple times a day — auto-download might not keep everything you haven’t heard yet downloaded unless you really stay on top of your subscriptions.
Tap the three-dot menu on the podcast’s page.
2 Tap Subscribeif it’s a podcast you haven’t subscribed to before or Manage subscription if it’s a podcast you already subscribe to.
Tap Auto-download to toggle it on.
Tap Subscribe if it’s your first time subscribing to the podcast or OK if you already.
Looking for more Google Play Music? Here’s everything you need to know!
New cameras and lights are coming, and the delayed security system gets a new name and a March launch date.
Ring — you know ’em from their connected doorbells — is unleashing a slew of news today out of CES in Las Vegas. The big strokes are coming from Ring’s acquisition of Mr Beams, which has a portfolio of wireless LED lights. These will tie in to Ring’s existing “Ring of Security” suite, which of course features the doorbells and external cameras we’ve used previously.
Ring also has updated its outdoor Stickup Cam to 1080p, and it’s introduced the Stickup Cam Elite, which has advanced motion detection and can use Wifi or PoE for an internet connection.
The bigger news, perhaps, is that Ring has apparently cleared the hurdles (brought forth by competitor ADT) that stood in front of its new Ring Protect alarm system, and the whole thing is going to be rebranded as Ring Alarm. The basic system will still cost $199 and will start shipping sometime this spring.
CES 2018: Ring Provides Whole Home Security Like Never Before With Latest Security Devices
For the first time, Ring introduces smart lights and indoor/outdoor cameras to the Ring of Security.
LAS VEGAS – Jan. 8, 2018 – Ring , t he leader in home security, unveiled at CES 2018 its whole home security ecosystem, which includes several new security devices that bolster the Ring of Security around homes and neighborhoods. Among the new products are two new indoor/outdoor security cameras and a line of smart, connected outdoor lights, called Ring Beams. Additionally, Ring announced its new, professionally monitored home security system, Ring Alarm, will begin shipping to customers in March 2018. The Ring product line, along with the Ring Neighborhoods network, enables Ring to offer affordable, complete home and neighborhood security in a way no other company has before.
Jamie Siminoff, Chief Inventor and Founder of Ring, said: “In order to execute on our mission of reducing crime in neighborhoods, homeowners need security that is affordable, proactive, easy to install, and comprehensive. All Ring products are integrated so homeowners can create a complete security system with custom zones, commands and settings to best deter thieves. As we begin shipping Ring Alarm, which offers professional monitoring and unlimited cameras at just $10 per month, and continue to innovate and layer new products and features into the Ring of Security and Ring Neighborhoods network, we’re going to make being a burglar in 2018 a very tough job.”
Stick Up Cam Elite
+ Indoor/outdoor security camera
+ Two-way audio
+ Advanced motion sensors with zone detection
+ 1080p HD video
+ Power over Ethernet (POE) or standard wall outlet
+ Wi-Fi or POE for internet
Stick Up Cam
- Indoor/outdoor security camera
- 1080p HD video
- Two-way audio
- Passive Infrared Sensor (PIR) motion sensors with zone detection
- Compatible with Ring’s Solar Panel Charger
Ring recently acquired Mr Beams, an innovative LED lighting technology company, in order to integrate
additional smart lights with its security devices.
- Patented smart, outdoor security lights
- Integrates with Ring app and all Ring security Cams and Doorbells
- Pathway lights
- Step lights
The much anticipated Ring Alarm will begin shipping in spring 2018; bundles start at just $199 and include:
- Base Station
- Contact Sensor (for a window or door)
- Passive Infrared Sensor (PIR)
- Z-Wave Extender
Ring Protect Plans
- 24/7 professional monitoring
- Cloud video storage for an unlimited amount of Ring devices at any location
- Free Ring mobile app usage
- 10 percent off all future Ring.com device purchases
Fast and wireless!
If you’re in the market for a new wireless charger, you won’t want to miss this one. RAVPower is currently offering its fast charging pad for just $7.49 when you use the coupon code 9D4N5YKB during checkout at Amazon. This is a savings of 50% and makes it super affordable to have one of these in every room of your home or office. This is a fast wireless charger, but you need to buy a wall plug that supports it. You can pick up a compatible plug for just $8.49 if you don’t already have one.
- Fast Charge & Wide Compatibility: Fast Charges up to 10W Qi-enabled and Quick Charge devices like the Samsung Galaxy S8 / S8+ / S7 / S7 edge / S6 edge+ / Note8; or charges Qi-enabled, non-Quick Charge devices at a standard 5W
- Tips for Optimal Usage: Charge full throttle by using a 15W or higher QC2.0 / QC3.0 adapter; simply equip your device with a Qi receiver if it’s not Qi-enabled out of the box. Does not charge through metal phone cases or cases thicker than 3 mm
- Safer Devices with Added Protections: Comes with overcurrent, overheat, over-voltage, and short circuit safeguards; standing behind our products, we include an 18-month warranty
- Discreet, Informative LED Indicator: Low-key, yet fully visible LED light turns blue or green to indicate whether it’s in standby or charging respectively
You’ll want to make sure you remove any metal cases or magnetic objects from the back of your phone before you use this (or any) wireless charger.
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Mid-range device at a low-range price.
The 32GB Moto X4 is currently on sale at Amazon for just $279.99, a match of its lowest price ever. This device regularly sells for $330 since its release last October. It is unlocked for use on both CDMA and GSM cellular networks. The phone is available in Sterling Blue and Super Black at this sale price.
This version of the Moto X4 smartphone includes special offers and ads on its lockscreen. It features 12MP + 8MP dual rear cameras along with a 16MP front-facing camera with selfie-flash. It also features a 5.2-inch display, 3GB RAM and hands-free Amazon Alexa allowing you to play songs, listen to the news, check the weather and more by simply asking. This device is also water resistant.
It can hold up to 32GB of music, apps, documents and other files, though you can expand its storage space by adding a micro SD card to your order. Just $20 can triple the amount of space the device currently has.
Our review said the device is “a mid-range Android phone done right” and noted “for $400, it’s tough to find a better overall experience than the Moto X4 today.” Now at under $300, it’s more than worth the price.
If the price is still a bit too steep for your budget, the Moto G5 Plus is also currently on sale for only $199.99.
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What you need to get started with the hottest new game!
We love trivia games. Whether they be on the television or at the table-top, quiz and trivia games have been a long-time favorite for a lot of people. HQ Trivia is the evolution of everything from those old black and white shows from yesteryear through to today’s newest tech, all mashed together into one heck of a fun app.
HQ can be a lot of fun, and with a chance to win real money — a lot of it — everyone is playing! There are 500,000 to 750,000 players regularly tuned in to the twice-daily show and the app has hit the whopping 1,000,000 player mark in very short order with its debut in beta-form for Android.
1M! congrats @hqtrivia pic.twitter.com/jS2gewo5ee
— Sam Sheffer (@samsheffer) January 8, 2018
Here’s what you need to get started having fun and winning some cash.
What is HQ Trivia?
Think of HQ Trivia as a live game-show app. It’s very much like Jeopardy! except you don’t have to fly to a TV studio to get in on the action and play.
Twice a day at 3 pm and 9 pm Eastern, a host hands out multiple choice questions on a wide range of topics and you answer as best you can. Get all 12 correct and you win a share of the pot. Get a question wrong, and you’re out for the session and will need to wait until the next round to try again.
You watch and play right from your phone, as it happens in real time, against hundreds of thousands of other players. Prizes range from a few dollars to a whopping $18,000 we saw gave away this past New Year’s and it goes straight into your PayPal account. It’s a lot of fun and a chance to win real money — two things we all love.
How to download HQ Trivia
That’s the easiest part! All you need to do is fire up the Google Play Store app!
The app is in beta “unreleased” form on Android, but that hasn’t stopped hundreds of thousands of people from giving it a go since it’s release on Android. Install it like you would any other app.
Download HQ Trivia from Google Play (free)
Downloading and installing HQ Trivia is completely free. Because it’s still in an unofficial beta state, the app might be a little unstable according to the developers. But don’t worry, it’s not going to mess up your phone and for the most part, it plays just fine and you’ll have a lot of fun.
How to sign up
You’ll need a unique username and a phone number to get started with HQ Trivia.
You sign up right inside the app and it is the first thing you’ll be asked to do when you open it. When a game isn’t in session, opening the app tells you when the next one starts and lets you see your total winnings or look through the leaderboards.
Be sure to read the terms and conditions before you go any further, and after you’re properly signed in you are asked f you’d like to receive push notifications letting you know when games are about to begin so you can get in on the action.
How to play
Right now HQ Trivia is free to play and free of any ads. Make sure you’re signed in on your phone and every day at 9 pm and weekdays at 3 pm all you need to do is open the app to get started.
You’ll be asked a question and given three possible answers. Questions cover just about every topic imaginable and just like the game shows you’ll see on TV they can be hard or they can be easy, but get progressively more trivial as the game goes on. Answer correctly before the 10-second timer runs out and you move to the next question. Get it wrong or take too much time and you’re out until the next game.
There’s a live chat during each game if you want to be a little social, but you can also swipe it off the screen if it gets too distracting.
If you’re booted, you still get to stay and watch the others play. This is almost as much fun as playing yourself!
Like any good game worth its salt, HQ Trivia gives you extra lives.
If you have an extra life while you’re playing a game, you get a chance to answer a question wrong or take too much time and not be ejected from the game. Instead, your extra life is taken and you get to move on to the next question.
You earn extra lives by referring your friends to HQ Trivia.
How much can I win?
A lot! While HQ Trivia is free to download and play, you can win real money if you make it to the end of a game.
Total prizes start around $2,000 and are split evenly between everyone who survived the 12-questions. If everyone is eliminated the prize rolls over to the next game. It keeps going until someone wins.
Winnings are stored in your account and once you hit the $20 mark you can cash out via PayPal. You won’t need to enter a credit card or pay anything to play.
Google’s Family Link program has you covered, plus a lot more.
Google is ending support for the Chrome Supervised User feature starting January 12. Starting then, you’ll no longer be able to create or re-import a managed user account and on January 15 remote supervision through chrome.com/manage will no longer be available.
Existing Supervised User accounts on Chromebooks as well as browser accounts on Chrome for Windows, Mac, and Linux will still function as they do now, but a manager will not be able to set or change any browsing restrictions or use any other management features.
Google says they are depreciating managed Chrome accounts in favor of the recently launched Family Link program, which also allows for Google account creation and web browsing restrictions in addition to app and device management for Android devices.
More: Google gives parents some much-needed help with Family Link
Supervised User accounts were one of the many Chrome features that didn’t get much attention. But if you are using a managed account, or are the manager of other Supervised User accounts, now would be a great time to look at switching everything over to the Family Link program. You’ll have the same user features through the browser, as well as everything you need to keep tabs on the kids if they have an Android phone or tablet.
- The best Chromebooks
- Should you buy a Chromebook?
- Google Play is coming to Chromebooks
- Acer Chromebook 14 review
- Join our Chromebook forums
Supervised profiles for Chrome let you decide what your kids will see on the internet.
Editor’s note: Google has ended support for Supervised User accounts as of January 12, 2018, in favor of the new Family Link program.
Got little ones who want to use a Chromebook or surf the web on your MacBook or Surface but aren’t ready for everything on the internet? A supervised profile might be just what you’re looking for.
A supervised account isn’t connected to Google in any way, and the owner of the Chromebook (whoever first signed into it) controls what that account can do. You can block websites, see the full internet history, preinstall extensions and bookmarks, and more. It gives you pretty tight control over what the managed profile can do. Supervised profiles in the Chrome browser on Windows or Mac or Linux only control the browser window and can be created by any other user.
It’s pretty simple to do and everything is right in the settings, so you won’t have to enter any commands or read any confusing help files.
- Make sure you’re signed in as the owner of the Chromebook and open the settings.
- Look in the People section to Manage other users and you can make sure supervised users is enabled.
- Log out and on the start page, click More instead of signing in, and you’ll see Add supervised user.
- Click that link and you’ll be asked which account will be the manager. Enter the password for that account.
- Next, choose the name, password, and profile photo for the new account.
For the Chrome browser
- Open the settings and go to the People section.
- Click the Add person button.
- Check the box that says you want to control and view the websites this user visits when you enter the name and password.
Now you can go to the new Supervised users section of your Google account and set up any restrictions you would like to enable.
One last step
If you’re using the Chrome browser on Windows, Mac, or Linux, there’s one last thing you should do to make sure the supervised account isn’t able to switch to your account. Kids are smart. When you shut down, be sure to enable Childlock.
- In the upper right corner you’ll see your name. Click on it.
- Click the Exit and childlock label.
Now you will need to enter your password the next time you want to log into Chrome.
We think everyone should be able to raise their children the way they think is best. That means different things to everyone, so we need tools like these. Like Chrome OS itself, Google has streamlined the process and management of user accounts in Chrome.
The most boring “battle” in the history of technology has drawn to a close. For now.
Wireless charging, specifically the part where you can put your phone on a puck and charge your phone over magnetic induction instead of plugging in a cable, has been a thing for years now. Palm was the first big name to do it, and when Android phones picked up steam the tech started a slow burn to where we are today. It’s not the most common way to charge your phone by a long shot, but it has gotten less complicated and significantly less expensive over the last couple of years.
One of the things that helped this process over the last couple of years has been the consolidation of competing technologies into the Wireless Power Consortium. Today, the last major competitor to the WPC announced it was joining and sharing its technology to advance the Qi standard of wireless charging. That’s right, smartphone fans, Powermat has finally decided to join forces with Qi.
For years now, wireless charging has meant two options — Qi or Powermat. For the longest time these options were incompatible with one another, meaning your phone either supported one or the other. Some restaurants and coffee shops would support Qi, other Powermat. Starbucks went so far as to offer special adapters you could plug into your phone to take advantage of this feature, and as long as you could wrap your head around plugging something in to your power port so your phone could charge “wirelessly” it worked okayish.
Looking to pick up a wireless charger for yourself? These are the best!
Samsung changed things a bit with the Galaxy S7, a phone with wireless charging that supported both Qi and Powermat without needing to do anything. It meant switching to a glass back on the phone, something Apple followed suit with on the iPhone 8, but the real success here was not needing to worry about whether the charging puck you were using would actually work with your phone. With Powermat joining the WPC, there will be a day in the not-too-distant future where every phone with wireless charging will be able to enjoy simply dropping the phone onto a puck and seeing it simply start charging.
This move is going to be good news for everyone. Powermat technology will become a part of the Qi standard, and the lack of a competing standard means there’s even more incentive for phone manufacturers to join in the push to make wireless charging the default.
The wireless charging wars have ended, at least for now. We know at least one company has recently received FCC approval for over-the-air power that does not require a special puck to set your phone or watch on. There are also patents from Apple for wireless power transfer that can choose which devices get more power. It’s likely we’ll see more about that this year, possibly with supported devices shortly after. Who knows, maybe the wireless charging wars are finally starting to get interesting?
A modern take on the neighborhood watch.
Over the past couple years, there’s been a surge in smart home security systems. The likes of Nest and Ring have been leading this charge, and now Vivint is releasing something unique (and possibly unsettling) with Streety.
Streety is a free mobile app that you’ll be able to download to your phone this spring, and it’ll allow you to view live feeds and video clips of smart security cameras throughout your entire neighborhood. Anyone in the United States and Canada will be able to use the app to view video feeds that are being shared to Streety, and whether or not you own a smart camera made by Vivint or another company, you’ll have to choose if you want your video clips shared to your Streety network before people can view them.
With Streety, Vivint is hoping that people will use the app for monitoring activity in neighborhoods, sharing video clips to solve any incidents that happen, and even watching a neighbor’s home while they’re away on vacation.
To help ensure that Streety is being used legitimately, Streety neighborhood boundaries are limited to a radius of 300 yards and a verification process from a third party will confirm that user identities match addresses they’re paired with.
Speaking about Streety, Vivint Vice President and General Manager of Cameras said:
As cameras are one of the fastest-growing product segments in the smart home industry, neighbors often ask each other if cameras captured something around their home or on the street. Streety makes it easy for neighbors to request and share video so they can take better action, faster.
If you own a smart camera, does Streety sound like something you’d be interested in using?
Ring adds Beams to its ‘Ring of Security’ as Ring Alarm set to ship this spring
Stay in the know!
Tracking your weight has gone from a manual process to an automated one thanks to smart scales. In the past, these scales had been on the pricey side, but they have recently become way more affordable. Right now you can pick up the Eufy BodySense Smart Scale for just $35.99 at Amazon, which is $10 less than it normally sells for. The discount only applies to the blue version.
It integrates with Google Fit and Apple Health and supports multiple device pairings so that up to 20 people can use the scale with ease. This scale can track your weight, body fat, BMI and more. You can also view all your information right from within the free EufyLife iPhone or Android app.
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