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All-new Google Play Music app rethinks the home screen, using machine learning to constantly transform

By Adrian Diaconescu November 14, 2016, 7:39 am

Industry leader Spotify recently went live in a very important music market, reportedly considering a key acquisition as well, rising challenger Apple Music may soon cut prices to improve competitiveness, promising rookie Amazon Music Unlimited just eliminated its US exclusivity, and now, Google Play Music gets its biggest overhaul yet.

Presumably incapable of contending Apple on exclusive content, and unwilling to race Amazon to the bottom as far as subscription fees go, the Mountain View-based search giant has wisely decided to infuse some machine learning “magic” into its cross-platform audio streaming service.

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Starting this week on Android, iOS and the web in 62 countries around the world, Google Play Music has a brand new home screen look, aiming to be your “ultimate personal DJ” by listening “not only to what you like, but also when you like it, so the music that you care about now is always at the top of your screen.”

Sounds a little… invasive, and it probably is, but if you can live with yet another app permanently aware of what you do, when and where, a lot of the hassle of seeking the right tune for a specific mood, place, environment, date or time will vanish.

For instance, the updated Google Play Music app should automatically put together a relaxing playlist for after-work listening, something more alive as you walk into the gym, concentration boosters at the library, and so on. Of course, “your experience will keep evolving (and improving)” as Google’s learning bots “get to know you better”, which is both cool and creepy.

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