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Google cancels legacy Google Play Music subscriptions (support.google.com)
287 points by rdslw 10 months ago | hide | past | favorite | 151 comments

To make it clear: If you were google play music subscriber, which in 2014 offered plan with lifetime guarantee of price: You've been silently cancelled by Google :)

Upon contacting support, the only remedy they offer as for now is to subscribe to You Tube music (higher price and no lifetime guarantee) and are 'investigating' while of course they hadnt provided any solution.

Additional info:

* you did not get ANY information about this cancellation, up to the moment people starting flooging their support which was yesterday :)

* at that moment, you probably got two cancellation mails without any usefull info

* this is Google problem/action (not known atm), not your bank or CC

Additional info v2:

* Google did NOT try to do monhtly charges for the service on the usual date, bank/CC confirms NOT a single charge attempt until, YTM resubsbription on support request.

* The problem affects probably (?) subscribers with renewal dates between April 1st and 12th (incl.) as on 13th Google noticed problems and stopped "auto-cancel-feature".

Additional info v3:

* Looks like that only some subscribers (Europeans for sure) were affected by it, so smaller impact, maybe related to country of subscriber (unknown atm)

* It was probably part of the glitched (?) and multi-steps transition of google music to youtube music services (speculation atm)

Google maybe (?) had a better track record in 2014, but if there's one company I wouldn't buy anything with a lifetime guarantee from now it would have to be them.

to be clear, this was not a case of buying something with a lifetime guarantee, this was a monthly subscription, and a promise that you'd be grandfathered into the old rate indefinitely.

it's kinda shitty of them to cancel it, but not like the situations where people have tried to buy "lifetime" subscriptions to some SaaS product by paying a large up-front cost, and then having it cancelled.

> a promise that you'd be grandfathered into the old rate indefinitely.

Sounds like a lifetime guarantee to me.

“indefinitely” is a huge loophole, not a lifetime guarantee. If that word was used by Google at the time, there is no case here.

YouTube music is shutting down the lifetime guarantee is for the product or service life not the subscriber's life. So I am not sure where they are wrong in shutting the service.

whether or not this could be called a lifetime guarantee was not the point of my comment, at all.

typically, purchasing something with a lifetime guarantee requires an up-front payment to secure the lifetime guarantee. it seemed like some people here might have been under the assumption that was the situation with google music. i just wanted to make it clear what the actual situation is.

I am agree 100% with you. But this looks like a bug.

Lifetime guarantees from companies are wishful thinking, IMHO. The company can get bought out, go bankrupt, etc., and your guarantee is worth nothing.

The company can get bought out, go bankrupt, etc.

Unless I missed some big news, Google hasn't been bought out or gone bankrupt. Those aren't relevant here. If a company offers a lifetime guarantee then it should honor that for the lifetime of the company. Google have chosen not to bother honoring the promise they made in the past, and they should be held to account for that.

If you run a business and you choose to make a lifetime offer you don't get to take that back just because you don't want to do it any more.

If you run a business and you choose to make a lifetime offer you don't get to take that back just because you don't want to do it any more.

Tell that to Oregon Scientific, which cancelled the "lifetime" weather updates to my weather device.

Tell that Flightradar 24, which disabled the app I paid for, and the only way to get the functionality back is to download its new app and pay for a subscription. If it was disclosed at the time of purchase that I could be cut of at any time, I wouldn't have bought it.

Two stories. There are millions more on the internet.

I believe that XM radio did something similarly slimy to people who purchased a "lifetime" subscription when the service was starting up and it needed cash.

And didn't a bunch of people get their e-books deleted when Microsoft decided to shut down its e-book service? You think you're buying a lifetime of reading, only to find out you were just renting the books.

Google certainly aren't the first company to screw their users, and they won't be the last. That doesn't make it excusable though. That just means they're as bad as the other companies.

Probably covered in the terms of service. They decided to 'end' that service and start a 'new' service, which happens to be very similar to the old service, but isn't.

How anyone could give google a nickle at this point with their 0 customer support is beyond me.

Wouldn't all contracts still remain valid if the company got bought out?

Contracts need consideration. Basically if the company stops charging you, they don't owe you anything. This is also backed up by explicit clauses that say this.

The exception would be if somebody paid a "lifetime guarantee fee" initially to get that promise of service.

And even then you would only get the fee back. Getting any compensation for damages caused by the contract being broken is pretty much impossible in a case like this. It's hard to assign a value to that "lifetime guarantee" especially since the lifetime of this kind of service is determined "reasonably", not the life of the service or the user. It's unlikely that it's longer than 10 years so one might at best be compensated for another 4 years' worth of losing the price guarantee. At maybe $1 per month (assuming this is what they'll charge extra in the future) and given any legal costs this boils down to nothing.

I imagine Google will not go further than giving a gift card to those users and call it a day.

All the money pay since the first day was the consideration.

> Basically if the company stops charging you, they don't owe you anything

No. If they refund the money you paid, or whatever they can convince a judge is the value of the lifetime guarantee (the difference between TYM and GPM prices forever, converted to Net Present Value), they don't owe you anything.

The only right thing to do is to refund all past customer payments, or refund the "value of the lifetime guarantee" (with treble damages for willfully violating the contract?), and add a "lifetime guarantee fee" in future contracts with clear wording to avoud the problem in the future.

If the value of what you got from them is worth more than what you paid, then they can't just refund you what you paid and say "we didn't mean it". They'd be liable for damages for the value to you of the service and you might even be able to get an order for specific performance.

A good example of this is the story of the small number of ticket American Airlines sold in the late 80s/early 90s which offered unlimited first-class air travel anywhere in the world for life.

They eventually had to resort buying them back from those customers for rather more than had originally been paid for the tickets.

Generally yes, unless the contract contains an explicit exclusionary clause about change of corporate control.

But you assume good faith. Google is not bought out or bankrupt. You would assume that “because a project manager wants a raise” isn’t the cause to cancel products. But Google does.

I find myself not buying lifetime subscriptions to stuff because I find them dishonest.

Do you buy the non-lifetime versions from those dishonest companies, or eschew the company entirely?

It sounds like this was effectively a monthly subscription anyway.

It's always a good idea to determine what object is that we are measuring the lifetime off.

Is it you, the customer? The offering company, or the 'lifetime of the offer' - which can be any number, as here.

^^^ CORRECT ^^^

Unless expressly stated, it’s the lifetime of the product or offering, not the buyer’s lifetime.

Buy a non-stick frying pan with a “lifetime” guarantee on the coating. 3 years.

On the other hand a lot of companies have these kind of offers when they're trying to reach critical mass. Buying it in the early stages of a companies lifetime can be rewarding.

But it is always a gamble, yes.

I am one of the original $7.99 lifetime subscribers. I received no emails or cancellations. My payment for the month was processed last night. Music apps in the browser and mobile still recognize my account.

Same, mine was charged on the 28th, but I had this exact same problem once before where I was switched off and they cancelled my subscription. I used the Google One support people to get connected to the right tech support people inside of Google and got everything fixed in less than an hour.

Same, mine was processed a few days ago. So I dunno, I'm guessing it's not a total cancellation of all folks with that plan.

Same but my billing date is tomorrow.

It's quite possible that what happened was a glitch with their technical billing tables.

Even Google would not silently cancel a paying customer's subscription without some communication.

I just got official reply from google:

I received an update from our specialist. To set your expectation, we understand that you want to keep the old pricing for your membership. However, as per our specialist they no longer have a link that you can regain the promotion pricing. To compensate this, we'll grant you a 3 months free time for your membership.

WTF Google??!?!?!

I of course rejected their "offer" and asked to reinstate things as they were before their mistake, I'm now waiting for their response.

As someone wrote, this might be dark pattern of 'how-to-get-rid-of-lifetimes'. I'm really disgusted by Google.

Anyone can help on this?

That's disturbing for consumers, and of course Google will attempt to force you to arbitrate for remuneration.

Perhaps the Google Music consumers can perform the overwhelming "mass arbitration" denial-of-service against Google that was on the front-page a few days ago?

Unlike most companies featured on HN, including several which compete heavily with Google, the end-user Google consumer and G Suite and GCP terms have never included an arbitration clause. They did have one in their US employment agreement for a while but were successfully pressured to drop it.

That said, if they already stopped cancelling customers yesterday (my $7.99/mo is still active) as another commenter said, it sounds like a glitch that they'll aim to fix, so a class action would be premature. Some customers have even reported ad-hoc fixes.

They've always been bad about communicating externally in a usefully sensitive way, even when they really need to. This is unfortunately no exception.

(Disclosure: I used to work for Google until about 5 years ago, but I have no inside info on this incident and certainly am not speaking for them now.)

a bit of topic, but what is arbitration and why is it bad? We don't have it here in Europe (or at least is not very diffused).

Can someone eli5 for me? Thanks

It's a contractual clause that forces you to go to a private court like thingy to resolve issues instead of going to a real court of law.

It's not necessarily bad but given that there's usually one party deciding which arbitration provider to use and might even pay the bills and since those providers are a profit seeking organization at the end of the day, it's questionable if they're truly impartial. There's some research that they overwhelmingly decide for the big corp side of disputes but I'm to lazy to look it up and I'm also not sure if that's conclusive in any way (maybe the corp's position really is better?)

It's essentially a private court, where the parties ask a third party to quickly and cheaply settle a disagreement.

When used responsibly, it's great.

It's bad when a corporation requires arbitration (at the arbiter they choose -- which is a conflict of interest) and bans using the public government court system, as part of the terms of service of the product.

> a bit of topic, but what is arbitration and why is it bad? We don't have it here in Europe (or at least is not very diffused).

You have plenty of arbitration in the EU. It involves a "third party" (supposedly outside of the control of either party involved) which resolves the dispute between the two parties according to the law en possibly some other set of rules which both parties agreed to before entering into a contract. This avoids going to the judiciary and is usually a lot cheaper for the customer as well as the loser of the proceedings. The disadvantage is, that in some cases the use of such arbitration voids legal (civil) cases to be made (e.g. agree to arbitrage, you cannot sue).

Some arbitration is set up by law (enacted by law), some is set up by special interest groups to avoid differences between companies within the same line of work and some are set up by companies themselves. In the EU it is mostly the first two.

My personal opinion is to avoid them like the plague unless you have no way to go to court (e.g. no money) as they rarely have solid arguments and rule in favor of the companies way more often than not. As far as I am aware you are always allowed to reject arbitration in the EU and go to court, though that might be more difficult and expensive and not always wise. Contact a lawyer beforehand would be my advise, most EU countries have some form of basic (free/cheap) legal assistance.

See https://ec.europa.eu/info/live-work-travel-eu/consumers/reso... for instance

edit: list of all commissions is here and https://ec.europa.eu/consumers/odr/main/?event=main.adr.show... and is about 450 items long

edit2: As far as I know, force arbitration is generally considered "unfair" but this differs per country and might not be applicable in all circumstances. Some explanation: https://www.hausfeld.com/news-press/mandatory-arbitration-in...

Thank you, Yes what i meant was thinking was "forced" arbitration, but is not what i wrote.

>>of course Google will attempt to force you to arbitrate for remuneration

Arbiteration thankfully isn't a thing outside of US much. I would love to see what would happen if you took them to small claims court in UK for instance.

At best I'd expect you would get a ruling that they should restore your free service. But enforcing it would be another matter... I expect to see Google Play Music retired (in favour of YouTube music) first :)

In most US and Canadian jurisdictions I'm aware of, small claims court can only award money damages, not injunctions or other court orders. I'd guess it's the same in the UK but don't know. So they could probably award damages in the amount of the grandfathered discount from list price for the remaining expected lifetime of Google Play Music, which would be a very enforceable award (at least after any permitted appeals) since Google is too widely present to dodge paying judgments.

Small claims court (which also exists in the US) is almost exactly the same as arbitration, but run through the government court system.

And a Toyota Prius is almost exactly the same as a space shuttle, except it's not a spacecraft.

All subscription contracts provide that they can be cancelled by either parties with reasonable notice. If that was not the case we would have open-ended contracts that can never be brought to an end, which would be obviously unfair (and in fact such contracts are deemed unfair in many jurisdictions).

In this case it seems that Google's promise was only never to raise the price.

That might sound misleading because consumers are not used to have a company cancel on them (they want to get paid, right?) but that's always a contractual possibility.

All subscription contracts provide that they can be cancelled by either parties with reasonable notice. If that was not the case we would have open-ended contracts that can never be brought to an end, which would be obviously unfair (and in fact such contracts are deemed unfair in many jurisdictions).

That’s not the case, and it needn’t be the case. In common law jurisdictions courts rarely order specific performance. So for perpetual contracts, which do exist, a party would just need to pay expectation damages to the other party to end the contract.

That's rather nitpicking.

On the consumer side perpetual contracts are unfair, and subscription consumer contracts essentially always include termination clauses on both sides.

In the end this usually means having to give reasonable notice, which can also be an implied term.

Now, if you consider commercial contracts in general that's different.

What's unfair is Google offering lifetime deals, getting consumers because of it and then pulling the rug from under them when it's no longer convenient.

I basically agree with what you said, but want to point one thing out:

> All subscription contracts provide that they can be cancelled by either parties with reasonable notice

Apparently no notice was given. Either way, this seems to me like it's a bug rather than a contract issue

My USD$7.99/mo grandfathered Google Play Music subscription is scheduled to renew in 2 days. There's no indication on my account that it will be cancelled.

If I recall correctly, I did run into an issue in the past where it was incorrectly cancelled, and I had no trouble getting it restored at the same price by contacting support, but that was a long time ago, so it's hard to remember. And I'm pretty sure it was partially an issue on my end--my bank was declining the charge or something. When the charge finally went through, it was $9.99 instead of $7.99. I think. My memory is terrible.

I'm not sure when I subscribed but on 8th March and 8th April I was charged 9.99 AUD and as far as I can tell I still receive Google music and ad-free youtube. It says "GOOGLE *MUSIC" on my credit card statement.

Isn't that a breach of contract?

You could class action them

Maybe when the plans were grandfathered their duration was set to 5 (or 6) years with a //FIXME and the FIXME part was forgotten

reason I never opted in any lifetime offer. Company may fail, they may renegade.


What if the offer is appealing at the time and you can cancel whenever you want.

There was one time I as really into a lifetime offer from Manning but decided to pass it.

> Upon contacting support, the only remedy they offer as for now is to subscribe to You Tube music (higher price and no lifetime guarantee) and are 'investigating' while of course they hadnt provided any solution.

This isn't the case. From the link:

- "So I've managed to rectify the issue and they've renewed my Google Play/YouTube Premium subscription for 9.99USD a month (slight increase from the 9.99AUD I was paying, but hey, still a discount)."

- "I got my subscription reactivated through chat this morning at my original rate."

- "I had no choice but to use the link to get YouTube Premium subscription at my original price 7.99."

There is a large difference between 10 USD and 10 AUD, about 50%

True but that only applies to one of the users. The other two got their original price, unaltered.

1. In many countries the lifetime guaranteed price from 2014 was lower than 2020 price of YT Music. E.G. in most of Europe.

2. Did you have the original grandfather plan of Google Music?

3. Besides, YTM does not have guarantee of lifetime price.

1. Though people are being asked to purchase YT Music, they're being given their original, grandfathered price. They're not being asked to pay more (aside from the person who moved from AUD -> USD).

3. The modern public terms don't seem relevant here. YTM also doesn't have a $7.99/month plan, yet that's what's being offered to you. Is there any compelling evidence that accepting Google's purchase links means surrendering your lifetime price guarantee?

Dark pattern to "erode" an unprofitable category of users...?

"Oops, we had a technical problem and now your lifetime option is gone. Unfortunately we have no way to create new lifetime subscriptions, because of technical changes. As a goodwill gesture, here's a free year on $some_other_yearly_service. Whatchagonnado, sue us for a few pennies? lolmao"

Repeat a few times until everyone gets the memo or resource usage from that category goes under "acceptable" levels of waste.

> Whatchagonnado, sue us for a few pennies? lolmao

Are courts ever gonna learn how to deal with these huge corporations? They probably think it's cheaper to pay the fines than to obey the law and do the right thing.

This sounds like the perfect kind of thing for class actions. Another commenter mentioned that there's no arbitration clause so that shouldn't be an impediment.

Even with arbitration, the new pattern is to write a bot to mass file arbitration cases. DoorDash was arguing that the thousands of arbitration cases filed against them in one day should've been converted into a class action lawsuit. They ended up paying millions in arbitration fees alone.

What does the law say about this?

Google may just want to adjust their "acceptable waste" tolerance imho, they seem to be one of the most egregiously miserly companies at present. I understand the need for them to correct from a prior extreme on the other end but this is an over-correction when you're collecting the rents from your most stable income stream...

Inability to consider higher-order or longer-term effects is more or less the hallmark of McKinsey-style thinking, which Google has now embodied with their choice of CEO.

I was affected by this as my plan was set to renew on the fourth. I was able to contact support and get my plan going again on the discounted rate. They ended up having to cancel my subscription and probably set some sort of flag for me to get the discounted pricing.

All in all while it was a bit of a pain I don't think any malice was meant in this. I'm betting they had just set the end of the renewals on the subscription to April 2020 and figured if the service is still going they would update the end date.

A bunch of people here are commenting about how Google is silently cancelling a lifetime price guarantee.

But there's nothing in the thread about any lifetime guarantee, and Googling I can't find any reference either.

Does anyone have actual evidence that Google explicitly made a lifetime price guarantee? It just seems... unusual, not something subscription services generally do.

Also, this seems like more of a bug affecting some users, as opposed to intended policy. I mean, when Google cancels things, it usually provides months/years of advance notice with lots of e-mails.

So I'm hesitant to jump in with my pitchfork here...

I don't know what is true and what isn't, but it is funny that you used Google to research whether Google did something wrong. In this case, they might not be the best search engine to use....

> A bunch of people here are commenting about how Google is silently cancelling a lifetime price guarantee.

Early adopters were promised a fixed, permanently rebated price for signing up.

I remember. I was one who took the offer (but later cancelled for other reasons).

Do you have the original e-mail or anything you could paste here?

I'm actually really curious to see the exact wording and fine print/TOS. Just because that's such a rare thing to do, above all by a large company, and I'm surprised it would have passed legal review, but the devil is often in the details.

I went looking, but I can’t find it now. Sorry.

It's ironic how short a "lifetime" can be on the Internet.

it was a lifetime subscription. it just wasn't your lifetime.

It seems to be that they are looking to phase out Play Music in favor of Youtube Music. If that is the case, then those « lifetime » subscriptions meant that if was good for the lifetime of the service, and that is coming to an end soon.

If they shutdown Play Music, it might look similar to the end of Google Reader in 2013. They might be looking to get people off the service until they announce it.

That's not an "if" situation. They've been very public about migrating to the Youtube Music platform for a couple years now.

Why are these companies obsessed with unifying their brands and capabilities?

You can buy dozens of different shampoo brands (because you like the bottle of this or the smell of that) and in the end your money will end up flowing to the same company; but $deity forbid that I could get two same-but-different services from the same company if they can avoid it. I mean, I get the operational savings etc etc, but if they are both profitable, why go through the pain and suffering of killing one?

Then you turn to another niche (like IM) and it's the opposite attitude.

Google's commercial strategies are pretty nonsensical.

Which means they'll make their google home functionality even worse - right now if I set my default music provider to google play it doesn't try to serve me up videos on my audio only machine, but if I have to switch to YouTube music I'm going to have to keep specifying albums and songs instead of just asking for the artist.

*Google product's lifetime

Maybe this is a subtle hint about the lifetime of Google Music, now that they have YouTube Music as the new “hot” product.

They’ve semi-threatened it will be killed off sooner or later anyway, so I wouldn’t be surprised.

Ha! This is the best! Why did all those people not think of that, are they insane? :D

It was lifetime, but not lifetime lifetime.

Perhaps google silently saying "we are all going to die"

Sorry for the confusion, our COVID tracking analytics predicted an end to your lifetime subscription this month.

Your subscription lasted for the lifetime of your subscription.

Google Music is probably just following the typical path of a Google service:

1. Create something new in a given category and hype it up.

2. If it fails to catch on massively, neglect it. Make only minor changes, while competitors are continuously improving their offerings.

3. Leave that old service to rot until you decide to shut it down. Meanwhile, start over from step 1 with different branding.

I can't say this is a poor strategy for a company like Google.

Seems like all the people in charge at Microsoft in the 2000s have moved over to Google, as the product strategy seems the same – create something, watch it fail, kill it, hastily rebrand the old thing as a new thing and repeat.

E.g. MSN Music/Zune Marketplace/XBox Music/Microsoft Store/Groove Music

I will ditch Google Music for Youtube Music the moment they allow me to upload my MP3-collection. Any ETA on that or even plans to implement that?

If not, is there any other free service where I could upload my MP3 collection to, with an app for mobile which would sync the data between mobile devices?

On Youtube Google nags me since months (a year?) to switch to Youtube Music but I get less service there. I fear the moment I hastily tap to try and loose Google Music.

There are a number of self-hosted music streaming servers. Some quick googling shows Ampache, Mopidy, mStream, and Airsonic as the four biggest ones. Some of them have apps for Android/iOS, some support the Subsonic protocol which has a number of compatible mobile apps. And of course also a website interface.

Put it on an old computer / raspberry pi in a closet, or on a cloud VM. Domain name is <=$12/yr and many providers let you do DDNS via their API.

YT Music is just youtube with non-music filtered out. It is awful. My Play Music playlists are not there (just youtube playlists - see what I mean about being YT with a skin). I never ever use it.

I am working in Google Play Music clone because I have exactly the same problem, I am planning to launch a close beta in a couple of weeks, If you don't mind I can send you a link to try out the beta.

By the way, no landing page for the moment, I just bought the domain yesterday(musicbucket.cloud)

> If not, is there any other free service where I could upload my MP3 collection to, with an app for mobile which would sync the data between mobile devices?

Not free, but Apple Music allows you to do that. I believe Spotify has that feature as well.

Have you considered setting up NAS for your MP3 collection and streaming with Subsonic or VLC? I've never done this so maybe it's more complicated than I understand, but that's where I would be looking first.

I self host Subsonic, it is excellent. If you don't want to pay any money there are free forks of it as well.

I have two different and excellent apps on iOS but there are Android apps too.

> the moment they allow me to upload my MP3-collection

I would not hold your breath for this. The holdover MP3 collector is such a small minority that no mainstream company is going to consider them from here on out.

> is there any other free service where I could upload my MP3 collection to

If there was, why would you waste your time? Either it's not going to be free or it's going to disappear.

The problem is that some bands were never signed to a label, broke up before spotify got big, or for some other reason don't exist on any of the popular streaming sites. The problem is getting smaller as time goes on, but it still exists. I can self-host something like Ampache or Plex or something, but then I don't get any sort of discovery features, and I have to go to a totally different platform to listen to new artists.

GPM was nice in that it merged the cloud music with your own collection, but I'm pretty resigned to the fact that I'm going to lose that functionality when they finally shut it down.

> The problem is that some bands were never signed to a label, broke up before spotify got big, or for some other reason don't exist on any of the popular streaming sites.

For Spotify, Google, Amazon, Apple, etc. that's not a problem.

Are people going to cancel their accounts because they can't listen to a very small subset of music? Probably but it's going to be a tiny minority of users that's inconsequential to their bottom line.

That was my Google Play Music use case as well. About a year ago I set up a plex server on my NAS and bulk downloaded my GPM library onto it (which to google’s credit was easy to do). Now I have them on my own hardware, and accessible on the go with the Plex app. It’s a better experience for video than audio, but it’s totally serviceable.

There had been murmurs for a long time of Google Play Music going away, so I moved off ASAP. Looks like that was a good call.

That was my move as well. I already had a decently sized NAS with Plex that was accessible anywhere. The music experience through GPM and Spotify is better, but at least I can manage the music myself and I never have to worry about it going away (or some weird licensing or exclusivity issue not allowing me to listen to something I want to listen to). And my bootlegs, b-sides, remixes, and rare tracks that you can't get on streaming services is preserved too.

> "If there was, why would you waste your time? Either it's not going to be free or it's going to disappear."

Because voting with your wallet works.

If it's free you're not voting with your wallet...

Google's payment options page is one of the worst designs I have ever seen. A simple task like removing and adding an expired CC will make you wish you were never born. Their support basically is a loop of templated responses with Zero attempt at solving any issues (My guess is all google support agents are just bots).

My subscription is still active and is due to renew today. I will let everyone know what happens.

fyi nobody is complaining about this on the youtubemusic reddit which is the one of the first places I think we would hear about it if this issue was widespread BUT maybe its regional and hasn't hit the usa users yet.

Mine renews on the 14th and the payment was already made last night. Everything I look at shows my sub. is still active. I'm one of the original 7.99 subscribers.

The death of Google Music is long awaited and feared. Once it does die it'll be like the death of Google Reader 2.0. People are just getting twitchy with any little mistake Google makes.

Day 1 subscriber here as well. One thing that is interesting is that both youtube and youtube music show a price of $9.99 but once I click the manage button it displays the $7.99 price through google play music.

Honestly, I'll be pretty bummed if they increase the prices. I stopped using youtube music / google play music awhile back as they ruined the experience for me there but have kept it for the ad free youtube.

> youtubemusic reddit

There is also a googleplaymusic reddit which seems to be a more obvious place for google play music users.

Likewise, my grandfathered sub is due to renew today (looking at history the receipt email tends to show up in the 13:00-14:00 range in US-Eastern) and it's still showing as active at this time.

Followup: Right on time at 14:00 Eastern I got my usual receipt email, still paying $7.99/mo as always.

I got my receipt. Renewed at $7.99

> Google responded to our inquiry to confirm that they are aware of the issue and working on fixing it.


Is it weird that the same site published this on the same day? https://www.androidpolice.com/2020/04/09/google-play-music-t...

Very strangely authoritarian wording, too:

"It comes down to preference, but soon, you'll have no other choice but switching"

"Unfortunately, the equation isn't that simple here because YouTube Music will replace Google Play Music one day. You have to accept YouTube Music's quirks if you currently use and love Play Music, or you have to switch to another platform altogether."

I subscribed in 2016 when they were doing a special - $7.99/mo lifetime including youtube premium. My subscription does not seem to be affected yet, although my renewal date is April 22nd, so I guess we'll see what happens on that day.

Honestly I've been thinking about moving to spotify, but the youtube ad-free premium has kept me on google play music because it's just not worth it to switch. But Google Play Music has not been updated in what feels like ages. And the iOS client is terrible (I only switched in the last 6 months).

Seems like they're getting ready to pull the plug. I subscribed in Oct 2016, and over that time I've saved $2/mo on equivalent music subscriptions and had youtube premium included (yeah yeah I know adblock or pihole or nextdns negates the value, but it's nice to be able to use the youtube client on my phone without needing to set up those solutions). Net value has been $83 though I've paid for it with a drastically sub par music experience (sharing is pointless, can't see what my friends listen to, playlist management is terrible).

> youtube ad-free premium has kept me on google play music

I've been a subscriber since 2016 as well and this is as well as music uploads is what has kept me on Google Play music. YouTube music has this functionality now, but it still lacks a proper library feature as well as a migration option for existing library's and uploads.

Spotify just does everything so much better, so I'm so close to moving.

I made the same move, from Google Play Music to Spotify. Spotify's recommendations are miles better (I was discovering new music day one) , I can share songs/playlists with my friends, and things like... actually having a desktop client instead of one made by a third party are nice.

There's even smaller stuff like artists I like uploading playlists of music they like.

I do miss a lot of the uploading features GPM had, and they seem to have slightly more things then Spotify.

No ad free Youtube on chromecast kinda sucks too.

SaaS and lifetime subscriptions don't play well together.

Of course, lifetime upgrades of licensed software didn't really either. They didn't go away immediately with a canceled service, but in most cases they still end up breaking with OS upgrades, new devices, etc.

The difference being, upgrading the OS was your decision. You still had a license for something that worked on a dated version of the OS, if you so chose.

This is out of your control.

Kinda sorta. Security patches. There's other software you want to upgrade that's only supported on newer OSs. Your hardware breaks and the replacement hardware needs a newer OS.

Yes, it's possible (and organizations with specialized needs do) keep running 15 year old software and hardware without changing anything. But, for ordinary people, that app you bought is going to break at some point in the absence of updates. Of course, it's a bigger problem with SaaS and you have less control over it but licensed software is not immune.

>lifetime upgrades of licensed software

"we initially made a higher priced plan to get more from our customers for the same, since we'd have supported all our customers anyway since broken or dated software would have put us out of business. But now that we're commercially stable, it's time to moralize about how unfair a burden our voluntarily offerings on the market are to ourselves!"

"aaS" is just a funny techie term for "subscriptions".

Subscriptions and lifetime subscriptions don't play well together.

I personally never trust anything that says lifetime guarantee. It just can't happen except in very unusual circumstances.

I do have an anecdote that disproves my theory, however. My grandmother used to be an AT&T telephone operator, before they were broken up. As a retiree, she has "free lifetime AT&T", which they have been honoring even as the new company is not the company she retired from. She literally dials 0 and asks the person to connect her call for her. It costs her nothing.

My father bought a lifetime subscription to the uk magazine 'Private Eye' in, iirc, the 1970s, for £10 (they were being sued and on the verge of going bust).

He still gets his copy delivered every fortnight.

Does anyone have an easy way of exporting playlists/ liked songs out of google play music into some generic format (is there even a generic format for this kind of data)?

Currently getting really tired of google play music but I really dislike what Spotify is doing with postcasts so it feels like I'm stuck between a rock and a hard place on android.

Current plan is to write a Python script that takes screenshots every 1 second, and I'll tab through my huge playlist.

Then later I'll scrape those photos for text.

If you open your network tab in your browser's devtools, there may be JSON payloads to give you what you need (rather than farting around with OCR or reverse image searching your album art).

No luck.

But I did make that python program to take photos. 64 images to scrape one day. I'm not too concerned of the difficulty of OCR, there's gotta be some libraries for it, especially on black and white text from a web page.

(I did OCR with cellphone pictures and it worked)

Google is just following the law: Like in law, where a life-long sentence does not necessarily mean life-long, at Google lifetime guarantee does not mean lifetime. Perhaps guarantee, but not lifetime.

(Don't take this too seriously, especially not from me.)

I know it's a bad trope at this point, but you really have to assume that Google will change anything on you. They're just not a consistent or good faith company to operate with, even compared to other companies in this space.

I remember my friend complaining that the same happened with the GameMaker community few years back; there was a lifetime with all future major and minor version updates included, but then boom no longer applicable after few months:

Src: https://forum.yoyogames.com/index.php?threads/why-do-i-have-...

For as much as we rely on their services and look to Google for advice on best practices and guidelines, time and time again services are simply dropped.

On one hand, yes as a company I imagine you sneak some sneaky verbiage in the ToS so that you can't back yourself into a corner you can't get out of, but offering a lifetime subscription and it just being canceled - I just can't trust Google anymore to keep services up they "promise" will be there.

This is the last drop. They ditched the google music in favor of half baked youtube music, with no playlist import, horrible offline support, tons of bugs that still there. I heard they are big somewhere in India. Well... good luck. I'm done and switching to Spotify. The only reason I was attracted by this terrible service was pricing. I subscribe from my country of origin at ~2 USD/mo subscription. For that price, I was ok with their quality.

Again, never subscribe to a service assuming the terms won't change or be removed. Never assume that you 'own' anything that lives in, or relies on a company's cloud. This doesn't mean that services are bad, but they should be seen as ephemeral.

Never buy anything from Google.

I've added Google to my Don't buy list.

It's - Apple, Samsung, Google

Hmm. So I bought an album and a few songs there. They're apparently gone and I get some flow asking for credit card details. Apparently trying to sign me in for google music?

Well, I had moved on to Spotify anyway.

Seems also the few movies I bought are gone. But they still sell them? That's certainly an interesting way of doing business.

This is one of the movies I had bought. I could again "buy" it. Wonder who will fall for that for the second time... https://play.google.com/store/movies/details/Kong_Skull_Isla...

Ok, all the movies are back there now! Might have been user error on them some temporary issue.

The music is also there but it just switches your user so you have to re-login with the correct user after going to the music menu...

Does this mean we can get Songza back? Was pretty bummed out when google acquired them, really enjoyed that music app although Spotify basically has the same functionality now.

Sort of like the lifetime guarantee that GCP claims to offer (until next year when it's shut down).

It's sort of nuts to think anything Google does is going to be around in 5 years.

Reminds me how Google "upgraded" me to a better price when I moved from the Netherlands to Sweden. When I complained to them I got 3 months "free trial".

I was not on legacy but canceled my family plan anyway in solidarity. I guess back to piracy for me

If you use adblocker, music.youtube.com is free and without any ads. At least for me.

Especially for music, piracy has always been the easier route.

Customer support, especially from Google, has been abysmal during Covid.

I called a co-worker, and the number looked like a normal US number... Nope, it was a Canadian number, and AT&T charged me like $60 for a 30 minute call. Fuck that, it's the same country code.

So I made the switch to Google Fi.

I called Google Fi in advance, and asked how it would work with my Google Voice number.

The support person said, "Yeah, you can't have the two kinds of Google numbers on the same email, but just make a new Google account and set you Google Fi number up under there, then forward your Google Voice number like you've been doing."

Cool, easy.

I do that.

Mind you my whole family is on the plan, Mom, Dad, sister... and it's a big deal to switch.

After the SIM cards were sent, I go to set my Google Voice number to forward. And it doesn't work. It tells me I can't forward a Google Voice number to a Google Fi phone. WTF.

Then Covid hits.

All of my work and emergency contact numnbers are routed through my Google Voice number, which I can inexplicably no longer forward to my phone.

Google support lines are just playing recordings, "Not available."

Live chat... oof, 40 minutes to have what should have been a 2 minute conversation. And it's either a bot, or someone just copying a script. It was horrible. And I had to try like 4 times. Hours wasted.

Email support was worse. Nobody pays attention to context. Like they just go until they see a keyword they recognize and paste in a response template.

I've got Google Voice to forward to my emails... so all my calls and texts were still sort of coming in. But I wanted to get it sorted with Google.

I spell out a plan, email and ask them if it'll work.

They say over email it will.

I'm going to just drop my cell phone number and just use my Google Voice number on my cell. Easier than trying to update every place that had the old number. Oof. Then I'll switch the ownership from my Fake Google account to my Real Google account and turn off the Fake Google account line.

Plan was signed off on by Google staff. Cool, I feel like it'll work.

I get the new sim card, and it sort of works... except the fake Google account I used to set up the plan in the first place has to stay the owner. I can't change my real Google account to the owner on the family plan, I can't change anyone to the owner on the family plan. So I'm stuck paying for an extra line.

Google's solution... "Just drop the family plan." No joke. Just kick everyone off onto their own plan, problem solved. I got 3 email templates telling me to do this -- that's how they want me to change the owner of the family plan.

Oof. None of this will will kill me, and I'm glad they are keeping their employees safe... but none of this experience will ever put me in a spot to use Google again if I can avoid it. Their support is worse than any I've ever experienced.

Response times suck, lack of training for their staff, lack of intelligence around how to solve problems... it just feels like I'm talking to bots whose first language wasn't English.

Anyway totally frustrating experience, and it makes no sense. Why can't I forward a Google Voice number to a Google Fi phone? Shit like that is beyond me. And even with limiting product design, why wasn't Google Staff trained on that so they could give me proper advice when I first called?

I was a huge Google Fiber fan, and I wanted to like Google Fi... but man... it's been such a hassle. I've got a 100+ response email thread now and it's all just missing the context copy / paste talk, or them ignoring the question and answering something else, or contradicting advice one person to the next. Oof.

The title does not seem to fit what’s behind the link? I see people complaining about google canceling ongoing subscriptions after failing to collect the payments, presumably because of some fuckup on Google’s payment processing end.

Are they going to carry over my playlists?

I don't mind a price change, the government printed a lot of money. But I have hundreds of songs in a playlist.

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