Header Ads

Breaking News

These are the best replacements for Play Music's upload library


Google killed Play Music in October 2020, a service many people loved for one feature in particular — its online music file locker with uploaded songs that seamlessly integrated with Play Music’s streaming catalog. You could also just add titles you own and listen to them without ever having to pay a dime. Luckily, there are a few alternatives that replicate some of Play Music’s capabilities, including its successor YouTube Music.

Real online digital lockers

The first category is a collection of services that replicate Play Music’s feature set almost 1:1 — you can upload your files to these platforms and listen to them via the respective apps, just as though you would stream music regularly. However, these services have slightly different approaches than Play Music, so here’s what you need to watch out for.

YouTube Music

If you don’t mind the YouTube Music interface, it’s the most straightforward solution you could hope for as you can directly transfer your files from Play Music to the new platform for the time being. Once you’ve moved your uploads, you’ll find some significant differences when it comes to library management and adding new songs, though.

YouTube Music strictly separates uploaded music from music available on the streaming platform. When you search for your uploaded songs, you always have to switch from the YT Music tab to the Uploads section, a separation that also divides the library when you manually scroll through your songs. When you sort your library by artist and want to see someone’s albums, you’re out of luck: You can only see an overview of all songs when you go this route.

You also lose the dedicated desktop uploading tool that Play Music had. When you want to add new files to YouTube Music, you have to drag and drop it on the service’s website or rely on an unofficial third-party service.

YouTube Music is $10 a month if you want to access the streaming service portion of the service without ads, but the online locker is free and doesn’t have ads if you only want access to your own files.

We explored the differences between Play Music and YouTube Music uploads in great detail in this article.

YouTube Music - Stream Songs & Music Videos
YouTube Music - Stream Songs & Music Videos

Apple Music

If you can’t stand YouTube Music at all, you might want to give Apple Music a try. It allows you to upload 100,000 songs just like YouTube Music using iTunes on your computer. And much like Google’s new service, your uploaded library is separated from the music available on the service itself when you search, so that’s a limitation you’ll have to live with.

To access your music on an Android device, you’ll have to pay $10 a month for Apple Music, but the digital locker portion of the service called iTunes Match is also available standalone for $25 a year if you only use Apple products.

Apple Music
Apple Music

iBroadcast

iBroadcast may not have the prettiest interface, but if you only want access to your uploaded songs wherever you are, it might be the best solution. The free service lets you store an unlimited amount of files, comes with Android and iOS apps on top of the web app, supports Chromecast, and has some intelligent Spotify-like playlists. The privately funded Seattle company behind it promises that it doesn’t sell your data (we’ll have to take its word on that) and is currently working on a $3.99/month premium service with extra features to stay afloat in the long term.

  

iBroadcast even has desktop and Android apps that monitor your folders for new music. If your files don’t come with the correct metadata, you can adjust it after the fact — a Play Music feature YouTube Music never got. There’s also Chromecast support.

You can sign up for the service here.

iBroadcast
iBroadcast
iBroadcast MediaSync Lite
iBroadcast MediaSync Lite

Deezer

Deezer isn’t our go-to solution as it only lets you upload a maximum of 2,000 MP3 files. That limit means it’s only suitable for people who want to augment the service’s catalog with a select few titles. Like in YouTube Music, your own files are hidden away and aren’t seamlessly integrated with Deezer’s library. They only show up in an extra section in the desktop app, hidden away under Favorites in the sidebar -> More -> My MP3s (which is also where you upload files). In the Android app, you’ll only find your uploaded titles under Favorites in the bottom bar -> Playlists -> My MP3s.

  

You need to pay for the $10/month premium subscription to access the online locker, which will also give you access to millions of songs without ad interruptions.

Deezer Music Player: Songs, Playlists & Podcasts
Deezer Music Player: Songs, Playlists & Podcasts

Self-hosted digital lockers

Some people might not be comfortable with uploading their music to an unknown online location and might just want a better experience when they listen to music added to their existing cloud services like Dropbox, Google Drive, OneDrive, Box, or their own server. That’s where the following services come in.

Astiga

Astiga is a web service that offers a convenient interface for listening to music you’ve saved to your cloud storage. It’ll automatically organize your titles into a streaming service-like fashion once you’ve synced your library.

The basic functionality is free, but if you often add music to your cloud library, you might want to pay for the $4/month or $24/year premium subscription. It allows you to sync automatically or as often as you want to instead of only once all three days. Astiga is officially available on Android and the web, but there are third-party and experimental apps for other platforms. You can read more about it and sign up here.

Astiga - Your online cloud music player
Astiga - Your online cloud music player

CloudBeats

Like Astiga, CloudBeats is an app that connects to a cloud storage service or your own server and lets you stream your music files to your phone. The basic functionality is free, but if you want to download files to your phone through the app or send music to a Chromecast target, you need to pay a one-time fee of $6.99.

In contrast to the other options listed here, CloudBeats is only available on Android and iOS. You’ll need to use another player on your desktop to listen to your songs there, so you might run into roadblocks when you want to sync playlists.

CloudBeats - offline & cloud music player
CloudBeats - offline & cloud music player

Plex

You’ve probably already heard of the home entertainment server manager Plex that organizes media stored on your computer or server — cloud services aren’t supported (anymore).

The platform recently launched a standalone music player called Plexamp. It’s among the prettier solutions with a design that takes cues from Soundcloud and Spotify, written in responsive and modern React Native code. You need to pay $5 a month to use it, but you can also test the regular free Plex app before committing.

Plexamp
Plexamp
Plex: Stream Free Movies, Shows, Live TV & more
Plex: Stream Free Movies, Shows, Live TV & more

Personally, I don’t think any of these services nails music storage as well as Play Music did — Google’s service just had the best integration between your uploaded files and the streaming catalog. The solutions listed here are either only good at being a streaming service or at offering storage for music you already own. Unfortunately, there’s no turning back now that Play Music is discontinued, so you’ll have to settle for one of these (or just manually move your music to your phone and use something a player like Phonograph).

Source Link

No comments