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Show HN: Google Music for Mac (kbhomes.github.io)
193 points by kbhomes on Feb 22, 2014 | hide | past | favorite | 99 comments

Google Music , Google play logo , a project ready from a DMCA takedown ... dont be stupid, remove all the google trademark stuff or your project wont live long in github.

I think you have the DMCA confused with trademark law. It may indeed get taken down for legal reasons, but I don't see how the DMCA comes into it.

The image files of the Google logo are copyrighted.

I can understand how this might be legally contentious, but the only thing it could be reported for is the name, I would think? The Google Play logo there is not me embedding it into the app, since it's displaying the webpage itself. Correct me if I'm wrong?

You want to avoid making it look like it's actually "endorsed" by Google, or a product of Google's, despite interop with one of Google's products. The name can be an issue here, so you might want to come up with something spiffier and original, and point out that it works with Google's service elsewhere.

Are they really? I thought logos were squarely in the domain of trademarks.

IANAL, but here's my take: anything men make is copyrighted. Getting rid of that is difficult or even impossible (depending on originating country and one's interpretation of the law)

Nothing physical can be trademarked. It's the idea of some features in a particular field that forms a trademark (in this case, the right-pointing triangle, the phrase "Google Play" in the 'app store' field) you break a trademark as soon as 'the typical consumer' might be confused who he is talking to.

So, the particular logo likely is copyrighted, and the idea behind it trademarked. If you redraw the logo (using some artistic expression; a 1:1 copy won't do), you are free from copyright claims, but may still be breaking trademark law.

It seems like he may be making a play to get this acquired by Google so that they can offer a desktop app. That's why the branding. I can't think of a better way to get Google's attention than to blatantly violate their trademarks - though it might be the legal department, not M&A, that reaches out to him :-)

Google wouldn't need to acquire the project if they wanted a desktop app. It's just a client ... nothing Google engineers couldn't handle.

Right - an embedded webview with some window dressing. But it seems like they don't want to handle it, as they've made clear. So why not shell out a few bucks for one that's already made?

because the first thing they'd do with it is throw away and rewrite it on the Google tech stack.

But this person might land a job at Google, like the Sparrow folks... http://sparrowmailapp.com/

This is seriously just a stylesheet: https://raw.github.com/kbhomes/google-music-mac/master/googl...

That's not an insult, it's supremely awesome that this is even possible and that this dev made it happen. I'm using it now. But there are a few of these types of things for Google Music, there's a similar Chromebook app.

Because they would need to support it. Plus all the other reasons why they don't have a native desktop client now. Like the strategic goal to establish Chrome as an app platform.

Can someone point me to some relevant information on this kind of problems? Like unofficial clients and their legality and pitfalls.

Plus, its ugly with the lego.

Oops, logo.

Looks promising! May I ask why you forked from the original (https://github.com/JamesFator/GoogleMusicMac)? Looking at the commit history it seems to be under active development.

Thanks! When I initially forked the repository, I hadn't planned on including features like the theme or the notifications, but once I realized how much I liked the product and wanted to continue to develop it, I figured I should ask the original creator for permission to keep the fork independent and he agreed. Very generous of him!

Outside of implementing the notifications this offers nothing for me that the original one, from James Fator, doesn't already do. I dislike the table display and the attempt at making the appearance be more Cocoa-esque in favor of the Google web design. You might also want to think of changing the app name and icon also as it is misleading.

Thank you so much for this! It's just a Safari wrapper, but it's the first native solution I've seen. Google is really horsing around with Google Music, it's sad that I pay them the same amount I would (and did) Rdio and Spotify and get treated with shitty Flash web players and no native apps.

edit: 15 minutes in – it's not extremely polished but I really love it! Finally, no more annoying music.google.com Chrome tab.

> no native apps.

To be fair, no native desktop apps. Their android App is great - by my experience much better than Spotify's. And while I do prefer a desktop app to a browser app, their browser app is more feature complete than Spotify's desktop App.

The iOS one is, too, a poor web wrapper yucks. For instance, you can't listen to your offline albums without Internet, because each time the app starts it "loads the library", which is utterly frustrating and redundant.

I prefer a nice web app that I can use on any OS than nice desktop apps and neglected web apps that you get with some of the other services.

There's a couple, actually. G-Ear Player is totally native, and then there's gTunes and omPlayer. Yours is the only one that's open source though. Nice!

They could really use a Sonos integration as well.

Works well and looks great. It would better meet my needs with Chromecast support, but I don't see a way to do this on MacOS without having embedded the Chrome browser instead of Safari: https://developers.google.com/cast/docs/downloads "The Google Cast SDK and API libraries support the development of Android, iOS, and Chrome sender applications"

AirPlay audio streaming would also work for me, such as the way iTunes works, but I assume that Apple keeps that locked down as well.

Iirc, AirPlay would actually be possible. Would be fiddly, but possible. I have a plugin that lets me send any video in a web page to my Apple TV, and that's just a safari plugin (so only JavaScript basically) -- considering this is just a webview with wicked styling, I think it might be doable. I'm gonna take a look myself actually...

I use Google Music extensively from within a Fluid wrapper, and the key thing this doesn't seem to do that that solution does is keep music playing and background the app when the window is closed.

Other than that, this is fantastic!

Agreed, generally closing the window shouldn't terminate the app on OS X. So far that's the only negative I can find, otherwise I love the app!

Looks like iTunes, which happens to be a product that I truly dislike. I'd rather see some differentiating features indicated front and center, and not a derivative-seeming screenshot.

If you just want to control Google Music via native keyboard shortcuts (and you're using Chrome), I made this a while ago:


I use it on Linux and OS X.

IANAL, but I guess you might want to add a big "this product is not affiliated with google" disclaimer on your page?

Oh you're very right, I had that added to the README of the repository but forgot to add it to the website. Thanks for the heads up.

He's using the logo, trademark and strongly implying that this is either (a) created by Google or (b) sanctioned by Google.

The disclaimer is a waste of time. The guy is acting like an idiot and can expect a cease and desist pretty swiftly.

"Acting like an idiot" for building a nice app ass a free open source project and sharing it? Come on, let's be constructive here! That wasn't necessary!

Now I want an extension to integrate the media keys for firefox, like this extension for chrome:


Notifications would be nice too.

Looks beautiful. They say that they're not affiliated with Google a few times. I hope that if they get pinged by Google, it's something close to the Jack Daniels letter[1].

[1] http://www.forbes.com/sites/avidan/2012/07/26/the-worlds-nic...

EDIT: Actually, isn't it terrible that this is the first thing that we think of? This is distinctly not a problem in the open source world. It doesn't help Google, either. Ugh.

For those who have been looking for a native app to use hotkeys check out Alfred (http://www.alfredapp.com). With Alfred you can use the workflow feature to control Play Music via hotkeys (which you can use no matter what tab is active or if Chrome is the active app). I blogged about this a while back: http://mikebracco.com/blog/control-google-play-music-with-ho...

Great work. It looks really slick, and from the comments so far it appears many people are excited to have a native app. That said, I'd be interested to here why exactly people want a native app. The web app already has notifications and has suited me just fine, so I'd be interested to hear what others find useful about a native app.

Media keys are actually really nice to have. I use Rdio's desktop app which has similar functionality and it is really handy not to have to sort through browser windows to find controls.

I don't use Chrome as my main browser and Google Music experience sucks in FF (I wonder why....) and isn't even that great it Chrome itself. Maybe its because I have all 20K song slots used across 3000-odd artists but its still annoying. So I keep a chrome instance open just for GMusic. You can't hide the application if you want to use notifications, if you do hide it the notifications trigger foregrounding. Also, native notifications are always a plus in my mind.

I would like to see an actual native application that caches songlist / artist and doesn't run like shit. But I'll take what I can, I guess. On the otherhand, the Android experience is phenomenal.

Why do you think the experience sucks in FF?

Very cool, I've been looking for something like this. I wish I could use an Application-specific Password rather than my full Google password + OTP.

But I don't suppose that would be feasible with a Safari wrapper.

Also when I first loaded it, it complained about the lack of Flash, but navigating around and playing music worked just fine.

Just curious, why would you want Application-specific passwords? They're far more insecure and still have access to all your Google services. Application-specific password would only make sense if Google actually let you limit access to a certain subset of Google-features.

They are not necessarily more insecure? And the great part about them is the fact that if an app goes rogue then its password can be revoked. Also, while they can access my data, they can't change data. No one can log in with an application specific password and steal my account.

They are one less factor needed in order to access an account that has 2FA enabled, so in that regard, I consider them less secure.

You're right about the part where they cannot hijack your account, but change data? Sure they can. They can delete all your emails, calendar events, contacts, images on picasa, the list goes on. It has unrestricted access to all Google-services associated with your account.

Because I can revoke Application-specific passwords and they are more limited in that there are a set of settings that they can't change (can't change my email address, change my password, setup forwarding, add more application-specific passwords, etc).

Er, I take back about the Flash and playing music thing. No flash = no music.

LOVE THIS! I have wanted this for so long! It's such a breath of fresh air to have a native app like this!

"The Google Play music player is currently available in select territories." - Damn, its not working in Canada. Why isn't this released by Goolge already? A Google version of iTunes which can synch with an Android device would be a great addition to OSX/Windows.

Is there any option to disable the vertical expansion of the song rows when hovering over them? The effect bothers my eyes and makes browsing distracting.

Otherwise, what an awesome execution; I've been looking forward to an app like this for a while, just surprised Google wasn't the one to produce it.


How do you actually launch this on Mavericks? My Mac just complains that the App isn't signed.

Have you tried Right-click -> Open?

This isn't snarky, it's the right answer! Mavericks prevents opening unsigned apps when you double-click, but Right-Click -> Open will launch a pop-up asking "Are you sure you want to open this?", allowing you to bypass the protection. It's a real thing.

I wasn't being snarky, thanks for making it clear!

I always upvote unnecessary snarkiness :)

You should allow apps downloaded from places other than App Store. Go to Security & Privacy under System Preferences, and on the general tab, select "Anywhere" under "Allow apps downloaded from:" option.

This is a terrible idea. DO NOT tell people to do this.

The right answer is in a sibling comment, Right-click, Open. That way you retain the decision of what's allowed to run.

It's not even an inconvenience, once you've run it, it won't ask again.

^ correct answer.


If it doesn't let you launch, you may need to find the app in Finder and open it from the right click menu. Seems that OS X requires you to do this so that it knows you explicitly want to launch it. It remembers this after the first launch so you can use it normally afterwards.

What an awesome app! Few things I missed: 1. Chromecast support. 2. Navigation back/forward?

No one seems to have pointed out the already native Mac app: G-ear https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/g-ear-player/id513751032?mt=...

I converted the stylesheet to a userstyle[0] so it can be used in any browser as well.

[0]: http://userstyles.org/styles/98492/google-music-mac-theme

There's also G-Ear player, available on the app store. It works very well, though it's not as good at search as the web app is - so sometimes it's easier to add music to your library using the web app.

Also a G-Ear user. Developer is extremely responsive, and supports enough of All Access to fit my needs.

If all you want is media keys support, Bearded Spice does the job. It supports a bunch more web apps too, like Youtube and spotify.


Works great and could get me using Google Music again. I wish Google would realise that for some things desktop apps are better than the browser currently and they should support that.

Is there a good self-hosted Google Music like solution? I already have my music on my servers, and would love to be able to just point Linux/Android/iOS clients to it.

I've always wanted to do something similar. The 20k track limit on Google Music makes me prune my online collection every so often which is annoying. I think it would be a fun project to write a basic web streaming player that pulls mp3s from S3/Cloudfront. I would gladly pay Google a fee to increase the storage limit though.

Subsonic is good: http://www.subsonic.org/pages/index.jsp

Honestly though I'd just use Google Music.

Using Google Music is probably the least effort way of going about it. I need to figure out if there's a simple way to batch import from Linux.

Plex ?

Seems way too complex for what I want. But now that I think of it, plugging it into a more complete XBMC setup could be the ticket.

I've seen http://audiobox.fm if you meed more than just Google Music as a storage.

Wow, this is exactly what I wanted a few months back when I was using Google Music extensively. This may get me to re-subscribe. Great job!

One thing that stuck me about Google Music is its lack of built-in support for last.fm. Was kind of hoping this had it.

Does Last.fm support mean just scrobbling, or are there other features you might like? I'm not a Last.fm user but I'd be willing to take a look into including support down the road!

Last.fm scrobbling was the first thing I looked for as well. It's pretty much a necessity for me at this point that any software-based music player I use needs to support last.fm scrobbling. There's several Chrome extensions that take care of it for the in-browser player as people below have mentioned.

I just fired this up, it looks and works great! If you did implement last.fm scrobbling (currently I just use a tampermonkey script that works well) I'd start using it primarily.

Hey guys, I implemented a last.fm scrobbling that you can check out here: http://jamesfator.com/blog/2013/05/17/google-music-app-for-m... If you're interested, check it out and let me know what you think.

Just installed it, works well!

For me personally, just scrobbling.

At this point, that's the only thing stopping me from using it. Looks great, but I'm a stat freak and I need my scrobbling.

Plug -- I maintain a Chrome extension that does exactly that: https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/google-play-lastfm...

there is somehting similar that I have been using on windows for a while. I really love being able to use media keys http://vhanla.deviantart.com/art/Google-Music-Desktop-Player...

I would love to see an out of browser version of Hangouts, but this is definitely nice to have.

The Hangouts Chrome extension isn't out of browser, but it's pretty close, and I like it a lot.


It has its own Gmail-style chat UI at the bottom of the screen.

And it gets completely confused if the Google Account Chrome is logged into is different than the primary account you're logged into on the web.

Or at least that's my experience with it so far.

Thank you, Thank you, Thank you.

If it is not related to Google then why they are using Google all over the places?

Does it sync music from Mac to an android phone over a local wireless network?

It's just an interface to Google Play Music, which already makes your music available on your Android.

Chromecast support would be cool, not sure if this is possible though.

Looks great. Would love a way to build more complex playlists!

Now all I need is a Google Music Spotify Library importer.

This is what I needed! Waiting for Chromecast support...

I'm testing it right now and it looks pretty nice.

yaaaa this is like rly good. dwn w/ the p4triarchy.. fuck capitalism fuck stephen king (his books are rly skaree)

What I really want is Google Drive for Linux

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