Google Play Music is a great service, you can upload your own music to their cloud and subscribe to the service for unlimited music access. Google have apps for Android and iOS plus a browser based version that works in Windows but the UI is a bit slow and it doesn’t support offline playback.
There is a new app for playing Google Play Music on Windows called Gear Music Player. Gear Music has been around for a while for the Mac and iPhone and now it has arrived on Windows. With the app you can access all your music uploaded to Google and access Google Music All Access with a subscription, you can also take music offline for playback without an internet connection.
Gear Music Player is a traditional Windows program (not a Windows Store app) and can run in the background (so you music continues to play when you close the app). Once you open the program you can sign in with your Google account and then it you will see your complete Google music library in the application complete with Playlists and radio shows.
Once you are signed in you can view your music by songs, albums, artists, genres and album artists. Music is laid out in a grid with album art and then as you drill down to the content there is a breadcrumb bar to navigate back and forward. When you are viewing something like an album you get a list of songs where you can view details including artist, track title, time, album, genre, year and number of plays (all from Google Play). You can then play tracks, add to a playlist, download the content for offline playback, you can add to the now playing queue, play next or create an instant mix for the artist. You can view your now playing queue and download queues for offline playback.
Offline playback is a really gear feature, you set the app into offline mode and then it will show all the content you have marked for offline playback.
You can do just about everything you can do with Google Play Music on Android. Features like instant mixes, auto playlists and I’m feeling lucky (which is a random playlist based on your collection) are supported. The UI has makes it easy to navigate around large music collections but I would say it’s more functional than a pretty UI. It is really good for managing playlists, the simple UI makes it easy to create and edit playlists.
It also links to YouTube so it will add your personal YouTube content to the library, it brings in your videos, subscriptions and playlists which you listen via the app. Personally I will be using it for just Google Play Music rather than YouTube but it is good to have the option in the app.
Overall I really like this app, it is much better than the Google Play Music web site especially for offline playback. The app isn’t the prettiest in the world but it is very functional, it costs $6 and there is a free trial version available so you can try it for yourself.
Download from gearmusicplayer.com