Google finally brought the scan-and-match feature of Google Play Music to the US last week, and with so many users trying the service out for the first time, some unexpected issues were bound to arise. One that seems particularly widespread deals with what happens when you try to have Google identify sounds containing explicit lyrics, where Google Play Music replaces your copy with a cleaned-up one, instead.
Like iTunes Match before it, Google’s tool scans through your music collection in order to verify and ID tracks. For those that Google already has a copy of on its servers, it can simply grant you access to those files, rather than requiring you to upload tracks yourself. The problem is when there exists a cleaned-up, radio-safe version of a song, and you’ve got the original, unedited version.
In these cases, we’re hearing that Google Play Music is failing to differentiate between the two versions, and linking the clean one to your account for streaming. This kind of problem isn’t anything new; Apple faced similar issues with iTunes.
For the moment, the only solution seems to be reporting an incorrect match when this occurs, and uploading your own copy to the cloud. Of course, that seems to defeat the point of scan-and-match, so we’re hoping Google comes up with something better.